Chapter 8 Questions

  1. The authors ague that racism is more than the acts of individual bad people. What, then, is racism? What is problematic about reducing racism to simply the bad things some people think and do?

Racism is systematic and a part of our Western Society’s daily lives, whether we are within the groups that aware of it or not. To reduce racism to “bad people” any person can argue that no, I am not a bad person and therefore I cannot be racist. If we benefit from the power dynamic of race then we are in turn racist or using racist ideals to benefit.

2. The authors argue that to have grown up in racially segregated communities is to a learn a great deal about race. How? What kinds of things do we learn?

The fact that a community would be segregated says a great deal about race because it shows the systems in place to separate white people from those of colour. We learn from this that people may be meant to live in their racially separated groups from the experience, because we never see someone who is unlike us. The myth permeating throughout this experience being that if you are not faced with racism as a white person living in a segregated community then you are advantaged in having racism not exist in your community.

3. What is intersectionality? Choose a few of your other social group memberships and describe how they influence how you experience race.

Intersectionality accounts for all of the groups that a single person can be a part of. For example, a white gay woman will be marginalized for being a gay woman but will still have more benefits than a gay woman of colour. While this happens a white gay man still holds the power in being both male and white. To add into these groups would be the religion, ability and socio economic status of all of these individuals. These factors will play a part in an individual positionality for better or for worse.


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