Reconstructing the society
There are many categories in which we sort humans. Among the major categories we have race, class and gender. Race is a social concept that categorizes humans into large populations and groups that stand distinctively by cultural, anatomical, genetic, geographical and social affiliation. There is not yet an agreement on the best definition of class, but it can be defined as people belonging to the same same social, economic and educational status. Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining between masculinity and feminity, and also differentiating them. Alternatively, it pertains to socially constructed roles, behaviours and also attributes that a society considers right for both the male and the female gender.
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We can incorporate the films “La Haine” and “manufacturing consent” to illustrate this. In La Haine, we can illustrate the impression of class as a category in which we sort the human race. This is clear when there ensue a hard-hitting drama between the police and the disenfranchised French youth. The relationship that can be examined between these two groups is riotous because of the social class. There is a riot that took place after a second generation Arab was beaten by the cops. The following day, young men went to Paris and they were arrested by the police. They were interrogated, only to be involved in a rumble with skinheads later on. On their returning home, what they encountered was never suspected.
Delving deeper into the film La Haine, we find the writer director Mathieu Kassovitz butting the European urbanity with the American style of the streets as clash with the police in suburban parts. The end result can be seen as an explosion scathing social commentary and generally the story-telling is dynamic. Closer scrutiny to the generaton; class and race are the major factors that divide the nation of France. Kassovits attacks the frontlines of power fearlessly but on a rather unreservedly pessimistic note.
A riot in seen in the outskirts of paris where the police beat Abdel Ahmed Ghili, an Arab teenager, into a coma. This fuelled a lot of anger and hatred inside Vincent cassel, who is commonly reffered to as Vinz. Vinz was a Jew who was determined to whack the cops in the occasion the boy dies. The jocular admitted this to the cohorts of Vincent. He also approached Humbert, an African boxer, to speak to him of his rather evil plan as they embark on an adventurous voyage from the neighbourhood of immigrants.
The time bomb ticks a fatal account of the society’s decline which is plainly one sided. The efforts of only one police who shows sympathy to the troubled youth are negligible and ineffective among an army of bullies and bigots. It can be seen that kassovits view situations in black-and-white which vividly explains the reason for striking a monochrome print. It is the conviction and broad discovery with which he writes the story that makes it really compelling.
He lifts up a scene straight from the taxi driver where Vincent Cassel poses infront of the mirror with a gun. He asks his own image if it is talking to him. Humbert is seen to offset him with a cool self assurance. Taghmaoui performance was outstanding when he offers funny relief to neutralize the unbearable tension. He prompted a hitherto, unseen and executed it brilliantly. Racism has been seen to be a particular problem in the police force. The tense relationship between the policemen and the youth evidences racism. It takes place during a 24 hour period. When Abdul is injured and is critically in hospital, in the course of retribution, Vinz is caught in the possession of a policeman’s gun he had obtained in the riot. He swore to murder a “pig” if Abdul dies. This illustrates how race is a major class of sorting the humans
We can construct a socially stratified reality that will help us save some of these racial, class and gender related problems. The most basic elements of the social structure is status. It stands for a social position that is recognized and of which an individual occupies in the society. There are duties and responsibilities usually in relation to complimentary positions. Secondly, we have the status set. Everyone in the society holds many status positions and not one. Status set can be defined as all the statuses that a person holds at a given time. One can be a male or a female, teacher or student, husband or wife among many others.
When we talk of status, it can either be ascribed or achieved status. Ascribed status is achieved at birth or later assumed involuntarily in the course of life. Achieved status is a social position that is assumed voluntarily. Its can reflect the personal ability that one has or the magnitude of efforts with which he puts. Oftenly, we have a combination of both the achieved status and the ascribed status.
However, there’s that status with an exceptional importance for social identity and that shapes a person’s personal life. This is referred to as a master status and according to our society, one’s occupation often comprises this position. According to the social diversity, physical disability becomes the master status for many people. Some other ascribed statuses like race or sex are other examples of positions which in one way or the other are a person’s master statuses.
In the construction of a socially stratified reality, the concept of role is significant. By role, we mean the expected behavior that is attached to particular status. The expectations the society attaches to a role somewhat makes the role performance to differ. Since each status has several roles attached to it, a person has many roles than statuses. This number of roles attached to particular status is referred to as role set.
An individual can creatively shape reality through social interaction. It is understood as a negotiation process which generates to shaping reality. People also build reality from the surrounding culture that varies widely within a given society. Analysis of social interaction in terms of theatrical performances is crucial. Individuals in various settings make attempts to create impressions in the minds of others, what is referred to as impression management.
There are various reasons why discrimination arises and how it is perpetuated. Compounding effect of multiple grounds are always linked to a person’s experience of definition. For example, researches confirm that the elderly and persons with disabilities experience higher unemployment chances. Members of radicalized groups with such qualities may also be underemployed on multiple grounds. These are social harms and pains that come from such acts of discrimination.
Another reason for discrimination is protecting persons associated with others protected by the code. The code could protect people who are not personally identified by one of the grounds. The big question arises on whether one is a member of a protected group. There should be considerable intent behind how u treat someone instead of analysis based on looks, myths and stereotypes. This is discrimination based on perceived grounds.
Age could also be another reason for discrimination on may social area including employment. Younger job applicants may be discriminated on the grounds of stereotypes about youth and experience. Older employees may be discriminated on the grounds of health related and disability concerns. They should eliminate discrimination and instead base thneir decisions on the basis of actual merits, capacities and circumstances.
Others are discriminated on the basis of underage and considered to as minors. Some are discriminated whenever employers state the maximum and minimum age. Disability is another major point of concern. This has been claimed by a quarter of all human rights. Employers are concerned with disability related concerns, and to prevent these claims and issues in a timely way, they opt to discriminate which should not be the case. They should instead apply measures such as inclusive design and develop accommodation issues.
Family status is another major reason for discrimination. A person’s marital status has also become a major concern. To take care of this, policies and actions should not be based on social areas. Some stereotypes that a man or a woman is of a greater value than other types of marital status should be dropped.
There is also race and race related grounds of discrimination. Language itself is not a ground for discrimination but it may be associated with any of the race related grounds. The same case applies to color. Ancestry and place of origin are also major causes of discrimination. Citizenship, sex, and record of offences, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation are also major causes of discrimination.
However, discrimination may be stopped. These include setting the standards without placing blame. One should bring awareness on what is acceptable and what should be dropped. Whenever one experiences discrimination, it is good to challenge the behavior immediately. Sometimes it is good to address the challenge even if it means later in future.
In the process of eliminating discrimination, it is important to know your audience your evidence and understand them. This makes it easier to drive a convincing argument and know what points you need to change.
It is good to take your time and work out the best strategy in which you can address discrimination. You can also seek the advice of other in order to come up with the best strategy. One can also seek the help of others including a lawyer to know your rights.
Discrimination has hazardous consequences. Some of the physical consequences associated with discrimination include change of appetite, decreased energy, stress related ailments, insomnia, headaches among others. It also has emotional impacts such as anger, depression, fear, feeling of isolation, self blame and guilt. Career and academic impact include absenteesm, decreased concentration, and reduced productivity whenever one fall victim. The grades or employment records suffer because of this.
The vice of discrimination also has social impacts such as alcohol and drug abuse. It leads to physical and emotional withdrawal from friends and family. Financial impacts include decrease in professional reputation or academic standing, decrease in future job opportunities, actual loss of jobs, scholarships and recommendations. The organization may also suffer costs of discrimination such litigation, higher employee turnover, tarnished public image, frustration and loosing sides.
In conclusion, impression management is very fundamental in our daily life. Talking of impression management we mean the process with which people attempt to influence perceptions of other people, object or even designs. It may extent to professional or even public relations.
There are three types of intangible consequences that are associated with discrimination. These include fines, litigation costs and also bad publicity. Litigation expenses are associate dwith employment discrimination claims. These includes the attorney fees and investigative expenses. There are sums of costs associated with litigation. They include punitive damages and compensatory damages. Lost income and revenue is a tangible, though difficult to measure, cause of discrimination. When the media covers such issues there may be a considerable drop in sales hence lost incomes and revenues. There are no socially responsible customers that will want to be associated with supporting businesses that have been involved with scandals of social discrimination practices.
Organizations use impressions such as branding as strategies to convey the brand image to external and internal audiences. Mangers have no option other than build the impressions they make on others, be it subordinates and business partners. The imperession they create is the overall effect on their understanding
All in all, these are just but ways in which we create a socially stratified reality, or rather category driven realities.
David M. Newman, Sociology, chapter 12, “The Architecture of Inequality: Sex and Gender.”
Kate Bornstein “Gender Outlaw vintage books New York, 1995”
David M. Newman, sociology, Chapter 14 “Architects of change: Reconstructing Society”
David M. Newman, sociology, Chapter 10 “The Architecture of Stratification: Social Class and Inequality”