I’m studying for my Psychology class and need an explanation.
In the Discussion, you addressed how constructionism influences your racial and ethnic identities. The concept of social class is also based on or influenced by constructionism. Social class categorizes people according to their level of importance in society. According to the constructionist approach, social processes, such as political, legal, economic, and other outside influences converge to categorize you as one class or another. Since outside influences change over time, designations of social class may change over time as well. For example, when labor unions were more prevalent in middle of the 20th century, individuals who worked in manufacturing jobs were more likely to belong to the middle class. As labor unions and wages decline, workers may be more likely to belong to the working class.
When you think of social class, you may think of wealth or power. These attributes do influence social class and will be addressed further in Week 3. Characteristics of race, such as skin color, also can influence social class. In some cultures, people may be assigned to a social class based on their skin, hair, or eye color. For example, in a culture in which white people are considered to be in a higher social class than dark people, the class of people in between may be based on the darkness of their skin, with light-skinned black people seen as belonging to a higher class compared to dark-skinned black people. In a Native American society, a dark-haired person may be considered to be in a higher social class than a light-haired person. Dark hair matches expectations of appearance for members of a particular tribe. Categorizing individuals by social class can lead to conflicts in defining racial and ethnic identities in that these constructs are not concrete.
For this Journal, you explore an historical example of how social class evolved.
To prepare for this Journal:
The Journal (3–4 pages):
Review the Course Preview and read the Course Introduction
Rosenblum, K. E., & Travis T. C. (2016). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexuality, and disability (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Section I, “Framework Essay”
- Section I, Reading 1, “‘Race’ and the Construction of Human Identity”
- Section I, Reading 4, “Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America”
- Section I, Reading 7, “Whiteness as an ‘Unmarked’ Cultural Category”
- Section I, Reading 3, “The Evolution of Identity”
Adeleke, O. A., Bamidele, R., & Omokeji, R. (2014). Indigenous capitalist class, social stratification, and life chances in contemporary Nigeria society. Public Policy and Administration Research, 4(7), 11–15. Retrieved from http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/PPAR/artic…
Mukherjee, R. (2000). Caste in itself, caste and class, or caste in class. Journal of World-Systems Research, 6(2). doi:10.5195/jwsr.2000.229. Retrieved from http://jwsr.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/jwsr/article/vi…
Rankin, B., Ergin, M., & Göksen, F. (2014). A cultural map of Turkey. Cultural Sociology, 8(2), 159–179. doi:10.1177/1749975513494878
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