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SOCI 201
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The University of Calgary Faculty of Arts Department of Sociology Sociology 201 - Tutorial Assignment #1 Instructions: This assignment is based on the video: “A Class Divided” and your tutorial readings. There is a link on Blackboard that will take you to the video. Ensure that you have access to it as soon as possible because late assignments are not accepted. You are expected to watch this video at home and answer the following questions. This assignment is due in hard copy during your next tutorial. You may team up with another student. If you do, make sure that you have both names and both student identification numbers on your assignment. Please answer in the spaces provided. Name Student ID number Daniela Yaneva 10102331 1. What was the name of the teacher in the video? (1 point) Jane Elliott 2. What town did she live in? (1 point) Riceville, Iowa 3. In three short sentences, identify three attributes of the town. (3 points) 1. A small farming town filled with less than 1000 people, surrounded by corn fields. (not much room for diversity, and a ton of room for discrimination for anyone who doesn't fit in) 2. The people in this town were all white, english speaking, christian folks. This again leads to cohesiveness based on physical appearances and ostracizing anyone who is different leading to growing discrimination within a very small population. 3. The time period is also a very important attribute to the town and the people's behaviour in it. It was a time where blacks, Indians and many other minority groups were often discriminated against and treated differently. 4. In one or two sentences, explain why she embarked upon this exercise. (1 point) Jane Elliott felt like this exercise was the only way the kids will TRULY understand what discrimination is and better yet, get a first hand experience at its effects. It's a whole new understanding of the word when you have personally been victimized by it, rather than just defining it as a class. The teacher wanted her students to realize this and truly comprehend how it felt to walk in the victims' shoes. "There was no way to explain this to little third graders" After watching the news reporting Martin Luther King's brutal assassination and hearing white commentators say things like "who is going to hold YOUR people together now" she thought "If this is what grown white men do and say, how will my third graders react?" and felt it was time to do something about this. "I felt it was time to deal with this in a concrete way, not just talk about it" she told the camera. Jane felt that just talking about racism wasn't enough. It's a hard lesson to teach, but the way she handled it left a mark in these students forever. 5. In methodological terms, what research technique was she employing? (1 point) The research technique used in this procedure is classical experiment combined with observation studies of the students and the impacts throughout the process. 6. Identify and define the relevant sociological concepts realized in the outcome of the exercise. (2 points) Concept #1. Conflict Theory: A social science that targets a social group and shows the inequality within it. Every single person in society can be a target for discrimination. Even if discrimination in this movie was based only on eye colour, it angered and frustrated many of the little third graders. The group was divided and shown many inequalities. No matter what the aspect we as a society are being judged on is, as long as this aspect is looked upon as negative in society and people are being ostracized and dehumanized because of it, it will more or less have an effect on everyone. Concept #2. Symbolic Interactionism: patterns of communication and interpretation between individuals. If a human being is continuously told they are worthless and "less superior", eventually they will start to believe it and live down to those expectations. As a society, we tend to care lots what people think and say about us. The way things are communicated to us and our interpretation of them can be very confusing and in some cases cause misunderstandings. If we are accused of having negative traits as a human being based solely on a physical characteristic, we become confused and helpless. There is nothing that can be done to change ourselves, and we lose orientation and hope in life when certain characteristic is preventing us from reaching our goals and dreams. This happened to the third graders in the classroom who eventually believed everything they were told about being stupid and this influence had negative outcomes in their academic career. When moved up to the "superior" position, their confidence was boosted up mainly by influence and they improved in many tasks. 7. Identify three basic findings of this research. (3 points) 1. Discrimination can lead to incredible behavioural changes in a very short period of time. As we saw in the documentary good hearted people turned into mean creatures in the course of one day. Because of all the separation and power, some felt they had the right to call others names (brown-eyes) just for the idea of securing their superior place in the mini classroom - based society. Bul
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