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SOCY105 Social Justice.docx

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University of Maryland
SOCY 105
Beverly Pratt

SOCY Social Justice 11/5/12 Social Justice - a process and a goal for full/ equal participation of all groups in society mutually based to shape their needs - Distribution of resources is equitable - All members are physically and psychologically safe and secure - Social actors have sense of own agency, and social responsibility toward & with others, society and world Process of attaining social justice (not simple) - Should be democratic and participatory process o Inclusive and affirming of human agency and human capacities - Emphasis on “power with” vs. “power over” Bell hooks (1952 to present)- feminist, author, social activist Changing Education Paradigms - Change for economic and cultural (identity) reasons - Degrees no longer guarantee jobs - Arts are victims of mentality EDUCATION History of Education Public elementary schools  19 century - Provided skills to legitimate the class, racial and gender system - Instilled individualistic ethic and a positive view of a class stratified, inegalitarian (unequal) social system Comprehensive high schools gained popularity after 1900 - Vocational (occupation one is trained for) and tracking systems Socializing and disciplining children for work in a class- structured economy - Central concern of economic, political, social leaders Holistic learning and broad education development wasn’t a top priority Higher education campuses are NOT safe spaces - 1 in 4 college aged women report rape or attempted rape - 2006: 7720 hate crimes reported o 51.8% motivated by racial bias o 12.2% occurred on school campuses Emotional Labor - Consequences of white institutionalized space (institutional oppression) - Students of color have the same normal intense pressures as white students o But also deal with stress of racism - Amount of time and energy (physically, mentally, emotionally) to cope with hatred and ignorance while also producing as is required of a student - Same can be said for women, LGBT community, and other intersecting identities US HEALTH 11/14/12 - No paid maternity leave - Center for Disease Control (CDC) SICKO - Power: drug companies make drugs un/attainable, Insurance companies could deny/ provide insurance to wherever, medical doctors that either deny/ accept claims, politicians get extra paychecks for advocating what congress is against - Oppression- those w/ one minor pre condition will be denied coverage - Privilege- other countries have better perks Race, Poverty & Disability: Three Strikes and you’re Out! Or are you? (Block) - People of color, in poverty and with a disability (Triple jeopardy) o Historically seen as non- human or experienced extreme social stigmas - “Culture of poverty” adage is a form of “blaming the victim” o Blaming the culture replaced biological rationales (use culture to explain social Darwinism) - What may be one groups deficit may be another groups advantage o People of color, in poverty and w/ disability have great strengths - Disability rights activists emphasize overcoming social barriers instead of focusing on individual pathology - Solutions proposed? o Education, organizing a sense of community, pride in identity o Elimination of unequal power relations and re- distribution of wealth and income Just Choices: Women of Color, Reproductive Health, & Human Rights (Ross) - Poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and injustice prevent women, especially those of color, from controlling what happens to their bodies o Interferes w/ ability to acquire services, reproductive health info, Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) information - While many agencies and organizations exist, very little meet the INTERSECTIONAL needs of women of color (status, classes, sexual orientation) - What do the authors say about: o Native American/ indigenous women, Asian Pacific, Latina, Black o Fear of racism from men and upper class women, judge, health care system - HUMAN RIGHTS issue Sociologically Understanding Mental Illness - Considered socially deviant - Labeled mentally ill or crazy o Labels are negative and detrimental to solving their problems - Instead of action, institutionalization is often utilized - Sexism is often used when labeling people as mentally ill Mike’s Story from Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness - Pete Early used sociological imagination- put experiences w/ mentally ill son and put in context of society’s past treatment w/ mentally ill o Son had to put himself in hospital or if he physically caused harm to other or himself (jail) because older than 18  He broke into somebody’s house, got care, but prisoner’s care was very poor - Not all people who exhibit mental illness commit crimes 11/28/12 - Street crime is reported more but violent street crimes are relatively uncommon - Suite crime (white collar) gets less attention yet is very pervasive/ frequent Using the power- conflict perspective to understand crime - Factors in poverty o Job discrimination and underemployment affecting Black & Latino Americans - Politicians and the public o Worry about property and violent personal crime linked to poverty Members of the capitalist class and other white collar groups are also involved in serious crimes - Occupational crime- committed for individual benefit by people acting in their occupational roles - Corporate crime- involves a number of people violating laws in the larger company interest Consequences of corporate crimes for Americans - Billions of dollars - American lives (thousands of deaths annually) - Moral climate of country Crimes by Government officials - Punishment is usually light (Richard Nixon, Reagan assistants) - Law violations by policing agencies The Criminal Justice System reflects a class and racial bias - Higher income earners tend to receive favored treatment - Punishment for corporate crime is often lenient - Access to legal counsel depends on income - Federal prisons mostly house: the poor, propertyless and powerful Rape Racism & the Law - Institutionalization of racial discrimination in criminal justice system in informal way - Legal for anyone to rape a black woman but not a white woman - Punishment most severe for black men raping white women as opposed to white men - Prisons are greatly overcrowded, highest incarceration rate is in US - Serious prison riots in last few decades - “Cruel and unusual punishment” brought up in court cases (how prisoners are treated) The experts advise… - Prison officials should call for expanded educational, vocational and work programs - $25- 35k annually to maintain each prisoner! o Expanding law enforcement expenditures chosen over a full employment economy - White applicants w/ criminal record more likely to get hired than black applicant with no criminal history The race & class dimensions of our injustice system are conspicuous - Racial discrimination is part of the criminal justice system - Racism pervades the recurring problems of police malpractice - Social scientists and legal scholars see discrimination in drug laws, sentencing practices, and treatment of inmates of color How Safe is America [Desiree Taylor] - Compare 9/11 with class wars- people claim don’t feel safe anymore - America built on exploitation of poor Interpreting and Experiencing Anti- Queer Violence [Doug Meyer] - Interviewed 40 people who were queer and violently attacked, and asked to interpret experience - White gay men said attacked b/c of sexual orientation most of time, those of color don’t know why attacked and can’t isolate it o Could be multiple reasons- Hate b/c black or hate b/c transsexual - White men are the most likely to report and benefit from hate crime legislation , those who don’t know don’t report b/c unsure - Intersectionality, not everyone experiences same violent act motivated by sexuality Bryan Stevenson [will be on final] - Advocate against bias towards color and poor in criminal justice system - Told all grandkids, Promise mom that always love his mom, always do the right thing even when it’s the hard thing, and that will never drink alcohol - Power in identity- can say thing to others that doesn’t a
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