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Sociological meanings of basic concepts-reply to two comments

Two replies or critical comments to other students’ postings. These replies should have a minimum of 150 words each. Read each student posting and provide a critical comment for each one.



Student 1

A sociologist’s point of view on race states that it’s a social construction, because of people in society connecting physical traits and physical differences amongst people. People assume a certain perspective of someone, based on their skin tone, features, air and make assumptions about their background and religion. The movie ” Is Race Real” reflects on the topic of “hierarchy”. “Hierarchy is a system in which people or groups are ranked one above the other, according to The example of the hierarchy being used in this movie is stating how some people believe “one racial kind is better than other racial kinds”. The cause of hierarchy causes the conflict between races, leading to violence. The man mentions the fact that racism causes the violence, and history repeats itself. Something tragic would happen, disappear, and appear again. In the movie ” Racism: What to do”? focuses on young kids and their opinions on certain subjects that have to do with “racism”. A girl mentions the fact of her little brother playing in the park with another boy, of a different race and the boy’s mother picked him up and gave the girl’s little brother a dirty look. Another girl mentions the fact that a boy and his family looks different from her and her family but she didn’t care and that was still her friend. While another girl mentioned that she doesn’t have a problem with interracial marriage and that she think her parents wouldn’t mind if she had dated someone of another race and religion. But she feels if she were to marry them, her parents wouldn’t be happiest. After watching both films, I had many observations and perspectives about each. For the movie ” Is Race Real”? my observation was that this film focuses on African American men, who were speaking and defending African American people, especially the men. It focused on the fact, racism does indeed exist then and it does now. My perspective after watching the film was that the men didn’t necessarily talk about the concept of slavery, but I believe the concept of slavery was the main focus because it showed videos of black men getting arrested and beaten. Also, it stated how history is repeating itself when it comes to racism amongst African Americans especially. For the film “Racism, What to Do?” , my observations were that it focused on a child’s point of view, there were only young girls speaking on their opinions about racism, and a majority of them were white. After watching the film, and hearing the young girl’s opinions, I came to the conclusion that majority of the time, it isn’t the child’s fault of how they think and act towards other children or people in general, that is a different race from them. It is usually their parents or family fault, because of how they told/ taught them how to think and act towards people of different races. I also kept in mind that there are some children that look pass the racial difference, and learn to act and think of others with a different race, no matter how they were raised. I noticed that because one of the girls in the video mentioned that she noticed her friend was a different color from her and her family, but it didn’t matter to her. As for the articles,”Growing Up, Growing Apart it focuses on three young girls who are different races and have a different religion, but see past that and be close friends. Although these young girls looked past their racial differences, others didn’t feel the same way. One of the girls had a party and invited people of different races that didn’t socialize with each other. ” Johanna had invited all her friends. white and black. But the mixing didn’t go as she wished.The black kids stayed down in the basement and danced and the white kids went outside on the stoop and talked”. (Lewin, PG1). As for the other article “Best of Friends, Worlds Apart” this article has a similarity that quickly turns into a difference compared to the other article “Growing Up, Growing Apart”. This article focuses on two men. Joel Ruiz who is black and Achmed Valdez who is white. They were best friends who always loved playing soccer together and as they get older things changed. Both of them eventually adapt to their own race and began to discriminate in racial differences. Ruiz surrounds himself in black-owned business, people, and women. He also made the comment that “White barbers don’t understand black hair”. As for Valdes, he surrounds himself in all-white neighborhoods, hang out with white Cubans and he doesn’t go to black neighborhoods unless his job requires him to. My perspective from both films and articles is that some people look past racial differences and see a person from deep within and some people just look at a person’s racial difference and doesn;t want to know them for the inside instead of the outside, and only make assumptions on which leads to racism . 



Student 2

In the short film “Racism: What to do?”, it’s has kids of different races and backgrounds that gives their insight to some questions that were asked to them. The film expresses that race is thought based on how people react to each other. One girl mentioned that her brother was playing with a Hasidic Jewish kid in a park and the mother of the Jewish kid came and  grabbed him away from playing with her brother. As stated in chapter one of the textbook religion is not something that is biologically instilled in us as humans it is something that is thought, the mother of the Hasidic Jewish background just showed her son a lesson that playing with others that are not of the same cultural background or not similar to him he should not play or be among them. The other child that was their although he might have been a pasty of what is considered the dominant group he also knows not to accept or play with others now because of what that mothers actions. Also in chapter one it’s stated that members of the dominant is unwilling to marry outside of their group, as stated by another young lady in this film “ her parents wouldn’t mind if she dated outside of her race however she knows that her parents wouldn’t be happy if she married someone that is not of the same race”. As shown in the textbook as well many people might not verbally state that they are against the other race but something her parents did makes her know that it wouldn’t be approved by them to marry out of her racial group. I believe that race is something that people pick up from other people, family, and friends and it can be controlled based on how much it is enforced by the people around you. One of the other students has a friend that she is aware that their family looks different and is different from her family but that does not bother her that individual is her friend no matter what is the difference between them. This film showed different kids with different points of views based on how they were raised and what they were thought weather by family or outside people.

Race: The Power of an Illusion episode one, this film enforces that race is not a biological thing it is something that is socially developed. Based on the many Anthropologists that was featured in this film  there is nothing shown in our DNA that makes us significantly different from another person. When the students in the science class tested their DNA and told us that they think their DNA would be more similar to the person who they shared the same skin color with or who they had some similar features like hair and eyes. When the test was complete one student which was white his DNA matched someone in Iceland and someone in Africa. Although this same white male who had a DNA similarity to someone in Africa he was asked if he would change his skin color, his reply was no. He wouldn’t change his skin color because he feels that it is a privilege to have his skin color. The privilege that he refers to is known as “White Privilege” as described in chapter two page 66, white privilege are rights and immunities that you are given just because you are white. One privilege that they are granted which is shown when going into certain department stores or restaurants is that they are always financially reliable when using checks, credit cards, and cash. Also started in this film is that there is no gene that makes someone better at something than another person, if there was a gene it would consists of multiple other genes that can influence this trait and scientists have yet to come across that discovery. Not only do they think that a gene is involved if an African American is achieving at a sport as stated by the white male he thinks that the black males can beat home because they are bigger than him. Jesse Owens was a famous black track athlete who was thought to be only a successful because he was closer to the primitive, the primitive being a monkey. In both these films along with the text but you see that race is socially developed and racism can set people back from achieving things that might be more common in another group of achievement. However if the opportunity is given to people of different races and they set they mind to it I believe that anyone of any race can achieve and activity weather dominant in one group or not.

In the article “Best Friends Worlds Apart” by Mirta Ojito, raises the question how can these people be best friends but are living in two different worlds?. You have two Cuban men in this article that grew up together in Cuba the only thing different about them was that one was of darker skin being considered black and one of lighter skin being considered white. While in Cuba they had no racial difference that would’ve segregated them in Cuba being that everyone was just considered a Cuban. After their migration to Miami Florida that’s where they both noticed that they are different from each other. Being that Ruiz was Cuban he was black and when arrived to Miami he was treated like a black male of America, he was placed to live in what we know as the ghetto and was underprivileged.  Valdes who was Cuban as well however was white was not underprivileged and lived like a white person does in America, he had access to many things and was given greater opportunity than his friend. They both went through the same process to come to America but was treated and granted different things when arrived. In chapter 2 table 1.2 Miami/ Miami Beach was 73% segregation of blacks and whites. Did the move to America change the way each other viewed them self and each other? Yes, Ruiz adapted to his limited opportunities and became accustom to what he was now considered a black man he his his Cuban culture and adapted a fully black culture. Valdes adapted to his opportunities that were granted to him and also looked at his friend as a black person now. Being stereotyped can set limits upon someone and deprive them of equal opportunities.

Is it really a racial segregation or just kids leaning more to the people that they share more in common with? In this article “Growing up, Growing apart” by Tamar Lewin, it’s about a group of kids going to a multiracial school that they are friends with many kids of different races. As time goes by the same kids that used to hang out with each other begin to hang out with kids that share more in common with them and some happen to be kids that share the same racial background as them. Making racial comments like your acting white or acting black this is where I believe it becomes a racial stereotypical segregation among these kids, it should not be this way people should be able to hang out with who they want to and not be judged.


The world we live in consists of many people from different racial backgrounds, people should not be put in groups or categorized based on physical characteristics. As seen in the videos and articles it has happened and although proven by many scientists that we are not different. People of these many different races and hit with racism, stereotyped, and the segregated. We are all human and if we are being treated differently it should be based on what we do as a individual.  

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