Vocabulary and Concepts for ls 106



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Vocabulary and Concepts for LS 106

acculturation or cultural assimilation: Members of the minority group learn the culture of the dominant group. It might mean learning the language, changing eating habits, adopting new value system or changing the spelling of the family name.


advocacy: an umbrella term for organized activism related to a particular set of issues
androcentricity: The assumption of the supremacy of males and their experiences, values, and tradition; a male centered worldview.
androgynous: having characteristics or nature of both male and female.
assimilation: the forming of immigrants and minority groups to abandon the unique features of their former cultures and to adapt to the values and norms of the dominant culture and become absorbed into it.
bisexuality: Physical and/or emotional attraction to members of both sexes.
blaming the victim: Accusing victims of crimes of discrimination of being somehow responsible for what was done to them.
capitalism: An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of property and capital assets, by a free market determining prices, production, and distribution of goods, and by an accompanying emphasis on profits and competition.
class: a socioeconomic classification based on relative wealth, cultural privilege, and access to power.
classism: The privileging and assignment of high status to the wealth and financially better-off individuals and their culture and the stigmatization and disadvantaging of poor and working-class people and their culture simply because of relative wealth.
classless society: The myth that the United States has no social or economic classes.
consciousness-raising groups: Meetings, especially during the 1960s, in which women shared their experiences as women, revealing the web of social limitations that society imposed on women simply because of their sex.
conservatives: People who hold social views that endorse maintenance of the status quo.
cultural assimilation: see acculturation.
cultural encapsulation: a period of time in which a person has not been exposed to or isolated from members of other cultures, esp. used in reference to race and racial identity.
cultural responsiveness/relevant: affirming cultural connections (for 7 ingredients for culturally responsive teachers see pg. 131 of We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know.
depression: A period of drastic decline in the national economy characterized by decreasing business, falling prices, and unemployment.
discipline (in poverty): discipline in poverty is about penance and forgiveness not necessarily change. Refer to the behavior analysis and the three voices pgs 78-84 of Understanding Poverty.
discrimination: Individual, organizational, or structural behavior, policies, procedures, decisions, habits, and acts that disadvantage one group in relation to another group, that overlook, ignore, or subjugate members of certain groups, that enable one group of people to maintain control over another group, and that maintain and perpetuate conditions of inequality for members of the disadvantaged group.
diversity: The condition of being different or distinct; having a variety in form--often associated with ideas about race and ethnicity that can refer to both physical and cultural characteristics.
dominance paradigm: a pervasive and persistent world view wherein White assumptions are held to be true and right, White ignorance of other groups is the norm, and White privilege flourishes essentially unchallenged and unacknowledged.
effeminate: Having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men. Marked by weakness and excessive refinement. (dictionary)
egalitarian: An adherent of the doctrine of equal political, economic, and legal rights for all human beings. (dictionary)
empathy: imaginative projection into another's feelings, a state of total identification with another's situation, condition, and thoughts. The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without explicitly articulating these feelings
ethnicity: Membership in a subgroup within an environment dominated by another culture.
ethnogenesis: The process of creating a new ethnic identity.
Eurocentricity: The assumption of the supremacy of European Americans and their values and traditions.
exclusion: a pattern of discrimination that denies members of an ethnic group certain positions, independent of the effects of segregation. An example of this would be slaves and African Americans before the civil rights movement because they were denied basic citizenship rights.
expulsion: a less intense form of discrimination because of those who are exiled from a society retain access to at least one highly valued resource, life. It is a common form of discrimination and is usually forced.
Federal Reserve Board: A government agency that controls the money supply, interest rates, and inflation, and sets policies that determine unemployment and inflation.
feminine: The traditional definition of what a "real woman "should be--that is passive, domestic, nurturing, dependent, emotional, preoccupied with her appearance and maternal.
feminism: The belief in the value of women and a woman-centered perspective and the advocacy of social, political, and economic equality for both women and men.
feminists: Women and men who advocate equality between the sexes and the value of people who struggle to combat the sexism in our society.
free enterprise: The freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation.
gay bashing: Physical and verbal attacks on gay men and lesbians, often by groups of young heterosexual men.
gender: The social categories that ascribe roles, appropriate behaviors, and personality traits to women and to men.
gender roles: Socially assigned behaviors attributed to men and to women.
generational poverty: having been in poverty for at least two generations – patterns may develop sooner if the family lives with others who are from generational poverty.
genocide: When members of an ethnic subpopulation are killed or potentially an entire ethnic group is exterminated.
hegemony: the ability of a dominant group to exert or maintain control through a combination of overt and subtle mechanisms.
hermaphrodite: One who has the sex organs and many secondary characteristics of both male and female. (dictionary)
heterosexism: The cultural assumption that heterosexuality is natural and the only proper sexual behavior.
heterosexuality: Physical and/or emotional attraction to members of the other sex.
hidden rules among classes: rules that are taken for granted within each particular class – poverty, middle class, and wealth have rules that are hidden from members of other classes. See pgs. 43-44 in Understanding Poverty.
hierarchy: A social organization structures according to rank and authority, with power distributed unevenly.
homophobia: Fear of being labeled homosexual and hatred of homosexuals.
homosexuality: Physical and/or emotional attraction to members of the same sex.
ideology: A system of assumptions, theories, and beliefs characterizing a particular group or culture and supporting and reinforcing or challenging political, social, and economic arrangements.
industrial revolution: The 19th-century transformation of methods of production, transportation, and communication through substitution of machines for hand labor.
institutionalize: Various parts of our social system working together so they create a self-perpetuating cycle of privilege or discrimination and economic disadvantage.
institutionalized racism: Subtle, often invisible discrimination that does not explicitly use color as the subordinating mechanism; instead decisions are based on such other factors as skill level, residential location, income or education that appear to be racially neutral and reasonably related to the activities and privileges, but which, in fact, produce discriminatory results.
integration: members of the minority group enter the social structure of the larger society.
internalize: Accepting socially assigned characteristics and beliefs as part of one's own thinking.
intersexual: occurring between the sexes. Having sexual characteristics intermediate between those of a typical male and a typical female. (dictionary)
Jim Crow: Racially discriminatory laws, social institutions, behavior patterns, language, cultural viewpoints, and thought patterns that required segregation of the races in all aspects of life in order to subordinate African Americans.
liberals: People who hold social views that favor progress and reform.
lesbian: A woman whose sexual orientation is to women. (dictionary)
marginalize: Confining to the edges of society.
masculine: The traditional definition of what a "real man" should be--that is strong mechanically oriented, ambitious, assertive, in control of his emotions, knowledgeable about the world, and a good provider.
melting pot theory: The theory about immigration that all the various heritages have influenced one another, blending together to create a unique American culture in which no group or single set of values is dominant.
meritocracy: The belief that advancement is based solely on ability or achievement.
multicultural education: a field of study designed to increase educational equity for all students that incorporates, for this purpose, content, concepts, principles, theories, and paradigms from history, the social and behavioral sciences and particularly from ethnic studies and women’s studies.
multiculturalism theory: The theory that American culture is a combination of many subsocieties, each group coexisting with other groups while retaining some of its customs and traditions which are accepted as valid and valuable.
national wealth: All of a country's cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, factories, art, personal property, and everything else of financial value.
New Deal: Social reforms initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, including social policies like farm supports; federal reforms of the financial system; national control of the stock market, banking, and public utilities; development of public works projects and housing programs; relief for the unemployed; minimum wage standards; and Social Security system.
oppression: The systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of one group of people by another for whatever reason.
overt racism: The use of color and other visible characteristics as subordinating factors.
patriarchy: A hierarchical system of social organization in which structures of power, value, and culture are male-dominated.
pornography: The presentation of sexually explicit behavior, as in a photograph, intended to arouse sexual excitement. (dictionary) The representation of erotic behavior in books, pictures, statues, motion pictures, etc., that is intended to cause sexual excitement. The word pornography, derived from the Greek porni (“prostitute”) and graphein (“to write”), was originally defined as any work of art or literature depicting the life of prostitutes.
poverty (ala Payne): the extent to which an individual does without resources, e.g. financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support systems, relationships/role models, and knowledge of hidden rules. “Poverty is more about resources than about money.”
poverty line: An official federal income level based on the cast of a "Thrifty Food Plan," which is not considered nutritionally adequate for long-term use, multiplied by three account of nonfood expenses and adjusted for family size and for changes in the consumer price index.
prejudice: The belief that members of a certain group are inferior because they are characterized by undesirable or less valued traits or behaviors.
privilege (and penalty): social arrangements of dominance cause privileges to flow to certain groups whether or not those privileges are earned.
Protestant work ethic: The belief in the importance of hard word and productivity and the corresponding faith this behavior will be rewarded appropriately.
racial identity: an extra layer of identity formation in which individuals identify with their race. It is possible for the dominant race to ignore racial identity; whereas, minority races are confronted with racial identity in early adolescence.
racism: The subordination of certain groups of people and the assumption of their inferiority, based on their origins and skin color or other physical characteristics; this is reflected in both individual and institutional acts, decisions, habits, procedures, and policies that neglect, overlook, exploit, subjugate, or maintain subordination of those groups or their members.
rape: Being forced to have sex without consent.
resistance: The negative responses and oppositional actions taken to oppose views, plans, or actions advocated by others.
restrictive covenants: Laws and policies that excluded members of certain groups from living in specified areas.
role: Any socially or culturally defined behavioral expectations that are presumed to apply to all individuals in a category.
segregation: a process of spatially isolating members of an ethnic subpopulation in areas where they can’t have the same access to valued resources as people do who are not isolated.
self-made man: The belief that success depends only on the ambitions and hard work of the individual.
separate but equal: The justification the Supreme Court used in its 1896 ruling in Plessey v. Ferguson that declared Jim Crow laws constitutional.
seven tenets of Western dominance: Bacteria, Bullets, Beads, Bureaucracy, Books, Booze, and the Bible
sex: The biological "fact" of one's physiology and hormonal characteristics.
sexism: The subordination of an individual woman or group of women and the assumption of superiority of an individual man or group of men, based solely one sex; this is reflected in both individual and institutional acts, decisions, habits, procedures, and policies that neglect, overlook, exploit, subjugate, or maintain subordination of an individual woman or all women.
sexual harassment: Treatment by someone who exercises some power over students or workers which subjects the subordinate to sexual innuendo, touching, propositions, and/or sexual coercion.
sexual orientation: An individual's physical and/or emotional attraction to members of the same sex, the other sex, or both sexes.
situational poverty: a lack of resources due to a particular event, e.g. death, divorce, chronic illness, etc.
social change: Change caused and controlled by people acting individually and collectively as compared to natural change.
Social dominance theory: 4 basic assumptions 1) human social systems are predisposed to form social hierarchies 2) hegemonic groups tend to be disproportionally male, 3) most forms of social oppression can be viewed as manifestations of group-based social hierarchy 4) Social hierarchy is a survival strategy
social movements: Coalitions of groups of individuals seeking to revise social policies and transform social institutions.
social positionality: a theory that asserts that human beings tend to draw distinctions of in-group and out-of-group membership but also in terms of dominance and subordination. “How I see myself and how others see me.” See pg. 33 of We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know.
socialism: An economic system in which the producers (workers) possess both political power and the means of producing and distributing goods and in which government provides for human welfare needs, including health care, education, economic security, and so on.
socialization: The process by which we learn socially appropriate roles, including the many pressures, rewards, punishments that compel us to conform to social expression.
stages of black racial identity development: 1) pre-encounter 2) encounter 3) immersion/emersion 4) internalization 5) internalization-commitment
stages of white racial identity development: Phase 1 – a) contact b) disintegration c) reintegration Phase 2 – a) pseudo-independence b) immersion-emersion c) autonomy
stereotype: A set of assumptions and beliefs about the physical, behavioral, and psychological characteristics assigned to a particular group or class of people.
theory: A systematic way of organizing knowledge so that it explains a variety of occurrences.
transsexual: a person who psychologically identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex especially by undergoing surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance.
unions: Organizations of workers that seek to advance their mutual interests, to collectively improve wages and working conditions, and to enhance job security.
upward mobility: The belief that it is possible for everyone to improve his or her economic and social status and maybe even someday strike it rich.
violence: The use of force--physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual--to control the behavior of another person, to compel her or him to fool a certain course of action or enforced inaction, to coerce her or him into acting or thinning in whatever way the person with power dictates, to leave the victim with no alternate except compliance and to enforce the dominance of the perpetrator(s) and subordination of the victim(s).
white identity orientations: fundamentalist, integrationalist, and transformationist see pg 104 of We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know.


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