Critical Thinking and Critical Theory Is Everyone Really Equal Essay

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Integrate Summary 

Equality often has an intangible element to it as it relates to causes and influences on others. Both chapter 5 and chapter 6 shed light on these intangible influences and their overall manifestation in society. Chapter 5 focuses heavily on the definitions of both power and oppression and how they can influence society. Oppression for example creates a set of policies, traditions and norms that look to benefit one social group at the expense of another. Even more alarming is typically, the group that benefits tends to own, control and influence all the factors of economic prosperity in society. As a result, it is difficult for the oppressed to elicit change without the help of those doing the oppressing. This dynamic creates a very powerful push and pull effect on society as parties look to recreate and establish equality.  Chapter 5 using the example of the women’s suffrage movement and its implications for both women society. This movement has many striking similarities to the racial equality movement we are currently witnessing. For one, you have a dominate group, which many deem to be white males, who own, control and influence a disproportionate amount of the wealth in society. Historically, African Americans and Hispanic Americans have not owned a large portion of the financial assets within the country. Much like the women’s suffrage movement, much of the power institutions in society were constructed in ways that normalize white, male superiority. This form of Androcentrism is then used to create an invisible reference point for many minorities to be held against. As many minorities do not necessarily fit these norms, due in part to slavery, institutional barriers, and wealth they are often considered inferior. This ultimately relates to the concept of “Privilege” in chapter 6, which allows a certain group to have their beliefs appear “normal” at the expense of other groups. 


In regards to a critique using critical theory, I do agree with many of the assertions of the book. I do wish both Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 provided more details as to the theory behind the apparent lack of African American wealth in society. In light of the current, political climate, I believe a candid discussion on slavery, lack of education and lack of resources have had on the black community in America. It is interesting as many of the influences prevailing during the women’s suffrage movement are still prevailing today in regards to institutions. I do believe technology has played a major role in the advancement of race relations thus far. The ability to quickly and efficiently decimate video’s for example, makes the racial divisions in society that much more apparent. In regards to wealth and the concentration of wealth in a handful of individual hands is also compelling when technology can illuminate the excesses of both the poor and the wealthy. 

Discussion Questions 

1. How do you race relations have advance in the United States? What do you believe the future of race relations will look like?

2. Is true equality a desirable impact in society? Should society tolerate some forms of inequality 

3. Why is so much of the country’s wealth concentrated in only a few individuals hands? Is this actually a good thing to have large amounts of wealth inequality. …

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