Social Institutions Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :


How do major social institutions contribute to the creation and preservation of race, gender and social class status arrangements?

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of women of color for instance, the Native American, African-American, Mexican-American, and Asian-American) within the context of education, labor, or the family. Furthermore, the impact of stereotyping, the implicit bias and social racism influences the behavior aspects and patterns of discrimination with the social institutions. The society has internalized codes and cues that elevate the racism and any endeavors to control such biases remain futile. In essence, major social institutions contribute to the development and preservation of race, gender and social status (Agathangelou & Ling, 2002).

African-American women comprise a critical proportion of the learning environment; yet are extremely unrepresented and underutilized. There are various programs and initiatives designed and implemented to focus on women and other oppressed minority groups. The experiences of African -- American male and women are unheard and ignored by the dominant group. This paper argues that black men and women faces racial discrimination from their white counterparts in relation to their social status, color, and work positions (Antonio, 2002).

Social oppression happens mostly in learning environments, whereby black students. In understanding the relationship of gender, race and social class to major United States social institutions and issues, for instance, family, religion, incarceration, social welfare, education, employment equality, marriage privileges, immigration trends, and social policies, this paper shall discuss the roles of the learning environment in facilitating equity among the different racial groups. When white superiority and black inferiority infiltrate into the society, racism becomes rampant within the institutions. However, with racial legacy, the society is capable of interpretation, understanding and responding to racism in unconscious ways that upholds racial hierarchy (Balderrama, Mary & Elsa, 2004).

The numerous practices embraced by various institutions and agencies reflect those of a wider society, and though they are disparate from racism, they encounter racial consequences in various ways. In other words, racial dominance occurs when white superiority dominates over the black inferiority, especially in the allocation of work positions, equity in education among others. Public Child Welfare is a relevant example to demonstrate the extent of racism in the society. Insidious societal biases distort decision- making in Child welfare groups and Youth-serving institutions, especially in education or juvenile justice leading to different results without the society noticing any mischievous things happening. For example, most of the Juveniles have a high number of Black children in relation to the white children (Agathangelou & Ling, 2002).

The structure of all the societies consists of stable patterns that set up how social interaction will occur. One of the most significant social structures that establish social interaction is social status -- a class or position an individual occupies, which defines their status. People acquire social status by achievement, through their own endeavors, or by ascription, being born into them or attaining them involuntarily at some other point in the life cycle. Individuals occupy a number of statuses concurrently referred as a status set, such as a parent, children, attorney, patient, worker and passenger. In comparison to the accomplished statuses that happen later in life, ascribed status immediately affects virtually aspect of people's lives. The most significant ascribed statuses are gender, race, and social class. A status is merely a position within the social system and not a rank or prestige (Antonio, 2002).

The society consists of high-prestige statuses and low prestige statuses. In the United States, for instance, a health practitioner has high statuses than a mere secretary. In essence, the society classifies individuals by status and then positions these statuses in some kind of fashion, therefore, developing a system of social stratification. Individuals whose social status is comprised of low profile ascribed statuses more than high profile statuses attained statuses are near the base of the social stratification system and susceptible to social stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Presently, in every society the status of women is lower than that of males. In other words, the role played by women in the society is lower than that of men. A role is the anticipated behavior linked with a status. The social norms define the different roles that guides individual's code of conduct in particular situations. Social norms define the privileges and responsibilities possessed by a social status (Balderrama, Mary & Elsa, 2004).

Females and males, mothers and fathers, and daughters and sons are all statuses with diverse normative role requirements appended to them. The status of women calls for anticipated roles involving love, fostering among others. Th males play the roles of taking general responsibility of the family, and they are the ultimate decision-makers in the society. The society allows for a level of flexibility in allocating out roles, but in times of rapid social transformation, suitable role limits are often in a state of instability, producing uncertainty about the determinants of an appropriate role behavior (Antonio, 2002).

Individuals may suffer from anomie because traditional values have transformed and new ones are yet to be developed. For instance, the most significant 20th century pattern influencing gender responsibilities in the United States is the vast increase of women in the labor force. Even though women from all demographic classes contributed to the massive increases, women with pre-school children led the trek from voluntary home-based roles to paid employment roles (Agathangelou & Ling, 2002).

In almost every state, black children are overrepresented in the Children Welfare State. In addition, the Native American/American Indian and Alaska Native children are overrepresented in the societies in which they live. There are Hispanic children in more than 10 states, and their representation within the Child Welfare system is on the increase. In this social group, the Black and American Indians are the two overrepresented groups in the foster care in the census population. The fact that an inconsistent number of children who reside in foster care are children of color goes mainly unnoticed by most Americans because, in a blind society, race is an irrelevant factor (Balderrama, Mary & Elsa, 2004).

The society is set up in such a way that it fails to notice the consequences of racism. In addition, the collection of social policies, practices, conditions and widespread consciousness perpetrate criminalization in educational environments resulting in the incarceration of young people. Most of the incarcerated persons are the black children, (both male and female students) who spend the better of their lives in a juvenile. Even though, Africa-American Students portray a high level of discipline than their white counterparts, they are linked to criminal behaviors. Most of the schools arrests resulting from criminal behaviors, out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to other schools also drive students out of school, and their lives end in the Juveniles and criminal justice systems (Agathangelou & Ling, 2002).

Black students are susceptible to suspensions or expulsions for insolence, unnecessary noise, threat and superfluous movements. Globally, Black males represent the largest subpopulation in incarceration. In 2010, Black male students represented 42% of individuals in detention. At over 28.3% of suspensions, African-American male students have faced the greatest threat of suspension amid middle school students, with the degree of suspensions rising increase annually between 2002 and 2006. A number of research studies confirm that Black male students experience the highest degree of exclusionary discipline (Balderrama, Mary & Elsa, 2004).

The suspension rate for black students falls between the ages of 15 to 24 years and is 8.7% against 19.9% of the Latino male students and 5.4% of white male students. Based on these statistics, there is an element of racism if one were to compare the rate of school dropout between the African- American students and the Native Americans. Furthermore, disabilities also perpetuate high degree of racism. Statistics indicate that Black boys with disabilities experienced the highest rates of school dropout in 2009 and 2010. The essence of the statistics was to encourage a healthy discourse about how to decrease the level criminalization of Black females in the educational environments. The avenues to confinement for Black youth are laudable of instantaneous inquiry and reaction (Antonio, 2002).

Developing the school to prison alleyway discussion allows for an extended appreciation for the similarities and differences between females and males that can inform reactions to disrupt the school to prison lanes for the Black students. In essence, the vouch for quality education and justice should include both the female and male students. The hierarchies in the society are interlocked making white privilege dominant in the society; however, the society still denies the consequences engendered by the white superiority. Racism is something that places the minority groups at a disadvantage while placing the white students at an advantage. In this respect, black students, especially, female students encounter inferiority complex from their white female counterparts (Agathangelou & Ling, 2002).

The sole purpose of any learning environment is to educate students on the effectiveness of treating others with respect regardless of their race, social status or economic…

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