Deconstructing Discrimination

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In doing so, the paper sheds light upon the underlying themes of gender discrimination, misogyny and role-playing that the playwright uses in this play to show how much these evils are rampant even amongst the educated classes of the society. Specifically, the paper explores the deconstruction of identity of the protagonist as employed by the playwright and examines the implications this technique has on the narrative of the play. The interconnection between the role-playing and the inherent theme of gender discrimination is also analyzed in order to see how these elements complement each other.

Also, the paper comments on the efficacy of radio drama as a medium for handling a sensitive theme like this. Keywords quest for identity, gender discrimination, misogyny, identity crisis. Full Text: PDF. Focus and Scope.


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Peer Review Process. Ethics Statement. Open Access Policy. Author Guidelines. Copyright Notice. Author Fees. Scopus Citation. Continuing discriminatory policies does not depend on the individual prejudices of those who implement them. For example, imagine that a college requires a minimum score on a standardized test before granting admission.

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Imagine further it should be easy that the test is culturally biased. If admission officers simply apply the rules, they can further discrimination even though individually they may not be prejudiced against the disadvantaged applicants. However, there is an important difference.

Prejudice refers to the attitudes and beliefs held by an individual or group that inform their decisions and actions. When we refer to a statement as racist, however, we mean something more than that the statement reflects a racial prejudice. A statement is racist when the prejudice it expresses reinforces the prevailing racial division of power and privilege Tatum, Thus, sexism goes beyond individual prejudice; it occurs when gender prejudice buttresses unequal power hierarchies that privilege males at the expense of females.

In society, when our sight is sharpened by honesty, we see that the blatant acts of hate or discrimination carried out by the troubled few are actually ugly and exaggerated reflections of imperfections in ourselves. The pyramid principle of prejudice states that the blatant prejudices of the few are magnifications of the latent prejudices of the many Shields, Have you ever been to a carnival fun house with mirrors that distort your image, creating exaggerated and ugly reflections of yourself?

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Such mirrors provide an analogy for the pyramid principle. The bottom of the pyramid is where most people can be found. The prejudices and discriminatory acts of people metaphorically residing at the base often go unrecognized; they have a quiet, inconspicuous, everyday quality to them. As you move higher up the pyramid, fewer and fewer people are represented, but the prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory actions become increasingly overt, obvious, and extreme. At the top of the pyramid are the truly horrendous acts carried out by tiny numbers.

The key point is that every vertical movement up the pyramid builds from and depends upon the attitudes and behaviors established by the levels below. Most people, in most situations, neither think of themselves as prejudiced, nor do they exhibit overtly prejudicial speech or behavior. But none of us are completely free of bias, most of which is unconscious. As psychologists over the past couple decades have demonstrated, most of our thinking occurs outside conscious awareness Evans, And it is within our fast thinking that most biases and prejudices operate Anderson, Consider gender.

Complimenting girls for their looks and boys on their athleticism may occur with little notice. No doubt he would reject the idea that his comment about Kim is prejudicial. Consider race. Everyday racism is widespread but largely hidden, especially to those who are not victimized by it. White dolls are more common in preschools than black dolls. The examples could be multiplied a hundredfold. While the cumulative effects of such patterns of prejudice and discrimination are weighty, each individual instance seems inconsequential.

Most prejudices at the base of the pyramid have few immediate and obvious negative outcomes. Their cost comes from their cumulative effect and the launching pad they provide for expressions of prejudice at higher levels. Still, even unobserved biases can sometimes explode in tragedy. This may well have been the situation in the Trayvon Martin case.

The fact that we are becoming an increasingly armed society paves the way for subtle prejudices to be amplified by weapons into disastrous encounters. Stereotypes about blue and pink clothes are at the base of the pyramid. Higher up are stereotypes about intellectual competencies and capacities that channel boys toward math and science and girls toward art and literature. While girls may benefit from learning poetry, there is no poetic justice in this; everyone should have equal access to every field of study. Similarly, racial prejudices at the mid-range of the pyramid are more explicit than those at the base.

I was at a workshop recently where a coach from a predominantly Native American high school recounted how his team often endures humiliating racially charged jeers and gestures by fans of opposing teams. Group dynamics can sometimes whip subtle prejudices into actions higher in the pyramid.

Prejudice against gays and lesbians, though lessening, is still common on middle and senior high school campuses where these youth face frequent social marginalization from their classmates. The tragic fate of year-old Lawrence King illustrates multiple levels of the pyramid Saillant, Metaphorically standing on their backs, a few carried it further and Lawrence was bullied, the victim of name calling and wet paper towels thrown at his head. Then, one student climbed to the top of the prejudice pyramid. On Feb. Rising to this level are the brutal but relatively rare acts of hate groups.

Not far below are overt patterns of discrimination in such things as housing, wages, employment, and health care. These clearly remain significant societal problems. But whose responsibility is it to deal with prejudice and discrimination in its various forms? One last dimension of the pyramid is this: The higher you go in the pyramid, the more the legal system is the appropriate remedy; the lower you go, the more it is the educational system that needs to take responsibility. If housing discrimination is occurring, it should be challenged in court. In states where gay and lesbian couples cannot marry, constitutions need to change.

When you get closer to the base of the pyramid, the remedies are necessarily educational rather than legal. To collapse the whole pyramid, we need to attack it at its base.

That is where schools and teachers need to shoulder responsibility. Concretely, what can educators do? The first step is self-awareness. A white girl and a Latina girl get in a fight during recess, and the teacher on duty — who just so happens to be white — automatically singles out the Latina as the aggressor.

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While readers may feel justifiable anger at that teacher, we need to look in the mirror. We all behave similarly. We will never eliminate them completely, but we can make progress. The second step is to speak up.

go here But silence should not be our default option. Silence endorses. Silence leaves harmful patterns uninterrupted. Speak with humility and grace, but speak up when everyday prejudices are expressed or exhibited. Hopefully, speaking up can lead to schoolwide dialogue.

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Spotting prejudices in others is easier than seeing them in ourselves, and an open, honest discussion can be helpful. Dealing with the adult culture of the school is a prerequisite to dealing effectively with students and their peer culture. Schools with character education programs Shields, can integrate prejudice reduction efforts into them since a concern for diversity and social justice are cornerstones of character. Moreover, pedagogical strategies widely used in character education also work well to reduce prejudices. If competition is used, people with diverse backgrounds must be on the same team where they can build bridges.