StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Racial identity - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Racial identity

the American dream is an impressive ideology and has lured people to America and moved them around within it, and it has kept them striving in horrible conditions against impossible odds for centuries. Most Americans celebrate it unthinkingly, along with apple pie and motherhood; criticism typically is limited to imperfections in its application. But like apple pie and motherhood, the American dream turns out upon closer examination to be less than perfect. President Clinton has captured the bundle of shared, even unconsciously presumed, tenets about achieving success that make up the ideology of the American dream. Those tenets answer the questions: Who may pursue the American dream In what does the pursuit consist How does one successfully pursue the dream Why is the pursuit worthy of our deepest commitment Although describing each tenet in detail is beyond the scope of this essay, we have to look at the flaws intrinsic to the dream for a better understanding of it's validity and applicability in modern contemporary America.
The first tenet, that everyone can participate equally and can always start over, is troubling to the degree that it is not true because for most of American history, women of any race and men who were Native American, Asian, black, or poor were barred from all but a narrow range of "electable futures. This flaw has implications beyond the evident ones of racism and sexism. White men, especially European immigrants able to ride the wave of the Industrial Revolution to comfort or prosperity, are the epitomizng demonstration of America as the bountiful state of nature. Those who do not fit the model disappear from the collective self-portrait. Thus the irony is doubled: not only has the ideal of universal participation been denied to most Americans, but also the very fact of its denial as it been denied in our national self-image. This double irony creates deep misunderstandings and correspondingly deep political tensions like the fact that whites increasingly believe that racial discrimination slight and declining, and blacks increasingly believe the opposite. For example, surveys show that more women than men believe that women are discriminated against in employment and wages, in "being able to combine family and work," and in their overall chance to pursue their dreams.
The flaws of the second tenet of the American dream, the reasonable anticipation of success, stem from the close link between anticipation and expectation. That link presents little problem so long as there are enough resources and opportunities that everyone has a reasonable chance of having some expectations met. In short, the right to aspire to success works as an ideological substitute for a guarantee of success only if it begins to approach it.
Failure is made more harsh by the third premise of the American dream - the belief that success results from actions and traits under one's own control. Logically, it does not follow that if success results from individual volition, then failure results from lack of volition. All one needs in order to see the logical flaw here is the distinction between necessary and sufficient.
The Fourth tenet states that failure is unseemly because it challenges the blurring between anticipation and promise that is the emotional heart of the American ...Show more

Summary

Hochschild raised several debated claims about the architecture of race and identity in the United States. "The traditional nominal racial categories- black, white, Asian, Hispanic, are dissolving," said Hochschild. "And they may be in the process of being replaced with a single, interval continuum based on skin tone." One potential political response to changes in racial identity might be to substitute racial categories in the U.S…
Author : edna18
Racial identity essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Racial identity"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Racial identity politics
At the same time, his vision is that Afro-Americans should strive to create a rather egalitarian society through uniting their efforts with the rest of minorities and various societal groups that are interested in changes, for example environmentalists. One of his fundamental messages is: “By dismantling the narrow politics of racial identity and selective self-interest, by going beyond ‘black’ and ‘white,’ we may construct new values, new institutions and new visions of an America beyond traditional racial categories and racial oppression” (Marable 202).
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Should our racial identity be defined by our physical attributes
In many cases the major-minor controversy leads to the evaluation of the dominant part of the society in solving social, political and economic issues. This is why, contrary to the sound-mindedness, physical attributes are still a constituent factor in defining one’s racial identity according to the scale of definite priorities.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Racial and Sexual Violence: Shaping Women's Identity
This paper looks at the role of racial and sexual violence in shaping the identity of Latin American women in Cuba and Brazil and women in the American South. Because of racial prejudice, women have been pushed into poverty. Poverty placed them in a position of suffering and a context of violence.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Racial Identity, Space and Geography Operating within Girl and On Being Brought From Africa to America
The essay shall focus on the thematic analysis of the short story, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and the poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” by Phillis Wheatley and judge the intricate relations between race, culture, identity, space and geography inherent and operational within the texts.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
The Relationship Between Racial Identity and PsychoSocial Outcomes Among African American Males
Forming one's identities of course stem from various factors. Internal and external factors are always at work to mold a person's psychological and social identities. It is of course, without question that both aspects are equally important in this formation.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Racial definition
They give the example of Count Arthur de Gobineau, who based his four-volume tome "Essay on the Inequality of Races" on the scientific studies of his time, to "influence the racial thinking of the period" and boost the belief that "superior races produce superior cultures."
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Racial Identity
The racial experience of individuals can too be bifurcated: not in terms of its content but rather with respect to its subject. Social roles for men and women are
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Imitation of life and the idea of racial identity
She was incapable of differentiating between where she was accepted and where she thought she truly belonged. Her confusion and lack of
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Social work; Critically evaluate its implications for social work practice in challenges in transracial adoption and racial identity
These services include assessing the appropriateness of families and homes that aspire to adopt children. They also entail evaluating the cognitive, cultural, social, and developmental requirements of children available for
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Racial Identity Development Models
The R/CID consists of five phases that include; dissonance, integrative awareness, resistance and immersion, conformity and introspection. In the
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation