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Women without Class

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Jennifer Smith

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of Women without Class

Women without Class
written by: Julie Bettie
presented by: Mitzy Reyes
Jenni Smith
Melissa Santiago
Girls, Race, and Identity
Julie Bettie writes about the issues amongst White and Mexican American women with class and gender in society through an ethnographic study in a high school in California
Bettie's main argument is that girls are part of a much more complex process that involves who they become based on their choices and these choices shape their future
The objects that forces who they become include low wages, choice in jobs, family structure and the access to a bilingual education
This message relates to the limits and disadvantages that one being a girl or a woman has in today's society. Despite all of the progress we ahve made we wtill share many stereotypes as to the jobs we should have, the career choices we should make and even the way our day should be spent
Not only are there disadvantages in being a girl but there also lies disadvantages as being a Mexican-American female
Bettie also shows how school cliques influence the styles and many times reflect the differences amongst the students based on race and class. There are differences in clothing, makeup, and even hairstyle
The research begins with her visit to a High School in California as she tries to find out more about the educational experiences of women who were...
Portraying Waretown High
Racial discrimination in the job market, low wages in sex segregated jobs, life choices based on avoiding abusive partners. The struggle combined between parenthood, work and school
The parents of the majority of the Mexican-American girls had immigrated as teens during the period of the Bracero Program (The recruitment of farm workers from 1942-1964)
While Juniors in high school the students coming from lower income families knew the economic strain they would be putting on their family if they brought up the junior college idea, so they decided to just "brush it off"
Chapter 1
Women without Class
Chapter 2
Discussion of external beauty is discussed on how the differnce exists amongst African American girls and Latinas
The discussion of capitalism and who is free to participate in it is also discussed. A young Mexican girl who was interviewed shared her thought on not having the same opportunity as a white girl her age
The discussion of citizenship status and racial identification being used as a determination of wages and the rights despite the sweat and contribution to the U.S. economy
How Working-Class Chicas Get Working-Class Lives
Chapter 3
Hard-Living Habitus, Settled-Living Resentment
Chapter 4
Border Work between Classes
Chapter 5
Sameness, Difference, and Alliance
Chapter 6
People within their group protect each other and unite as a family
Once they became tracked in school, girls stepped away and pretended they were more interested in make up, hair, and other feminine things
Color of their clothes and make up signified adolescence & adulthood
Light/no makeup = Middle Class Girls
Heavy/dark makeup = Working Class Girls
Students develop a hierarchy amongst each other. Managed by the preps
Students aspirations are influenced by their gender and race.
Competing socioeconomic interests between different classes of women results in class envy

Race, ethnicity and gender resulted in an individuals school achievements
"The discourse of other students, teachers, and curriculum material worked persistently to make working-class performers feel marginal and reinforced an ideology of homogeneity that didn't exist in reality," (Bettie, 112)
Betties' research findings were significant in that there was a strong correlation between parents socioeconomic status and the students participate into specific groups.
Students did not want to fall into the same footsteps as their older or deviant siblings.
Bettie approached this with two questions
Why are these girls "exceptional"?
How did these girls become "exceptional"?
The lack of cultural discourse in institutions creates differences between students at Waretown. Thus, creating a marginalized experience for it's student white and non-white.
Institutionalized inequality: Students "choose" their path.
Race and gender becomes an issue when it comes to eliminating Affirmative Action in California.
“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001)
Questions to think about
1.) Do you think that developmental initiatives can be neutral?
2.) What do you think about cultural sensitivity?
3.) Do you think that programs such as Affirmative Action should be eliminated? Why or why not?
5.) Can we help create mobility in institutions / schools without having to question class?
4.) Should schools continue to allow for students to chose between a vocational program or encourage all students to pursue higher education?
Questions continued
6.) Do you remember what it was like to be in high school? Did you find yourself having to fit into a specific group?
7.) What were some of the things at your school that you had to do to associate or "fit in" to your clique?
8.) Do you recall having missed on a class or higher education opportunity due to poor advising from school counselors?
9.) Was your socioeconomic status a factor for you to pursue higher education?
Full transcript