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The Social Structure of Maycomb


Katherine Bixler

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of The Social Structure of Maycomb

The Social Structure of Maycomb By Katherine Bixler The Social Classes Working Class White White Trash African American came from good family lines
worked in government or other high positions
treated mostly with respect
were expected to maintain the integrity of their families
not supposed to associate with the lower classes examples:
The Finches
Judge Taylor
Heck Tate held only above the lowest of the low
not very respected
either didn't work or held very low paying jobs
perceived to be scum but not always bad people examples:
Cunninghams usually poor and lived by the junk yard
no respect
no rights
targets of racism and prejudice examples:
Tom Robinson (and family)
Calpurnia Half black/Half white Dolphus Raymond's children no place in society
used to point out the fact that racism is ridiculous Male vs. Female So What? What does the social structure of Maycomb show us? The social structure of Maycomb helps to explain: Aunt Alexandria's view of the Cunningham's Males strong run the family "better" than females Females fragile bake stuff ladylike don't play in dirt Tom Robinson's Conviction Morals COME TO THE DARK SIDE, we have cookies! Ewell - Cunningham Aunt Alexandria - Atticus Calpurnia - Lula "The thing is, you can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he'll never be like Jem. Besides, there's a drinking streak in that family a mile wide. Finch women aren't interested in that sort of people" - Aunt Alexandria Just because they are in the same social class doesn't mean they are the same people! 9/17/12 - 9/28/12 Stereotyping People that come from the same background, and are in the same social class, can be completely different people! If it's not ok to stereotype in the book, then why is it ok to stereotype in high school? We can talk all we want about change, but until something actually happens, nothing will get better. Stereotyping = BAD, right? "Let's Get Rid of Stereotyping, Yay!" Prejudice
and Racism Stereotyping Social
Classes Sexism That's all fine and dandy, but what the heck does it mean? If you are human, then you will stereotype and be stereotyped A brief review of stereotype research indicates that little has been discovered about stereotypes that are defined as bad generalizations and measured with the D. Katz and K. W. Braly (1933) checklist. C. McCauley and C. L. Stitt (1978) have proposed that stereotypes can be better understood as probabilistic predictions that distinguish one group from another. The practicality of the proposed diagnostic-ratio measure of stereotyping is argued, and the relation of the new measure to the Katz and Braly measure is discussed. W. Lippmann's (1922) arguments against stereotypes—that they are illogical in origin, resistant to new information, and obviously invalid—are shown to be inapplicable to probabilistic stereotypes. Other common arguments against stereotypes—their ethnocentrism, genetic implications, projected hostility, and exaggeration of real group differences—are shown to be arguments against particular stereotypes rather than arguments against stereotyping. Recent research indicating various cognitive biases in the formation and use of stereotypes is reviewed, and it is suggested that what is wrong with stereotyping is no more and no less than what is wrong with human conceptual behavior generally. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/87/1/195/ These arguments don't apply to stereotypes Jump on the bandwagon and let's make this world a better place! ... before the fad runs out How Do We Get Rid of... About That Solution... There isn't one. Society is a human creation. Humans are imperfect beings. Anything we make will be imperfect.
Unless you want to become the next Boo Radley and lock yourself in your house, that is. According to
Smart People... (a.k.a. people who study how the human brain works) Social Classes Don't Mix! Atticus helping Tom Robinson Before After “Just what I said. Grandma says it’s bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he’s turned out a nigger-lover we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb again.” - Francis (Chapter 9. Paragraph 96-98) Aunt Alexandria The ladies were cool in fragile pastel prints: most of them were heavily powdered but unrouged; the only lipstick in the room was Tangee Natural. Cutex Natural sparkled on their fingernails, but some of the younger ladies wore Rose. They smelled heavenly. I sat quietly, having conquered my hands by tightly gripping the arms of the chair, and waited for someone to speak to me. (24.13-14) "For one thing, Miss Maudie can't serve on a jury because she's a woman-"

"You mean women in Alabama can't-?" I was indignant.

"I do. I guess it's to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom's. Besides," Atticus grinned, "I doubt if we'd ever get a complete case tried – the ladies'd be interrupting to ask questions."

Jem and I laughed. Miss Maudie on a jury would be impressive. I thought of old Mrs. Dubose in her wheelchair – "Stop that rapping, John Taylor, I want to ask this man something." Perhaps our forefathers were wise. (23.43-46) Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men, seemed unwilling to approve wholeheartedly of them. But I liked them. There was something about them, no matter how much they cussed and drank and gambled and chewed; no matter how undelectable they were, there was something about them that I instinctively liked... they weren't –

"Hypocrites, Mrs. Perkins, born hypocrites," Mrs. Merriweather was saying. (Chapter 24. Paragraphs 54-55) Lula stopped, but she said, "You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here – they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?"

Calpurnia said, "It's the same God, ain't it?"

Jem said, "Let's go home, Cal, they don't want us here-"

I agreed: they did not want us here. I sensed, rather than saw, that we were being advanced upon. They seemed to be drawing closer to us, but when I looked up at Calpurnia there was amusement in her eyes. When I looked down the pathway again, Lula was gone. In her place was a solid mass of colored people.

One of them stepped from the crowd. It was Zeebo, the garbage collector. "Mister Jem," he said, "we're mighty glad to have you all here. Don't pay no 'tention to Lula, she's contentious because Reverend Sykes threatened to church her. She's a troublemaker from way back, got fancy ideas an' haughty ways – we're mighty glad to have you all." (12.48-52) "Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows." According to Maycomb According to Maycomb -David T. Wolf We have to deal with these imperfections...
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