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The Social Construction of Normality and Difference

Mini Lecture on Intersectionality: Harro and Christensen
by

Jay Meeks

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of The Social Construction of Normality and Difference

What does it mean to socially construct something or for something to be socially constructed? Agenda Announcements
Sign up for meeting time if you have
Service Learning: No teaching
Collaborate with your group and come to consensus which Identity Marker you would like to present
Look at One Pagers
Questions
Warm Up Exercise
The Social Construction of Normality and Difference Social Construction of Normality and Difference We shall now see! Men Disabled  
What are dominant identities? What does it mean to be a target?
What are subordinate identifies? What does it mean to be an agent?
What is intersectionality and how is it played out within individuals and groups?
What does identity and positionality have to do with power and privilege?
How do power relations intersect with constructions of normality and difference?
Theme 2: Understanding Identity and Positionality within Schools[Institutions], Society, and Systems Individual- actions of an individual or small group of individuals
Institutional-discrimination that is embedded in the culture of social institutions. Can be by law or mandate. Examples…justice system
Structural---should be race and gender neutral

Discrimination vs. racism Oppression at many levels Cycle of socialization core + stereotypes + prejudice + power + discrimination = oppression What is Oppression? Normality:
built on & displaced static idea of “natural”
Denotes “average,” “usual” “ordinary”
Used to exclude those defined as “below” average
Normal vs “defective” Normality & Inequality Social Identities: related to differences based on gender, race/ethnicity, language, age,ability, religion, sexual orientation and class; predispose us to unequal roles
Multiple Identities: people belong to multiple social categories that afford privilege or deny it.
Cycle of socialization: pervasive, self-perpetuating, often invisible Key Concepts (cont.) Key Concepts How we are socialized Women American Gay Black In a few seconds, I will show you a series of pictures relating to a social identity group.

Write down any stereotypes, you know or have said about the groups posted. (These are in the context of United States.) Cycle of Socialization Activity Difference as Social Construction: Social categories, e.g. race, gender, class, are created by, given meaning to and made “real” by systems of privilege and oppression.
Luxury of Obliviousness - the privileged don’t see their privilege
Paradox: Individuals experience privilege or the lack thereof, but it is not actually individuals that are privileged. When it comes to privilege, it doesn’t really matter who we “really” are.
What matters is who other people think we are – the social categories they put us in.
The paradoxical experience of being privileged without feeling privileged - Difference as Social Construction- Privilege as Paradox Why do we hold these stereotypes? Debrief White Asian Write or respond (depending on Group)to two questions, one each from the Pincus and Christensen readings. Team 1

Team 3

Post by Saturday evening Group B: Responds Group A: Writes Cycle of Socialization Cycle of Socialization
pervasive
consistent
circular
invisible
subordinate
target
Multiple Identities: people belong to multiple social categories that afford privilege or deny it.
Social Identities: related to differences based on gender, race/ethnicity, language, age,ability, religion, sexual orientation and class; predispose us to unequal roles Reflective Writing: Early Memories of Socialization Write about the first memory you have of being seen as and seeing others as a raced, classed, sexual minority, or gendered person. Intersectionality We Are Each A Mosaic Of Many Identities
Ethnicity
Gender
Sexual Identity
Ability
Age
Religion Race Mickey Mouse Monopoly
Full transcript