Every person on the planet has had to deal with issues of race, class, and gender. People make assumptions about a person’s level based on their race and gender, according to research. It’s important to remember that issues of gender, race, and class will still arise. For example, many individuals have been discriminated against and stigmatized throughout history because of their ethnicity, gender, or social status (Landry, 2016). In reality, lower-class people are often mocked for where they live and their inability to afford high-end products. Most cultures have seen women as the weaker sex for many years, and up until now, ancient and ignorant myths contend that women are lesser and secondary to men still exist. In addition, gender, class, and race, are all common topics of interest even before the civil rights movement. For this reason, many theories have been formulated and developed with the intention of evaluating and analyzing these concepts of genetics and human life within the dimension of the society. A good model of a theory that has been developed is the critical race theory. The theory is founded by how discrimination and racism are evident in the American law and institutional society. The theory explains how the American culture is significantly affected by gender, class, and race. Identify each person’s class, race, and gender
I conducted an interview two people namely Mary Jones, an African-American. She works as a cashier in a coffee shop during the day and a cleaner in a nightclub during the night. In addition, she said she is a single mother of two kids, and the reason why she has to juggle between two jobs. She says that she is middle class as there is nothing left after she pays her bills. Mary confessed that she was doing very well financially when working in the real estate but was affected by the recession. Mary firmly believes that the United States is a country of opportunity and no matter what people say, it was made by immigrants especially the African-American, and there is enough space for everyone.
The other person I interviewed was a Latino male known as Juan Pablo, a college instructor and a financial service professional. Juan said that he sees himself as an upper-class working father, but too many Latinos do not comprehend such opportunities. He said that when he was I n high school, he lived in the South Bronx. However, he went to work in luxurious and posh places that were surrounded by intelligent, wealthy people, and thus this exposure and experience transformed his thinking. Pablo said that he started working and polishing his writing skills, and vocabulary until other Latinos asked the reason why he was speaking as a white person. With a lot of confidence, he said that he never saw himself as less than he never saw the Americans; the only difference between him and them is time. He stated that his family had a privileged life than what he had when he was growing up.
What Role Has Class, Gender, and Race Played in Their Lives?
Gender, race, and class shape the experience for all people. For my two interviews, they are in the minority class, and they firmly believe that the whites are treated well and have many advantages and opportunities more than other races in the United States. Although the two are from minority races, they have different opinions and attitudes towards life (Boundless, 2016). For instance, Juan had worked very hard to rise above the challenges of being a Latino where he took the time to polish his language and vocabulary to reach where he is right now. He said in the interview that it was not an easy thing as he was discouraged by his family members and friends. This proves that most Latinos believe that they deserve to live an imperfect life and in low class because they come from the minority races.
For Mary, she strongly feels that the African American significantly contributed to the establishment and formation of the United States as slaves. Therefore, she believes that the African American community needs to valued, respected and given equal opportunities with the white. Further, it is evident that Mary believes that the African-American communities are discriminated in the workplaces in particular by the whites (Boundless, 2016). Conversely, the experience that Juan had when he was working in the expensive places surrounded by whites significantly changed his perspective towards himself, race, and the whites. For Juan, he saw himself having the same opportunities that the whites had and therefore worked hard to overcome the obstacles of social stratification. Mary does not recognize that class, race, and gender have significantly affected how she perceives herself, the African-American community, and the whites.
Apply One of the Sociological Perspective
The ideal sociological perspective that applies to Mary Jones and Juan Pablo is conflict sociological perspective. The conflict perspective argues that society is described by a struggle for authority, authority, and power among social groups, which fight and contend for the scarce resources in the community. When it comes to gender, the conflict perspective argues that gender is best identified and understood as men try to maintain privilege and power to the disadvantage of women (Boundless, 2016). Hence, in the conflict perspective, people can be seen as the leading group, and women are regarded as a lesser group. The conflict perspective argues that social problems are established when the dominant groups in the society oppress and exploits the subordinate groups. Thus, the cultural perspective advocates for changes in the power structure to balance between gender, race, and class.
Further, conflict perspective argues that social stratification only benefits the powerful and the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Thereby social stratification establishes a structure or system of losers and winners, which is maintained by the individuals that are on top. Conversely, the losers do not get an opportunity to compete and remain stuck and struggling in the bottom. For instance, Mary has to work in two different places to fit in the competitive world and pay her bills on time, and she still does not make enough for her to save or move forward. For Juan, to fit in the competitive system and provide his family with a prestigious lifestyle be forced to improve his vocabulary and his writing skills. These two examples confirm that the competitive system establishes and enables social stratification in the society.
Benefits and Limitation to Using Interview as a Research Methodology
Interviews are the most rewarding and challenging forms of research methodology. Interviews demands for an adaptability, ability to stay and remain within the limits of the designed protocol, and personal flexibility (Wyse, 2014). The following are the benefits and limitation of using the interview as a research methodology:
Interviews are less expensive than other research methods. Apparently, interviews are simple, accessible, and timely.
Development of relationship
Interviews promote strong relationships, which are developed through the interview process. Further, interviews create co-operation and mutual understanding between the interview and the interviewer.
Selection of suitable candidate
Interviews significantly help in selecting an appropriate and right candidate as the interviewer has an opportunity to learn about the right candidate through the interview process (Wyse, 2014).
Collection of primary information
Interview as a research methodology helps to collect primary, fresh, and new data.
One disadvantage of the interview leads to incomplete process as it is hard to select the right candidate only through an interview.
Lack of attention
For a useful interview, much and proper attention is required (Wyse, 2014). It is mostly observed that both the interviewer and interviewee show less information, and hence limit the acquisition of information.
Components of Culture
Elements of culture refer to the features and ingredients, which make up a particular culture, and they differ from one culture to another. Mary is an African American, and thus her cultural components vary from Juan since he is a Latino. An individual’s culture strongly influences his or her behavior, beliefs, attitudes, and values
African-American culture is the second largest culture as most African Americans have lived in the United States from the colonial times. Apparently, African-Americans are the offspring of the slaves that worked on the southern plantations (Brake, 2013). Pursuing a sense of identity, the African Americans established their culture founded on the components of arts, language, religion, and tradition. Many cultural elements of African American culture emerge from the West Africa; they eat foods like rice, okra, and collard greens.
Latino culture is the informal and formal expression of Latin Americans, and comprise of popular and high culture. The Latinos are large grouping oriented and they strong emphasis on family as the primary source of a person’s protection, and identity against the struggles of life. Another cultural component that plays a significant role in the Latino culture is a religion where most of the Latinos are Roman Catholic (Brake, 2013). Another important element of culture is food and mealtime. For instance, in Latino culture, meals act as a social gathering, and the food illustrates hospitality and abundance.
Brake, M. (2013). Comparative youth culture: The sociology of youth cultures and youth subcultures in America, Britain, and Canada. Routledge.
Boundless, (2016). “The Conflict Perspective: Class Conflict and Scarce Resources. Retrieved on March 21, 2017, from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/global-stratification-and-inequality-8/sociological-theories-and-global-inequality-72/the-conflict-perspective-class-conflict-and-scarce-resources-422-510/
Landry, B. (2016). Race, gender, and class: Theory and methods of analysis. Routledge.
Wyse, E. S, (2014). Advantages and Disadvantages of Face-to-Face Data Collection, retrieved on March 21, 2017, from https://www.snapsurveys.com/blog/advantages-disadvantages-facetoface-data-collection/