Categorizing the American Experience

Social Issues:  How the concepts of class, race and religious intolerance along with ‘stereotypes’ have/had been used historically as a means for rationalizing or justifying the treatment of one group over another and give 4 examples of institutions that provided obstacles to equality. Subject to edit.

The accumulation of past interactions between people groups has left a pervasive effect on American society today.  Social categorizing, a manner of grouping and/or ranking common features and characteristics of people groups that ultimately leads to class and racial division, religious intolerance and stereotypes, has been used historically as a means for rationalizing or justifying the treatment of one group over another.  Such social categories (class, race etc.) began in the colonial-imperialism era.  The formula of imperialism: conquer rich in potential lands, exploit the resources of said lands, spread father country’s culture and perspectives and make Christians out of the heathens, manifested itself in colonial America.  The blueprint for imperialism morphed into obstacles (laws/government, industry, slavery, and religion) that barred the fulfillment of equality for those who were deemed under qualified to be American and perpetuated stereotypes.

THE REST (body) OF THIS PAPER IS IN THE PROCESS OF EDITING.

The further a new group was from the native group the lower the acceptance rate.  The term ‘native’ at this junction no longer referrers to Native American who originally inhabited the space but the dominant culture.  That dominant culture was WASP (White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant) that valued democracy and capitalism.

Chew, Lee. “The Biogrpahy of a Chinaman: Lee Chew.” Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Ed. David M. Katzman and William M. Tuttle. New York: University of Illinois, 1982. 164-175. Print.

Dinnerstein, Leonard, Roger L. Nichols, and David M. Reimers. Natives and Strangers: A History of Ethnic Americans. 5th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.

Jarlson, Axel. “A Swedish Emigrant’s Story: Axel Jarlson.” Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Ed. David M. Katzman and William M. Tuttle. New York: University of Illinois, 1982. 22-34. Print.

Katzman, David M., and William M. Tuttle. Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1982. Print.

Kusmer, Kenneth L. Down & Out, on the Road: The Homeless in American History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. Print.

Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. “Racial Formations.” The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. By Tracy E. Ore. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009. 19-26. Print.

Patterson, William, and James M. Ferreira. “William Patterson, The Man Who Cried Genocide.” Beyond The Red, White Blue. Ed. Lewis H. Carlson. 2nd ed. NYC: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 1993. 198-208. Print.

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One thought on “Categorizing the American Experience

  1. Edit: I plan to expand upon the African Americans portion. It’s shallow of me to leave off on slavery when in fact the time span of evidence I’m using goes up to 1930s.
    Comments welcomed though.

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