The Bell Curve

1220 Words5 Pages
Through readings and class discussion, I have gained a tremendous amount of insight about the characteristics of racism and oppression, which exist within society. After reading the article The Bell Curve, by Richard J. Henderson, and Charles Murray, I was enraged. This article was clearly written with a white, male’s perspective, and rarely takes into consideration the cultural, structural and political strengths of oppression and racism. In order to fully understand welfare and the precipitants of welfare, we must take into account an individuals culture and the cycle of socialization. Culture is a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors and artifacts that members of society use to cope with their world and with one another. It is often transmitted from one generation to the next generation through learning. Although many do not consciously realize, you become part of your culture, it is away of defining the society that you live in and come from. Culture helps mold a child into the person they will become. An individual born into poverty, is in essence, born into a culture were poverty is dominant. According to Harro, and his article The Cycle of Socialization, we are each born into a specific set of social identities, and these social identities predispose us to unequal roles in the dynamic system of oppression. These identities that are ascribed to us at birth, are handed to us through no efforts or decision. “Immediately upon our births we begin to be socialized by the people we love and trust the most, our families or the adults who are raising us. They shape our self-concepts and self-perceptions, the norms and rules we must follow, the roles we are taught to play, our expectations for the future, our dreams.” (Hallo p 17). Therefore, an individual born into poverty is inherently underprivileged and underserved. An individual who is born into poverty is bounded by poor living conditions, inequitable supplies, and stressed out family members. Those who are poverty stricken have limited health access and education. As results of poor schooling, individuals are less educated and receive lower skilled jobs, which are lesser paying. Due to poor health care, it’s harder for individuals and their families to seek medical assistance; in addition, few have the option to take off work to seek medical attention. Inevitably, it is clear that an ... ... middle of paper ... ...to the welfare system and the power of the structural political systems, the difference between rich and poor in this nation is tremendous. Our society consists of thousands of working poor. These individuals are in constant struggle for survival, they work to eat and barely have enough to get by. They work minimum paying jobs, earning less then $7/hr., working long hours. It is easy to point fingers and blame others for the problems that exist, however if our goal is to eliminate poverty, then we most take a more empathetic stance and work on ways that we can improve these conditions. This article was extremely sexist, and blamed woman for being poor. Additionally, the authors make reference that women were unintelligent for having a baby out of wedlock. Who are these men to make such judgments? Never once did the authors blame the father. Although the father may be a deadbeat dad, it is just as much his baby, as it is the mothers. How come no blame was put on fathers? I believe that this article was poorly written, and demoralizing to women. Both authors would benefit from being better educated on the cultural, structural and political powers of oppression and racism.
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