Have a sociological question for our bloggers? Ask us and it may appear as part of a future post!
Posted by W. W. Norton on March 27, 2015
I have to do an article for one of my classes. Can you give me an idea on a relevant Topic I could write on? I has to be one Page long.
March 27, 2015 at 07:50 PM
why social theorists seem to disagree others more than agreeing others?
March 28, 2015 at 11:16 AM
We see, hear and read it all the time, don't we, especially in the American media - "black woman", "black female", " black man", "black male", "black boy", "black girl", "white woman", "white man", "white female", "white male"?
The habit has been imported (in the case of Britain and other European former colonial powers, re-imported) and imitated to some extent, in some other sections of the media around the world, including parts of the British media, not least the BBC, although you don't generally hear/see the terms "male"/"female" in reference to man or woman.
I happen to be a man of African descent, British-born of west African parents, so, in my coinage, British Afroic (or African British/British African), and as such, the focus of my blog today is primarily the African-American community.
When I look at Twitter, Blog Her, Colorlines, and many African-American websites, and some TV programmes I notice a lot of regression from the term African-American to "black" or "Black", chiefly amongst African-Americans themselves.
Why on earth would a population choose to go back from using a perfectly respectable term African-American, which simultaneously reclaims and states with dignity both ancestral lineage and the trauma of displacement to using one, "black", that was given by transatlantic European and European-descendant human traffickers and enslavers in various languages and embodies the very brutalisation, denigration, violation, theft, dehumanisation, deprivation, humiliation, degradation and murder that they wrought?
The long and arduous journey made physically, spiritually and in name by millions of my fellow people of African descent in the USA from being African through the epithets "blacks"/"negroes"to "Negroes" or "Coloured people" in the aftermath of that to "Blacks" after the Black Power movement of the mid-1960s to early 70s, to African-American , has always been a source of pride for me, and the likes of me here in the UK. It would seem a crying shame to undo it all.
Yet what I lamentably observe is an insidious and increasingly open and inexplicable regression or backslide from African-American to "black", the two terms now seemingly being used interchangeably, and the latter as shorthand for the first. Why is this? What happened?
Why the apparently growing appetite for self-denigration in calling oneself "black" or "Black" when you know that:
(a) first and foremost this was a racist and pejorative term applied by enslavers as part of the general subjugation that came with the trafficking and enslavement of Africans
(b) the "black"-"white" dichotomy is a false, crude and over-simplistic dichotomy applied by those same colonist enslavers, to imply two life forms at opposite ends of the spectrum, knowing very well that no European or person of European descent is "white" and no African or person of African descent is "black"
(c) in stark contrast, every care is taken, by African- and European-American citizens alike to ensure that other population groups in America and around the world are accorded the dignity of being described in heritage-respecting terms, e.g. Latino and Arab-Americans, and those populations, who themselves in the past were assigned "colours" by Europeans and European-Americans, e.g. Native Americans (formerly referred to as "Red Indians"), East Asians and Asian Americans (formerly called "the yellow races" or "yellow people").
(d) everyone knows that how a person is labelled is integral to their self-esteem, and positive self-esteem is essential for creativity and success in life. I can't see how it can be good for young children, growing up hearing themselves being referred to as "black" , with all the negative meanings of this word.
Why are so many African-Americans not entitling themselves to or insisting upon the same consistent dignity for themselves? "Black" is not a race in any language; no colour is. Comedians don't help here, but why are so many serious African-American online media outlets using this kind of language? If you stop and look, and with a bit of thought and insight it does not take much analysis to see that the "n" word and "black" are one and the same: black = negro and the "n" word derives from this. They are negative and pejorative, and as heinous as each other when applied to humans. They all do a disservice to Africans and the African diaspora.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this , especially so from female perspectives.
I'm currently running a campaign known as the bLack of Respect campaign(BORC). In the website's forum under the title "Reasons to be cheerful - giving back "black" " I have listed all the negative meanings of the word "black" , among other articles.
Allswell Eno |
April 06, 2015 at 08:34 AM
Can you please make a blog about everything that is going on with Baltimore right now. I would like a sociological frame work to understand the situation.
Sociologist in Need |
April 30, 2015 at 11:11 AM
How does socioeconomic status or class effect one’s educational experience?
nabin Kch |
May 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Hello I recently graduated for a college that did not provide the best education. Unfortunately the classes didn't require any "studying" or even attendance for that matter. I really enjoy sociology and I am very happy to have majored in it. I do however feel that I do not have a strong foundation. What books, resources, tips do you recommend for someone who is looking to go to Graduate school for sociology. How can I better myself as a sociologist?
June 05, 2015 at 03:05 PM
Is there anyway that we will never have discrimination of any type? I mean with the recent ruling on same sex marriage. The Christian bakery being forced to pay for a lesbian couples problems as a result of refusing to bake a wedding cake for them. Making that cake was firmly against their Christian beliefs. Now they are being punished for it. Musilm bakery's refused to make cakes for same sex couples and nothing happened. All of the recent issues with white police officers and black people. Nothing is hardly ever reported when those tables are turned. There are several other topics but the point is this, Can we even have laws and exist as a functioning society without having laws that discriminate against someone or some group? No matter what it seems that someone will be discriminated against? Is discrimination a "necessary" part of society?
stephanie nettleton |
July 06, 2015 at 09:08 AM
I am lucky to have stumbled upon this blog. My question might not be the one that has anything to do with the recent concerns of the society but it certainly has with me. I attained Masters in Sociology way back in 1989. Then life happened. I got married, had kids, changed the field and worked in construction office management. But now that my girls are all grown up I would like to touch bases with my first interest Sociology. But I have no idea on where to start from. I would like to go into Market research sociology. I am ready to go back to school if required. Any suggestions?
July 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Every society is concerned about fostering moral character in children and forming responsible citizens. Controversy often accompanies these interests because adults do not always agree about what moral character is and how to cultivate it. Considering the concepts studied in Moral education, discuss what exactly do children need to learn in order to be engaged citizens and how do children develop moral character through school system and lived experience?
July 26, 2015 at 11:36 AM
I have two questions which came in my exam:
(1) How is objectivity different from value neutrality? Discuss with reference to Weber's views.
(2) How can we use reference group theory to understand fashion in the society?
September 16, 2015 at 02:24 PM
I had a question about the sociology of sexuality. I have met various people who say their sexuality changes throughout the life course. Some who say their sexuality changes based on social interactions or social settings.
James Tucker |
September 19, 2015 at 11:33 PM
I am a first-year grad student trying to plan a sociology event for our freshmen NY studies group. I would like to do this event on gentrification in NYC. I have no idea who i could ask to come speak or maybe a documentary i could show? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
India Maisonet |
September 23, 2015 at 09:34 PM
India--there is a great documentary called My Brooklyn that addresses gentrification in NYC.
ww norton |
September 25, 2015 at 08:04 PM
What are you views on gender discrimination in the workforce? May you please complete this survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1r9rfGCf1pfp0Ws7f6ws9XZV6_cjQd1ko_bxAIg8srp8/viewform?usp=send_formination in response to this question. The survey is confidential and your answer will be considered in a sociology investigation project.
October 12, 2015 at 09:20 PM
Please explain independent and dependent variables in both quantitative and qualitative research.
Marceline Gibson |
October 17, 2015 at 11:48 PM
Dear Sir! What is means by social control?
AZAZ KHAN |
October 30, 2015 at 01:29 PM
I'm doing a research paper and I need a sociological theme for, how has the internet changed the way we eat. thank you so much!
Bethany Newman |
November 22, 2015 at 07:39 PM
America, amongst many other countries are dependent on nuclear energy, but this is clearly unstable, as seen with the Fukushima incident. Rather than using this horrific event as a sort of wake up call, most countries brushed it off and continue to rely on nuclear energy. Germany had a different approach though, when they decided to slowly wean themselves off of nuclear energy. They hope to be completely independent from it in the upcoming years.
I was curious how you would interpret the different approaches seen between America and Germany. Both are industrialized cultures, but while America worked on covering up the damage, Germany took a more progressive path towards prevention of another incident. Do you think this could cause conflict in the future between Germany?
Why do you think Germany had such a different reaction after Fukushima?
February 16, 2016 at 07:18 PM
hi, what are the tenets of moral panics?
February 19, 2016 at 11:25 AM
I would love to read both a macrosociological and microsociological analysis of perceptions towards fitness trackers, their growing usage amongst members of western societies and the pervasive fitness culture that surrounds us. What would be some of the major factors that have resulted in a growing fixation with the 'fit' body and can anything be done to alleviate stigmatisation of the fat (often automatically perceived as unhealthy) body.
February 21, 2016 at 01:26 AM
I'm interested in teaching Sociology in the future. Lately I've been interested in race relations and started reading a book that looked interesting but has been a hard read so far. How often do you find that you have to plow through a book that is not a "page turner" when you are doing research?
March 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM
I have to do an article on effects of tabcoo factries in urban areas????Plz help me
March 22, 2016 at 04:09 AM
Please make a blog post about the recent police violence against people of color. I am really and truly at a lost. I come to this blog for a sociological understanding and perspective.
Concerned citizen |
July 07, 2016 at 06:36 PM
@concerned citizen: we have done several posts on police violence in the past; if you go to the search box on the left side and type "police" you will see many listed. But thanks for the suggestion; we may certainly do another one soon!
July 13, 2016 at 01:10 PM
Is it possible to be a politically conservative sociologist?
I'd love to be able to address this issue in the HS Sociology class I teach. I'd especially like it if the essay was written by a practicing sociologist who is politically conservative. Even better would be the views of multiple sociologists who have a variety of political views. To me, the conservative emphasis on individualism creates a tension with Sociology that I think would be interesting and valuable to address with my students.
I did try a little searching on here and other places first, but I didn't find much.
August 24, 2016 at 04:14 PM
I have recently been totally devastated by the movie 'The Road'.
As a sociology student, I was wondering if this movie was a true reflection of the human condition.
What does sociology have to say about the nature of humanity, outside of our familiar social institutions?
Emma Linton |
October 08, 2016 at 07:39 AM
There was an article here in 2009 about how great being a sociologist was, and that the wall street journal listed it as one of the best jobs.
fast forward to 2016 and things seem to be a bit different. With adjunct and instructor positions becoming the norm rather than the exception, and almost no job growth projected by the BLS within the next 10 years, does it make sense to pursue a doctorate or even a masters in sociology anymore?
Patsy Martin |
December 02, 2016 at 11:53 AM
I teach high school sociology. Many of my students are interested in the very broad question "Why do people commit crimes?" I am looking for a reasonably succinct answer to this complicated question.
March 07, 2017 at 12:32 PM
To what extent, if any, do you consider a new offering of sociological thought relevant and worthy of consideration if the initial offering of it comes from someone outside of the field or who is otherwise not specifically credentialed as an academic of sociology?
Another way to ask: Can John Doe off the street present a sound theory and have a hope of it being considered without Mr. Doe being Dr. Doe or Professor Doe?
Bonus question: Do you think your answer would hold true for any field of academia?
David Larson |
March 11, 2017 at 04:04 PM
This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.
The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.
As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.
Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.
If you have a Typepad account, please
You are currently signed in as
(URLs automatically linked.)
(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)
Name is required to post a comment
Please enter a valid email address
If you're a sociology instructor or student and would like us to consider your guest post for everydaysociologyblog.com please
« Magical Thinking vs. Sociological Reasoning |
| Measures of Central Tendency »
Copyright © W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.