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Sexism Assignment, Essay Example

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Words: 1536

Essay

Sexism is the belief that one sex is superior to the other. Sexism exists within society mainly because of male chauvinism where males display their sense of superiority over women. This element of society has been passed down throughout history, even in times before Jesus Christ
walked the Earth. Centuries of women being treated as the inferior gender have caused sexism to continue to prevail in modern society. Whenever women perpetuate these inferior characteristics through accepting gender roles and allowing men to trample on women’s rights,
they support sexism and the beliefs of men that they are the superior gender. Therefore, women must work to abolish these gender definitions and age-old concepts of the “weak woman” if they have any hopes of eliminating sexism within our society.

Racism exists when certain groups believe that they are superior to other groups. The concept of race as a social construct states that race is a tool used to categorize people whose physical or inherited traits distinguish them from others. Personal racism occurs when individuals or small groups display prejudice attitudes and possibly even discriminatory behaviors against other people or groups of people. This may be Institutional racism, on the other hand, results from the normal societal acts that take place without the intent to deprive anyone of their rights. This can include specific actions directed at selling homes to blacks or minorities. Scapegoats are used to perpetuate prejudice by placing blame for specific actions directly on someone else rather than accepting responsibility. For instance, an individual that performs a racist act can use the victim as the scapegoat because he or she “had it coming.” The blame is placed on the victim, not on the racist individual. Furthermore, gender or racial stereotypes continues to provide inappropriate and inaccurate prejudice on individuals. If a race is stereotypically believed to be lazy or like fried chicken, the prejudice suggests that all individuals of that race are that way.

Individuals that see racism occurring within our society should make efforts to eliminate these behaviors. People should be educated about prejudice and stereotypes and how they directly enable individuals to become victims of racism, whether intentionally or not. The media must also downplay ethnic or racial stereotypes. For instance, by continually showing black criminals on television, it provides an inherent  stereotype and prejudice that all blacks are criminals. The only white criminals appear to be hicks or red necks rather than there ever being
any intelligent, middle class white criminals. Furthermore, white couples can be good parents to children of any cultural background. They should be allowed to adopt and raise children that need a good home, as long as it is in the best interest of the child. Of course, the child will learn to live a life where racial prejudice exists and this may be foreign or unknown to the white couple. Life can be difficult for a minority child that has been adopted by a white couple, but the child must have a healthy environment that is essential for growth.

Crime

A crime is defined as the action or behavior that breaks a social rule that has been written into law. Furthermore, criminal behavior is any behavior that results in a crime being committed.

The law is the result of social forces that decide what behaviors will be tolerated and which ones will not. These forces also determine how these unlawful behaviors will be dealt with. The social forces are made up of the people and the legislature, or lawmaking body. The people vote for individuals into the legislature that can make or change laws to fit the needs of the people. Then, it is the job of the legislature to actually meet those needs and devise laws to keep society safe. There are two main types of crimes: a felony and a misdemeanor. A felony is a much more serious crime such as rape or murder and usually results in prison time. The misdemeanor is less severe and typically results in a fine. There is also organization crime, white collar crime, traditional crime, and computer crimes. There are three main types of social responses to crime and these include law enforcement or police, the courts, and the carrying out of convictions from the courts. The police investigate the crime and make an arrest. The accused person is has a case in court to determine guilt or innocence and then a sentence is passed by the judge and jury, then the sentence and punishment is carried out.

Differential association theory suggests that we learn deviance from or conform to the social norms mostly through the different groups we are associated with. This association may be positively or negatively influencing the attitudes or thought processes we undergo within society. Labeling theory focuses on the significance of labels that are placed on us by others, or vice versa. These labels tend to become part of our self concept and how we view ourselves in association with the world. Controlled theory suggests that we are made up on inner and outer
controls that impact our decision-making and behaviors. Inner controls are made up of our religious beliefs and moral concept of right and wrong. Our outer controls are the people or things that influence us such as family, friends, and social forces. Anormal Material Theory
suggests that there is a cultural gap that can exist when people attempt to achieve success by having materials objects such as cars, money, or even good grades. People can attempt to close this gap by using criminal behavior. Our society will likely never be crime free because it is a
way for individuals to reach out for help through socially deviant behaviors. We can only hope that more social practices, such community-oriented neighborhood watch, or even more strict penalties may work to deter people from engaging in criminal behaviors and seek help through other, more productive, means of expression.

Disengagement Theory

Disengagement theory essentially states that as people become older, more relationships become severed or decrease in quality through a natural process. It is believed that this process is functional in the sense that when people retire, it serves as a function of opening up positions for younger individuals. Also, disengagement theory suggests that individuals can no longer engage in activities that they enjoyed in their middle age. Activity theory, on the other hand, argues the exact opposite. This theory suggests that individuals can and should carry on the activities they enjoyed during their middle ages. The four myths from our text were that old people are all the same, old people are unproductive, old people are senile, old people are in a state of deterioration and decline. The first myth suggests that old people are all equal in their problems, disabilities and their personal characteristics are all the same. The second myth argues that all old people are unable to perform activities and are therefore unproductive within society.

The third myth states that old people do not have the cognitive capabilities to think clearly or maintain a functioning memory. Finally, the fourth myth states that old people are in a state of physical and mental deterioration and continue to decline as they grow older and near death. Aging is a complex process that occurs within the lives of every person. First of all, the physical appearance changes over time and it can include the loss of skin elasticity, the appearance of wrinkles and a prevalence of gray hair. Sight and hearing can dwindle and the
circulatory system and other systems within the body begin to lose their operating efficiency.

Finally, another characteristic of aging is that individuals become more susceptible to illness and disease. Life expectancy is how long an individual is expected to live, while the individual’s life span is the actual length of time that the individual is expected to live. Expectancy is based on predictable statistics, while span is from an individual actually living life from beginning to end.

The percentage of the population that is considered “old” has been defined in our text as anyone that is 65 or older. This group of people will likely continue to grow over the next 40 years because of two main factors: the baby boomers and now entering their golden years and the
life expectancy in our country has continued to increase to up to 77 years in 2000 due to advances in health care and medicine as well as the impact of a health-conscious society. These characteristics did not exist in previous centuries, or at least not to the extent that they have
today. Seniors appear to be “second class citizens” because they move slower and tend to become a burden on younger, more energetic family members or friends. Men appear to age more quickly than women and enter a faster stage where they must be taken care of by assisted
care. Women on the other hand, statistically live longer and are more clear-minded and able to move around later in life than men. Nevertheless, the elderly population in the United States is typically very political savvy and actively exercise their rights to vote; they are more wise and sentimental in their golden years; and they have weaker physical condition than in earlier years.

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