From a sociological perspective the dominant group is the group that has greater (or complete access) to power. Access to power often equates to privilege, property, and prestige. The minority group is the group that has less or limited access to power. The term “minority”, from a sociological perspective, has nothing to do with numerical values. Sometimes the group with larger numbers is still the minority.
Social class impacts everyone. Many persons are just one missed paycheck away from losing significant resources and falling down the social class ladder. Because America typically operates as a capitalistic society, economic empowerment or a lack thereof transcends race, gender, and other demographic factors.
Remember, the Scholar-Activist Paradigm is prevalent in Africana Studies; however, it is not used simply to discuss the lived experiences of persons of African descent. The Scholar-Activist Paradigm can be used to increase the life chances and improved the lived experiences of any and all persons, particularly those who are oppressed and disadvantaged. It aims to give a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
Watch the above referenced television shows. Keep in mind that when you watch Two Broke Girls that these are two White women who are in unique situation. They are part of the racial dominant group (White), a minority gender group (female), and the minority class group (poor and underprivileged). You should also consider that Caroline’s class status changes from rich to poor while Max’s begins and remains poor. When you watch Good Times you should see a similar class dynamic but a completely different racial dynamic.
Your assignment is to write a review of the television shows as you relate your understanding of the readings and videos. You do not have to include every detail of all the episodes. How and why do you think Blacks and other minorities (i.e. gender, class, religious) continue to struggle economically compared to dominate groups? How might you apply the Scholar-Activist paradigm to increase the life chances and improve life experiences of economically disadvantaged persons? You can steer your discussion to focus on any of the television shows, your own real-world experiences, or some combination of both.
Your writing should not be a simple summary of the television programs nor the readings. If any summarizing is done I want it to be brief and succinct. I do, however, expect you to demonstrate that you have watched the television programs, that you understand the concepts in the readings, and you are able to apply both to other experiences and contexts.
1. You must include references to your readings and audiovisual links. You are not limited only to those assigned but you must at least include references to those.
2. Do not simply provide a list of quotes or endless references about what the author said. Reference the author’s claims and offer your support and/or critique of his or her position.
3. *Pay attention to the times that the shows air. You may want to DVR the programs to watch at your convenience or to watch more than once.
4. *This is not a summary so do not summarize the audiovisual components nor the readings. Remember that your instructor and your classmates have watched and read the material. You are offering a review where you make reference to the material and apply it to relevant real-world discussions.
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