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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gathering My People: Recognizing Our Complicity
by Wieland, Michelle Marie, M.A., University of Michigan-Flint, 2018, 60; 13425808
Abstract (Summary)

Conversations about racism and sexism have a history of volatility, and within America’s current social and political climate it is no different. Both of these institutions are part of the social makeup of American culture and are based on the premise of one group holding a superior position over another. White individuals may not purposefully set out to behave in racist or sexist ways, but the fact is, white values, manners, and habits take precedence and priority in American culture. Evidence abounds. One example is the commercials that run in the media. The products, actors, and messages are focused on white priorities. Another is in the history of our country, which was written by Anglo-American men and therefore contains a preponderance of detail on the nation’s incredible growth through their viewpoints. It is also seen in literature and conversation. If a male or female is referenced, it is assumed they are white; if not, the speaker will place a descriptor of color before the gendered term. Within the institutions of race and sex, the ranking of superiority begins with white men and ends with Black women. The Black male and white female change places depending on the agenda of the white male. For example, if his attention is on male issues, the Black male will rank higher than the white female; the reverse is true if race is the focus. This patriarchal culture began with predominately Anglo-Saxon men making themselves at home in a country that was new to them. For centuries, they were able to keep their position as the dominant presence by force and will. The point is not to create a hatefest on white patriarchy but rather to recognize and understand it for what it has been and how it has formed our culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Furman, Jan, Barnhart, Phillip
School: University of Michigan-Flint
Department: Liberal Studies
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: MAI 58/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Womens studies
Keywords: Ally, Anti-racism, Black women stereotypes, Feminism, Patriarchy, Racism
Publication Number: 13425808
ISBN: 978-0-438-94674-3
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