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Race, Class, Gender Final Exam Essay

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Final Examination
Short Answers
1.
When scholars say, “sexual orientation is a social construction,” they are arguing that society pressures people to conform to the “norm” of being heterosexual, and that in reality people could potentially fall in love with anyone, regardless of their sex. Instead of a biological reality, sexual orientation is highly mutable, and a product of the cultural, political and social factors that define sexual orientation over time, along with ideas of masculinity and femininity. (CITE).

In Pascoe’s “Dude, You’re a Fag,” the author argues that the term “fag,” does not always refer to the static sexual identity attached to a gay boy. Rather, when looking at the term as a discourse, it can be invested into different meanings in different social spaces. In Pascoe’s observations at River High, boys call other boys fags in order to deny their masculinity, and through this, assert their own masculinity. In formal interviews however, these same boys attest that they would never call homosexual boys fags because that would be mean. These actions observed by Pascoe illustrate how the social construction of the term “fag” has morphed into a different meaning, as displayed through these high school boys. In addition to this, Pascoe points out how the social constructs of “fag behavior” is racialized, and differs among the white and black boys at River High. While dancing and keeping your clothes clean would normally cast you into a fag position as a white male, this is not the case for African American males. Their dancing and clean sneakers are seen as demonstrations of their membership in a certain cultural community and racial group. K.J., a sophomore of African-Americana and Filipino decent at River High is portrayed as extremely popular by his fellow classmates, in part due to his well known dance moves. The varying implications of white and black male behavior, as well as the different meaning “fag” has come to take on, demonstrates how drastic an impact social construction has had on masculinity and sexuality in the specter of the “faggot” (Pascoe 2005).

In Messner’s “Becoming 100 Percent Straight,” the author stresses the social
construction of the heterosexualized and masculinized institution of sports. He describes in a personal anecdote, that as a teenager and a member of the high school varsity basketball team, he was infatuated with a boy on the team for a period of time and ultimately “had a crush on him.” Contradicting of his feelings, he knew from societal norms that there was no room for anything but heterosexuality and masculinity in sports. Extreme levels of homophobia lead Messner to suppress his emotions and counteract them with masculinity, in order to continue to be perceived as the norm. What Messner didn’t know is that “large numbers of adult, “heterosexual” men had previously, as adolescents and young adults, experienced sexual desire for males” (Messner, p. 107 1999). What Messner felt in high school was normal for a boy his age, but due to the pressure he felt from socially constructed, heterosexual norms, he was forced to suppress his emotions and hide them with exaggerated masculinity (Messner 1999).

In “Prisons for Our Bodies, Closets for Our Minds,” Collins discusses how race and sexual orientation intersect, highlighting African-Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT), the author argues how both systems affect their everyday lives. The two systems of oppressions are similar in the fact that they both: use similar state-sanctioned institutional mechanisms to maintain racial and sexual hierarchies, share a common set of practices that are designed to discipline the population into accepting the status quo, and manufacture ideologies that defend the status quo. The point of contact between the two systems can be seen in the deviancy assigned to race and that assigned to sexuality. Both systems require sexual deviancy for meaning, but that point is created by “a normalized White heterosexuality that depends on a deviant Black heterosexuality to give it meaning” for racism, and a “normalized White heterosexuality that now depends on a deviant White homosexuality” (Collins p. 227, 2004). It is in the content of the sexual deviance assigned to each system that differ. As described in the book, and in the case of the challenges that confront African-American sexuality, heterosexual Blacks assigned sexual deviance is an assumed promiscuity, where LGBT people carry the assigned sexual deviance of the stigma of rejecting heterosexuality (Collins 2004).

In “Darker Shades of Queer: Race and Sexuality at the Margins,” Han points out that although one would think that those who have a shared history of oppression, whether it be from race or sexual discrimination, would lead to a coalition, this in fact is not the case. Instead, many times these individuals find it more comforting to join their oppressors in oppressing others, causing gay men of color to experience oppression from both their race and gender. Han argues that a huge cause to this problem is that gay America is “whitewashed,” prevalent in gay communities and confirmed through the media, this sexually marginalized group finds that the best way to be accepted is to take what they can from the dominant, upper-middle-class white America, and claim it as their own. Men of color are therefore discriminated against within gay communities, whether it be from getting denied access into gay bars or denied leadership roles in gay organizations “that purport to speak for all of us” (Han p.253, 2008). The primacy of whiteness in gay communities also leads to internalized racism in men of color who are dealing with issues of self-hatred. This causes gay men of color to join their oppressors in seeing other gay men of color as unsuitable sex partners and white men as the ultimate sex partners. In addition to men of color being rejected in gay communities, gays are also rejected in their communities of color.

They are told that “being gay is a white problem,” and that they should avoid this stigma at all costs. When gay men and women of color attempt to bring up concerns about interjecting race within gay communities, or vice versa with gays in race communities, they are told “to not muddy the waters of the primary goal of by bringing in concerns that might be addressed elsewhere” (Han p. 253, 2008). Ultimately, the predicament for gay men of color lies in the masculinity of the “ideal” man. “The centrality of masculinity within the gay community leads to rejecting all those outside of the masculine norm” while “the centrality of masculinity in communities of color leads to stripping away masculinity based on stereotypical perceptions of homosexuality.” Thus, gay men of color are told that they are not masculine enough to be a full member in either group, and are rejected by both communities.

The documentary Tongues United centers around the difficulty faced by a gay
black man to fit in in society. The main character is not comfortable with being gay in the black community, and moves to San Francisco in attempt to fit in. In San Fancisco there is a high population of gays who freely display their sexuality, but they are all white and this community also rejects him. His yearning to fit in becomes so great that he decides to become a cross dressing prostitute. In this identity he is able to be African American and desire men, but has to conceal his gender in order to accomplish this. He continues to struggle to fit in.

2.
The intersection of race, class, gender, and other relevant social identities are portrayed all over the media. In TV shows, writers use characters displaying the socially constructed views of society in an attempt to connect with their viewers, while simultaneously enforcing the stereotypes these races, classes and genders are oppressed by. In music, women are portrayed as objects, workers for the male artist to take advantage of and sexually exploit whenever he desires. Advertisements in magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc., construct a picture of what individuals should strive to look like, and be perceived as. Even social media (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) serve as platforms for how race, class, and gender should be viewed. No matter which way you turn in the media world, society is present, constructing the views of race, class, and gender all over the globe. The HBO show Sex and the City perfectly displays a white hegemonic feminist narrative, reflecting “exclusively the perspectives and values of white, middle-class, heterosexual women who define themselves primarily as oppressed victims of patriarchy” (Brasfield p.361, 2006). To begin, throughout the series, “viewers are introduced to token racism and ethnocentrism dominant storylines” where the women’s experiences with nonwhite characters serve as the focal point in their interactions. Although Samantha claims to “not see color” in dating an African American man, the stereotype of an angry black woman is displayed when the sister of the man Samantha is dating practices separatism and voices that she doesn’t want her brother dating a white woman. The “Cock-a-Doodle Doo” episode we watched in class displayed the stereotypical Chinese female giggle is highlighted when Miranda orders Chinese food.

Offended at first, Miranda interprets the Chinese woman to be laughing at her frequency in ordering from the restaurant, but later discovers the Chinese employee responds this way to every order, confirming the stereotype is in fact a reality. Finally, racism is shown through Charlottes adoption of a minority, a choice made only after all other attempts in having a child of her own had failed. Discrimination in class is also displayed in the series. While Miranda, a successful lawyer, does date Steve, a working class bartender, throughout the show, it is not until he becomes a business owner, that she marries him. Before this, Miranda shows signs that Steve is inadequate for her by showing her disgust for his apartment when she first sees it, and attempting to buy Steve a new suit when she sees his corduroy suit and deems it inappropriate for her dinner party. This particular situation caused Steve to break up with Miranda, recognizing the signs she was showing him that he was inadequate for her. In addition to this, Samantha’s experience with a Asian domestic servant writes class exploitation “in a way that subverts and distorts the reality of domestic servitude upholding the ruling class’s ability to condone the power they maintain over manipulative domestics” (Brasfield p. 366, 2006).

While the servant is servile and polite around her boos, she completely changes character when he is gone, appearing to comply with her boss’s classist and racist views of her. Heterosexism and homophobia are also displayed in Sex and the City through the depiction of bisexuals, who are described as being in a developmental stage, never fully satisfied, and partaking in a games that Carrie is “too old” for (Brasfield p.365, 2006). This heterosexism was again shown in the episode we watched in class where Samantha has an encounter with male cross-dressing prostitutes that work on her street. All of the prostitutes were men of color, and after a dispute on whether or not to continue to solicit on Samantha’s apartment corner, they assumed their place in the hierarchy and left. Although these characters walked and talked like women, they were not in fact true biological women, and therefore came second to Samantha. Compared to the women in Sex and the City who demonstrate dominance as white heterosexual females, women in hip-hop are portrayed as sex objects, dominated by men. The sexual explicitness of the videos is used to show this male domination, employing the women to help highlight the masculinity of the men. Pornographic images of women’s body parts can be seen in close up camera shots, displaying an unattainable beauty ideal women strive for, while the men take advantage of it. With this being said, sexual explicitness, feminist lyrics, and rape culture are incredibly prevalent in hip-hop. In the music of Lil Wayne, we find unbelievably explicit descriptions of what the artist has done or is going to do with female “pussies.” In a particular song he compares his sexual actions to the beating of Rodney King by police officers. In the music of Rick Ross, we find controversial lyrics describing how he plans on drugging a woman in order to rape her. While he claims this meaning is not what he meant, the words in the song suggest otherwise. As Perry points out in “Who(Se) Am I? The Identity and Image of Women in Hip-Hop,” although the policies of artists are often neutralized by record companies, he or she is still using their image to promote and encourage the sale of their words and music. By conveying an objectifying vision towards women, they create a sexist message to listeners that attacks females.

3.
Families in the United States are traditionally viewed and understood in popular and political discourse as marriage, of a man and women, or a ‘nuclear family,’ consisting of parents and young children. This belief is supported by much of United States policy today, which is “based on a set of assumptions about the priority of marriage and the nuclear family” (Gerstel p. 331, 2011). The U.S. Census defines a family as “individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together” (Gerstel p.328, 2011). Their reports, however, do not always reflect this, in some cases only reporting from information collected from husbands and wives and parents and young children. Our president, Barack Obama, supports these notions of nuclear families, recently stating that “too many fathers are missing” and “the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.” This statement, in actuality is very contradictory of Obama because he himself was raised by a single mother and grandparents, and currently lives with his mother-in-law at the White House.

This conception of family has been challenged by a multitude of recent changes in family composition, as well as the prevalence of extended families in the lives of poor people and people of color. Today, approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. This statistic has increased the prevalence of single parent households tremendously, and does not include the increased number of couples who are having children outside of marriages, also contributing to the decrease in nuclear families. In addition to single parent households, nuclear families do not include families of homogeneous relationships that may not be married under United States laws, but still have their own families and children. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, estimates that there are 9 million gay or lesbian individuals living in the United States (CITE). With only 9 out of 50 states currently allowing gay marriage, many gay or lesbian individuals are simply not allowed to classify themselves as nuclear families (CITE). Finally, nuclear and traditional views of family do not include extended families, particularly prevalent among blacks and Latinos, as well as poor people. When looking at co-residence “approximately 40% of adult blacks and about a third of Latino/as – compared to under a fifth of whites – share households with relatives other than partners or young children” (Gerstel p.328 2011). The image of the independent nuclear family then, is particularly misleading in understanding the lives of people of color and poor people.

Not accounting for the extended families in the traditional view of family is foolish for multiple reasons. Extended families are prevalent in the United States, and the nuclear family is inadequate to describe the realities of family life today. Extended families are especially prevalent among the working class because they face economic difficulty, and are forced to get help from their extended family as a survival strategy. It is in the “relative economic deprivation that of racial/ethnic minorities that leads to higher levels of extended family involvement” (Gerstel p.329, 2011). United States policy is based on assumptions about the priority of marriage and nuclear families, but this narrow view “often penalizes the very people it purports to help” (Gerstel p. 328, 2011), and reinforces the Standard North American Family ideology which derides, stigmatizes, and abandons those who do not follow it. This invisibility of the extended family makes public policy less effective than it could be, and policies that overlook extended family obligations may introduce, reproduce, or even increase class and racial/ethnic inequalities. In Dill’s “Our Mothers’ Grief,” reproductive labor is used to describe “all of the work of women in the home” (Dill p.324, 1988). This work includes basic household chores such as preparing meals and maintaining the house, but also includes giving birth and ensuring the proper socialization of her children, as well as supporting the entire family emotionally. There activities in turn “maintain, sustain, stabilize, and reproduce (both biologically and socially) the labor force.” (Dill p. 325, 1988). Dill’s work illustrates the differences between the reproductive labor required of white women, and the reproductive labor required by enslaved Africans, Chinese Sojourners’, and Chicanos’, with all of them stemming from the same place. In order for enslaved Africans, Chinese Sojourners’, and Chicanos’ to maintain, sustain, stabilize, and reproduce their families, they were required to not only perform labor in the reproductive spheres like white women, but on top of this they also had to work in the productive spheres to achieve even minimal levels of family substance.

It is in this additional labor, of working outside the home as well as inside, that develops a platform for differences between the cultures. To begin, in order for women of color to fulfill all of their responsibilities, they were forced to take on an extended day of work. Poor qualities of housing, along with neglect in communities increased the amount of work they had to do in order to achieve even minimal standards. Basic means to survival in African, Chinese Sojourners, and Chicanos communities were harder to come by, causing higher rates of disease, infant mortality, and shorter life spans. In order for women of color to keep their children alive, as well as help them to understand and take part in a system that exploited them, they had to again, increase their reproductive labor. Finally, due to a contradictory relationship between the norms and values generated in the dominant white world, women of color were faced with being absent from their duties in the reproductive sphere, deeming them poor wives and mothers, while taking on exploitative jobs and depressed wages in the productive sphere, deeming them desperate. Therefore, despite the fact that women of color put in double the amount of work than their white counterparts, they still took on a subordinate status in the eyes of the dominant whites because of the reproductive labor responsibilities they were forced to take on (Dill 1988).

4.
Inequality in the labor market is multidimensional. While race, class, and gender alone do stratify the labor market separately, those who experience mistreatment in the workplace “exist within a web of intersecting and relational inequalities” (Weissinger p.306, 2009). As Weissinger describes in “Gender Matters. So Do Race and Class,” while all the plaintiffs from the Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. case were female, they experienced discrimination in different ways due to their differences in race, class and status. Ms. Jennifer Johnson is a black woman, who had to wait much longer for promotion than her male counterparts who were similarly qualified. In addition to this, she was disrespected once she became a manager, and when she brought this matter up to her male store manager, was simply told “you have 2 strikes against you: 1) you’re a woman; 2) you’re black” (Weissinger p.310, 2009). Lorie Williams is a white woman, who was discriminated against through her gender and class, despite being “an insider” through her white race. She was criticized for the way she managed, despite never receiving any training and treated as incompetent. Finally, Gina Espinoza-Price holds a high position in Wal-Mart as the District Manager of Mexico.

At a meeting of the District Managers she experienced sexual and racist harassment, which she voiced to another manager in order to pursue an investigation. When the manager took no action to pursue the investigation, Gina questioned him about it… and was fired a few weeks later. As illustrated through these plaintiff’s stories, the women’s different races, classes, and genders provided them with unique and differing experiences. It is in these experiences that show how the labor market is stratified by the women’s multidimensional identities (Weissinger 2009).

Williams’ piece “Racism in toyland” provides a perfect illustration of how workplace experiences are influenced by customers’, employees’, and/or employers’ race, class, and gender. To begin, there exist a clear hierarchy in the toy stores in regard to whether an employee held a dominant race, class, or gender. White men held manager positions, janitors were Latinos, and younger, lighter skinned women were placed in the front of stores as cashiers over black women who were more likely to be merchandisers, and placed further back in the store. Similar to the women in the Wal-Mart case that I discussed earlier, it took Lazelle, an African American female employee at Toy Warehouse, two months until she was permitted to be a cashier, despite the fact that she had experience in this field. Williams, a white female, was immediately assigned a cashier position upon starting at the store. As Williams points out, the preference for managers to put light-skinned women as cashiers was due to a general belief “that such women are the most friendly and solicitous, and thus most able to inspire trust and confidence in a commercial transaction” (Williams p. 294, 2005). Customers also contributed to the discriminatory workplace experience. To begin, in both the Wal-Mart case and the case of the toy stores, customers of particular races, classes, and genders generally shop in stores with similar races, classes, and genders represented in their employees.

While customers of more dominant races, classes, and genders treated employees of less dominant races, classes, and genders poorly, customers with less dominant races, classes, and genders were also treated poorly by managers through racial profiling of shoplifters and not being able to return merchandise as easily as their white counterparts. Finally, employers served as the driving factor behind these discriminatory workplace environments in both the Wal-Mart case and the case of the toy stores. While some stores simply employed no black workers, or middle aged women, other stores pushed their workers of color to the back of the store, making remarks like “whiten up [the staff of] the front end” (Weissinger p.308, 2009). They treated women, people of color, and people with lower economic status as incompetent, ignoring their requests and belittling them when they stood up for themselves. They furthered their discriminatory practices by treating customers with non dominant races, classes, and genders poorly and all had one thing in common: they were all white men (Williams p.294, 2005).

For minority women, their race, class, and gender in the workplace often hinder their access to certain jobs, compensation, and the perception of how well they are suited for various occupations. Entrepreneurship, and more specifically, entrepreneurship in the beauty industry, has allowed African American women to overcome these marginalization’s (as far as their race, class, and gender). In Harvey’s “Becoming Entrepreneurs,” the author illustrates the benefits African American women have had since they’ve opened up their own hair salons. To begin, salon owners have overcome difficulties in obtaining management positions by becoming their own bosses. Secondly, by again being the boss of themselves, salon owners no longer faced discrimination with regard to compensation. Thy controlled their pay and what happened with the money the salon earned, allowing them to have a higher salary and to reach economic stability. This stability was often difficult or near impossible to reach as a paid worker, positions frequently held by African American Women. Finally, these salon owners challenged ideas of how African American women were not well-suited employees/employers as compared to their white, male counterparts. These women found a niche market, in an area that they knew well, with a large demand and potential for a continuous profit. They held skills and knowledge about their customers that their counterparts in the dominant gender and race could never compete with. Essay

In Keepin’ It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White, Prudence Carter discusses racial inequality in education, but with an emphasis specifically on why African Americans and second-generation Latinos reject academic practices and excellence. The common response to this question is that African-Americans and Latinos reject academic excellence because they do not want to succumb to “acting white.” Carter challenges this view by arguing that although “Black and Latino youths my describe certain practices as “acting white,” or in contrast as “acting black” or “acting Spanish,” they employ these expressions primarily for cultural reasons, not academic ones. They use their racial and ethnic identities to facilitate in-group solidarity and to assert various cultural symbols of pride and self-worth, not as signs of oppression to conventional formulas for success” (Carter vi, 2005). The achievement gap is an ongoing problem that researchers have been trying to understand for years. Some blame class backgrounds and lack of resources in poverty stricken areas as the reason, contributing to underfinanced schools and limited access to information. Others argue parent’s educational attainment serves as the correlation. In mimicking their parents actions, students don’t believe they will go to college either. Environmental factors also serve as contributors, such as lack of a healthy family life and low parental involvement.

Finally, some scholars believe cultural factors make the difference, and make the claim “that many racial and ethnic minority students do not perform well in school because they avoid the ‘burden of acting white’” (Carter p.5, 2005). Oppositional culture is a component of the cultural-ecological theory that claims that “what determines racial and ethnic minorities’ folk beliefs about academic and economic success is their mode of incorporation into U.S. society” (Carter p. 7, 2005). African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and other minority groups maintain haunting memories of institutionalized discrimination and subjection from when their ancestors were originally brought in U.S. society by means of conquest, colonization, and slavery. Due to their unjust history, these minority groups have established practices of direct opposition to middle-class Whites and become “culturally invert” (Carter p.8, 2005). It is through this resistance that influences the educational outcomes of lower academic achievement and rejection of schools by these ethnic groups (Carter 2005). Cultural capital refers to the cultural codes of dominant and mainstream society. It is related to success in schools through the argument that in order to communicate and work together in dominant settings, one must attain the dominant cultural capital. This cultural capital is what is taught in schools, and becomes a problem for students who posses cultural capital for settings that are different from the mainstream. Although these cultural capitals are important in their perspective settings, many educators can overlook them. Students employ expressions such as “acting white”, “acting black”, and “acting spanish” primarily for cultural reasons, not academic ones. They use their racial and ethnic identities to facilitate in-group solidarity and to assert various cultural symbols of pride and self-worth, not as signs of oppression to conventional formulas for success.

Most commonly, “acting white” is described as the “norm” in comparison to “acting black” and “acting hispanic.” Well fitting clothing, from stores like the Gap and Abercrombie, is associated with “acting white,” while loose fitting clothes, with pants falling 8 inches below the waist and oversized t-shirts covering exposed boxers is associated with “acting black.” Rap and Hip-Hop are associated with “acting black,” along with writing “poems” (raps). “Acting spanish” was not used as frequently to describe behavior as “acting white” and “acting black,” as many Latinos identified with African Americans and “acted black” (Carter 2005). Noncompliant believers represent the students with the biggest discrepancy between beliefs, school engagement, and their achievements. They believe in education and agree that it is the main route to socioeconomic mobility. At the same time however, “their cultural identities and self-understanding as racial and ethnic beings lead them to challenge compliance with rules we use to denote good students” (Carter p.12, 2005). While some simply do not know dominant cultural rules, others blatantly refuse to accept them. They see value in their own cultural “know-how,” which the school does not acknowledge. In comparison to noncompliant believers, cultural mainstreamers represent the other end of the spectrum. While they do express their own racial and ethnic backgrounds as a central part of their identity, they embrace the dominant cultural repertoire.

They are aware of the differences in how their ethnic heritage differs from Whites, but view the speech patterns, clothing styles, gestures, etc. their middle and upper-class white peers exhibit as the norm. The abide by these norms and the mandates of schooling knowing that they are at risk for of being rejected by their fellow African Americana and Latino peers. Finally, cultural straddlers represent the medium between noncompliant believers and cultural mainstreamers. They embrace the dominant cultural codes and resources, but at the same time hold on to their native cultural styles. They abide by the schools’ cultural rules, while simultaneously creating meaning with their co-ethnic peers. They are more successful socially among their African American and Latino peers than the cultural mainstreamers because they achieved the balance between their peer groups, communities, and schools. In Carter’s study, 38 of the 68 students who were interviewed classified as noncompliant believers, 5 as cultural mainstreamers, and 25 as cultural straddlers. While noncompliant believers aspired to earn money, and knew that the key to making a decent living was going to school, they failed to comply with school’s rules and regulations. Sylvestre, a high school dropout who frequently got in trouble and engaged in drug dealing questioned “But why go to school if you don’t enjoy it?” (Carter p. 22, 2005).

Many noncompliant believers disengagement from school lead them to either low school performance or academic failure, ranging from subpar to just average students. Rosaria, a cultural mainstreamer, had high educational expectations, stating that “education is the only way up! I don’t care if you’re White, Black, Hispanic, or whatever, if you don’t have an education, you’re going nowhere” (Carter p.33, 2005), Rosaria was enrolled in advanced placement and honors courses and did well in them. Fitting the teachers’ student ideal, cultural mainstreamers conformed to most norms, rules, and expectations, and had highly respectable grades. Like other cultural mainstreamers, Rosaria also had high educational aspirations of going to the Fashion Institute of Technology (which she got into) and becoming a fashion designer. Cultural straddlers, like cultural mainstreamers, also exhibited high educational aspirations and expectations, despite their closer ties to their racial and ethnic social circles, they successfully navigate between the classroom and their peers. Valerie claimed her success in balancing the two was from her self-determination, stating “I don’t pay no mind to the things that [my friends] do. I hang around with them.

I’ll talk to them and conversate, but I won’t pay no mind to the things that they do” (Carter p.37, 2005). Many cultural straddlers are college bound and headed toward the middle class, achieving high academic success while also being socially popular (Carter 2005). Prudence Carter observes gender differences related to Pan-Minority Identity. To begin, Carter found that Latinos related culturally with their Black peers more than Latinas. They more readily displayed how they shared similar tastes in hip-hop culture with African American males, while Latinas were more explicit about racial and ethnic distinctions between Blacks and Latinos. In addition to this, Latinas created more social distance between African American urban youth culture than their Latino counterparts. Finally, Latinas also identified themselves by their particular ethnic groups, or simply as “Hispanic,” while Latinos didn’t always identify this way (Carter 2005).

Carter also observed gender differences within the roles of family and gender control. In general, families maintain and reproduce the patriarchal control of girls’ and women’s places in society by diligently monitoring their daughters’ whereabouts. An example of this practice is displayed through Carlo Jimenez who admits that he could do many things at his younger sister’s age that she is not allowed to do. When describing why this was the case, he exclaims “Because she’s a girl!” (Carter p.131, 2005). This perspective undoubtedly came from observing his parents’ rules and practices. This more vigilant watch over girls than over boys is especially common among Latinos, and may have paid of for Latinas, who were more apt to perform well in school and make social connections that lead to part time jobs (Carter 2005). Finally, Carter describes his findings with gender, work, and immigrant minority youth. To begin, Latinos attitude towards job attainment was lower than African American males. Latinos aspired to service and blue collar jobs, while African American male’s modal career choice was either a businessman or professional athlete. At the same time, these different aspirations produce different levels of fulfillment. 23 percent of Hispanic males held their career aspirations in the service market, while only 6 percent of Black males held jobs as general managers and executives. The occupational patterns for Black and Latina women differed in that after attaining their professional degrees they were more likely to become elementary-school teachers. More Black and Latina women have a college education than Black and Latino men, which also supports a claim about an emergent gender gap in achievement between females and males (Carter 2005).

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