February 03, 2007

Racist stereotypes still common

Black stereotype college parties spark outrageA University of Dayton sociologist who analyzed journals kept by 626 white college students found the students behaved substantially differently when they were in the company of other whites than when they were with other races.

When the students, who were asked to record their interactions with other people, were alone with other white students, racial stereotypes and racist language were surprisingly common, researcher Leslie Picca found. One student reported hearing the “n-word” among white students 27 times in a single day.

The results suggest white students have little sense of shame about racial insults and stereotyping and treat them as simply a part of the culture.

“This is a new generation who grew up watching ‘The Cosby Show,”’ Picca said. “They have the belief that racism isn’t a problem anymore so the words they use and the jokes they tell aren’t racist.”

Picca said she found it “heartbreaking” to see so many well-educated students perpetuating the stereotypes.

5 comments:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
There was a long-ago SNL skit featuring Eddie Murphy about how Caucasians behave when no other races are around. Supposedly a curious researcher, he wore Caucasian makeup and a business suit when he boarded a bus. Two young Blacks were riding with the other, seemingly-bored passengers. But when the Blacks exited the bus, the whites looked around, saw no one but themselves was aboard, started smiling and laughing, someone turned on music and began to pour champagne, while others danced. The audience laughed but maybe not as loudly as they might have.
That Caucasians behave differingly when there are no other races around is old news. They call themselves, after all, 'the dominant culture', which carefully is nurtured and underscored, and somehow it is their perceived right to castigate whomever they choose. Plus, add in the fact that an all-white situation is comparable to being with their families at home. Witness that it still is popular to say that one is 'free, White, and 21.' writerfella's take on that is to say that such people are 'free, White, and 21st Century...'
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Carole said...

Interesting, and I don't doubt the results of the survey. However, that is far from the complete picture. As the proud parent of two teens--one in college--I've been around them and their peers for a long, long time. Never once have I heard the kinds of things mentioned in this survey.

And no, I'm not some clueless, naive mom. I just believe that--as the case with any "general" statement, it's not so general after all. Yes, bigotry still exists among whites in too many instances. But far from all. Saying anything different would be...well, a STEREOTYPE.

The challenge for all of us of all backgrounds is to explore our own assumptions. And that includes the assumptions we embrace about groups or sub-cultures we might not cotton to. That's why the prevailing stereotypes of suburban white Americans, or rural folks deserve as much scrutiny and questioning as any other. Lumping human beings into tidy packages is simply bullsh****t.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Denial also operates in generalities.
Which reminds writerfella of the Welsh name for G.W. -- BUSHILLT...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

The point of the study was that white college students talk differently when they're not around minorities. Doesn't that also apply to white teenagers and their parents? ;-)

Anyway, most studies deal in broad strokes by necessity. No doubt this study's findings apply to some students, not to all of them. Someone would have to replicate this study and its findings elsewhere before we could begin generalizing it to the entire population.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
And just how long are teenagers, teenagers? The cycle always is the same, parents dominate the young like giants and, like gods, the young both worship and fear their giants. But they don't remain small or fearful or even worshipful for very long, finding that they easily are expected to wander more or less freely through the Orchards of Knowledge that are schools, churches, the communities, the streets and the malls, with their peers. That seemingly parents and teenagers speak supposedly differing languages only is because the parents have forgotten the way they spoke themselves when they were 17.
No one said that anything applied to 'all of them' and Carole tried the reverse trick of naming two. But if it isn't true in its own ways and extents, why bother to deny it at all?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'