African American Female and White American Males

African American Female and White American Males Ingroup African American Female and Outgroup White American Males

African American Female and White American Males
African American Female and White American Males

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*My ingroups are being African American and being a female*

*My outgroups are white Americans and males*

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In recent weeks, you have been asked to consider the individual’s relationship to the larger community.  Often this relationship reflects a tension that exists between individual identities and the common good.  Ultimately, we are being asked to consider how the communities to which we belong contribute to making us who we are.

African American Female and White American Males Topic

People like belonging to groups.  In his piece “Ingroup and Outgroup,” David Myers suggests that our social definitions help to explain how we, as individuals, find connections to the larger community.  Community sustains the commonality that brings people together. The connection among community members often leads to a preference for similar people, and being alike positively reinforces the mutual identity.  Groups sharing a common identification experience group cohesion, which can promote a sense of belonging rooted in healthy group pride.  As McIntosh notes, at times our ascriptive characteristics offer us a sense of privilege of which we are often unaware. However, group membership can also breed stereotypes, feelings of prejudice and superiority, and can contribute to negative feelings about other groups which may lead to ranking other organizations, races, and cultures.  Additionally, while the connections and commonalities with others give us security, groups can pressure us to comply with internal norms. Human behavior is governed by norms and we follow the rules to receive acceptance and approval. Conformity brings many rewards and society prefers the status quo, so defying those demands often elicits punishments, exclusion, and deviant labels.

Taking a holistic approach, explore the following questions in a four-to-five page well-argued and coherent essay:

What influence does your social ingroup have on your identity?  How does your ingroup confer a sense of privilege or a lack of privilege (or both)?

In approaching this topic, first you must clearly define the social ingroup you want to examine in this essay.  The best approach is one that focuses on one “lens.”  Examining an intersection of two lenses may also work.  But again, the key here is to focus.  Next, you should consider how this definition shapes your experience in the larger community.  Examining your experiences within your own “group(s)” as well as how your “group(s)” is/are perceived by others is the place to begin this self-examination. Are you strengthened or victimized by the labels you carry?  How does your conformity (or lack thereof) to group or social expectations define your experience? In some ways, aren’t we all subjected to DuBois’ idea of double consciousness?  You may want to reflect on the ideas of Myers, DuBois, McIntosh, hooks, Rodriguez and others as you consider your response.  Be sure to reference the ideas of at least two of the authors we have discussed in HMXP 102 this semester.

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