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Types of Discrimination that Exist in American Society Essay

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The five articles describe various sources of discrimination in the United States. In the article titled ‘The Job Ghetto”, Newman (2003) focuses on competition in the job market. She articulates that competition is common in the inner cities. Many poor job seekers in Harlem have faced downward pressures. This is a consequence of competition.

Newman (2003) says that the fast food industry is the main job creator for the poor communities. However, not all job seekers are interested in the jobs. The reason is that most of them are unwilling to take up job opportunities that pay below the reservation wage (Newman, 2003). For these reasons, many jobseekers remain in ghettos due to their unrealistic expectations. Newman (2003) concludes that unemployment in parts of the country is a source of discrimination.

In the article ‘Land of Opportunity’, Loewen (1995) investigates social class as a source of discrimination in the country. He pinpoints that American society is founded on the belief that the country has limitless opportunities for everyone (Loewen, 1995).

While this is the notion among many middle class citizens, the lower class and the poor may suppose otherwise. Loewen (1995) says that many middle class students do not understand the concept of social class in the society. They assume that the poor are to blame for their poverty. The lower class and the poor lack enough incomes to invest in education.

They do not access high quality health care services. Due to their low investment in education, they land into blue-collar jobs. For the upper and middle classes, they access high quality education and better amenities. These factors enable them to access well-paying jobs. This leads to production and reproduction of social classes. As such, social class is a major source of discrimination within the American society according to the author.

Leung (1987) explores the myth that surrounds the Asian Americans. In the article titled ‘The Model Minority Myth’, he says that the prevalent perception about Asian Americans has led to a backlash within the society. In fact, it is a source of discrimination for the minority. Leung (1987) claims that the myth started after the enactment of the immigration act of 1965.

Many Asians refugees at the time accessed high-quality education and landed into ‘safer’ careers such as medicine and engineering. Consequently, many of the Asian Americans have been associated with high incomes and better education. To ascertain this trend, Leung (1987) asserts that the number of Asian Americans students enrolled in prestigious American institutions such as Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton rose from 4% to 24% in 1984.

The Asian Americans were therefore competing for education and employment opportunities with the white majority. This in turn led to imposition of quotas that limit the number of Asian Americans in the country’s public universities. Hence, the myth of the successful Asian Americans has become a major source of discrimination for the minority race.

Harlow (2003) investigates racism as a source of discrimination in American society. He highlights the significant realities that white and black professors experience when they teach. At the outset, Harlow (2003) says that white professors operate in a social place where whiteness is a source of credit and privilege.

On the contrary, black professor work in contexts where people discredit and devalue his or her race. These differences shape the manner in which the two sets of professors perceive their class environments. The differences also dictate the manner in which the professors interpret class realities and manage their experiences. However, Harlow (2003) says that the outcomes of the research were biased since the interviewed professors were largely from universities dominated by whites.

The interpretation of the results illustrates that some students will question the competency and credentials of specific professors based on racial prejudice. As such, some professors will encounter different experiences when teaching. The way the professors cope with such incidences also differs substantially along racial lines. Race is therefore a major source of discrimination in the American society.

Finally, Ehrenreich (1999) explores wage differences as a source of discrimination within the American society. In the article ‘Nickel-and –Dimed’, the author says that the wages of the unskilled and skilled employees are different. When the skilled and poor employees get employment opportunities, they are likely to earn salaries that do not meet all their needs.

Particularly, Ehrenreich (1999) says that a domestic worker receives a salary that does not allow him or her to save. The author further says that welfare reforms do not alleviate the conditions for the poor. Instead, they increase the disparities and stress in the context of work. As such, Ehrenreich (1999) sees wage differences as the main causes of discrimination in the context of the American society.

Articles’ Lack of Persuasion

While the above articles have pointed the sources of discrimination in the US, many people may not believe them. First, Harlow (2003) asserts that the results of the research in her article did not represent the actual realities in the entire education system. The article concentrates in universities dominated by white students and professors.

To this end, it is important to note that the results could have serious biases. The black professors may have indicated high differences in their perceptions and experiences due to the context of the research. As such, the article’s results cannot reflect the entire American society. This factor makes the results to be unbelievable to some people.

Second, the analyses may not persuade some people to believe them because of the structure of the American society. Such authors as Ehrenreich and Loewen explore social class as a source of discrimination. They cite discrimination along social class as a widespread phenomenon yet the lower class and the poor constitute a relatively small proportion of the entire population.

This generalization has made the articles to lack persuasion and ability to convince a large percent of the community. In addition, the period that the articles were published makes them redundant. They do not reflect the realities of the contemporary world. The current political regime has reformed tax and health sectors to reduce wealth inequalities and disparities in healthcare. As such, some conclusive remarks in the articles do not reflect the modern realities. This facts make the articles to lack persuasion.

In sum, the five articles highlight various sources of discrimination in the American society. They include income inequalities, social class, myths surrounding the minorities, wage differences and race. Although the articles analyze the sources of discrimination using empirical research, they fail to persuade a cross-section of the society. This is because of subjectivity and the apparent lack of objectivity. Besides, they are redundant owing to their dates of publication.

References

Ehrenreich, B. (1999). Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Harper’s Magazine, 298(1784), 10-37.

Harlow, R. (2003). Race Doesn’t Matter, but…: The Effect of Race on Professors’ Experiences and Emotion Management in the Undergraduate College Classroom, Social Psychology Quarterly, 66(4), 348-363.

Leung, Y. (1987). The Model Minority Myth: Asians Confront Growing Backlash. Minority Trendsetter, 5(7), 34-45.

Loewen, J. (1995). Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Grong. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishers.

Newman, K. (2003). The Job Ghetto: Competition in the inner city even for fast jobs is so great that welfare recipients will have trouble getting them. The American Prospect, 1(1), 1-5.

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1. IvyPanda. "Types of Discrimination that Exist in American Society." December 12, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-discrimination-that-exist-in-american-society/.


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IvyPanda. 2018. "Types of Discrimination that Exist in American Society." December 12, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-discrimination-that-exist-in-american-society/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Types of Discrimination that Exist in American Society'. 12 December.

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