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Racism and social status

1. Discuss the debate over the origins of racism, comparing and contrasting the psycho-cultural argument and the socio-economic argument. What implications does this historical debate hold for Americans today as we grapple with racism?

2. What is the "racial wealth gap?" Discuss the origins of this phenomenon in the US, give estimates of its size, and explain how it shapes racial inequality between blacks and whites today. What, if anything, should be done to address this gap? How might reducing the gap bring about more equality between racial groups?

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1. Discuss the debate over the origins of racism, comparing and contrasting the psycho-cultural argument and the socio-economic argument. What implications does this historical debate hold for Americans today as we grapple with racism?

Reference on theories of the causes of racism: http://books.google.com.pa/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bp9Ts508_3oC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=theoretical+origins+of+racism&ots=VMO1sX5HsZ&sig=OW2kjeBCWncI_d0MpnqAc5l4TP0&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=theoretical%20origins%20of%20racism&f=false

The difference between the psycho-cultural and the socio-economic origins of racism have to do with the theories that sociologists favor to explain how racism is founded, and upon what ideas it rests. The socio-economic theory claims that racism is a result of differences in social status and income, and to some extent, this is indeed true. Even among peoples of the same race, there are divisions within that race that are based upon social status (education, social power, breeding, etc.) and income (wealth, whether earned or inherited). ESPECIALY among peoples of different races, these divisions are clear and divisive, even though they do not necessarily have to be. Theorists who favor this view generally neglect to notice that these divisions naturally occur even within the same race. White people who are poor and uneducated are in a totally different class, and are looked down upon, by whites who are educated and even fairly well off, much less wealthy. So, how is this racism? It is snobbery, but not racism. It is true that there statistically occur differences between races in social status and education. If you are Black or Hispanic, you are statistically more likely to be poor and ...

Solution Summary

What are the differences between psycho-cultural argument and the socio-economic arguments for the causes of racism? What is a racial wealth gap, and how is it caused? What can help address this issue? Brief discussion and suggested Web searches for further study.

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