What is Critical Race Theory? List any three of its central tenets.
Critical race theory is a theory that is interested in the intersection of sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity and class in order to explain social injustices and discrimination in society. One tenet of critical race theory is critical race theory challenges dominant ideologies and the concept of ‘neutrality’ or objectivity in society. A second tenet is that critical race theory is interdisciplinary and insists that race and racism been conceptualized in a historical and contemporary context. A third tenet is the importance of experiential knowledge of people of colour as integral to understanding racial inequality.
State the central premises of social constructionism and critical constructionism. How are the two theories connected?
Social constructionism argues that the individual creates his/her own social reality. We exchange messages and symbols all the time while simultaneously giving meaning to these messages, and this in turn helps us understand society. It is also multidimensional which means that there can be multiple meanings for the same things. Critical constructionism argues that while social reality is created by individuals, it assumes a framework by the social elite, those who are already in power. These theories are connected because the both agree that individuals are the ones who create and mold social realities, but they disagree as to who has more control over what type of social reality is created.
What is social justice? Why is it important as both a concept and a practice?
Social just is important as a concept and as a practice because it is based upon the principles of equality and solidarity, while respecting and understanding the value of human rights as well as the dignity of every human being. It helps people to sympathize and empathize and realize that there is always more then one side to the story, and that everyone deserves an equal and fair chance to reach their highest potential.
What is socialism? What is capitalism? Offer a brief critique of each.
Socialism is an economic system where the means of production are owned by the public (generally the state). There is an emphasis on distributing resources and services to satisfy human needs rather than for private profit. Capitalism is an economic system when the means of production are owned privately. There is an emphasis on competition and exploitation in order to gain as much profit as possible. A Critique of socialism is that often times it is extremely inefficient or corrupt and hinders more then it helps. A critique for capitalism is that it reduces human beings to a means to an end, rather then and end in itself. Capitalism is far to concerned with profit at all costs.
What was the symbolic interactionists’ critique of behavioural psychology?
Behavioural psychologists believe that human beings are passive products of external stimuli wheres symbolic interactionists believe that human beings as have the ability to influence certain outcome, not simply trapped to adhere to social norms and rules (Mann, 2011).
What are the main characteristics of traditional, charismatic, and legal forms of authority according to Weber? Why does the think we’re trapped in an ‘iron cage’ of rationality?
The main characteristics of traditional forms of authority is legitimized by age old tradition, it goes unquestioned because things have always been that way(Mann, 2011). Charismatic forms of authority are special qualities associated with leaders that are seen as extraordinary or superhero-like qualities that captivate those who are being ruled (Mann, 2011). The cage of rationality is a symptom of our current society. According to Weber society is becoming more and more rational and suffers from the “disenchantment of the world” (Mann, 2011). Technological productivity and, dominant ideas of bureaucratic efficiency and modes of administration are the main culprits of this cage of rationality (Mann, 2011).
What were Adorno and Horkheimer’s main criticisms of popular culture? Do these criticisms resonate today with regards to music, film, and TV?
Adorno and Horkheimer’s main criticisms of popular culture was that, as a product of the culture industry whose main aim is to perplex the masses with a never ending amount of mass-manufactured copies of the exact same thing (Mann, 2011) These criticisms are extremely resonate today when we look at pop stars like Justin Bieber who has been had picked, molded and manufactured into a pop star, like multiple pop stars before him (Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and the list goes on and on!). Also when we look at the endless amount of sequels and prequels, and sequels to prequels at the local movie theatre we can see what Horkheimer and Adorno were talking about.