The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability

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February 11, 2011


Paperback, 592 pages


0078111641 / 9780078111648


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Main description

The Meaning of Difference focuses on the social construction of difference as it operates in American formulations of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability. The conceptual structure of this text-reader comes from four framework essays that addressing the construction of difference, the experience of difference, the social meaning of difference, and social actions that might bridge differences. Each framework essay is followed by a set of readings selected for readability, conceptual depth, and applicability to a variety of statuses. Boxed inserts throughout offer first-person accounts, many of them from students. The readings in this edition, which include twenty-four new readings and ten new personal accounts, have been selected to speak to contemporary assumptions of a “post-racial” America.

Table of contents

PrefaceSECTION I—CONSTRUCTING CATEGORIES OF DIFFERENCE Framework EssayWHAT IS RACE? WHAT IS ETHNICITY?1. “Race” and the Construction of Human Identity, Audrey Smedley 2. Who Is Black? One Nation's Definition, F. James Davis3. The Evolution of Identity, The Washington PostPersonal Account: A Loaded Vacation, Niah Grimes4. Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America, Eva Marie Garroutte 5. Asian American Panethnicity: Contemporary National and Transnational Possibilities, Yen Le EspirituPersonal Account: I Thought My Race Was Invisible, Sherri H. Pereira 6. Whiteness as an 'Unmarked' Cultural Category, Ruth Frankenberg7. America’s Changing Color Lines: Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Multiracial Identification, Jennifer Lee and Frank D. BeanPersonal Account: The Price of Nonconformity, Julia Morgenstern 8. From Friendly Foreigner to Enemy Race, John TehranianPersonal Account: Master Status: Pride and Danger, Sumaya Al-HajebiWHAT IS SEX? WHAT IS GENDER? 9. The Gendered Society, Michael S. KimmelPersonal Account: Basketball, Andrea M. Busch10. Where’s the Rulebook for Sex Verification? Alice Dreger 11. All Together Now: Intersex Infants and IGM, Riki WilchinsWHAT IS SOCIAL CLASS? 12. What’s Class Got to Do with It?, Michael Zweig13. More or Less Equal?, The Economist14. The Silver Spoon: Inheritance and the Staggered Start, Stephen J. McNamee and Robert K. Miller Jr.Personal Account: I Am a Pakistani Woman, Hoorie I. SiddiqueWHAT IS SEXUAL ORIENTATION? 15. The Biology of the Homosexual, Roger N. Lancaster16. A New Paradigm for Understanding Women’s Sexuality and Sexual Orientation, Letitia Anne Peplau and Linda D. Garnets 17. The Heterosexual Questionnaire, Martin Rochlin WHAT IS DISABILITY?18. Disability Definitions: The Politics of Meaning, Mike OliverPersonal Account: Invisibly Disabled, Heather L. Shaw 19. A World of Their Own, Liza Mundy20. Ethnicity, Ethics, and the Deaf-World, Harlan LaneSECTION II—EXPERIENCING DIFFERENCE Framework EssayRACE AND ETHNICITY21. Formulating Identity in a Globalized World, Carola Suárez-OrozcoPersonal Account: Hair, Sarah Faragalla22. Latinos in the U.S. Race Structure, Clara E. Rodríguez23. Everybody’s Ethnic Enigma, Jelita McLeodPersonal Account: My Strategies, Eric JacksonSEX AND GENDER24. It’s All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Nation, Patricia Hill Collins25. Proving Manhood, Timothy BenekePersonal Account: Just Something You Did as a Man, Francisco Hernandez26. Gendered Sexuality in Young Adulthood: Double Binds and Flawed Options, Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong SEXUAL ORIENTATION27. Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life, Steven SeidmanPersonal Account: Living Invisibly, Tara S. Ellison28. "Dude, You’re a Fag": Adolescent Male Homophobia, C.J. Pascoe29. Sexual Orientation and Sex in Women’s Lives: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, Esther D. Rothblum SOCIAL CLASS30. Class and the Transition to Adulthood, Annette Lareau and Elliott B. WeiningerPersonal Account: That Moment of Visibility, Rose B. Pascarell31. Cause of Death: Inequality, Alejandro Reuss 32. Why Are Droves of Unqualified, Unprepared Kids Getting into Our Top Colleges? Because Their Dads Are Alumni, John Larew DISABILITY33. Public Transit, John Hockenberry 34. "Can You See the Rainbow?"' The Roots of Denial, Sally French 35. Not Blind Enough: Living in the Borderland Called Legal Blindness, Beth Omansky Personal Account: A Time I Didn't Feel Normal, Heather CallenderSECTION III—THE MEANING OF DIFFERENCE Framework Essay36. Blink in Black and White, Malcolm Gladwell Personal Account: Just Like My Mama Said, Anthony McNeill37. See Baby Discriminate, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman38. Between Barack and a Hard Place, Tim Wise 39. The Model Minority: Asian American “Success” as a Race Relations Failure, Frank Wu Personal Account: Let Me Work for It!, Isabelle Nguyen40. The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled, Paula England LAW, PUBLIC POLICY, AND ECONOMY 41. Thirteen Key Supreme Court Cases and the Civil War Amendments 42. Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, James H. Carr and Nandinee K. KuttyPersonal Account: Learning My Own Privilege, Mireille M. Cecil43. Land Rich, Dirt Poor: Challenges to Asset Building in Native America, Meizhu Liu, Bárbara J. Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose M. Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson 44. Crossing the Color Line: A Historical Assessment and Personal Narrative of Loving v. Virginia, Robert A. PrattPOPULAR CULTURE45. Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America, Diana Kendall 46. Loot or Find: Fact or Frame?, Cheryl L. Harris and Devon W. Carbado Personal Account: He Hit Her, Tim Norton47. The Protean N-Word, Randall Kennedy48. Disability and Representation, Rosemarie Garland-Thompson SECTION IV—BRIDGING DIFFERENCES Framework Essay 49. Lilly’s Big Day, Gail Collins50. The Other Movement that Rosa Parks Inspired: By Sitting Down, She Made Room for the Disabled, Charles Wilson51. Influencing Public Policy, Jeanine C. Cogan52. What Can We Do? Becoming Part of the Solution, Allan G. JohnsonPersonal Account: Parents' Underestimated Love, Octavio N. Espinal53. In Defense of Rich Kids, William Upski Wimsatt Personal Account: Where Are You From?, C.C.54. Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, Paul Kivel55. I/Me/Mine: Intersectional Identities as Negotiated Minefields, Shuddhabrata Sengupta CreditsIndex

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