Blog Post Week 6

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On Wednesday we talked about Essentialism and how it ties in with Rosanne's remark "Poor white trash". As Bettie states, whiteness is referred to the middle class. The assumption is that when whiteness becomes a 'problem' it needs to be named and the problem "trash" meaning in poverty or poor. One thing I'm curious about is when other races use terms like "ghetto" or "fob" (Fresh off the boat). The word ghetto is often used by Blacks and the word fob is used by Asians. It's interesting because when we think of "ghetto", we often think of black people and how it immediately ties in with "poverty" especially when it is used to describe something or someone. Same thing goes for the word "fob", used to describe asian immigrants. When the term is used, immediately we think of asian immigrants who cannot speak English. These are all examples of essentialism because we assume these characteristics are tied in with the identity race. As for the unmarked identity, these racialized term are both assumed of a lower class. Although I liked the fact that Bettie talks about identity and identity markers in relationship to essentialism, I would of liked it if she also talked about how these terms are seen from other cultures and races.

5 Comments

Great post and reflection! I especially like how you used slang words that other races find offensive that we didn't cover in class. I also agree with you in that I wished Bettie would have used those terms to talk about cultures and race and not class. Honestly, I had a hard time following what point Bettie was trying to get across in her paper. Her thesis and main points seemed so passive aggressive and I am not sure if the paper was meant to be informative or her arguing for something. I think you bring up some great ideas here in this post. Good job!

I definitely agree with your posts. I feel like when Roseanne owned up to the term "poor white trash" it didn't seem to be helping those who decided they belonged to that group either. By using those slang terms for groups of people, it just further engraines racist or negative images towards certain types of people.

Great post! It's interesting how a white family that appears somewhat poor is immediately labeled white trash as if all white people are supposed to be at least middle class or upper class. Roseanne was a great example of many invisible norms that we live with without really taking notice.

I find the word "ghetto" really interesting because I think that you're right that there are essentialist associations with the word and poverty and people of color. But many trends in music and fashion come from urban environments that could be considered ghetto. It is interesting how and identity that carries negative connotations can be so successfully commodified in the media.

I agree with part of what you said. One thing I'd like to point out is when you said, "the term 'ghetto' is often used by Blacks." I think it's important to look at both sides of that term. John is somewhat right as well, that term is tied into "some" music and fashion, but white people use that term too. The only difference is, with white people, the say "urban." John even used that term in his post. If you look up "urban" in the dictionary, it's actually not that similar to "ghetto". The only similarities are that they both describe parts of a city. White people just find ways to get around being "overtly" racist, as Hall would say.

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This page contains a single entry by vuexx252 published on February 28, 2013 9:14 PM.

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