Although I was able to witness many different examples of inequalities in most of my daily encounters, a situation occurred that has had the ability to overshadow all of my other observations. While at work, I was able to have a conversation with a co-worker about her father’s recent loss of a job promotion. What makes this situation, such a powerful example of the force of stratification is more that just the conversation that took place but also in the context in which I had it and regrettably in my response to the conversation. I am still unclear as how our discussion began, but none the less, a co-worker, Sally and I engaged in a conversation that focused on why her father, a military Chaplain was “passed up” for a recent promotion. During my conversation with Sally, she brought up that her father had been recently “passed up” for a promotion in the Armed Forces because of racial discrimination.
I was not overly shocked that Sally would say something of this nature to me, given our background of hearty debates. Intrigued, I asked Sally to explain what she meant by “passed up” because of racial discrimination. Sally proceeded to explain to me that her father had been “overlooked” at his last promotion to help fill racial quotas in the military. Sally continued her explanation, stating that her father and his loss of a promotion was a direct result of Affirmative Action.
She furthered her explanation that as the population of the military becomes more diverse, in her words, black, the military has no choice but to promote black Chaplains faster than White Chaplains. Although this argument is not a new argument I think some of the aspects of the conversation provide an interesting look into stratification. This conversation about racial discrimination and Affirmative Action is a powerful example of the force of stratification because it is able to reveal three different compelling aspects. The most obvious aspect of stratification regarding this conversation is undoubtedly how Sally is able to assume her father has a superior status above African-Americans.
Racial Stratification There are several levels of racial stratification in post secondary education. One level is the heir archy in these institutions of differing prestige that has been augmented by the collapse of affirmative action. America s top universities and colleges have utilized race-sensitive admission policies to increase the number of black, Hispanic, Chicano, Native American and ...
Sally stated that her father’s unfortunate situation of being “passed up” had been based purely on racial means. This type of statement implies many of the messages of stratification. Sally’s statement implies that not only are white people superior and more deserving of life’s accommodations compared to African-Americans, but also that African-Americans are unable to excel without special consideration. The other aspects of stratification that are apparent in this conversation are not as easy to discover. While engaged in conversation with Sally she readily acknowledged that she, like the Africa-American Chaplin that received the promotion is faced with discrimination. Sally had no problem acknowledging that as a women, she is faced with discrimination, she even went as far as to highlight the lack of female managers, especially general managers and above in our company.
I find this aspect of our conversation to be fascinating. Sally has no problem, identifying herself as a member of a disadvantaged group, even citing ways in which she feels disadvantage but she is unable to see the similarity in the discrimination she faces and the discrimination the African-American Chaplin endures, although his discrimination is most likely more severe. The final aspect that arises from my conversation with Sally is my response. As Sally’s story unfolded, I began to arrange my counter-argument.
As soon as Sally had finished her story, she, in our fashion of hearty debates, asked for my opinion. I was anxious to not only disagree with Sally and her perception of the promotion, but also to explain why she was mistaken. Immediately after Sally finished, I began my argument that African-Americans have been discriminated against since their entry into this country and continue to be discriminated against today. I rushed to my formal teachings regarding race in America, I brought up several different factors that have given her father, obvious advantages over an African-American the same age, such as childhood experiences and access to education. I also tried to compare the lives of the two military Chaplains showing how discrimination has left the African-American Chaplain more disadvantaged at each new level. After our conversation ended, I realized that stratification had influenced my response to Sally.
The New cHaOtiC World Three completely different cultures clashed together and triggered the confusions all three worlds had against each other. All their misunderstandings then turned into a whole New World that still remains. Today, this New World is one of the main confinements for crimes. Religiously, the complexity of the unfamiliar Gods they believe existed had caused the big misconception. ...
Although I gave a truthful answer it was not the correct answer, I failed to see through the many layers of stratification. During the conversation for whatever the reason, I never acknowledged that perhaps, the African-American Chaplain was a better Chaplain and rightfully deserved the promotion.