THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF RACE/ETHNICITY IN THE FILM GLORY ROAD Race and Ethnicity have been socially constructed to pertain to certain qualities and attributes that have been generalized to the entire race or ethnic group. A few such constructions may include a belief that Asian people are smart yet physically small, Africans are physically blessed while not as mentally gifted and that white people are somewhere between the two. It is also socially constructed that Muslims are angrier people and that Hindus are strictly cultural.
These attributes based on ethnicity and race have been falsely constructed by the society due to roles adopted or forced upon by these various social groups based on historic events. I have chosen to depict the race and ethnic construction in a 20th century American society through the movie Glory Road. Glory Road is a movie based on a true story that revolves around the difficulties and hardships faced by the basketball team of the Texas Western University. The movie shows how the team was a victim of an extremely harsh form of racism.
It follows the story of a coach named Don Haskins who is responsible for recruiting a team of African-American players in addition to the existing ‘white’ players to play for the University team. In this movie, it has been clearly shown that African-American students, or ‘negro’ students as they are referred to in the movie are looked down upon by the society consisting of a majority of ‘white’ people. The white people believe themselves to be superior to the blacks and thereby treat them with extreme hostility.
Emily W. Gold frank Assignment 3-3 11/14/00 Annotations Wegner & Cra no, 1975 Subjects consisted of 144 students, equally divided with respect to race and gender, from a large Midwestern university. Experimenters consisted of 12 college students, also equally divided with respect to race and gender. Each experimenter tested 3 of each race-gender combination. Experimenters approached individual ...
This was a continuation of the racial inequality that stemmed from the system of slavery in America. As the team of ‘negro’ players begins to gain popularity, the dissent in the dominantly white society escalates rapidly. Hostile crowds receive the team as they travel across the country playing basketball. These crowds throw things at them, vandalize their motel rooms with blood smeared walls and even go to the extent of brutally hurting one of the ‘negros’ when he goes to a restroom.
It can be understood, that the negro player has been socially constructed to be inferior simply due to their ethnicity. They are believed to be less intelligent and are even compared to monkeys by a rival coach in the movie. However, due to the recent success of this dominantly black team, the whites begin to feel inferior to them and thereby retaliate physically through violence. The plot of the movie is created due to a break in the conventional social construction that the basketball team of a University is comprised of white students.
White students who were trained by a white coach and studied in a University filled with white students. This was the norm that was being challenged by the coach Don Haskins who simply wanted to give these ‘negro’ students an opportunity to receive an education. Racial inequality in the education system is depicted in the movie through scenes that emphasize a majority of college students being white and the surprise on their faces when they see a black student in their school.
Forms of personal racism are also shown in the movie such as stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Members of the board for Texas Western even exhibited quiet racism. They did not outwardly show their discontent for coach Haskins’ movement but they did feel uneasy about it. However, their uneasy feelings began to change when they heard of the team’s success, which leads us to believe that they were racist only for as long a time period as there was no direct benefit to them as individuals.
The Perpetuation of Negative Images of African Americans through Mass Media Why as white people have we been lulled into thinking its safe to be around other white people. Why have we been taught since birth that it's the people of that other color we need to fear? They " re the ones that will slit your throat (Moore 57). The mass media has played and will continue to play a crucial role in the ...
The competing social construction would be one in which there was no differentiation based on the race/ethnicity of the players belonging to the team. It would be a construction where the blacks were not suppressed and thought to be inferior to whites. I believe that an example of a competing social construction would probably be the construction of our society today, where students are not discriminated based on their ethnicity but are encouraged to participate and selected based on their individual skills and talents.
The potrayals in the movie directly correspond to the norms of our present day where people believe African Americans to be more athletically inclined but less intelligent than white people. This norm is harmful and beneficial to both parties. It means that a black person is more like to be hired for an athletic position but less likely for a working job and the exact opposite for a white person. Studies in the present day have indicated that a black person is only 33% as likely as a white person to get a job even if they both apply with identical credentials.
It has been shown that the unemployment of black people is twice as high as that of white people (Newman, 166).
The times are rapidly changing. Movies such as glory road bring to light the inhumanity that has been dominant in societies of the past that lead to discomfort and a hostile environment. People are more aware of things such as an abolition of discrimination and a promotion of equality as they aim towards times of peace. History was made in 2008, when a man of black origin was made President of the same country in which blacks were hated just a few decades ago.
The name of this man was President Barack Obama. It represented a transition to a time with more equality and less racial discrimination. These are direct results of the efforts of movies such as glory road and also the efforts of various activists through the generations. Even though race and ethnicity were socially constructed, the norms are beginning to change in our modern world where every person is given an equal opportunity to achieve the goals they dream of.
The Color of America Americans have the tendency to make judgments based on appearances. A man dressed in dirty, torn rags walking down the street would be considered poor and homeless. Women that dress in tight clothes or short skirts are almost instantly categorized as being promiscuous. Unfortunately, stereotypes negatively affect the ability to understand members of a different group or ...