Reflect on an instance when you or someone else were unfairly excluded, discriminated against, or otherwise neglected or treated inappropriately due to race, ethnicity, age, gender, social class, sexuality, disability, or other category related to diversity. Depending on the setting in which the incident occurred, consider whether any laws or policies were violated, either those established by an organization, such as a business or school, or state or federal antidiscrimination policies.
Write an essay in which you complete each of the following:
Part 1 – Describe your experience:
Describe the event and the underlying diversity issues at play.
Describe your opinions, feelings, actions, and what you learned from the event.
Part 2 – Examine your experience:
Discuss experiences from your personal background that might account for your feelings or reactions. Consider areas such as your ethnicity, history, upbringing, local mores, recent events, et cetera.
Connect your experience to at least three sociological concepts and/or issues. For example, if you are writing about what if feels like to be an outsider, you could connect your discussion to the concept of power or social structure, or the broader issue of relationships between dominant and minority groups.
Examples of other concepts you could include are prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, cultural pluralism, assimilation, structural mobility, social distance, and modern racism.
Examples of theories include functional or conflict theory, Marx’s and Weber’s theories of inequality, Park’s race relations cycle, Gordon’s theory of assimilation, human capital theory, scapegoat hypothesis, and the theory of authoritarian personality.
Incorporate research on the broader issue that your experience illustrates. For example, if the incident you describe involves discrimination in the workplace, research workplace discrimination and find data on the prevalence or nature of this problem. If the incident involves bullying at school, locate data on how extensive this issue is. Questions to consider include:
Is the type of incident you describe commonplace?
Where might this be most prevalent?
Among what groups is it most likely to occur?
What trends did you notice in your research? For example, does the kind of incident you experienced or observed seem to be an increasing problem, or is it declining over time?
Analyze how relevant laws or policies might be applied to this situation. These may be civil or criminal laws or, perhaps, policies established in the workplace or schools.
Consider whether any laws or policies were violated and how those laws or policies might be changed or better enforced to address the situation you describe.
Part 3 – Reflect on your experience:
Based on your reflections of the event and the research you have now done, share personal strategies that are useful for informing the interactions or relationships between the involved parties, as well as your own understanding or perspectives.
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