Review Paul Gorski’s “The Myth of the Culture of Poverty”. Discuss your reactions to his claims and compare what Gorski talks about to commonly held beliefs in our culture regarding poverty.

DB #7 Answer question write 250 words, also write a 150 words reflection of one person (Pick one person your own).

Question:
Review Paul Gorski’s “The Myth of the Culture of Poverty” by clicking on the link below. Discuss your reactions to his claims and compare what Gorski talks about to commonly held beliefs in our culture regarding poverty.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr08/vol65/num07/The-Myth-of-the-Culture-of-Poverty.aspx

After reading Paul Gorski’s article, I must say that I agree with a lot of what he says, but I also disagree with some of it as well. I wish that I could say that all of his myth and reality examples were accurate, but I don’t completely agree with him on all of the topics. I think it seems like he’s trying to paint this picture where all of the children raised in poverty have the same values, disciplines, abilities, etc. as do the wealthy children, or the same support at home. In a lot of the situations, poor children cannot do as well in school because they just do not have the support at home, and necessary resources as do wealthy children. I’m not saying it’s because their parents don’t care, but because their parents have to be even more concerned with keeping a roof over everyone’s heads, putting food on the table, keeping their children safe in general, etc. Those things will of course take precedent over helping with homework, meeting with teachers, getting tutors or other help that their children need, etc. It is much more feasible for parents that are wealthier to focus more on those things, I believe. I am not being completely stereotypical by saying this; I think it’s more logical and true even statistically speaking as well. What’s unfortunate about issues relating to poverty is that some of the attitudes that Paul Gorski rightly covered as mythical have some grounding in truth, but that truth are difficult to navigate without submitting to negative attitudes. For example, being in poverty CAN have cultural implications, whether they are correlative or causative. I think poverty, which is often generational and geographical, determines the resources communities have at their disposal, which in turn affects mindsets, behaviors, lifestyles etc. Of course, that doesn’t mean there is a culture of poverty. (Brittany)

I found Gorski’s article very interesting. I can see how Janet could experience that kind of frustration when her efforts didn’t have quite the impact she was expecting on her students. I see how the “culture of poverty” myth comes into play; however, I think that maybe as an individual teacher, one might feel slightly powerless in this situation even if she had not adopted that way of thinking. Most of Gorski’s suggestions were bigger than just one teacher. And even if you got all the teachers of an underfunded school in a poverty-stricken area, it would still even be bigger than that. I completely agree with what the majority of what research concluded is that there is no culture of poverty. Even if many characteristics of their lives seem to be the same and observably the same, you simply cannot lump everyone into one stereotype. There are definitely different degrees in which people display their behavior. And I can use my family as an example. My grandmother divorced my grandfather during a time when divorce was uncommon. She worked hard to raise my father on her own and could barely make ends meet. She was a waitress and often worked double shifts and multiple jobs at the same time and was rarely home just as the article stated was the case. Even though this seems like a bad situation, my father learned about work ethic through watching his mother. She instilled in him, the importance of a good education and even though they didn’t have money, he still went on to college. All of these things go against the culture of poverty myth. There is so much more I could say about this and the article but I think it’s beyond the scope of this discussion assignment. (Jennifer)

Gorski’s article is thoughtful and thought-provoking, he swings a bat full of conviction, he is not only calling out teachers, but also the American public in general. Everyone is involved in the education of our young Americans. We all know children, are part of a community, and most importantly, well maybe, pay taxes for the schools in our area. We, as members of our society, are responsible for deconstructing the myth of poverty. I believe that this myth is, at times, what holds into place some of the oldest tenets of racial segregation and racism in our communities. Gorski’s article also challenges my trust in teachers. I have to ask myself if it is true, are educators just well-intentioned perpetuators of inequality and classism who are left with the young sponge-like minds of America’s youth? Gorski discusses the issue of deficit theory in his article; he states that, “The most destructive tool of the culture of classism is deficit theory. In education, we often talk about the deficit perspective—defining students by their weaknesses rather than their strengths. Deficit theory takes this attitude a step further, suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own moral and intellectual deficiencies (Collins, 1988). Deficit theorists use two strategies for propagating this world view: (1) drawing on well-established stereotypes, and (2) ignoring systemic conditions, such as inequitable access to high-quality schooling, that support the cycle of poverty.” In applying and examining deficit theory we see that by assumption teachers, society, etc. have lower expectations of those living in poverty and therefore perpetuate the myth of poverty, and also perpetuating a status of being poor for their students. It is not a discussion about what is fair so much as an ethical question about what we, as members of our society, will do about this injustice. What I see as necessary is a deconstruction of assumptions and thought patterns that serve no greater good; these assumptions serve only to hold in place injustice and to add to the suffering of a group of people who suffer simply because of a socioeconomic status into which they are born. (Dorey)

DB #8 Answer question write 250 words, also write a 150 words reflection of one person (Pick one person your own).

Question:
Discuss how various groups, perhaps including the government, justify the practice of racial profiling in relation to the attack on 9/11/01 and/or the bombing of Pearl Harbor. What affect does this racial profiling have upon the lives of various racial and ethnic groups in the US?

United State is a country where has most various race in the world. Because there are too many different races in United State, sometimes one certain racial group can become an object of hatred. For example, 9/11 made Iraq as the public enemy in America. Before 9/11, U.S did not have strict airport security. However, when 9/11 broke out, airport security became to inspect Iraqi thoroughly; airport security doubted incoming Iraqi could be another terrorist. Like this happen, racial profiling is important in living in America. In the past, when Pearl Harbor attack broke out, Americans were shock at such disaster and were shock at Kamikaze again. This incident gave thought that Japanese were another evil that United States should punish during WW2. The consequence of punishment was horrible and awful; millions of Japanese were killed by atomic bomb. Like this, one incident can lead one certain race to public enemy in United States. I think, each one of us represent our race. In my personal experience, when a Korean guy, Cho Seung-hui, shot to death his fellow student at Virginia campus, I was afraid of being threatened by Americans. My mother called me every day to ask about my safety. Even though I didn’t have any relationship with that guy, I was shame and felt sorry for victims. Living in America is one of most complicated matter, because there are too many different races. I still don’t know how Americans think or profile Korean. But I know each one of us represent our nation and races. (Dong)

I think the best argument for racial profiling, especially when the government is concerned, is the fear of terrorist attacks. There is an assumption that terrorists have brown skin, despite numerous white, American-born terrorists in our own country, such as Timothy McVeigh, responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings that killed over 100. I’m sure the terrorists on 9/11 were as nondescript as any other passengers boarding those planes, though they all ended up being of Arab descent. In this situation, I say check everyone rather than pick out a few. We all know that a 90 year old lady in a wheelchair, or a 7 year old child are not likely terrorists and shouldn’t be subjected to intrusive searches (I’ve seen this personally on domestic flights), we can be reasonable. But there’s no reason to believe that a brown person is more of a threat on an airplane than a non-brown person, as terrorist attacks have been committed by people of several racial groups, including white Americans. You are not born a terrorist, you are not born a drug-dealer you are not born a criminal – you are born a certain color, a certain nationality or ethnicity that is not changeable and should not be the basis of judgment for others of you. I am white, so I have not ever personally been a victim of racial profiling that I know of, but I do truly feel for other races that are on a daily basis. I can only imagine what that must feel like to be unfairly judged based solely on the way you look. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor were horrific, but we can’t treat the people that have the same color skin as those terrorists as though they too are terrorists. The majority of child rapists and pedophiles are white, but we don’t look at every white person entering a school and think they are there to commit a crime against a child. Or, treat every white male entering an office building like he’s about to blow it up. So, we shouldn’t look at people with brown skin in an airport like they are going to commit a terrorist attack. It’s unfortunate that terrorism occurs, and the security protecting our country and Americans definitely needs to be strict. It is 2013 and our technology and abilities are amazing, especially in the US. Use that technology and ability to protect our country, but use it with every race, not just a select few. (Brittany)

According to our book, racial profiling is “any arbitrary action initiated by an authority based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on a person’s behavior” (Schaefer, 2012). Profiling is the dominating theory of the labeling perspective. It takes place in all aspects of society and I don’t believe we are ever going to be rid of it. Our book suggests that there was a movement away from profiling until September 11, 2001. After the attack on the World Trade Center, every Muslim and Arab individual was suspected of wrongdoing or to be somehow involved in terrorist activity. I would witness this at my local shopping centers when I saw the looks white people would give to people who appeared to be Muslim. They would engage themselves in long stares of disgust, hurt, anger and suspicion. This profiling happened in schools and colleges. When they heard that the terrorists had studied and trained at our institutions, every Muslim was brought in for questioning and assumed to be a part of the plan. This impacts everyone in our society of all races and ethnicities. By viewing how this actually occurred this gives other groups ammunition to claim discrimination. We sent a message that you too can be guilty by association if we see fit. I think over the last 12 years, Muslims live in fear that they may be the target of hate crimes just as any other group that has been deemed as outcasts. This, unfortunately, still promotes the idea that some of us are better than others and teaches our children hate and racism which are two things we could do without. (Jennifer)

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