Deconstruct Definitions and Rules Week 04a Writing Tip: Deconstruct Definitions and Rules –
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As a kid g
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As a kid growing up in the US in a multigenerational immigrant family that spoke Taiwanese, Mandarin, and English at home, I had to quickly learn about the many uses of language. If you followed me around and listened to what I said, you would be able to tell who I was speaking to based on what language and what words I used. In fact, my parents would call me by different names depending on who was around them or who they thought was around me, using my Taiwanese names when it was just us or we were with other Taiwanese people and using my Americanized nickname when they, we, or just I was around people who weren’t Taiwanese. This communication structure worked for us because we all shared the same communication rules and definitions.
When talking about topics such as race and racism, however, people often communicate without having shared definitions or rules about talking about race and racism. For some of us, race is about the “color” of your skin. For others, it is about “where you are from.” For some racism is about treating people differently based on their perceived race. For others, racism is the historic and ongoing oppression of some people placed into racial categories and the privileging of others in other racial categories. And while some people actively seek to work to create single universal definitions of race and racism or sets of rules for talking (or not talking) about race and racism, in this space we begin by saying that to communicate effectively we need acknowledge the possibility of different or shared definitions and rules.
For this week, we assigned four required resources: Crenshaw (2016), McIntosh (1989), Pierce (2015), and Yamato (2004). You were then to pick two of the remaining six resources. Take five minutes now to reflect on the resources you read/watched and then answer the following questions:
I have attached 4 assigned readings in different pdf form
· How do the authors define race and racism? What do the authors say about talking about race and racism?
· How does this balance with what you were taught is race and racism? About talking about race and racism?
Once you have written out your response – again this doesn’t need to take more than 5 minutes or 100 words or so – post your response to the discussion board. Please also read other people’s posts and consider whether what they are saying – either about the resource or about their own lived experience – is a window or mirror for you. Post these thoughts as replies to their post if you are willing to connect with them and potentially continue the conversation. As you read through other people’s responses, consider what it means to have shared or different definitions and rules? What is your goal in these conversations? To only be with people who have the same definition and rules? To change other people to your perspective? To learn from people who might have different definitions or rules?