Defining the Concepts of Class, Race, Gender, and Intersectionality

2104 Words Feb 18th, 2013 9 Pages
Sociology 4373: Take Home Exam
Fall 2008

Section 1: Defining the concepts of Class, Race, Gender, and Intersectionality

Every society known to man has used either race, class, ethnicity, gender or all of the above to determine placement in civilization. Sometimes one or more of these categories comingle and we characterize this as: intersectionality. Finding the words, however, to define class, race, gender, or intersectionality is not an easy feat. Throughout the past few weeks we have read many articles that allowed us many clear descriptions. Prior to this course I would have described class as being a way in which society groups individuals based on economic positions or social status. In my opinion, sometimes
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From a personal viewpoint, race matters because it is a way that people identify culturally with one another. Another reason may be from a biological perspective some diseases and/or illnesses may be common amongst certain races, therefore it would be beneficial medically to be aware of such traits. Women Without Class (Bettie) also identifies various races for the sake of case studies that were researched by the author. The female students identified culturally with one another but sometimes overlapped identities to interact with one another. As in the example of the student Starr who was from a working class background, however she identified with the cultures of the Mexican American “cholas” after moving to Waretown. This is an example of an extreme case in which the person felt the need to choose one particular group to socialize with because she did not feel as though she had much in common with the other non-Hispanic working class students she chose to interact with this social hierarchy. She gave in to conformity from her past actions to better fit the desires and social realities of her newly acquired friends. Gender is another social aspect that many people use to classify each other. It has been said that had it not been for ourselves questioning or labeling gender, it would not exist at all. “The Social Construction of Gender” written by Judith Lorber argues gender

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