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Growing up I would hate when people would discriminate against for a person's race or skin color. I believed that those people were terrible and that not many people thought the same way about race. After learning about racial stratification I have come to realize just how racist and discriminatory our societies are. At a young age we are taught what society viewed as being a persons race, the color of their skin. We are taught that different color skin means different types of people, their culture, values, or their societal status. In our society white-collar workers status are much higher. They are better paid and more respected in the work force. The minority, the African American workers are considered unskilled resulting in poor pay and not appreciated in the work force. These inequalities in the work environment are due to the presumptions our society teaches us about race. Throughout history African Americans have been an important part of the work force yet have gradually become obsolete. New coming technologies have created easier more efficient ways of getting the same jobs done as the minority workers. The result of our societies teachings of differences in races has helped contribute to African American workers being treated unfairly compared to their white worker counterparts.
After studying racial stratification and reading Technology and the African-American Experience written by Jeremy Rifkin I have come to realize how race is important to our society in determining peoples standings in that society and their success. The article talks about how over the years many African American labor workers have become less needed due to the mechanization advancements in their work environment. Today a person discriminates according to what they believe is a person's race. Society today determines a person's race by the color of their skin yet race is defined as people who share biological traits, which cannot only be seen by skin color. I never thought about how skewed our perception of race was in our society. Our perception of race, rather it be right or wrong, determines a persons fate. I have always believed that a person no matter what race receives what they deserve. That rewards were not based on their race, according to society's definition of race. Now being presented with these facts my view on the topic of racial stratification has changed. I do believe that how our society has taught us determines how people are viewed and treated.
The article by Rifkin brings up new ideas of black and white inequalities in the workforce and how new technologies take the jobs away from the African American workers. After the mechanization of farming, African American labor workers jobs were made more efficiently and less costly done with machines forcing them out of jobs and off the land. The mechanization of work was reoccurring throughout history and each time the African American labor workers were the group that was most effected by these advancements in technology.
In the mid 1950s about 26% of Chrysler car workers were African American, they were important because they made up the bulk of the unskilled workers. These people usually were either uneducated or without a certain trait that will give them a place in today society that is always in need of these kind of people. When their assembly line had a mechanical upgrade the unskilled labor workers were once again out of jobs. These events created thousands of permanently unemployed African American men and women. Businesses fled to the suburbs along with many white middle class families leaving the poor, unemployed African American workers in central cities. These cities became filled with poor African American families. This created a stereotypical living environment which society believed would be an unsafe area for white middle class families to live. For a large number of African-Americans these situations served to accentuate the income and employment gap between educated whites and unskilled blacks. By the 1970s there were about 57 percent of educated African American males and 72 percent of African American females that were government employed. Yet only 21 percent of African American workers in American were on a public payroll.
Today African Americans find themselves stuck in the underclass category. For the first time in history African Americans labor is rendered virtually useless being overtaken by automated technologies. Even educated African Americans are treated as though they are unskilled workers. Comparing the success and pay of white workers and African American workers society deems the white worker more efficient and useful in society. I have never thought how much is effected by a technological advancement in the workplace, nor did I think that black workers would be hurt the most due to mechanization.
Learning the truth about what our society has installed in our head about race will help create a better understanding of the segregation of races and the assumptions we automatically make. As a society we are taught to believe in very stereotypical ideas about races. I will be able to attempt to ignore the color of one's skin and focus more on what race they may be. By learning about racial stratification you can learn more about psychology, about the behavior and mental state of the African American labor workers. It can also help understand the philosophy of racial stratification, about the fundamental problems about the mechanization affecting the lives of African American workers. All of this new information will help people understand about the inequalities of race presented in our society and the racial problems occurring throughout history.
By learning this information about racial stratification in our society we can open up people's awareness of how our society teaches about race and the expectations of each race. Our society has created inequalities in how people with different colored skins are treated and should stereotypically act. If we learn to apply the true meaning of race and ignore the stereotypical view of the races we can try to help the problems occurring with our societies racial issues.