SOCIOLOGY101. THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY.
Racism and Ageism in Today’s Society.
Living in the twenty-first century, we pride ourselves on how far we have come in developing a “civilised” society (Student handbook 2004-2005). Having a ‘fair’ justice system in place, ‘excellent’ health care facilities, ever-increasing global communications and continual development of new technologies, help to reinforce this theory. With this globalisation, society is seemingly becoming better, however, society is not perfect, in reality it is far from it!
A major issue, which is still prominent today, is inequality. According to The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), ...view middle of the document...
Consider Racism in our society. Every person on this earth belongs to a race, this means that individuals fit into certain groups or categories, which harbour the same biological traits, for example; the same colour of skin. The belief that one race possesses better characteristics, qualities and abilities than another, results in one race believing that they are of a superior race than another. This causes division and antagonism towards someone of a different race. This is Racism!
Peter Hain, Foreign Office Minister stated, “Racism is deeply embedded in our culture- from the pub joke to the fire bomb that goes through the British Asian’s family door on a council estate. There’s still too much racism and there’s no point denying it.” (Independent, 2000). I feel this quote gets straight to the point. Racism has been going on for too many years and society has yet to truly acknowledge the fact that it has to be eradicated. Racism didn’t come about because of mere physical differences, it came about because of the social recognition of them. Although racism is found to be a familiar concept, I find it strange. Individually and as a collective society, I feel we take it for granted. We never challenge the issue by asking why or how it came about, we just know it exists. Racism isn’t natural or spontaneous, it is synthetic, integrated into society over time.
In the eighteenth century, racism was invented to justify the slave trade. The media and politicians now use it to shift the blame for social problems onto minority groups. Racism is now a built-in structure of society. As children we are not born with prejudice against other races, the media, politics and everyday experiences teach us it over time. The media regularly portrays black people with negative images. These images form in our sub-conscious and unintentionally feed our slightly racist thoughts. I believe that it is true to say that racism is formed from ignorance of other cultures and languages and can be sparked through fear of change within a community.
Racism can be experienced in many different ways in society. Racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace, bullying at school, racial jokes, abuse, graffiti and violence are just a few examples of how racism can be experienced by minority groups. Although more light is being shone on the issue of racism, the number of racial attacks and murders has recently increased along with the increasing growth of Nazi terror groups. In the village area of South Belfast, intimidation and attacks on “non- nationals” is up by forty percent (Erwin, 2004).
Today, Britain is a multi-cultural, multi-racial society, however, this society is smeared with racism. According to the Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council, many white people believe that racism isn’t a problem within rural communities. They tend to believe that these problems are found in association with, and are confined to urban and city...