Stereotypes Affecting African Americans

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Deviance is a social construction created by individuals and groups in power. Social construction refers to how certain groups of people have more privilege than others. Deviance is not fixed or universal rather it is socially constructed. For an instance, U.S. Rep. Sam Graves urged the federal government to grant a great amount of money to study Goths; they were mistakenly associated with the killing in Columbre High School Massacre in Littleton, Colorado because of their appearance. The U.S. government gave grant to study the Goth subculture in order to prevent violence to themselves and other people. However, individuals who identify themselves as Goths actually live a relatively, normal life, which is contrary to other people such as Rep.…show more content…
law enforcement also constructs African Americans as deviants merely because of their physical appearance and also because they are considered a minority group. The stop and search rule is most often applied to blacks compared to whites. African Americans are perceived by white cops as more likely to commit felony such as theft and drugs thus they discriminate against them. However, the negative perceptions of law enforcers against black Americans sometimes lead to drastic measures such as shooting them when they run away, simply because cops think that they are guilty even without adequate evidence or court trial. The nature of deviance is constructed, particularly by powerful people and industries who define what is “normal” and what is deviant, what is “right” from what is “wrong”. The youth subcultural expression offers a meaningful way to counter their marginalization. External social forces influence the beliefs and choices of people in a…show more content…
Most often, conforming members of the society interpret behaviors that are deviant and behaviors that are non-deviant; mainly the people in power or the dominant groups are the ones who label. Powerful people include politicians, police officers, and judges, etc. Typically they impose major labels such as criminals, delinquents, sex offenders, and mentally disordered, among many others. As a result, people who are labeled have either lower self-esteem and reject themselves or act even more defiantly from the norms of the society. The emphasis on the labeling theory is the relativity of deviance, which means people have different definitions of a behavior. For an instance Goths would see themselves as merely expressing themselves through wearing black clothes and make-up, but people outside of their group would label them as “freaks” or immoral. Deviance then, is nothing more than a behavior that people define as deviant. Social construction is symbolic politics. Youth subcultures such as punks, Virginity pledgers and Riot grrrls resist deviance by rejecting the mainstream culture, they want to be seen as different from their peers. They want to resist the negative and conformist aspects of the dominant society. Punks, for example construct themselves as “freaks”, their distinguishing features are focused on death and macabre. They continue to resist

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