X. Bao- Week Two- Systems of Difference References

People learn various ideas, beliefs, and customs that determine their nature as society members. This means people become what they learn, which may change the way they see other people and the relationship with them. People are conditioned to believe certain things and sometimes discriminate others for not being like them. For instance, black citizens in America are considered inferior and face discrimination from every corner (Smith, 2015). Differences between people have been used to group human beings into different races, classes, and ethnic groups resulting to discrimination.

Different cultural groups have different ways of thinking, feeling, and acting and there is the tendency of considering some groups more superior than others. This has led to cultural ethnocentrism in which some cultures are seen as superior to others. Cultures and ethnic backgrounds are used to determine the fate of many individuals, especially in America. The rate at which black people are beaten, killed, or tortured in Brazil and the USA by the police is higher than that of the whites. Some that approach the law for justice end up being killed for exposing the rot in the police service and the state. For instance, the death of Jonathan in Charlotte, which occurred in September 2013, is a good example (Smith, 2015). Politics of Blackness has been in existence for many years in which people are cauterized depending on their race of origin. Black people are seen as people with less liberal democratic citizenship with less national belonging.

Classifying people depending on their races denies them important rights as citizens of a country. This is a dangerous reality as people lack basic services such as quality education and care because they belong to the discriminated society. In other cases, income is used to classify people into groups, and the low-income earners struggle to acquire basic needs such as food and shelter. Racial discrimination resulted from such classifications and denial of resources that can enable people to empower themselves. People with different physical appearance tend to have a different way of life. For instance, Africans have a different appearance from that of Europeans and Asians although biological characteristics do not differ (Smith, 2015). The physical appearances that have facilitated classification of people as belonging to different races and cultural backgrounds include skin color, shape of skull, color of the eyes, hair color, and type, and many others that are quite visible.

People’s practices have also led to the emergence of classification of individuals as either primitive or advanced. Individuals may live in the same geographical environment but behave differently depending on their cultural believes that they inherit from their ancestors (Smith, 2015). Classification regarding gender and ability is also common among communities. Men are seen as more powerful and playing an important role in the society as compared to women. This is a notion that has existed in several communities as human beings have tried to divide themselves depending on sex. Giving birth to a boy is highly celebrated in many communities raising some concerns about the wellbeing and the importance of girls in the society. This has affected girls’ achievement in several areas such as education since some are forced into early marriages.


Smith, C. A. (2015). Blackness, Citizenship, and the Transnational Vertigo of Violence in the Americas. American Anthropologist, 117(2), 384-387.

5 thoughts on “X. Bao- Week Two- Systems of Difference References

  1. I agree with you, especially in villages among India the birth of a boy is celebrated. The birth of a girl child is said to bring misfortune and financial expense. Since the boy can go to work, and earn money to support the family. Infanticide was outlawed many years ago but it is still extremely common practice in rural India. Sex selective abortion is being curbed by government and doctors, but slowly other groups are looking to educate women so that they can go out and work and support their families, so that they can end the stigma surrounded by female infants. Also by getting educated and getting a job, it’s more likely that can avoid marrying early, and they can choose to settle down and have children when they are ready.

  2. Dear Xiao,
    I wanted to first off by saying that your quote of, “differences between people have been used to group human beings into different races, classes, and ethnic groups resulting in discrimination,” could not have been more spot on. A majority of the societies that we all live and grow up in anymore are prejudice to any group that is different from our own. This reason alone in my opinion is why we’ve had history of discrimination in the U.S, and still do till this today. With tensions growing between African Americans and police officers, you can’t help but wonder what may happen if something is done to stop the violence and protests. Not saying that African Americans are the only race affected by this because they aren’t. Over the last so many years as more and more races start to venture into our country, causing a stereotype to be placed on them just because of their beliefs, skin color, or even gender equality. All in all though, I enjoyed your post and agreed with a lot of statements you mentioned about equality for all. Well done!

  3. In general, I agree with your opinion, especial for cultural ethnocentrism. This phenomenon is relatively evident in United States, because American culture is the result of multi-cultural fusion. The relationship between blacks and White police is increasingly tense. We can know related reports from different media, like blacks were beaten, killed by white policemen, and the rate is higher than white civilian. This is a kind of implicit racial discrimination. Unfair treatment of men and women is always present. In Chinese traditional culture, only man can continue the family bloodline, which is an important cause of the current gender imbalance in China. Gender bias also led to a certain extent from trafficking. With the social development, public has different view of gender, women are encourage to get educated and have jobs. For this reason, women are able to pursue the life they want and don’t worry about too many restrictions.

  4. I agree with you that people are raised in certain ways that affect their culture and their race. As you mentioned at the end that men are valued more in certain villages. This is true, although in Africa, the women are actually more important and rule over the men. This is interesting thought because normally men are seen as more important, women are forced in to arranged marriages, and women are not allowed to have education. Although in Africa, men bow down to the women, the men must work and cook for the women and praise the women while they are pregnant. This still is considered gender discrimination, but in the woman’s advantage. This affects the men as they grow older, especially their culture. As you mentioned, their beliefs and ideals will strongly differ between the men and women and this will vary among villages and cultures around the world.

  5. I agree with your opinion that classification regarding gender is a big problem in today’s society. It is true that in many place, mother who giving birth to a girl will get totally different treatment than those who giving birth to a boy, and even the children will be treated different. My best friend, her father is the older son in his family, so after my friend was born, her grandparents kept convincing her father to give birth to another baby boy, her father didn’t want to, so her grandparents kidnapped her and left her alone in a little house in the mountain to force her father, finally she was saved by policemen. I was really shock when I first heard this, I knew similar things from TV shows but I never thought that will happened in real life and that close to me, I can’t imaging how those people can do this thing to a little girl. Also, gender discrimination is also common in workplace, under same condition, men are often hired other than women.

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