Select Case Study 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, or 3.9 in “For Cultural Competence: Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions needed to Embrace Diversity.”
Examine the scenario through a lens of cultural competence to determine when/how a deeper cultural understanding would have influenced the teacher’s responses.
In a 500-750 word analysis, discuss 2-3 of the following concepts of deep culture in the context of the selected case study:
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Collective orientation (promoting needs of the group versus promoting needs of the individual)
Respect for authority
Perceptions and value of education
Priority of family
Communication (e.g., language development, verbal communication styles, nonverbal communication, physical proximity)
Value of work/Work ethic
Assimilation dilemma: adaptation versus preservation
In addition, include specific advice to the teacher in your case study to help him or her respond more appropriately to the student/family.
Use at least 2-3 scholarly sources (other than the assigned readings) to justify your responses.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.ClassismMaurianne Adams, Larissa E. Hopkins, and Davey Shlasko*The toll taken by the 2008 recession has focused public attention onto issues of class, eco-nomic status, and classism. People notice the glaring disparities between CEO and worker compensation, and between bank bailouts and personal bankruptcies or foreclosures, and wonder why executive bonus contracts are sacrosanct while union contracts and worker health beneits and pensions are stripped.The authors of this chapter have noticed that in this climate, our students and workshop participants are more open to exploring economic injustice in the U.S. and globally, and to acknowledge the impacts of global and local economic forces on themselves and their families. Beliefs that are core to the U.S. class system—such as belief in universal upward mobility, meritocracy, and the reachable “American Dream”—are now being questioned.In this chapter, we take a social justice approach to class and classism in the U.S., which pays serious attention to the historical legacies of economic injustice from the colonial period moving forward. We note some ways in which class-based oppression and race-based oppression have been entangled, and explore contemporary manifestations of class and classism that represent today’s version of those legacies, reproduced throughout U.S. insti-tutions and normalized in everyday life. Based on the historical legacies, the complex sys-temic manifestations, and the intersections with other social justice issues, we frame a social justice approach to teaching and facilitating about classism. Materials and activities that support our social justice approach can be found on the website for this chapter.OUR APPROACH: CORE CONCEPTS IN A SOCIAL JUSTICE APPROACH TO CLASS AND CLASSISMIn this chapter, we describe our approach to class and classism and then examine the soci-etal and cultural dynamics of class inequality, the reproduction of those dynamics at the institutional level, within groups and relationships, and as internalized through socializa-tion. In order to make sense of the long-term economic inequities in our cultural, social, and political systems, a class analysis must address all three levels, and explore the sources as well as the indicators of economic difference.Our approach to class and classism is shaped by the core concepts described in the intro-ductory Chapter 1, such as power and powerlessness, privilege and disadvantage, the levels of oppression, the Five Faces of Oppression, and socialization. Our approach is addition-ally shaped by an analysis of the myth of meritocracy and by attention to intersectionality.SOCIAL JUSTICE DEFINITIONS NEEDED FOR CLASS AND CLASSISMDeinitions of class are wide-ranging and contested, based on differences in theoretical ori-entation and in personal experiences. Some writers deine class on the basis of occupational | ADAMS, HOPKINS, AND SHLASKO214status (blue collar or white collar, professional or hourly, levels within a managerial hier-archy), while others deine class based on relative levels of income and/or wealth. Some approaches (such as Marxist) emphasize the ownership of resources (such as land, facto-ries, corporations, or inancial instruments) while others (such as followers of Max Weber) note the impact of wealth and social position on an individual’s life chances (Lareau & Conley, 2008).To provide consistency and clarity in discussing the various dimensions of class and classism, we propose Leondar-Wright and Yeskel’s (2007) deinition of class as “a relative social ranking based on income, wealth, education, status, and power” and their deini-tion of classism as “the institutional, cultural, and individual set of practices and beliefs that assign differential value to people according to their socioeconomic class,” in a social system characterized by economic inequality (Leondar-Wright & Yeskel, 2007, p. 314; see also Fiske & Markus, 2012; Lareau & Conley, 2008).Class as “a relative social ranking” is deined by a variety of indicators, many of which are relational rather than quantitative. There is no one number that deinitively determines one’s class location. Almost everyone is privileged relative to someone else, and at a dis-advantage relative to others. Individuals internalize assumptions and stereotypes about different class positions, often based on misinformation about the economic system, and these simpliied understandings deine their relationships to others within a class hierarchy. Thus, classism implicates all participants in a social system in which the class categories are nuanced and opaque, and in which relative advantage and disadvantage are repro-duced through a complex interaction of social, institutional, cultural, and interpersonal mechanisms.In addition to examining a variety of class indicators, this approach allows us to con-sider the cultures and identities that form around shared class location. As a result, our understanding of class categories is not simply linear: A person may have higher relative ranking according to one indicator but lower ranking according to another. For example, a woman with greater wealth than another (because she’s a professional athlete or she just won the lottery) may have lower class status (because she is less educated, or has less “sophisticated” language and dress). A nuanced view of class also allows us to examine the mechanisms of class privilege, by which we mean those advantages and resources accorded to some groups of people and not others (often at the expense of others), based on relative class ranking.CAPITALISMThere are different understandings of the relationship between classism and capitalism, including the question (that we do not pursue here) of whether classism can be understood to exist independently from capitalism (as in pre- or non-capitalist agricultural, migratory, or socialist-industrial societies). Because we are focusing on the contemporary U.S., we limit ourselves to a discussion of the relationship between classism and capitalism as they manifest here and now.Capitalism describes a type of economic system based on private ownership of the means of production (agriculture, industry, and technology) in which owners’ proits derive from the labor of people who receive ixed wages (rather than a share of proits). Economic growth is driven by competition in the marketplace (thought of as a “free mar-ket”) in which fairness is assumed to emerge from market forces in the absence of regula-tion (e.g., by government or unions). In fact, in our current U.S. capitalist system, there is signiicant interference in the “free” functioning of markets, primarily by corporate inter-ests. Even when government regulations providing protections, like workplace safety and CLASSISM |215fair banking practices, a capitalist economic system by its nature creates and reproduces class inequality because of the different ways in which owners and workers can or cannot accumulate wealth. Economic inequality is a key part of classism, along with cultural- and interpersonal-level manifestations that we explore below.CONFLATION OF CAPITALISM WITH DEMOCRACYOne challenge to understanding classism is the conlation of our U.S. democratic political system, which assumes political equality (one person, one vote), with the U.S. capitalist economic system, which assumes equality of economic opportunity. The democratic myth that every child can grow up to be President has been conlated with the capitalist myth that every child can become rich through hard work and talent.Democracy is a political system, characterized by individual rights and responsibilities, and in the case of the U.S., a representative (as opposed to direct democracy) system of governance. The conlation of U.S. capitalism with U.S. democracy has often served as a tool for those with political and economic power to discredit poor and working people’s movements (including organized labor and the civil rights movement, among others). When workers have organized to protest economic inequities, they have sometimes argued that some version of a socialist economic system would be fairer, because shared owner-ship of production would lead to people beneiting more equally from economic growth. People opposed to such a system of distribution have attacked socialism as if it were a political system opposed to democracy, rather than an economic system parallel to capital-ism. This confusion of political with economic systems has stiled thoughtful and serious consideration of alternative economic policies and structures in the U.S.Additionally, the capitalist assumption that markets are fair supports the psychological investment many Americans have in the American Dream—the idea that everyone can achieve prosperity, homeownership, and other markers of a middle-class life if they work hard. These assumptions make it dificult to challenge the problems of advanced capital-ism, such as the extraordinary inluence of large multinational corporations and wealthy donors on U.S. democratic institutions (Callahan & Cha, 2013; Collins & Yeskel, 2005; Hacker & Pierson, 2010).WEALTH AND INCOMEIt is important to understand two forms of economic capital: Wealth and income.Wealth consists of what one owns (cars, stocks or securities, real estate) minus what one owes (credit card or school debt, home mortgages). It is obvious that wealth confers class privilege—there are advantages and resources available to people with higher wealth that are simply inaccessible to people with less or no wealth.Wealth expresses the amount and type of assets one owns, whereas income refers to the periodic inlow of resources, whether from investments, salary, hourly wages, government beneits, or any other source. The type or source of income is relevant, as well as the over-all amount. For example, families with inherited wealth often have signiicant income from long-term investments that do not require their ongoing labor to maintain, at a scale which is not possible for those who rely on salary or wages—even those whose salary or wages are very high. The privilege accorded to individuals who have steady high income without needing to work (even if they choose to do so) differs qualitatively and quantitatively from the privilege connected to a high income from working.The complexities of class location, as well as the assumptions about class status or loca-tion that characterize classism, go well beyond wealth and income. These complexities | ADAMS, HOPKINS, AND SHLASKO216grow out of the fact that indicators of class are not only material. There are non-material cultural and social indicators as well that include class culture, status, cultural capital, and social capital, and also political power (Fiske & Markus, 2012).CLASS CULTUREClass culture describes the norms, values, and ways of life shared by people with a similar class position. Class cultures develop in response to economic realities as well as other dimensions of experience, and can be thought of as those aspects of culture that help people to survive, thrive, and make sense of their roles in the economic system, whether or not people are consciously aware of that relationship (Shlasko & Kramer, 2011; Williams, 2012).One’s class culture is not shaped only by one’s membership in a general class cate-gory, but also by a more speciic location deined by context and by other social identities (Matos-Daigle, 2011; Yosso, 1996). For example, Lamont’s (2000) research documents differences in culture among three groups: White factory workers, black factory workers, and white managers. Lamont found that some culture markers varied across class more than race (i.e., white and black workers shared a value, norm, or assumption that differed from that of white managers), and others varied across both class and race (i.e., each of the three groups was different from the others). Similarly, one could expect to ind very differ-ent class cultures among new tech industry millionaires in Silicon Valley than among white Protestant families with multiple-generational wealth in New England.Even as class culture is highly intersectional, recent research suggests that some aspects of class culture may hold true across a whole class category. Cultural patterns that seem to be highly correlated with class include parenting beliefs and practices, norms around conlict and politeness, beliefs about morality and values, and linguistic patterns, includ-ing abstract vs. concrete language and direct vs. indirect communication (Jensen, 2012; Lamont, 2000; Lareau, 2003; Leondar-Wright, 2014; Streib, 2013).Like other kinds of cultures, the patterns of thought and behavior learned from one’s class culture often remain unconscious. The fact that class cultures are rarely talked about makes it even more likely that people will fail to notice their own patterns of class culture, or will ascribe them to another aspect of their identity. Someone who does not “identify with” a class category, or who identiies generically as “middle class” without knowing what that means, may nevertheless be steeped in the internalized norms of a working- or middle-class culture that affects how they think, talk, act, and relate to other people and the world.The normalization of the dominant class culture and the devaluation or disregard of others is a manifestation of classism. For example, the highly controversial idea of “the culture of poverty” links poor or working-class culture with cognitive deicits, educational failure, and criminal behavior in ways that appear causal, rather than analyzing the mul-tiple dynamics of racial and class oppression (Moynihan, 1965; Patterson, 2010; Payne 1995; Wilson, 2009). The idea of a culture of poverty relies on stereotype and overgener-alization (Ng & Rury, 2006), and blames poor people for the disadvantages they experi-ence while ignoring key systemic factors like power, status, and material resources (Gorski, 2005). As part of a social justice approach to classism, class culture needs to be understood within an analysis of the reproduction of power and wealth (Lavelle 1995; Smith 2010).CLASS STATUSClass status conveys the degree of prestige attributed to one’s position (Leondar-Wright & Yeskel, 2007), or to a particular cultural marker, by people and institutions with power. CLASSISM |217Because classism is often internalized, disadvantaged people may buy into the status hier-archy and agree with the power system’s perspective on who or what is “highly regarded,” and who or what may be looked down on or ignored, even at their own expense.Cultural markers that are associated with wealth tend to have higher status than others. For example, Standard English pronunciation, or English spoken with a European accent, has higher status than rural regional accents, non-European immigrant accents, and Afri-can American vernacular English. However, the alignment between wealth and status is not perfect. Professors, clergy, and some artists are examples of occupational groups with relatively high status, but in many cases, relatively low income and wealth. Unexpected alignment between wealth and status also come up when someone gains or loses wealth. A family that lost some or all of their inherited wealth can sometimes retain the culture status that had been associated with their former wealth. Conversely, someone who grew up working class and has recently acquired wealth may continue to think and act from the norms of a working-class culture, and may not be highly regarded by other wealthy people.CULTURAL CAPITAL AND SOCIAL CAPITALCultural capital and social capital are concepts that help to explain the relationship among culture, status, and material resources. Cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) describes non-material resources, such as the knowledge, language, style, way of life, and self- presentation, that act as personal markers of class and that inluence economic opportunity as well as quality of life (Lareau & Calarco, 2012; Swartz, 1997).Class culture becomes cultural capital to the extent that someone’s knowledge, famil-iarity and comfort with a given culture affords them material advantages. For example, students at elite private colleges whose class culture matches the dominant or normal-ized culture of the institution are likely to “it in” and beneit from the range of campus resources, while students whose class cultures do not align with the dominant culture of the institution face barriers to accessing such resources (Hopkins, 2014).People often use cultural capital to refer speciically to facility with the cultural mark-ers of the more privileged classes, but in our view, all class cultures have their own forms of cultural capital, though these are valued and ranked differently by the broader society. For example, familiarity and comfort with the norms of interaction in a working-class community may help a person to navigate that social environment successfully and lead to work opportunities, access to aid from the community, and so on. At the same time, this does not mean that different groups’ cultural capital are equivalent or interchangeable. In particular, attempting to leverage cultural capital from a lower-status class culture in a context characterized by a higher-status class culture is unlikely to be successful. Further, the cultural capital of high-status groups provides access to material resources on a much larger scale than that of lower-status groups.Whereas cultural capital refers to “what one knows about,” social capital refers to “who one knows”—that is, the social networks one is part of and to which one has ready access. Like cultural capital, social capital is sometimes used to describe connections to elite social networks that help people gain access to private schooling, professional advancement, and other forms of class advantage (Allan, Ozga, & Smith, 2009; Mohr & DiMaggio, 1995). However, all communities’ social networks can translate into material beneits, albeit at different scales. Working-class social networks can provide access to referrals for jobs, hand-me-downs from neighbors, and other forms of material aid shared within a class group. Being in close touch with one’s family and extended family can be a form of social capital in itself, insofar as it provides access to direct and indirect material support that peo-ple with small families, or who are estranged from their families, cannot access. Although social capital can be quantiied in terms of how many people are in one’s network, it is | ADAMS, HOPKINS, AND SHLASKO218often more useful to consider who is in one’s network and how that network functions to provide access to resources in a particular context.Cultural capital and social capital help to explain how class differences are reproduced and passed along from one generation to the next (Bourdieu, 1984; Mohr & DiMaggio, 1995). Those with higher wealth and status are likely to have the social connections and cultural capital that assure continued access to material resources, enabling them to replen-ish or grow their wealth, maintain their status, and pass on all forms of capital to their children (Kozol, 1991; Lareau, 1987, 2011). Their cultural and social capital also pro-vide access to decision makers at organizational and political levels (and opportunities to become a decision maker) so that they can inluence policy to their own advantage. Some individuals with signiicant class privilege may choose not to use it for their own advan-tage, such as members of United for a Fair Economy (UFE)’s Responsible Wealth network; yet the fact that it is a choice is in itself a privilege.The cumulative advantages and disadvantages afforded by these class indicators—income, wealth, class culture, status, cultural capital, and social capital—largely determine the degree to which individuals and communities can leverage economic and political power, which may be used to maintain the status quo or to create change.MYTH OF MERITOCRACYOne challenge to understanding classism in the U.S. is the pervasive belief in meritocracy—that is, the belief that hard work and talent will always be rewarded by upward economic and social mobility (McNamee & Miller, 2004). By this logic, people assume that those living in poverty have simply not worked hard enough or are less intel-ligent, in effect blaming the victim. The belief in meritocracy encourages U.S. citizens, especially those who already are middle or upper class, to believe that they and their chil-dren will have equal economic opportunities and that each generation will advance further than their parents.Among many lower-income communities, it is more common to acknowledge that eco-nomic opportunities are persistently limited by a number of self-perpetuating cycles of race- and/or class-based disadvantage. Since the 2008 recession, the U.S. belief in meritoc-racy has been seriously undermined by the failure of the middle class to bounce back to its relative prosperity, despite great gains by the wealthy (Boushey, 2014).Despite recent historical experience, some apologists for the status quo vehemently deny class inequality and shame or blame people in poverty, whose failure to thrive eco-nomically is mistakenly thought to be their own fault. Proponents of the economic sta-tus quo frame critiques of these economic inequities as efforts to inlame “class warfare” rather than efforts to create a fair and equitable economic system. For example, defenses of the status quo obscure the intergenerational economic disadvantages for Native American nations conined on reservations, African American descendants of slaves and debt peon-age, and Mexican-American and Asian victims of wage inequity and unfair labor practices.To explore evidence of economic disadvantage based upon cultural, political, linguistic, and race-based factors, we need to examine the intersections of classism with other systems of oppression: The economic, social, and cultural exclusion experienced by, for example, people with disabilities, youth, and elders marginalized on the two ends of the “ageism and adultism” spectrum, and women who, despite being integrated into almost all areas of the workforce, still receive less pay than men in comparable jobs. In this way, a social justice analysis of class and classism reverses the tendency to blame the victims—such as urban young men of color who are blamed for crime, immigrants who are blamed for lowering wages, and poor countries who are blamed for taking U.S. jobs. Instead, our approach CLASSISM |219recognizes the underlying forces of class inequality that create vast inequalities in wealth, the legacies of racism and gender oppression, as well as global factors such as imperialism, war, trade policies, global inance, and multinational corporations that unduly inluence national tax and spending policies (Collins & Yeskel, 2005; Hacker & Pierson, 2010).HISTORICAL LEGACIES OF U.S. CLASS AND CLASSISMThe historical legacies of U.S. class and classism offer a stark contrast to the narrative of “The American Dream.” The American Dream paints a picture of equality of opportunity, meritocracy, upward mobility, and national prosperity enjoyed by all U.S. citizens as well as immigrants. But the historical record reveals harsh realities that undercut the dream’s veracity. Some of the major themes include: 1) the reproduction in the colonies of class distinctions from Europe; 2) the racialization of a two-tier working class; 3) expansion, settlement, and immigration; 4) labor organizing and union movements; 5) ballot box and regulatory policies; and (6) the 20th century’s “free market” and deregulation.THE REPRODUCTION IN THE COLONIES OF CLASS DISTINCTIONS FROM EUROPEThe U.S.’s founding documents articulated egalitarian ideals as part of a rhetorical strategy to legitimize U.S. independence from England. However, the revolution mainly beneitted an emerging U.S. aristocracy, whose members were well placed to reproduce the class sys-tem they inherited from Europe. After independence, the revolutionary language of eco-nomic freedom, taxation based on representation, and opportunities for upward mobility became the rallying cry not of the colonial ruling class, but of tenant farmer and worker revolts against a newly entrenched system of class advantage and disadvantage.Wealthy colonial settlers had beneited from English land-grants (available exclusively to white men) that situated them from the start as the economic and political elite, replicat-ing the rank and class inequities of their homelands. Such disparities were maintained and enhanced by economic opportunities for those (primarily white men) who could control or speculate in land, trade, industry, or inance. Class and classism in the colonies and early Republic were characterized by disparities between a wealthy elite who could consolidate local and federal political power for economic beneit; a laboring class of tenant farmers who owned nothing and had little individual power; and unpaid, enslaved Africans whose labor was fundamental to the colonial economy and created a racialized lower tier of labor that is, in effect, still in place.The 18th through 21st centuries have seen shifts in the speciic characteristics of class difference (along lines of urban and rural, industrial and agricultural, small business and global inance). Yet history also demonstrates a continuity in class inequality, in which a self-perpetuating elite inanced and beneited from building railroads, drilling oil and gas, mining copper and coal, and expanding banking and inance, all based on the exploitation of labor of people with less political power, including enslaved and free blacks, Latinos, white immigrants and immigrants of color, and others living in intergenerational poverty.The political inluence of the wealthy elite in the early U.S. resulted in federal policies that removed Native peoples from land that was desired for territorial expansion. Federal policies encouraged settlement of the West by an emergent “middle” class of farmers, skilled workers, and small- to medium-scale business owners. At the bottom remained the landless tenant farmers, hired-hands and service laborers, including African slave (and | ADAMS, HOPKINS, AND SHLASKO220then freed) laborers and generations of exploited Irish, Italian, Jewish, Asian, and other immigrants.The sheer size of the continental U.S. allowed for an optimistic belief that social mobility would be based on meritocracy. For example, the Homestead Act (1862) offered land that had been seized from Native peoples for sale as 160-acre homesteads for $1.50 per acre. Leaders talked about the act as providing nearly free land, equally available to anyone. In reality, homesteads were only available primarily to those settlers—almost all white—who could pay $200 up front (the equivalent of about $4700 today). Although 50 million acres were set aside for settler
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