Developing White Racial Literacy – Revised Edition
Chapter 3: Socialization
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The messages I’ve received have all been from home, school, or working and are all the same, which is that race doesn’t matter. There is no way to choose or control what race you are so everyone is the same in that way, which means everyone should be treated the same. I don’t know how my race has shaped my life at all. (ASR)
My neighborhood wasn’t diverse at all. In my school of 500-plus students there was only a handful of non-white students. My family hasn’t sent me messages on race. I guess my schools have sent the message that the non-white students have behavioral problems. Overall, race doesn’t mean that much to me or my life. (ASR)
What Is Socialization?
We are born into a particular time, place, and society—into a particular culture. Culture refers to the characteristics of everyday life of a group of people who are bound together in time and place, and through shared systems of meaning. Some of these characteristics are visible and easily identified by the members of the culture (dress, food, customs, language), but the vast majority of meaning is below the surface of everyday awareness. Many educators use the metaphor of an iceberg to capture the concept of culture. The iceberg’s ← 27 | 28 → tip, which shows above the water line, can be thought of as the superficial and easily identified characteristics of culture.
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