The Social Construction of Difference – Excelsior Writers |
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Johnson’s “The Social Construction of Difference”

Johnson quotes James Baldwin’s statement that “No one is white before he/she came to America. It took generations, and a vast amount of coercion, before this became a white country.” He uses this statement to illustrate the “social construction of reality” by which racism, sexism, ableism have no significance outside systems of privilege or disadvantage. Can you provide examples of how systems of privilege and disadvantage–concerning race, or gender, or any other system of advantage and disadvantage—may have changed over time, as the “social construction of reality” itself changed?

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