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This is a power point created to discuss the use of private spaces by minority populations during the time of soviet rule in Russia.

This is a power point created to discuss the use of private spaces by minority populations during the time of soviet rule in Russia.

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  • Critical Review: Cultural Diversity  In Russian Cities:The Urban Landscape in the Post-Soviet Era Gdaniec, Cordula Pages: 195 Publisher: Berghahn Books Date Published: 05/2010 Language: en "In every city there remains a discrepancy between an official rhetoric embracing on the one hand cultural diversity as cultural capital for it’s inhabitants, and on the other hand the everyday experience of exclusion and racism or homophobia by the people embodying diversity." pg 2 Sign Translation: This city consists of different people. Nicole Henderson Amy Heath Larry Locke Dana Minock Ann Oguntime
  • Summary
      • The book Cultural Diversity in Russian Cities: The Urban Landscape in the Post-Soviet Era contains eight ethnographic case studies based on the theme of cultural representations. Included are the practices used by populations in Russian cities, with a focus on the populations of a variety of groups beyond the Russian cultural mainstream.
  • Summary continued
    • This book is divided into seven papers that discuss the following:
    •  
        • Chinese migrant space in St. Petersburg
        • Racialization of migrants in Moscow and Novosibirsk
        • Concepts of home represented by women migrants working in St. Petersburg
        • Issues of inclusion and exclusion among African communities in Moscow and St. Petersburg
        • The production of collective identity among youth cultural scenes in Sochi
        • Lesbian spaces in Moscow
        • Begging as economic practice in central St. Petersburg
  • Objective
      • The aim of this presentation is to identify the unifying themes that emerged from the books Cultural Diversity in Urban Cities: The Urban Landscape in the Post-Soviet Era and A White Teacher Talks About Race and their connection to the scholary articles.
      • These books demonstrate that multicultural issues can be complex and often reflect the divide that exists between the mainstream and marginalized groups in society. This book hones in on various subcultures in Russian cities and how present they are in main stream society. Various factors effect each subculture's social capital and willingness to be seen by the dominant culture.  The more social capital a subculture has the more visible and present they are allowed to be the Russian public and the "official public" (AKA the media) As all societies become increasingly globalized, it is important to continue to discuss multicultural issues.
  • Core Themes The key multicultural issues that this presentation will discuss are:   * Public Rhetoric versus everyday practices (differences in what is said and what is done regarding multicultural awareness).   * "Spacial manifestation" of subcultures and differences in views between public and private cultures.   * Identity and Identity Politics
  • Public Rhetoric and Everyday Practices (from Cultural Diversity in Russian Cities)
      • Although diversity is implied as a value and is seen as a way of building a reputation in the global community, daily practices differ from this multicultural rhetoric.    
      • Native residents remain “snobbish” to those who have moved to Moscow, and do not even consider them residents
      • These included attacks and murders based on racist motives
      • During 2005 The Homeland Party created negative headlines and propaganda in the media.
    2006 marked a peak in “incidents” involving migrants and people perceived as migrants
  • Public Rhetoric and Everyday Practices ( from Cultural Diversity in Russian Cities )
      • Regardless of the racist experiences of the people, there was a large photograph posted stating: “The city is made up of different people” (see title slide)
    • The "uptown bookstore" was not safe for Sheila and Leah.  Neither was the computer lab for Preston or Ken- wood for Alan.
    • Migrant workers do not feel safe when they leave their homes or the market areas .
    Different spaces in a city have different meanings for various cultures and groups: Marginalized groups are forced to think about where they can and where they can not go
  • Different spaces in a city have different meanings for various cultures and groups: cont http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIabESlC9uE Cafeteria- Safety created by table and similar race Pushka Park- Safety created by public ignorance-subculture creating a "space within a space” for Lesbian Youth Recorded explanation of PowerPoint slides when you click link
  • Private-Public Vs. Public-Private Vs. Official-Public http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raDGhYAlTdo Official Public
      • Many populations, therefore, do not feel that being seen in the "Official Public" sphere is desirable- as they risk losing their safe private places to state control
      • Also, many do not feel their minority status is their dominant identity and want to be seen as an individual-not grouped together.
      • The "Official Public Space" or The media is seen as still owned by the government (as in post Soviet Russia these were and the state and therefore related to government control
      • Any public demonstrations were related to the militaristic control of the state, all holidays were in some way celebrating the soviet government
  • Misconceptions about Diversity
      • In exploring multicultural issues, it is important to consider the misconceptions associated with diversity
      • A popular misconception about diversity is that individuals from the same minority group always identify with people of their same ethnicity.
      • Some of the Asian immigrants living in Russia reported that they prefer not to associate with people from their same culture because they believed that would impede their new found freedom in Russia (Gdaniec, 2010).
      • Landsman (2001) found that some of the African American students in her school did not identify with their history or the slaves they learned about in school.
  • We can not assume under-represented groups have put their minority status ahead of other Identities. Often the most powerful identity is that of "self". We also can't assume that one member of a group represents all members of that group.- "White teacher talks about Race"- Example African American student refuses to discuss the OJ Simpson trial.  Russia Book Example- Some LGBT individuals prefer to be seen as Russians who are gay, not Gay Russians. Russian Flag
  •   Identity and Identity Politics Connected Key Ideas: Factors influencing identity; What is Identity? Power, identity and global landscapes; American and Russian societies are socially stratified ; Social Inequalities are produced through systemic discrimination; How Peoples identities are linked to historical experiences and worldviews; Chinese Immigrants in Russia; and Color Blindness.
  • Race Ability Age Ethnicity Socioeconomic Status Sexual Orientation Gender Religion Identity Factors Influencing Identity:
  • What is Identity?
      • Depending on the context of a situation part of an individual’s identity will be thrown into the forefront of one’s consciousness. Individuals are not necessarily distinguished by their identity, but by how often they are force to think about it (Hewitt, 1991).
  • Power, Identity and Global Landscapes Landsman and Gdaniec both describe common themes of human identity and how they relate to many human and landscape inequalities. The link between identity and inequality is described by the two authors in terms of relative power. For instance, dominant groups, being white. Anglo groups in the U.S. and Russian white in Russia, typically assert their chosen identity while imposing identities on subordinate groups. This creates a world structured on the terms of dominant groups.
    • American and Russian societies are stratified along racial/ethnic, social class and gender lines.
    •  
      • Identity can become the basis of social discrimination when the dominant group produces and distributes access to social rewards. This is commonly used to sustain inequality.
      • This is made evident when Gdaniec describes the way Russian looking people are assigned to one group, “while people who have features (color of skin, form of nose or eyes) which are defined as non-Russian features find themselves ascribed to another group” (Gdaniec, p.53)
      • Landsman discusses how her students “will have obstacles of entrenched labels, categorization and institutional racism challenging them all the way, defining what is realistic for them” (Landsman, p. 114).
  • Social inequalities are produced and perpetuated through systemic discrimination and justified through societal ideology of merit: Gdaniec notes that non-Russian looking people are stopped more often by police than Russian looking people. This racial profiling by the police also occurs in America, as noted by Landsman (Gdaniec, p.57). Landsman describes a situation were she would like to take her students to a bookstore. The following conversation occurs: (student) “we don’t want to go to no store in uptown” (Landsman) “you get followed [by the store clerk], I say quietly. They nod their heads” (Landsman, p.53). In Landsman's book, Preston (one her students) does not want to work alone in the computer room from fear of being accused of stealing an item in the room. This further demonstrates how subordinate groups must always be vigilant of there surroundings. “Preston looks at me. I can’t be alone in that room, Landsman, I just can’t. Something might be taken already and then they say I did it” (Landsman, p.75).
    • Peoples identities are inextricably linked to their historical experiences, their worldviews and the extent to which they participate in groups or sub-groups with which they identify.
      • Landsman sees the intricate connection between school and society.
    • Teacher’s attitudes towards their students shape the expectations they have for student learning.
    •  
      • This idea is also discussed in McIntyre’s article: McIntyre discusses that pre-service teachers did not recognize that “status derives from the power of the white middle class group”. “What was not so evident to the participants was their inability to see their complicity in the reproduction of knowledge, value, beliefs and racist myths that have their genesis in a White Euro-centric, class-based system of privilege and authority” One white pre-service teacher justifies her beliefs as follows: “but other people have certain things and they wish they could have it” (McIntyre, p. 7) .
  • Identity in Russia: Teachers as Russians, Students as Chinese Immigrants
    • Chinese Immigrants in Russia:
      • It is a natural tendency for people to settle near personally significant institutions or communities.
      • Due to racism in Russia, Chinese immigrants are not suggested to build a community together, nor to many want this.
      • An area like American “China Town” would seem confusing and threatening to local Russians.
      • The lack of space for Chinese immigrants makes them more aware of their Chinese identity.
      • The disenfranchised immigrants struggle to be accepted in to non-Chinese communities.
      • Russian society forces Chinese immigrants to be “others” and “lower than” which inflates Russian egos as “better than”.
      • The sense of being an “other” or “better than” becomes ingrained in an individual’s identity.
    • Connecting thoughts between Chinese immigrants in Russia & class readings :
      • Schools and teachers who are unaware of their “Whiteness”, do not allow for an education that welcomes and educates other identities as well.
      • Students of different cultural backgrounds are asked to leave those backgrounds at home and adapt to White culture in order to be considered “successful”.
      • There is little motivation for white teachers to understand their identities, as they believe it is not to be an identity but normality
      • When white teachers can realize there are difference between cultures and include those cultural aspects and knowledge in the classroom, learning will be more effective
      • White teachers must not think of their students as “others” and “lower than”, doing so will only continue problems between cultures.
  • So, what about the color blindness syndrome???
    • People tend to claim color blindness as the ultimate evidence of their aversion to racism, discrimination and prejudice. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear teachers make comments like Black, White, blue or green, I love all of my students. This kind of absurdity is self-evident. Claiming color blindness is analogous of denying people’s existence.
      • Landsman states, “ I am wary of those teachers who declare that they are color blind. I want to ask them if they are truly blind. How can they not see the different shades of brown, red, and coffee color before them? I want to know. To them recognising color is a negative thing? (Landsman, p.158).
      • McIntyre suggests that this a way for participants to prove to themselves that they are not racist is to deny skin color in their classrooms. (McIntyre, p.8).
  •     In conclusion we feel that...   Misconceptions about diversity are complex and prevail not only in the United States but also in other countries such as Russia. As demonstrated by Gdaniec (2010) and Landsman (2001) by engaging in dialogue with minorities, we can better understand their views and experiences..         •
  • Conclusion
      • At a time such this, which is characterized by globalization, diversity, and multiculturalism, building a bridge of understanding will be invaluable to navigating our interactions 
      • Our daily activities or practices, our social spaces, and our identity are not simple black and white issues; they take on many different forms and colors.  A multicultural perspective helps us to appreciate these differences. 
      • Multicultural issues are complex and prevail not only in America, but also in other countries such as Russia.  However, as demonstrated by Gdaniec (2010) and Landsman (2001) by engaging in dialogue with minorities we can not only hear their views, but we can better understand their experiences.
    • References
    •  
    • Gdaniec, C., Dixon, M.L, Kosygina, L., Brednikova , O., & Boltovskaya, S. (2010). Cultural diversity in russian cities [electronic resource] : the urban landscape in the post-soviet era / edited by cordula gdaniec. [195]. (ebook).
    • Hewitt, J.P. (1991). Self and society: A symbolic integrationist social psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
    •  
    • Landsman, L.G. (2001). A white teacher talks about race . Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
    •  
    • McIntyre, A. (1997). Constructing an image of a white teacher. Teachers College Record, 98 , 653-681.