We have been critically examining the social forces that are at play in our world. These include classification systems such as race, class, and gender which we have used in class as analytics – lenses to help us understand the way the world works. We have made the argument that taken together, these social forces create social infrastructure – fundamental structures that organize our world and which we use to make sense of it.
We will soon be turning our attention back to the technologies that are part of our everyday lives and the focus of research by Social Informatics scholars.
Your task is to write a coherent essay that engages the following prompts. We ask that you engage the chapters assigned to you written by Austin Channing Brown (chapters 1 and 5 of I’m Still Here). Reflecting on your reactions and thoughts about race, gender, and class as analytics will help us prepare to understand sociotechnical problems in everyday life (or indeed any problem). Consider responding to the following prompts listed below. Refrain from merely synopsizing the text – don’t just retell the story, react to and analyze the story.
- What were your thoughts and feelings while reading those stories or hearing others talk about the stories they read?
- What are some common themes?
- What did you learn that you didn’t know before? What did you read that resonated with you because of your experiences?
- Did anything challenge what you know or thought you knew?
- How did each of the people’s encounters with social forces affect them?
- Compare and contrast these effects.
Excellent essays will:
- Analyze and react to the text
Demonstrate proficiency with the text
Incorporate your own personal lived experience
- Address one or two of the above bulleted prompts
- Be proofread for grammar and readability
- Be approximately 500 words
I’m Still Here
the world, They were teaching me to speak up until
those in the back could hear me,
School was over. Time for the real world, Turned
out Dr. Simms was right, even when I didn’t want
him to be,
Whiteness at Work
Confession: By the time I graduated from college,
l thought l was the white culture whisperer, I was
fearless, I thought any future encounters of racism
would rear their ugly heads like purple dragons,
and I had no doubt in my ability to slay racist non
sense wherever I found it, l was so wrong, Far from
an imposing beast, I found that white supremacy is
more like a poison, It seeps into your mind, drip by
drip, until it makes you wonder if your perception
of reality is true,
Being a Black woman in the professional world
of majority-white nonprofit ministries was far more
difficult than my younger self could imagine, In
school I had been surrounded by whiteness, but
colleges often encourage students to question au
thority, to navigate cultural conflicts, to be creative
White People Are Exhausting
White people can be exhausting. Particularly ex
hausting are white people who don’t know they are
white, and those who need to be white. But of all
the white people I’ve met-and I’ve met a lot of
them in more than three decades of living, study
ing, and working in places where I’m often the only
Black woman in sight-the first I found exhausting
were those who expected me to be white.
To be fair, my parents did set them up for fail
ure. In this society where we believe a name tells
us everything we need to know about someone’s
race, gender, income, and personality, my parents
decided to outwit everyone by giving their daughter
a white man’s name. When I was growing up, they
explained that my grandmother’s maiden name was