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project level assignment

PLO assignment questions

Please answer below the questions

Here are the 9 questions that go with the Duck Dynasty article.

1. What are three conclusions you take away from the article? Enumerate them (e.g. First, Second and Third). Do not summarize the article – these are your “take aways.” 

2. Cite evidence from the article where Blow expresses that Robertson’s position as expressed by his comments below contribute to human suffering and/or social disorganization.

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. …They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! …Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” 

3. Consider how this phenomenon, the denial of racism and the role of systematic racial discrimination in our social institutions (e.g., the justice system, public education, and the economy), contributes to human suffering. What is Robertson view?  What social instiution and what racism do you see in it?  How do both contribute to the suffering of others.  You must identify a social institution in your answer.  

4. Consider Blow’s discussion of Robertson’s comments and race relations historically. Which one social perspective best fits Blow’s approach and why?. Hint: There is only one correct answer.  Think about the entire article when choosing the best perspective.  Tell me which perspective first.  Then explain why.

· Functional Structural which addresses how the phenomenon contributes to social integration or stability,

· Social Conflict which addresses how the phenomenon generates social conflict as one group endeavors to maintain power over the other,

· or Symbolic Interaction which addresses how the phenomenon creates individuals’ reality through social interaction.

5. Does Blow believe Robertson’s insensitive comments can be described as a “personal trouble” (i.e., a perspective unique to Robertson and his personal life story) or a “social issue” (i.e., a widely shared perspective, the result of historical and/or social forces? Cite the two places in the article where he clearly states his position on this question.

6. Give at least two examples that Blow includes in the article, which contradict Robertson’s comments and/or make his position difficult to believe?

7. Consider the data presented in The Southern Divide chart at the end of the article.

· Why do you think Blow included the chart and what jumps out at you?

· Now pick a specific question; then, consider and discuss the difference between black and white respondents.

8. What is another question you could add to this survey?  Your question should be directly related to the topic in the article; the denial of racism and discrimination by Phil Robertson.

9. Based on your consideration of this article, make two recommendations for future research, new laws, public policies or programs to educate people on this social phenomenon. To get credit, your recommendations must be concrete and specific. For example, “we need to have laws against racism” is far too vague.

project level assignment

‘Duck Dynasty’ and Quackery

By CHARLES M. BLOW

New York Times December 20, 2013

·

1. I must admit that I’m not a watcher of “Duck Dynasty,” but I’m very much aware of it. I, too, am from Louisiana, and the family on the show lives outside the town of Monroe, which is a little over 50 miles from my hometown. We’re all from the sticks.

2. So, when I became aware of the homophobic and racially insensitive comments that the patriarch on the show, Phil Robertson, made this week in an
interview in GQ magazine
, I thought: I know that mind-set.

3. Robertson’s interview reads as a commentary almost without malice, imbued with a matter-of-fact, this-is-just-the-way-I-see-it kind of Southern folksiness. To me, that is part of the problem. You don’t have to operate with a malicious spirit to do tremendous harm. Insensitivity and ignorance are sufficient. In fact, intolerance that is disarming is the most dangerous kind. It can masquerade as morality.

4. A&E, which airs “Duck Dynasty,” moved quickly to suspend Robertson, as his comments engaged the political culture wars, with liberals condemning him and conservatives — including Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a possible presidential candidate — rushing to his defense.

5. Let me first say that Robertson has a constitutionally protected right to voice his opinion and A&E has a corporate right to decide if his views are consistent with its corporate ethos. No one has a constitutional right to a reality show. I have no opinion on the suspension. That’s A&E’s call.

6. In fact, I don’t want to focus on the employment repercussions of what Robertson said, but on the content of it. In particular, I want to focus on a passage on race from the interview, in which Robertson says:

7. “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. …They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! …Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

8. While this is possible, it is highly improbable. Robertson is 67 years old, born into the Jim Crow South. Only a man blind and naïve to the suffering of others could have existed there and not recognized that there was a rampant culture of violence against blacks, with incidents and signs large and small, at every turn, on full display. Whether he personally saw interpersonal mistreatment of them is irrelevant.

9. Louisiana helped to establish the architecture for Jim Crow. First, there were the Black Codes that sought to control interactions between blacks and whites and constrain black freedom. The Jim Crow Encyclopedia even points out that in one Louisiana town, Opelousas, “freedmen needed the permission of their employers to enter town.”

10. Then, in 1890, the State Legislature passed the Separate Car Act, which stipulated that all railway companies in the state “shall provide equal but separate accommodations for the white, and colored races” in their coaches. The landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case was a Louisiana case challenging that law. The United States Supreme Court upheld the law, a ruling that provided the underpinning for state-sponsored racial segregation, and Jim Crow laws spread.

11. Robertson’s comments conjure the insidious mythology of historical Southern fiction, that of contented slave and benevolent master, of the oppressed and the oppressors gleefully abiding the oppression, happily accepting their wildly variant social stations. This mythology posits that there were two waves of ruination for Southern culture, the Civil War and the civil rights movement, that made blacks get upset and things go downhill.

12. Robertson’s comments also display a staggering ignorance about the place and meaning of song in African-American suffering. As for the singing of the blues in particular, the jazz musician Amina Claudine Myers
points out in an essay
that the blues was heard in the late 1800s and “came from the second generation of slaves, Black work songs, shouts and field hollers, which originated from African call-and-response singing.” Work songs, the blues and spirituals were not easily separated.

13. Furthermore, Robertson doesn’t seem to acknowledge the possibility that black workers he encountered possessed the most minimal social sophistication and survival skills necessary to not confess dissatisfaction to a white person on a cotton farm (no matter how “trashy” that white person might think himself).

14. It’s impossible to know if Robertson recognizes the historical resonance and logical improbability of his comments. But that’s not an excuse.

project level assignment

Project Level Objectives Assignment

This is a question by question discussion of the Project Level Objectives Assignment

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’Duck Dynasty’ and Quackery
by Charles Blow

The article was published in the New York Times on December 20, 2013.

Read it and answer the following nine questions. 

Express your points clearly and in the same order as the questions so that I do not have to search through paragraphs for you answers.

You must submit your assignment as a Microsoft Word.doc or .docx file.

The assignment involves reading a 2 page article and considering data in a chart at the end. The article was written by Charles Blow and published in the New York Times on December 20, 2013. The data in the chart was collected by the University of Arkansas in 2010. It includes perceptions of Southern white and black people on four dimensions.

In the article Charles Blow discusses a controversial GQ interview of Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty show. Keep in mind, Phil Robertson was born in the 1940s long after the Civil War and the end of slavery. He describes working along side poor black workers not slaves.

Answer each of the nine questions in order in a separate paragraph so that I can easily grade your assignment.

You must submit your answers as a Microsoft Word document.

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Question 1

What are two conclusions you take away from the article? Enumerate them (e.g. First and Second). Do not summarize the article – these are your “take-aways.”

Question 1 is a give away. There are no wrong answers as long as you do not summarize. What are two conclusions you came away with from reading the article.

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Question 2

Does the author believe that Robertson’s position (that he had not personally witnessed mistreatment of black workers and that they were happy) contributes to human suffering?  Give one or two specific citations from the article to support your answer. 

In the interview Robertson says that he did not see racism or discrimination, and that he did not witness the mistreatment of black workers, and that they were happy. Does Blow, the author, think that Robertson’s position contributes to human suffering today? Give a citation from the article where Blow expresses this.

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Question 3

Consider how the denial of racism and the role of institutional racism (e.g., in the justice system, public education, and the economy) contributes to human suffering today.

More generally, how does the denial of racism and the role of institutional racism contribute to human suffering today? For example, think about people who respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter.” What are they saying, and how does this affect people?

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Question 4

The author addresses both Robertson’s denial of racism and discrimination and race relations historically. Explain which one social perspective best fits his approach to these issues?

Functional Structural which addresses how the phenomenon contributes to social integration or stability,

Social Conflict which addresses how the phenomenon generates social conflict as one group endeavors to maintain power over the other,

or Symbolic Interaction which addresses how the phenomenon creates individuals’ reality through social interaction.

Question 4 involves applying Sociological Theory to the authors approach. Refer to Chapter 1.3 to remind yourself of the three different theoretical approaches. Which ONE approach best describes how the author views Robertson’s responses in the GQ interview?

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Question 5

Does the author believe Robertson’s insensitive comments can be described as a “personal trouble” (i.e., a perspective unique to Robertson and his personal life story) or a “social issue” (i.e., a widely shared perspective, the result of historical and/or social forces?

Give one or two specific citations from the article to support your answer. 

Question 5 has to do with the Sociological Imagination, which is also discussed in chapter 1. Does the author believe that Robertson’s denial of racism and discrimination is a personal trouble, a way of thinking unique to Robertson, a product of his personal life or is it a social issue, a more widely shared social perspective resulting from social or historical forces?

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Question 6

Give one or two specific citations from the article where the author clearly indicates that he finds Robertson’s position (that he had not personally witnessed mistreatment of black workers and that they were happy) difficult to believe. 

The author finds Robertson’s claims difficult to believe. For question 6, provide two citations from the article where he expresses this.

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Question 7

Consider the data presented in The Southern Divide chart at the end of the article. Respond to the two questions below. 

Why do you think Blow included the chart?

Pick a specific question from the chart. Why do you believe blacks and whites responded to the same question differently?  Do not just give the percentages.

For question 7, read over the data presented at the end of the article. Why do you think the author included the chart? Pick one of the 4 questions, and analyze why you believe Southern white and black people responded so differently.

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Question 8

The Southern Divide survey was conducted in 2010 to gather information about life experiences because of race. It is 10 years later and a lot has happened since. What would be another question you could ask Southern Whites and Blacks to include in a survey today?

The data in the chart comes from a survey conducted in 2010, ten years ago. Think of another question about life experiences you would ask Southern whites and blacks today.

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Question 9

Based on your consideration of this article, make one very concrete recommendation for a future law or program to help reduce racism and discrimination. 

The recommendation should be practical and not conflict with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. For example: making a law about what people can or cannot say on TV or in public is not feasible because our Constitution protects our freedom of speech.   

Make a concrete recommendation for a future law or program to help reduce racism and discrimination. It needs to be a concrete law or program, so saying parents should teach their kids not to be racist does not count. Likewise, saying there needs to be a law to stop people from making racist comments does not count. The first amendment allows for freedom of speech.

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Grading Rubric

Question 1 Two conclusions 10%

Question 2 Evidence the Author believes Robertson’s statements lead to Human Suffering 10%

Question 3 How the Denial of Racism and Discrimination Leads to Human Suffering Today 10%

Question 4 Social Theoretical Perspective 10%

Question 5 Personal Trouble vs. Social Issue 10%

Question 6 Author’s Evidence to Challenge Robertson’s Position 10%

Question 7 Analysis of Survey Data Presented in the Chart 10%

Question 8 Another Survey Question 10%

Question 9 One Recommendation for a New Law or Program 10%

Submitted on time 10%

The final slide is the grading rubric. Your answers will be graded following these guidelines.

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