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19 September 2010 @ 08:51 pm
Reflection Paper in which I talk about Twitter, Grey's, and Nora Zehetner  
On Friday I went to a talk at U of M for my one class. It was called 8 Conversations About Race and Ethnicity. We had to write a reflection paper about it. My prof also went to the talk so I'll give you a little background that isn't in the paper.

Here are the 8 Convos:
1. We're beyond race
2. Racial diversity is killing us
3. That's just identity politics
4. Race is in our DNA
5. Everyone's a little bit racist
6. Its a Black thing - you wouldn't understand it
7. Variety is the spice of life
8. I'm ______ and I'm proud

Hazel Markus and Paula Moya wrote a co-authored essay called Doing Race - 21 essays for the 21st century and this talk was drawn from that. They're trying to help change how people see and talk about race and ethnicity.

Reflection Paper

I went to the talk at University of Michigan called 8 Conversations About Race and Ethnicity by Hazel Rose Markus and Paula M. L. Moya from Stanford University. They had the eight most common conversations people have about race and ethnicity and they want to try and change how people look at those things.

A few times in their presentation, Markus and Moya mentioned that race and ethnicity are not things but doings. They are “powerful organized social systems” and they are not just things that people are and we are all part of those systems whether we think so or not.

Race and ethnicity aren’t always bad things. They help people feel a sense of belonging, create a sense of identity and have pride in who they are. Ethnic is defined as “of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background”, race is “a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock” and culture is “the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic” (Merriam-Webster). Using those definitions I could say that Twitter can be seen as a race and/or ethnic group since it’s a large group of people classed according to the culture of Twitter and it is a family or people who belong to the same stock.

The race and ethnic group of the people I follow and talk to on Twitter give me a sense of belonging to the group. We have our own language based on certain abbreviations and anagrams and we talk about certain topics based on the group of people we follow.

Once we have the perspective that something like Twitter can be an ethnic group its easier to think about some of the points. Most of my friends on twitter watch Grey’s Anatomy. That circle crosses with the circle that watches House. Those two groups can cross over with a third group that watches Bones. But there are still issues within groups. In the Grey’s Anatomy group there are some people who don’t like a certain character – Teddy, for example - so that creates subgroups and those subgroups have their own conflicts.

The people who don’t like Teddy could be the ones saying, “Racial diversity is killing us”. They don’t want to talk to the people who do like Teddy because they don’t want to like her. Or they could use the conversation “everyone’s a little bit racist” so it’s ok that they don’t try to like the character since not everyone is going to be in the subgroup of liking Teddy.

Just today a new ethnic group was created. One of the actors from Grey’s Anatomy, Nora Zehetner, replied to my friend and I on twitter. She talked to a few more of us throughout the day and in the Grey’s Anatomy Twitter ethnic group, she created the subgroup of People Who Have Talked To Nora.

You could even apply the definitions of race, ethnicity, and culture to schools. Each grade level could be a race and ethnic group, or even each classroom. Even in classrooms and grade levels there are conflicts between the other groups. The third graders don’t get along with the fifth graders or this sixth grade class doesn’t get along with the other one.

While race and ethnicity aren’t simply things but doings, they are also not just applied to what a person looks like. As Markus and Moya showed with their animation, you can be made Latina be being around Latinas and being taught about those beliefs and the culture.
Anywhere_But_NJanywhere_but_nj on September 20th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
bahahahaha you're awesome
Aly: Aeryn prego badassalygator on September 20th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
thanks! getting twitter into a paper requires skill lol