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On Race and Social Standing

Harper
Posts: 374
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11/13/2014 1:38:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
We have all noticed that in modern society, especially first world or western society, that there is a consistent racial stratification. In the case of American society, whites are at the top, Asians come a close second, Latinos follow, and blacks are at the bottom. The reason why it is like this is heavily debated, with some asserting that it is because the social structure is biased towards certain racial groups while others insist that it there exists a "genetic disparity" between certain racial groups.

I am personally neutral towards the hypotheses above and feel that it is not discrimination nor genetics that are the main sources of these disparities, rather it is the culture associated with each race. Take the two races that have been through the roughest ride: the Jews and the blacks. Jews have been persecuted and hated since their inception and blacks have been at the bottom of the food chain for quite some time now. Both are victims of heavy racial discrimination, yet look at the differences in their outcomes: the Jews are always overly represented in more wealthy and successful professions (like medicine, law, and business) while the blacks are largely just scraping by. Now look at the cultures of each. Being educated is considered part of being a Jew-- Jews are twice as likely to have a college degree than the average American, while the blacks find that the ghetto is part of their identity. Individual blacks are afraid of being educated because they'll be bullied for "being too white".

So, I think if you really want to help racial minorities, encourage a cultural change within races that aren't excelling. That is only my opinion and I would like to hear yours.
h9uest
Posts: 5
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11/13/2014 3:08:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/13/2014 1:38:02 PM, Harper wrote:
We have all noticed that in modern society, especially first world or western society, that there is a consistent racial stratification. In the case of American society, whites are at the top, Asians come a close second, Latinos follow, and blacks are at the bottom. The reason why it is like this is heavily debated, with some asserting that it is because the social structure is biased towards certain racial groups while others insist that it there exists a "genetic disparity" between certain racial groups.

I am personally neutral towards the hypotheses above and feel that it is not discrimination nor genetics that are the main sources of these disparities, rather it is the culture associated with each race. Take the two races that have been through the roughest ride: the Jews and the blacks. Jews have been persecuted and hated since their inception and blacks have been at the bottom of the food chain for quite some time now. Both are victims of heavy racial discrimination, yet look at the differences in their outcomes: the Jews are always overly represented in more wealthy and successful professions (like medicine, law, and business) while the blacks are largely just scraping by. Now look at the cultures of each. Being educated is considered part of being a Jew-- Jews are twice as likely to have a college degree than the average American, while the blacks find that the ghetto is part of their identity. Individual blacks are afraid of being educated because they'll be bullied for "being too white".

So, I think if you really want to help racial minorities, encourage a cultural change within races that aren't excelling. That is only my opinion and I would like to hear yours.

Culture might play a role in it, but certainly not the decisive factor. Forcing American kids to eat suchi is NOT going to help improve their maths grades although it may help reduce their waist sizes.
Instead, I believe races have their own unique merits which are largely dependent on their genes. Asian guys may be smarter but the black are born with athlete's bones.
Harper
Posts: 374
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11/13/2014 7:58:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/13/2014 3:08:45 PM, h9uest wrote:
At 11/13/2014 1:38:02 PM, Harper wrote:
We have all noticed that in modern society, especially first world or western society, that there is a consistent racial stratification. In the case of American society, whites are at the top, Asians come a close second, Latinos follow, and blacks are at the bottom. The reason why it is like this is heavily debated, with some asserting that it is because the social structure is biased towards certain racial groups while others insist that it there exists a "genetic disparity" between certain racial groups.

I am personally neutral towards the hypotheses above and feel that it is not discrimination nor genetics that are the main sources of these disparities, rather it is the culture associated with each race. Take the two races that have been through the roughest ride: the Jews and the blacks. Jews have been persecuted and hated since their inception and blacks have been at the bottom of the food chain for quite some time now. Both are victims of heavy racial discrimination, yet look at the differences in their outcomes: the Jews are always overly represented in more wealthy and successful professions (like medicine, law, and business) while the blacks are largely just scraping by. Now look at the cultures of each. Being educated is considered part of being a Jew-- Jews are twice as likely to have a college degree than the average American, while the blacks find that the ghetto is part of their identity. Individual blacks are afraid of being educated because they'll be bullied for "being too white".

So, I think if you really want to help racial minorities, encourage a cultural change within races that aren't excelling. That is only my opinion and I would like to hear yours.

Culture might play a role in it, but certainly not the decisive factor. Forcing American kids to eat suchi is NOT going to help improve their maths grades although it may help reduce their waist sizes.
Instead, I believe races have their own unique merits which are largely dependent on their genes. Asian guys may be smarter but the black are born with athlete's bones.

While I understand where you are coming from, I do not think your example proved your point in the least bit. Asians are known historically for prizing good work ethic. If white American culture prized hard work as much as the Asians do, I think that the total disparity afterwards would be negligibly small. Eating sushi has little to do with Asian success.
h9uest
Posts: 5
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11/14/2014 2:23:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/13/2014 7:58:37 PM, Harper wrote:
At 11/13/2014 3:08:45 PM, h9uest wrote:
At 11/13/2014 1:38:02 PM, Harper wrote:
We have all noticed that in modern society, especially first world or western society, that there is a consistent racial stratification. In the case of American society, whites are at the top, Asians come a close second, Latinos follow, and blacks are at the bottom. The reason why it is like this is heavily debated, with some asserting that it is because the social structure is biased towards certain racial groups while others insist that it there exists a "genetic disparity" between certain racial groups.

I am personally neutral towards the hypotheses above and feel that it is not discrimination nor genetics that are the main sources of these disparities, rather it is the culture associated with each race. Take the two races that have been through the roughest ride: the Jews and the blacks. Jews have been persecuted and hated since their inception and blacks have been at the bottom of the food chain for quite some time now. Both are victims of heavy racial discrimination, yet look at the differences in their outcomes: the Jews are always overly represented in more wealthy and successful professions (like medicine, law, and business) while the blacks are largely just scraping by. Now look at the cultures of each. Being educated is considered part of being a Jew-- Jews are twice as likely to have a college degree than the average American, while the blacks find that the ghetto is part of their identity. Individual blacks are afraid of being educated because they'll be bullied for "being too white".

So, I think if you really want to help racial minorities, encourage a cultural change within races that aren't excelling. That is only my opinion and I would like to hear yours.

Culture might play a role in it, but certainly not the decisive factor. Forcing American kids to eat suchi is NOT going to help improve their maths grades although it may help reduce their waist sizes.
Instead, I believe races have their own unique merits which are largely dependent on their genes. Asian guys may be smarter but the black are born with athlete's bones.

While I understand where you are coming from, I do not think your example proved your point in the least bit. Asians are known historically for prizing good work ethic. If white American culture prized hard work as much as the Asians do, I think that the total disparity afterwards would be negligibly small. Eating sushi has little to do with Asian success.

"Eating sushi has little to do with Asian success." --- exactly. Culture is a broad concept with many snapshots of the social life in question from different angels/aspects. A lot of them have nothing to do with the ethnic group's performance in the real world.

"Asians are known historically for prizing good work ethic." --- yes, this part of the culture might be relevant. (Note that this is what I referred to as "Culture might play a role in it, but certainly not the decisive factor.")

"If white American culture prized hard work as much as the Asians do, I think that the total disparity afterwards would be negligibly small." --- your premise is wrong. In fact, the white American culture prizes hard work as much as any other one, the world famous "American Dream" being the best supporting example.

With the background that economic success largely dominates our modern civilization, you need to see the fact that we all work very hard, regardless of the ethnic group. The key observation is, with the hard work in place, we still see different performances in various aspects of human social life, and hence the different levels of recognition, a.k.a. social standing, rewarded to the relevant ethnic groups. For example, the fact that more black dudes manage to get into the final round of men's 100 sprint does NOT imply the white or Asian guys did not train hard enough. Instead, all of them trained very hard, however, the black still wins. What do we attribute the success to? Unfair referees? Preference of God? I hardly agree. It's obviously their genetic advantage that determines the results of the games.

Note that I'm not discouraging working hard in any way. I just don't agree that it's the decisive factor.
Harper
Posts: 374
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11/14/2014 5:44:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I respectfully disagree-- Americans would never take hard work for granted like Asians do-- they'll work twice as hard as a white worker and still accept less pay.

And don't get me wrong, I do believe that genetics play a role in racial differences, but I think that nature is not always as strong as nurture. It is an observable fact that black culture does not hold education high on its list of priorities-- even alienating educated blacks for abandoning their cultural identity. If all people were blind o race and were all held up to the same cultural standards, I think the remaining differences due to genetics would be minimal.

In fact, much of what we think is due to nature might just be the result of social stereotypes causing us to give ourselves self fulfilling prophecies. There was a study done with some Asian American women who were asked to take a math test. The group that was reminded of their being Asian performed higher than those who were reminded that they were women. You are probably familiar with the social stereotypes regarding women and those regarding Asians with respect to mathematical ability. It was a self fulfilling prophecy at work. Blacks being really good at sports could be more of a self fulfilling prophecy than genetics where the black man thinks that since he's black he should be good at running and thus performs better. Again, I'm not denying that genetics play a role, but culture and self fulfilling prophecies play a much bigger role.
h9uest
Posts: 5
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11/15/2014 6:02:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/14/2014 5:44:23 PM, Harper wrote:
I respectfully disagree-- Americans would never take hard work for granted like Asians do-- they'll work twice as hard as a white worker and still accept less pay.
Neither will Asians. Asians are neither altruistic workaholics nor stupid labour. Economics works not only in America, but in Japan, in China, in India as well. If you agree with me, you have to accept the premise that people act rationally for their own interests as this is one of the fundamental assumptions for modern economics. Insane things like "working twice as hard for less pay" never happen unless we begin to consider externalities.

But if you are talking about Asians working/living in America in general, yes you're right. They work twice as hard and still accept less pay. Have you ever thought about the reason behind? I guess you probably haven't, because America is already the most powerful & wealthy market in the world and to stay in the wonderland legally, you probably don't need to work for 6+ years hoping that your employer will at some point sponsor you for the green card(you can't even switch jobs during the waiting period as the sponsorship will become invalid immediately), because you are never truly scared when you lose your job - what can the US border protection do to you? Sending you back to China? Asians in America work so hard for less pay because they see their disadvantages thanks to the current global economic layout, and to save themselves (and even their kids, families) from suffering from the same disadvantages, they have no choice but to work harder for less. You don't want to assume that everybody has the same starting line and that Asians work harder because they want to(oh, it's part of their culture). In fact, you need to appreciate this "unfairness" (assuming you're a citizen of the most powerful nation in the world) (note that I don't really think it's unfair; after all, your parents or even grandparents have had contributions to America, and you're certainly entitled to the benefits of being a US citizen; but that's off the topic.) - otherwise why am I even supposed to debate with you in English in the first place? Why can we not switch to mandarin for discussion? I'm sure I'll be able to leverage some language advantages :)

Now taking all these externalities into account, do you still think the Asians work so hard because it's part of their culture and they ask for it?

And don't get me wrong, I do believe that genetics play a role in racial differences, but I think that nature is not always as strong as nurture. It is an observable fact that black culture does not hold education high on its list of priorities-- even alienating educated blacks for abandoning their cultural identity. If all people were blind o race and were all held up to the same cultural standards, I think the remaining differences due to genetics would be minimal.
I don't think that's going to happen. Given the same amount of training, the black are still going to win(most likely) men's 100 meter sprints; Given the same amount of education, some kid from China is still going to win(most likely) the next Maths Olympiad; Given the same diet/training, white girls are still going to be prettier/more attractive than their Asian/Black peers(most likely).

In fact, much of what we think is due to nature might just be the result of social stereotypes causing us to give ourselves self fulfilling prophecies. There was a study done with some Asian American women who were asked to take a math test. The group that was reminded of their being Asian performed higher than those who were reminded that they were women. You are probably familiar with the social stereotypes regarding women and those regarding Asians with respect to mathematical ability. It was a self fulfilling prophecy at work. Blacks being really good at sports could be more of a self fulfilling prophecy than genetics where the black man thinks that since he's black he should be good at running and thus performs better. Again, I'm not denying that genetics play a role, but culture and self fulfilling prophecies play a much bigger role.

I am a materialist so the psychological hint experiment of yours doesn't sound convincing to me. But I'd like to trust you and therefore believe there was indeed such an experiment and recognize the findings as you described. Note that the Asian American women test is comparing performances between Asian American ladies, not between different ethnic groups. That being said, this particular experiment implied psychological hint would have an impact on performance(is it even significant enough to explain the differences in performance for various ethnic groups?), but did not prove anything related to the performances of various ethnic groups.

"Blacks being really good at sports could be more of a self fulfilling prophecy than genetics where the black man thinks that since he's black he should be good at running and thus performs better." --- I consider this to be a lemma from the Asian American women test. As I said, the test itself was invalid for arguments on cross-race performances. Therefore, I don't think the future inference is valid. But feel free to include other experiments to support your point.
Harper
Posts: 374
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11/16/2014 2:51:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
But if you are talking about Asians working/living in America in general, yes you're right. They work twice as hard and still accept less pay. Have you ever thought about the reason behind? I guess you probably haven't, because America is already the most powerful & wealthy market in the world and to stay in the wonderland legally, you probably don't need to work for 6+ years hoping that your employer will at some point sponsor you for the green card(you can't even switch jobs during the waiting period as the sponsorship will become invalid immediately), because you are never truly scared when you lose your job - what can the US border protection do to you? Sending you back to China? Asians in America work so hard for less pay because they see their disadvantages thanks to the current global economic layout, and to save themselves (and even their kids, families) from suffering from the same disadvantages, they have no choice but to work harder for less. You don't want to assume that everybody has the same starting line and that Asians work harder because they want to(oh, it's part of their culture). In fact, you need to appreciate this "unfairness" (assuming you're a citizen of the most powerful nation in the world) (note that I don't really think it's unfair; after all, your parents or even grandparents have had contributions to America, and you're certainly entitled to the benefits of being a US citizen; but that's off the topic.) - otherwise why am I even supposed to debate with you in English in the first place? Why can we not switch to mandarin for discussion? I'm sure I'll be able to leverage some language advantages :)

I get your point, but you seem to entirely miss the fact that hard work is almost an epidemic in Asian countries-- Koreans have the highest suicide rates from the pressure to work hard and do well in school. Korean students study over 10 hours everyday. The Japanese even have a word for working yourself to death, karoshi. Japanese businessmen and other Japanese professionals are always under extreme pressure to succeed, a force not as strong in American society. And there's a reason companies offshore work to China, even Chinese people born and raised in China work hard for little pay. Asian culture has an extreme love for honor, and dishonoring your family or your name by not performing well is a great sin in these cultures, one worthy of death. I guarantee you will rarely ever see an American student or businessman kill him/herself over "dishonoring" their family by not working as hard.

I don't think that's going to happen. Given the same amount of training, the black are still going to win(most likely) men's 100 meter sprints; Given the same amount of education, some kid from China is still going to win(most likely) the next Maths Olympiad;

Give me evidence for this, although I already know that you won't be able to, because in order to prove your point, you would have to find a study where the individuals all equally thought they were good at the given activity and had no preconceived racial stereotypes. (Although I would hope a study like this does get done, it would clear up the race debate once and for all.)

Given the same diet/training, white girls are still going to be prettier/more attractive than their Asian/Black peers(most likely).

Beauty is inherently subjective, the fact that not all cultures share the same beauty standards is evidence for this. And even if there were universal human beauty standard, beauty would still be an entirely subjective notion as beauty only exists within the minds subjective (living) things.

I am a materialist so the psychological hint experiment of yours doesn't sound convincing to me. But I'd like to trust you and therefore believe there was indeed such an experiment and recognize the findings as you described. Note that the Asian American women test is comparing performances between Asian American ladies, not between different ethnic groups. That being said, this particular experiment implied psychological hint would have an impact on performance(is it even significant enough to explain the differences in performance for various ethnic groups?), but did not prove anything related to the performances of various ethnic groups.

This study was meant only to show you/ introduce the effect of preconceived notions and self-fulfilling prophecies, not to make any sort of statement about race-- that's what came after.

"Blacks being really good at sports could be more of a self fulfilling prophecy than genetics where the black man thinks that since he's black he should be good at running and thus performs better." --- I consider this to be a lemma from the Asian American women test. As I said, the test itself was invalid for arguments on cross-race performances. Therefore, I don't think the future inference is valid. But feel free to include other experiments to support your point.

As I said above, the study we need to clear up the issue once and for all has not yet been done. But as I said with my previous point, the study was valid as it served to introduce the concept that I later *applied* to racial issues.