No one gets through life alone. To some extent, we are all products of our environments. We learn from our families, schools, and cultures. Every person has to face severe challenges and conquer obstacles. How we face our challenges depends on how we are shaped by others and our strength of character.
Certain individuals in our society have played powerful roles in the evolution of prevailing norms. While we learn our culture from agents of socialization, great leaders with lofty visions lead people and nations in the direction of emancipation, economic prosperity, and political freedom. Each of the following speeches tells the story of a struggle and its leader. Each speech echoes the aspirations of thousands of people as well as their desire to change their social situations.
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate the power of stereotypes as a shorthand communication tool. With great economy of words, each speaker uses stereotypes to frame the audience into an in-group of which he or she is the leader and the out-group on the opposing side.
Part 1: Read transcripts of famous speeches
Access the following speeches located in the AUO Library:
King, M. (2004). ‘I have a dream’. New African, (435), 67-67.
Cullis-Suzuki, S. (1994). An appeal for future generations. Earth Island Journal, 9(3), 14-14.
Part 2: Research other famous speeches
Explore various resources to research other famous speeches related to stereotyping and prejudice. Some suggestions are below. You may be able to find these speeches in video, audio, or text format. Try using a variety of search methods including visiting your local library, using Netflix or your local video store, or searching on YouTube. (You might also try locating the videos for the two famous speeches listed in Part 1 of this assignment.)
Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary
Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolence speech from the film Gandhi
Gandhi’s definition on Satyagraha
Part 3: Write a Paper
For this assignment, select one of the above speakers/speech and prepare a 1200- to 1500-word paper that answers the following questions:
Why did you select this particular speaker? Explain in around 300 words.
Which is the in-group, and what are the unifying values or the ascribed status that provides its solidarity? Explain in around 300 words.
What stereotype—prejudice, subordination, or discrimination—is the in-group challenging? Provide specific examples and explain in around 300 words.
In your view, did members of the in-group conspire to subordinate the
out-group, or was the in-group merely operating within the social structure of its time? Explain in around 300 words.
How have your attitudes toward prejudice, subordination, or discrimination been influenced by the agents of socialization, such as family, peer groups, schools, and the media? Explain in around 300 words.