Soc 117 Fall 2018 Sociology

Soc 117 Fall 2018 Sociology

Assignment

1. Ask three friends and/or family members to do the power and privilege shuffle (see
directions below). You will be reading the directions and each question to your friends/
family. Be sure to read all of the directions. You can participate as well, if you’d like.
After the exercise take some time to ask your friends/family how they felt about the
activity. What did they learn? What questions do they have? Take notes.
2. Write a 2-3 page response to the exercise. a) Briefly describe the backgrounds of the
shuffle participants (3/4 to 1 page); b) Describe your and shuffle participants’ reactions
and reflections about the exercise in relation to social capital, identity, and power citing
at least two readings from weeks 3 or 4 (1-2 pages).
Power and Privilege Shuffle
Directions: Please stand in a line (preferably outside or in a large room or long hallway)
and hold hands with the people next to you. This is a silent exercise; in order for it to
work, everyone needs to be respectful of others by remaining silent and being aware of
their reactions. I will be reading prompts, and you should respond accordingly to the
prompts that apply to you. For, example, if I read “If you are wearing jeans today, take
one step forward,” you would take one step forward. You should try to hold hands with
your neighbors for as long as it’s physically possible to do so. If you reach a wall, do
not step backwards even if you would otherwise move a step forward. Be aware of
where you are in the room or space in relation to everyone else in the room/space; it’s
not just about whether you are stepping forward or back, but where you are in relation to
others. Please try to maintain eye contact with everyone if you can as there will be a
tendency for everyone to look at the floor, and try to avoid this if you can. If you do not
feel comfortable moving, or do not wish to move in response to a specific question, feel
free to stay where you are. We ask, however, that if you do not move, please think
about why you are not moving. This exercise can get emotional, and again, we want to
stress that what happens in this circle stays within the group. Each question is subject
to personal interpretation.
• If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or
sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If you had to work after-school or over the summer to help with family finances, take
one step back.
• If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners,
cleaning people, etc. take one step forward.
• If your parents were professional, lawyers, doctors, etc. take one step forward.
• If you were raised in an area where there was prostitution, gangs, drug activity, etc.
take one step back.
• If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA, not by choice, take one step
back.
• If you grew up in a two-parent household, take one step forward.
EDS/SOC 117 Fall 2018
• If you grew up in a two-parent household, and one parent didn’t have to work outside
the home, take one step forward.
• If you ever tried to change your appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being
judged or ridiculed, take one step back.
• If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school, take one step
forward.
• If you are regularly asked where you are “originally” from, take one step back.
• If you attend an institution of higher education, take one step forward.
• If the food and/or customs of your culture have ever been called “exotic” or ridiculed,
take one step back.
• If you went to a school speaking a language other than English, take one step back.
• If you were given your first car, take one step forward.
• If you have ever had to be an English translator for your parent, take one step back.
• If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take a step
forward.
• If you ever had to skip a meal or go hungry because there was not enough money to
buy food when you were growing up, take a step back.
• If you grew up under foster care, take one step back.
• If your parents brought you to art galleries or plays, take one step forward.
• If one of your parents were unemployed or laid off, not by choice, take one step
back.
• If money was never a deterrent from participating in school activities (i.e. band,
sports, cheerleading, etc.) take one step forward.
• If you attended a private school or summer camp, take one step forward.
• If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent, take one step
back.
• If you shared a bedroom as a child, take one step back.
• If your parents read to you as a child, take one step forward.
• If you have worked at a fast food restaurant, take one step back.
• If you have worried about being raped when you walked home, take one step back.
• If you were told that you were beautiful, smart, and capable by your parents, take
one step forward.
• If you were ever discouraged from academics or jobs because of race, class,
ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If you were ever encouraged to attend college by your parents, take one step
forward.
• If prior to age 18, you took a vacation out of the country, take one step forward.
• If you saw members of your race, ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation
portrayed on television in degrading roles, take a step back.
• If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or
family member, take one step forward.
• If you were ever paid less, treated less fairly because of your race, class, ethnicity,
gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If either one of your parents, guardians, providers has ever had to take more than
one job to financially provide for the family, take a step back.
EDS/SOC 117 Fall 2018
• If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, class, ethnicity,
gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If you ever inherited or anticipate property, take a step forward.
• If you ever had to rely primarily on public transportation, take one step back.
• If you had a computer at home when you were growing up, take one step forward.
• If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, class,
ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If there was accessible material in your school’s counseling center about university
and college programs, take one step forward.
• If you were ever a victim of or afraid of violence because of your race, class,
ethnicity, gender, size, ability, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If you were generally able to avoid places that were dangerous, take one step
forward.
• If you ever felt uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, class, ethnicity,
gender, size, ability, or sexual orientation, take one step back.
• If one or both of your parents did not grow up in the United States, take one step
back.
• If your parents told you that you could be anything you wanted to be, take one step
forward.
• If you are routinely able to go to public places without worrying about accessibility or
special accommodation (i.e. wheelchair ramp) take one step forward.
• If you can usually count on finding something stylish in your size when you go
clothes shopping, take one step forward.
• If anyone has ever treated you differently because they were confused about your
gender identity, take one step back.
• If it was possible to attend any and all school field trips, without costs being a
concern, take one step forward.
• If someone you know has ever been discouraged from having a relationship with you
(friendship, romantic, or otherwise) because of your race or ethnicity, take one step
back.
• If you received substantial allowance or gift money from *family* members, take one
step forward.
• If you or a majority of students in your school qualified for reduced or free school
lunches, take one step back.
• If your parents took you on a trip to visit universities, take one step forward.

Assignment 1. Ask three friends and/or family members to do the power and privilege shuffle (see directions below). You will be reading the directions and each question to your friends/

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