I have attached a file down below use that resource to answer the questions. Answer in paragraph. Please use one of these questions to begin your discussion of the chapter: Briefly explain what “body

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I have attached a file down below use that resource to answer the questions. Answer in paragraph.

Please use one of these questions to begin your discussion of the chapter:

  1. Briefly explain what “body politics” is, and discuss how race or gender is an example of the body politics.
  2. What does it mean when something is socially constructed? Explain and provide an example.

I have attached a file down below use that resource to answer the questions. Answer in paragraph. Please use one of these questions to begin your discussion of the chapter: Briefly explain what “body
Sorrells, Intercultural Communication, Instructor Resources Chapter 3 Globalizing Body Politics: Embodied Verbal and nonverbal Communication Lecture Notes: Chapter Overview, Objectives and Outline Chapter Overview Much of our intercultural communication occurs through embodied experience; thus, this chapter starts with our bodies as sites where categories of social difference are constructed. Body politics, as used here, refers to the practices and policies through which power is marked, regulated and negotiated on and through the body. A process of “reading” body politics in the age of globalization is introduced. We begin by looking at how “difference” in terms of gender and race is marked and normalized on the body. The concept of social construction and the semiotic approach to understanding difference provide a foundation for examining the history of race, how racial hierarchies were “invented” and imposed on the body in the colonial context and how these racial codes manifest today. Given that social constructs are invented, used and institutionalized by people through communication, they can and have changed over time; yet, we note how the preferred meanings of deeply engrained signification systems that benefit those in power are difficult to disrupt and change. As we take on the project of analyzing our intercultural encounters and understanding the global context of intercultural relations, a semiotic approach and the concept of intersectionality are useful tools for critical analysis. Hip hop culture is introduced in this chapter as a site where old racial regimes are contested and where alternative spaces for intercultural communication emerge in the context of globalization. Voices and visions born out of hip hop culture suggest that alternative spaces exist that resist and transform the old, colonial regime of racial naturalism and the more recent racial regime of a raceless society. Yet, hip hop culture also points to the complex and contradictory nature of intercultural communication today where sites that resist and contest hierarchies of difference can also reinscribe and reproduce racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Chapter Objectives To understand how our bodies are sites where categories of social difference (race, gender, etc.) are marked and negotiated. To understand that “race” is a social construct that was “invented” historically to serve economic and political ends. To introduce a process of “reading” body politics to reveal the social, economic and political implications of the meanings we attach to “difference.” To learn how we, as intercultural communicators, can resist and transform socially constructed categories that maintain hierarchies of difference. Key Terms *indicated in bold and italicized letters below Body politics Third gender Power of texts Transgender Silenced histories Social construct/Social construction White supremacy Semiotics Racial naturalism Sign/signifier/signified Racial historicism Social construction of gender Whiteness Social construction of race Intersectionality Hierarchy of difference Racial hierarchy Constructing the “Other” Both/And Approach Introduction Our communication with others is mediated through our bodies. People make meaning about each other through our physical bodies and appearance. i.e. skin color, facial features, facial expressions, gesture. People communicate meaning and perform identities through our bodies. i.e. clothing, hair style. The “us” versus “them” distinction is often made based on similarities and differences in physical appearance. This chapter focuses on body politics, or how our bodies function as sites where identities, difference, and relations of power are constructed and negotiated. We will focus on how meanings are encoded, decoded, and re-coded onto our bodies in the context of globalization. Body Politics Refers to the practices and policies through which power is marked, regulated and negotiated on and through the body. Hip Hop Culture Hip hop culture is a global phenomenon driven not only by corporate interests but by unique values, norms, behaviors and beliefs. Hip hop culture also has a complex language, nonverbal codes, and a history born of struggle, creative resistance, and contestation. Later in the chapter, we will use hip hop culture as an example of the body politics. Marking Difference through Communication Gender Difference Physical differences in human bodies are used to construct two mutually exclusive gender categories: women and men. What it means to be a woman or a man has changed throughout history and is different across cultural, racial, religious and class groups. Gender differences are constructed through communication and imposed on our bodies. Example: the way we walk, our gestures, speech, touch and eye contact patterns. Example: The way we use physical space. Example: Our hairstyles, clothing, the use of make-up or not, and through colors, smells, and adornments. Gender differences are constructed in binary opposites: Masculine: strong, rational, significant Feminine: weak, emotional, and insignificant Third gender: People who live across, between or outside of the socially constructed two-gender system of categorization. Transgender: People whose gender identities differ from the social norms and expectations associated with their biological sex. Gender-crossing people have existed historically and exist today in societies around the world Example: hijras in India and Pakistan, fa’afafine in Samoa and two-spirits in indigenous North American cultures. The two-gender system reflects and maintains relationships of power. Gender relations are reflected in verbal and nonverbal communication. Women generally embody subordinated power positions and men embody dominance. These structure and impact intercultural communication dynamics in the global context. Assumptions about feminine passivity, submissiveness and subservience allow for and normalize the global exploitation of women in the workplace, sex trade and “marriage markets”. Example: A European-American male student expressed to a Chinese female professor that he wanted to marry an Asian woman because Asian women showed more respect towards men. It’s important to ask who benefits from the gendered construction and performance of unequal power relations. Racial Difference While the majority of scientists agree that race is a social construct, we still use physical characteristics to separate people into categories. Evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves (2005) states, “The traditional concept of race as a biological concept is a myth,” (p. xxv). The categorization of people based on physical characteristics has no biological basis. The association of physical, mental, emotional or attitudinal qualities with these socially constructed groups also has no biological basis. While physical differences of all sorts do exist, it is the grouping or categorization of people based on these characteristics and the creation of racial hierarchies through the attribution of value-laden qualities (industrious, smart, athletic, lazy, violent, etc.) that is socially constructed through communication. Race is socially constructed within historical, political and economic contexts, resulting in social inequities that continue to impact us today in the context of globalization. Constructing Social Worlds through Communication Social construction or social construct: An idea or phenomenon that has been “created,” “invented” or “constructed” by people in a particular society or culture through communication. Social constructs exist only because people agree to act like and think like they exist and agree to follow certain conventions and rules associated with the construct Example: language, money. Human beings participate in the creation of our own realities. Our knowledge about ourselves, the world, and everyday reality is created through communication about our on-going, dynamic social interactions. Semiotic Approach to Difference Semiotics: the study of the use of signs in cultures. Developed in the late 1800s by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Signs consist of signifier and signified Signifier: the body, things, actions, images or words. Signified: the idea or concept. The relationship between the signifier and signified is arbitrary. No natural or essential meanings are attached to sign. Signs belong to systems and their meaning comes from their relationship to other signs within the system. The meaning of signs is created through the marking of difference. “Meaning does not inhere in things, in the world. It is constructed, produced. It is a result of a signifying practice—a practice that produces meaning, that makes thing mean” (Stuart Hall, 1997, p. 24). We approach race as a sign to study how different meanings have been associated with racial categories through communication over time and place; and explore how preferred meanings regarding race have been constructed, negotiated, contested and changed. If our perceived reality is created through social interaction and communication, we, as human beings are powerful agents who can alter and change our worlds. The Social Construction of Race: From Colonization to Globalization Race has been fundamental in global politics and culture for half a millennium. It continues to signify and structure social life not only experientially and locally, but national and globally. The systematic categorization of people into a relatively small number of groups or “races” based on physical qualities and the ascription of qualities—intelligence, character, physical, as well as emotional and spiritual capacities—was not developed until the colonial era of the last five hundred years. Inventing Race and Constructing the “Other” As Europeans expanded their reach around the globe in the 15th-19th centuries, physical difference was used to create racial hierarchy among groups over other types of difference in culture, values, and practice. The Spanish colonizers of the Americans developed a highly complex hierarchical racial scale or system, starting with the Spanish at the top and descending to Criollo, mestizo, castizo, mulatto, morisco, coyote and lobo, etc. that linked “racial purity” with socio-economic class. They promoted “racial whitening” or blanqueamiento, a process by which racial mixing would produce lighter-skinned children and improve social status. In North America, European Americans or Whites instituted the “one-drop” rule that legalized the racial signification system such that anyone with even one drop of nonwhite blood was not white. In South Africa, a four-tiered “racial” system was constructed: Whites, Coloureds, Asian, and Blacks. White supremacy: A historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and people of color by people and nations of European descent for the purpose of establishing and maintaining wealth, privilege and power. The social construction of race is not only a question of “difference” but the relationship between signs of difference in a system of power. The hierarchical relationship between the signs—bodies that are constructed as white or red, white or black, civilized or uncivilized, Western or Other for example—is where meaning is produced. Marking the body by “race” in the colonial era not only served to demarcate group membership—who was in the dominant group and who was “Other,” it also constructed a stratified labor system that justified and normalized the exploitation of laborers, which was integral to the development of capitalism during the colonial era. Racial differences came to mark and signify labor relations of owner/slave. Slavery—the selling and purchasing of people as commodities—was the first global business on a grand scale, the proto-type of multinational capitalism. The Power of Texts Hierarchy of difference: A system of classification of people predicated on the socially constructed idea of superior and inferior races. By the end of the 1700s, Blumenbach, a German anatomist, physician and anthropologist formulated a hierarchy of difference based on race. Based on his analysis of human skulls, Blumenbach divided the human species into five races as follows: The Caucasians or white race (people of European descent) were placed at the top of the hierarchy. Malay or the brown race (people of Malaysian descent) and the Americans or the red race (people of the Americas) were placed in the middle. At the bottom of the hierarchy were the Mongolian or yellow race (people of Asian descent) and the Ethiopian or black race (people of African descent). The color-coded schema Blumenbach worked out reflected the white supremacist ideologies of his time and was instrumental in legitimizing, codifying and promoting a system of domination and European superiority. The Power of Texts: Texts construct, maintain, and legitimize systems of inequity and domination by creating authorized and preferred versions of history and leaving out other perspectives, experiences and stories. Control over and access to the production of “official” written texts structured, enforced and reinforced inequitable relations of power Still, people from cultures and societies who were colonized did pass along their own histories and create versions of their stories in oral and written forms. Silenced Histories: The hidden or absent accounts of history that are suppressed or omitted from official or mainstream versions of history. Example: Genocide and destruction of the indigenous people of the Americas. Silenced histories reveal the power relations among nation-states, ethnic and racial groups. The lack of understanding of histories negatively impacts intercultural interactions. Textbox: Intercultural Praxis: The Power of Texts The textbox provides examples of the power of texts in shaping the mainstream U.S. history. A debate over Native American scholarship that traces the historical roots of American democracy to Native American societies. Re-signifying Race in the Context of Globalization Race has been re-signified in the context of globalization in complex, shifting and contradictory ways. Powerful social movements for liberation and justice emerged in the late 19th century and continue today to resist the systematic dehumanization, exploitation and subordination of people of color through economic, political and social means. The anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of Latin America since the 19th century, the anti-colonial movements in Africa and Asia that culminated in independence from colonial rule in the middle part of the 20th century, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s in the U.S. and the long-awaited dismantling of the Apartheid system in South Africa in 1994 challenged the myth of race and the global ideology of white supremacy. Struggle and resistance to oppressive conditions forged collective race-based and nation-based identities for mobilization and empowerment. Anti-colonial, national independence and civil rights movements were monumental collective actions where colonized, oppressed and disenfranchised people demanded the rights of democratic participation, self-governance and self-determination around the globe. These movements, coalescing in the post-WWII era, forced a major rupture in the world racial order. In the 21st century, the dominant discourse on race is shifting towards racelessness. In the next section, we will explore how this shift can be problematic. From Race to Culture: Constructing a Raceless, Color-Blind Society David Theo Goldberg (2006) delineates two dominant ideologies that inform our understanding of race today. Racial naturalism: The belief that White people of European descent are “naturally” or biologically superior to nonwhite people. Racial historicism: The belief that nonwhite people lack in cultural development, but through education they are capable of developing civilizing behaviors, democratic values and self-determination. Racial historicism insists upon and constructs a “racelessness” and “color-blind” society. While it defeats the idea of race as biological, racial historicism perpetuates the assumption of European superiority. The notion of racelessness masks the existing wealth disparities and unquestioned norms of whiteness. Whiteness: A location of structural advantage, a standpoint and a set of core values, practices and norms in which White ways of thinking, knowing, being and doing are normalized as the standard. A location of structural advantage: The systems in place within society—political, economic and social systems that take on concrete forms in education, laws, law enforcement, medicine, employment and many others—benefit or advantage people who are White. A particular standpoint or point of view from which to see the world and oneself: White people in the U.S. often espouse similar perspectives and are often blind to other perceptions. Example: A poll taken just before the court decision showed that 77 % of White Americans thought that O.J. Simpson was guilty of murder. 72 % of Black Americans thought he was innocent. A set of core symbols, norms and labels: A strong adherence to individualism. An emphasis on doing and accomplishing tasks. An orientation to thinking and to time that is linear. It is critical to note that whiteness can be practiced by nonwhite people and is not inevitably attached to white bodies. Whiteness is an ideological perspective or position to which people who are not White can and do ascribe. Whiteness is also an ideological perspective that people who are White can confront and attempt to change. From Race to Class: Rearticulating Race in the Neoliberal Context In societies like the U.S. that are ideologically constructed as raceless and color-blind, race is rearticulated in the neoliberal context in terms of class. There is an invisibilized process of whitening that is required as people of color rise to the middle and upper classes. Membership in these classes is predicated upon assimilation and allegiance to whiteness. People of color who accept these conditions benefit from the privileges and advantages of whiteness, often espouse standpoints that support whiteness and associate with values, practices and norms of the dominant White culture. We might understand this as modern or postmodern “cultural whitening” based on accepting, performing, and supporting the dominant White culture. The “absorption” into society is complete as people of color achieve highly visible positions of power in the government, military, on the Supreme Court and in multinational corporations, serving, in rather contradictory ways, as icons for diversity in a raceless society. Intersectionality: An approach to understanding how socially constructed categories of difference, such as race, gender, class, and sexuality, operate in relationship to each other. Rearticulating “race” as “class” in the global context hides the way that race and gender intersect with class and how the intersectionality of these social categories continues to structure the lives, material conditions and access to opportunities of people around the world today. Example: An article entitled “Of Race and Risk,” by Patricia J. Williams (2004) on her experience of buying a house as a Black woman. Textbox: Cultural Identity: Intersection of Race and Class The textbox provides statistical information on how race and class intersect with each other. The statistics show racial disparities in employment, income, and economic mobility. Hip Hop Culture: Alternative Performances of Difference Interviews with five students with various cultural backgrounds on their relationship to Hip Hop culture. Hip hop culture offers an alternative to the old racial signification system. They experience hip hop as a cultural space where people can speak out and “struggle against powerful forces that have marginalized all sorts of people.” Hip hop can be used as the voice of the people—people who have been forgotten, disenfranchised and oppressed by interlocking systems of exclusion based on race, class and gender. Some view hip hop culture as a place where racial hierarchies break down and connection and coalition across socially constructed lines of race are made possible to provide a source of learning and pleasure, as well as political and economic empowerment. Hip hop culture offers hope for coalition-building across historically divided and stratified groups Hip hop culture is also troubled by a hypermasculinity that often denigrates, objectifies and violates women, sexual minorities and men. Hip hop culture often idealizes and glamorizes violence, drugs and rampant consumerism. Both/And approach: An approach to simultaneously hold contradictory, oppositional realities to guard us against essentializing, stereotyping and closure. Hip hop culture is both a site of inclusion across racial and cultural groups and a site where exclusion based on gender and sexuality occurs. It is both a space of empowerment and a space where oppressive and exploitative conditions are enacted and performed. Summary Constructing Difference Through Communication Gender Difference Racial Difference Social Construction Semiotic Approach to Difference Social Construction of Race: From Colonialism to Globalization Re-signifying Race in the Context of Globalization Hip Hop Culture as an Alternative Performance of Difference

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