Monday, April 23, 2012

Visions for Justice: structural inequalities


Tuesday, 24 April – Blood and Beauty: Visions for Justice

• Read Freeland, Intro, 1, 2, 3, Conclusion
• Read Perez, Intro
• Read hooks, 9 -19

What are these three books about now you’ve worked with them and done projects that tie you into the insights they want to share with us? How do they each speak to the idea that feminism is for everybody? What feminist worlds do they open? Which aspects of Women’s Studies do you glimpse from these? How do they offer versions of intersectionality, feminist identities, visions of social justice?

From the Wikipedia: "Structural inequality is defined as a condition where one category of people are attributed an unequal status in relation to other categories of people. This relationship is perpetuated and reinforced by a confluence of unequal relations in roles, functions, decisions rights, and opportunities. As opposed to cultural inequality, which focuses on the individual decisions associated with these imbalances, structural inequality refers specifically to the inequalities that are systemically rooted in the normal operations of dominant social institutions, and can be divided into categories like residential segregation or healthcare, employment and educational discrimination."

With a partner, discuss and take notes to share with the whole class: 
1) As you look back on your own and your team's work for assignment #3, which aspects of your project addressed "cultural inequalities" or focused on individual attitudes or biases or actions (even with others, but understood as many individuals) as pivotal to social change? Give some examples.

2) Which aspects addressed "structural inequalities" or those rooted in how social institutions run day to day in their normal operations? Give some examples.

3) Why might it matter to look at these as distinctive? What makes it complicated to see them both in action, separately or together somehow? What things can you change about yourself and help others to change about themselves that will widen the possibilities for social justice? What things have to go beyond yourself to make justice happen? How does that kind of change occur? What are your experiences with that second sort of change?

4) How does "intersectionality" work to make both visible -- why does that matter? What are some differences between "identities" and "inequalities"?

Picture from Environmental Justice Guidelines for Maryland State Highway Administration's Projects online.... Click it to get the link.

notice the set up on two days and the need for a first draft one week and the final version the second week: "FIRST DRAFT READY TO SPEAK FROM DUE Tuesday, 1 May; FINAL REDRAFTED AND EDITED VERSION TURNED IN AT THE END OF CLASS Tuesday, 8 May."
Learning Analysis for Women Art and Culture

What matters most in this assignment? The LEARNING! This is a time capsule assignment: how are your ideas and knowledge, your learning, different from when you first arrived in this class?

What will be most impressive? Demonstrate that you did all the reading. Demonstrate that you have thought carefully about and experimented with ideas about intersectionality. Demontrate that you have learned from other students in projects and in discussion.


Freeland 2001, "Blood & Beauty": 26-7: "A lament can be a legitimate message in art, even when delivered with shocking content that prevents us from maintaining our aesthetic distance. Perhaps Serrano meant to insult established religion, but this could stem from a moral / motivation. When he photographs corpses it may not be to wallow in their decay but to offer anonymous victims some moments of human sympathy." 28-9: "Art includes not just works of formal beauty to be enjoyed by people with 'taste', or works with beauty and uplifting moral messages, but / also works that are ugly and disturbing, with a shatteringly negative moral content...."

From NPR online: "Vatican Reprimand Of U.S. Nuns Divides Faithful: April 23, 2012: The Vatican reprimanded America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Holy See charged the LCWR with promoting programs with 'radical feminist themes' that are incompatible with doctrine on issues ranging from homosexuality to women's ordination." 

Perez 2007: 11-12: "...the Chicana art included here...has responded, in greater and lesser measures, to the rise of particular social, economic, and political forces. Some of the most salient of these have been postindustrialist, digital-based production and distribution systems enabling accelerated, transnational flows of information; the restructuring of business and labor; the disempowerment of workers and the growing relocation of unskilled manual labor jobs in manufacturing industries from the United States to the third world and elsewhere, including the Mexican side of the border; the independence movements in former third world colonies; and ethnic, gender, sexual, civil rights, / and student movements.... I use 'Chicana' as a term that artists identified with the ongoing, albeit shifting, shape of civil rights struggles have applied to themselves and their work, as artists decisively shaped in the United States, resistant to the racism against their Mexican and Native American cultures and the discrimination against a still largely pauperized, economically exploited, and culturally stereotyped and marginalized body of citizens."

[Image caption online "True to her generation of artists and iconographic roots, Barbara Carrasco visually navigates those struggles for social justice that informed the era, as well as the complexities of identity politics which dominated the political landscape of the late twentieth century. She is close friends with labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union, Dolores Huerta and is married to the renowned artist and writer, Harry Gamboa, Jr. She is a painter who has produced large-scale, national and international public murals, monumental banners for the United Farm workers, yet is often recognized for her diminutive ballpoint pen and ink drawings. Long considered a significant contributor to the construction of Chicana feminist iconography, Barbara has also worked to sanctify the familiar and lived spiritualities found in the Chicana/o community, so foundational to the genre."]


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