Culture and Structure
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The American history and composition of population is a factor of pride for some Americans and plight for others. The struggle of Americans against the white rule led to the birth of a new nation that would later become the world superpower. On the other hand slave trade had introduced Africans to America and left them in deplorable conditions even after gaining independence. The differences between the whites and blacks are very easy to note ranging from their language use and geographic occupations to the kind of music they play and enjoy and even the quality of lives they live. This has been greatly blamed on their culture; however, other people, including scholars and policy makers, have found it better to attribute it to personal deficiencies. Despite the different explanations as to the origin of the differences between whites and African-Americans, it is clear that both culture and structure play and important role.
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Taking a look on the issue of culture, there is much difference that guarantees the not-so-good relationship between the races. Some researchers have shown in their studies that many Africans (roughly 70 per cent) who live is very poor neighborhoods are more likely to have the subsequent generations living in poor neighborhoods as well. It has been proposed that this pattern of living is explained by the fact that the children brought up in poor backgrounds tend to accept their situation and end up living in the same deplorable conditions. In other words, living in poor homes is passed down from one generation to the next. Somehow, life in such conditions also has been postulated as being the cause of impaired linguistic acquisition in children brought up in inner cities. This postulation was supported by the research of the development and linguistic acquisition in children from poor neighborhoods as compared to their peers who were not raisedin families with sufficient income. It was found that children from poor neighborhoods had an average score of 6 IQ points compared to their counterparts from well-off neighborhoods.
Their individual scores were equivalent to the scores of a child that had missed a whole year of school. This means that being borne and brought up in a poor neighborhood increases your chances of living in poverty as an adult and also contributes to the difficulty in language acquisition. This stands in a stark contrast with the white Americans who live in well-off residential areas, with their children showing little problem in language acquisition. Given these differences, African-Americans and whites have found it hard over the years to co-exist. It is worth noting that many African-Americans have been convicted of crimes involving robbery with violence, something that can be traced to their lives in the inner cities and struggle against poverty. Such a high number of convictions has contributed to the negative view with which African-Americans and whites hold each other. Whites see African-Americans as their main problem while blacks regard the high number of convicted blacks as a conspiracy of the whites against them that stems from the era of slavery.
As an expression of differences in culture between these two races, African-Americans lean more to hip-hop music as they seek to express their uniqueness while the whites prefer rock music. Indeed, the vulgar language that has been associated with African-American singers has been an attempt of establishing their own language in a show of defiance from the white Americans’ culture and language.
On the one hand, using structure to explain the relationship among the races in the U.S. brings to view the differences among them that determine how they operate in relation to each other. The fact that a large percentage of African-Americans are poor is a concern for all the Americans, but the explanation put forth to explain the difference in economic ability leaves African-Americans without any help. Many of the white legislators and a big number of African-Americans feel that their poverty is a result of their personal inadequacies in searching for wealth. On the other hand, there is an opinion that the blacks are poor because of economic and even government structure. Indeed, many policy makers support the view that African-Americans are to blame for their poverty to the extent that the laws made are not geared towards helping African-Americans to grow out of their poverty. At the same time, African-Americans contempt the whites feeling that their poverty is an aftermath of the atrocities they suffered during the slavery period. Not much financial aid comes from the government to help decrease poverty among African-Americans. It is explained by the fact that legislators see the poverty problem as an issue for the individual African-Americans rather than the issue for the state (Wilson, 2009). This has farther strained the relationship between these two races despite the advances made in civilization.
In conclusion, to address the apparent differences between the races, it is necessary to consider both the cultural and structural contributions to the strained relationship. African-Americans should stop feeling like victims (for life) of the white oppression stemming from the slavery period. On the other hand, legislators and the government should put in place laws aimed not at improving the situation of African-Americans specifically, but the welfare of the American population at large. Otherwise, the relationship will continue being strained as it is, with African-Americans continuing to live in poverty in the next generations, while white Americans live in leafy suburbs.
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