Sources of Information about Individuals

Information about individuals, groups related to race, gender, socioeconomic class and cultural identities can be obtained from various sources. These include conference materials with information about socioeconomic conditions, published and documented research papers depicting a particular situation as it relates to an individual or section of the population. Studies focusing on the youth, employment, and behavior problems and policy documents developed to address certain social disparities related to gender or socioeconomic status can as well be relied on as information sources.

Multimedia and news media sources have helped in relaying socio-cultural information across the globe. For example, podcasts have been used to indicate the poverty levels in the U.S. Video/transcripts also help with information relevant to the socioeconomic status of households (Regents of the University of Michigan 2011). For example, a video/transcript indicating insufficiency of funds and the impact of such realities on low-income households can be used to understand the socioeconomic conditions of a social group. Official government statistics from census for example, can also provide information relating to poverty index among a particular social group (Rector 2011).

Studies that have been conducted by reliable bodies and organization often provide rich sources of information relating to race, gender, and cultural identities. For example, U.S. Census Bureau provides reliable information relating to socioeconomic status and class, race, gender and other cultural identities and realities across the United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2011). Such information is collected through household surveys that are consequently used to analyze the social composition, poverty and households’ economic indices.

2. Processing of information from the sources and formation of personal understanding

Processing of in formation received from the multimedia, media news and surveys is very important for understanding of the socio-cultural, gender and racial issues. For example, in order to understand the socioeconomic class variables between various genders, ages and cultural identities, the data collected can be converted into representational graphs, charts and published documentaries. For example, from the survey of the socioeconomic status or poverty levels of, say one hundred households, an average index can be calculated to determine the poverty levels of a certain group of people (Rector 2011). Such information can then be published and released into the public domain.

In processing the data collected, processing software can be applied. Such software includes the databases and payroll systems, for example. This process enhances faster processing and manipulation of data collected from the multimedia, working papers, articles and journals.  My understanding of processed information is greatly influenced by both personal experience and worldviews. Personal experience has to a large extent made me believe that some of the information relating to gender, age, class, and cultural orientations may not be validly accurate. However, the worldviews also have very significant influence, although such may need further investigations.

3. How misinformation about race, gender, socioeconomic class and other socio-cultural identities can contribute to stereotyping and oppression

Stereotyping refers to the generalization about an individual, situation or a social group (Keene 2011). Oppression refers to extreme execution of discrimination. Stereotyping and oppression result from individual or group unwillingness or inability to obtain accurate and reliable information about a particular situation, gender, race, or socio-cultural identity. For example, when the media and news sites portray inaccurate information about a certain issue, say poverty, the public will not be able to make fair judgments about the people affected or the situation in general. As a result, such people become stereotyped on grounds of misinformation from the media (Keene 2011).

Stereotyping and oppression result from misinformation about situations or people with whom one has not had firsthand contact. When false or inaccurate information about a particular race is received, it is generally assumed that this is the characteristic of all members of this social group. They are thus stereotyped and can easily become victims of oppression based on such misinformation from inaccurate information from studies, multimedia, or even worldviews. At workplace for example, an employee with a certain stereotyped racial background may be oppressed based on the misinformation received about his/her race.

4. The role of an educator in challenging stereotypes or providing fuller understanding of racial, gender, socio-cultural or socio-economic class issues

An educator can challenge stereotyping through empowerment of victims of stereotype. This can be achieved through establishment of foundations like the National Centre for Children in Poverty (NCCP) that advocate for elimination of stereotype and injustices against children and offer economic empowerment to victims (NCCP 2011). Besides, an educator can launch awareness raising campaigns against stereotypes. In such campaigns, the educator can educate the public on the need to eliminate ethnocentrism and embrace unity in diversity (Rector 2011).Such forums can also be used to correct misinformation about a group of people or a situation. This will bring the public to a fuller and accurate understanding of the situation or a people that have been used to trigger stereotyping.

An educator can also launch more comprehensive and empirical studies about the situation, individual or socio-cultural identity that is being stereotyped. Through systematic research, an educator will be able to gather reliable and accurate information about the situation (Rector 2011).The results of such studies and information obtained can be published and used to correct initial misinformation responsible for the stereotype. Such studies and publications or documentation of findings can help in promoting more accurate understanding of issues, situations or socio-cultural identities that could otherwise be subjects of stereotype.

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