AT&D #41. Dominant Racial Groups

Do you consider yourself part of a dominant or subordinate racial-ethnic group in the United States? In what specific ways might your life be different if you were in the opposite group?

Based on what I perceive as a categorization and defining of the various ethnic and racial groups in the U.S. (namely on standardized test forms and on job or college applications that ask for people to check off their ethnicity) as well as what society has determined what constitutes each ethnic group or race, I consider myself as part of the dominant racial / ethnic group in this country. This is to say that although I am of Middle Eastern descent, I would be described as caucasian since the definition itself includes various peoples, chiefly inhabiting Europe and the Mediterranean among other regions. I definitely think that my life would be somewhat different if I was part of any other group (including descending from a mixed background) because societies tend to discriminate against certain groups.

However, while I don’t think too negatively about the possible downsides in being part of any other racial or ethnic group, I definitely can say that my life would be affected in regards to being stereotyped. An example of this is how some schools deal with and carefully handle a student whose ethnicity correlates to a certain grade point average or performance (i.e. due to differences in learning) where depending on a case, students may struggle or overcome stereotypes and do well with to without academic accommodations . On the contrary, if one comes from a racial background that is generally stereotyped as being smart, then a lot would be expected from a student of that group to perform well when some in reality cannot. So if I was put in that scenario, then yes, my life would be impacted due to coping with public or personal pressure to achieve. That’s just one example of many that I can think of.

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