Orange is the new black is a Netflix original series about the functional ability of a woman's prison in upstate New York. Integrity, power, and privilege all work together to create many of the situations that arise. Litchfield prison is made up of white male officers, and different racial groups that are clearly divided. For each race, loosely made up of: blacks, latinos, whites, “others”, and a group of older women known as “the golden girls”, there is a sector of living. Blacks in one block, with a bathroom only for them, whites in another, etc. Conflict theory and symbolic interactionism are both excellent theories to examine this series by. Conflict theory, a multi-part theory about both race and gender, is applicable to Orange Is The New Black because of the degrading treatment of the women and the denial of their basic feminine needs. Symbolic interactionism can be applied to most situations that occur in the show. Through these theories social interactions in Orange Is The New Black can be looked at and better understood.
Privilege can be applied to many different situations throughout the show. Racial privilege, gender privilege, class privilege, etc. A common theme of privilege throughout Orange Is The New Black is racial privilege. This is shown through the cleanliness of the living quarters and punishment given across races. SHU (solitary confinement) is much more readily handed out to black inmates over any other race. In one episode, a screwdriver goes
Privileges are things that a person receives that gives them an advantage over most people (Merriam-Webster). These are benefits that only certain people receive for being in a certain group or discourse. Peggy McIntosh, director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, wrote “White Privilege and Male Privilege” and states “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privileges, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege” (605). She argues that whites and males receive certain privileges, yet they do not even notice them. This shows that different races and women are still put at a disadvantage, but the people who receive the benefits are blind to the problem. Many people will argue that she is correct
Privilege is defined as “a special advantage or authority possessed by a particular person or group” in the Cambridge Dictionary. Globally, white individuals are often granted privileges than minority groups do not receive. While white privilege often goes unnoticed by white individuals, it causes many disadvantages for people of color and effects how they see themselves. Furthermore, Affirmative Action attempts to equal the playing field for minorities but is faced with contention by many white people.
Michelle Alexander in her eye-opener novel, The New Jim Crow, makes a dauntless premise that the racial caste system that was supposedly ended in America during the Civil Rights Movement still exists today and is completely redesigned in the sense that colored men are the target of an intentional “War on Drugs.” Alexander claims that the criminal justice system is used as a mean to racially control millions of colored people and the same system is used to demote them to a second-class citizen status. Alexander employs a great deal of rhetoric in her novel to appeal to the reader’s emotions and values, so that she is able to alter the ethos of the readers and ultimately reveal the blindness present in the United States Justice System. Alexander
Overall, the United States prison system and society’s view of African Americans needs to change. People need to make sure that the mistakes society has made in the past do not repeat themselves. In order to fix many of the existing problems it is important to focus on reforming the prison system. Doing so would prevent many future cases of injustice and racial
But because of color-blindness, these facts are not realized by many people (141). Which makes it difficult to fix a problem that society does not know that it has (141-143). While chapter three introduces the shame that ex-prisoners face, chapter four entirely covers the system that goes into place after felons are released from jail (140). The stigmas that went with the Jim Crow laws, according to Alexander, were better than the current stigmas that African Americans face after they are released from jail in modern American(154-156). Alexander notes the dehumanization of African Americans and how the self-hate they began to face turns the entire black community against one another (161-167). Alexander believes that if there was any real equality during the Civil rights movement, mass incarceration would not exist, but it does today because of colorblindness (177).
Through the use of literature to inspire social change, Michelle Alexander is able to bring attention to an extremely important social issue that is very prevalent throughout our country. The issue that Alexander is writing about is the mass incarceration of black males in the United States. She describes this increase of mass incarceration in depth, and relates this modern form of social control back to an old practice of the Jim Crow laws and separate but equal segregation.
The most important theme in this book was the trials and tribulations of racism because it was woven in every part of the plot, it contributed to the conflict and resolutions, and gave the story a connection to current events, helping the reader’s comprehension.
An alumni group, Check Your Privilege organized by Dr. Ja’Nina Walker, works to raise student and faculty awareness about privilege on a San Francisco campus and increase social equality. The group defines privilege as “unearned access to social power based on membership in a dominant social group.” The group desires to increase consciousness about privilege, especially in the among social justice influences. They work to bring privilege into regular public discussion and urge those with privilege to use it for public benefit.
Though most citizens in the United States would agree that the prison system in the U.S. needs to be amended, do they see the prison system as a way to enforce the racial caste system? At first Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow, did not see the prison systems as racially motivated until doing further research. After researching the issue, Alexander found the prison system was a way to oppress African Americans and wrote the novel The New Jim Crow. The New Jim Crow follows the history of the racial caste system and in the novel Alexander comes to the conclusion that the mass incarceration of African American is the New Jim Crow, or in other words a new system of black oppression. Though some might try to refute the idea of mass incarceration of African Americans, Alexander offers a well thought out argument with substantial evidence and data to compellingly link Jim Crow and mass incarceration and proves that it is an issue that should be on the radar of all U.S. citizens.
The Central Park Five is a documentary by Ken Burns about five young black men who were wrongfully convicted of a crime they did not commit. This documentary focused on showing how these boys got convicted, why they got convicted, the effects and response from the public of their convictions, and their release. For the remaining part of my paper, I am going to show how the sociological theoretical perspectives, in particular the conflict perspective, explains why the events in the film happened the way they did. The three major parts of the conflict theory that I am going to be focusing on relates to how the people with wealth and power has a major influence in society and how they went about abusing that power that was given to them. I am
Davis reveals that race and gender has played a huge role in our nation 's history. What is very interesting is the fact that she takes these topics and goes with it in two totally different directions. She does elaborate the importance of how race and gender plays a massive role in her belief of prisons as sites of massive inequality but she casts a much broader light on other things. The function and pure nature of the prison system is also shaped in a questionable way. This also shines light towards our society that relies so heavily on incarceration. The discussion is then shifted away from questions about crime and punishment and toward concerns for social justice and human rights. The racial aspects of her findings will largely be familiar to anyone who has thought seriously about prisons before the excess
Angela Y. Davis, the author of Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex, shows how private organizations benefit from the incarceration of expanding quantities of people of color. Davis argues that in spite of the fact that the jail blast has expanded the benefits of worldwide partnerships, it “devours the social wealth” of our groups by depleting them of their human and monetary assets. Davis thesis is where she states that the political economy of detainment facilities depends on racialized presumptions of criminality. The cycle continues of the racist laws which follows into racist prison system which then follows to racist policing practices. The prison industrial system materially and morally ruins its occupants and
Although the theories were not clearly spelled out in the video, it could be clearly portrayed by the cluster of races as well as how they ran each cluster internally. The first social structure theory that could be identified is the social disorganization where the prisoners would come from their world outside the prison where they had freedom of choices as well as freedom to have whatever they wanted. They knew people in their lives and had the bonds with their families. Once they came into the prison, it was clear that they wouldn’t know anybody with exception of a few people and only interacted with each other due to their races. Although they knew the rules of the prison, they had a separate unwritten rule made up for their races which was basically to keep an eye out for each other or face consequences such as bashings, stabbings, or get killed. As Professor John Fuller (2011), states in his lecture, “society is not organized and so people don’t know what is right, they don’t know exactly what the rules are and so they are free to kind of make up things as they go along. They don’t have, they are not bonded to each other as neighbors, and so they look at each other, particularly in an emerging capitalist society, they look at each other as targets of opportunity for financial gain, rather than necessarily people to care about and to connect with.” As a result, prisoners are expected to continue breaking
Donald Glover along with the other writers and producers of Atlanta proves the views with an authentic look into the daily challenges of being black in this country. The show creates a dialogue that examines the intersection of topics such as police brutality, mental health, and transphobic in relation to the systemic racism and violence experienced by black America. This review will examine the representation of blackness on Atlanta, and how the representations of African Americans continue
After reviewing eighteen in-depth interviews regarding bisexuality in Orange is the New Black, it was revealed that the majority of the sample thought the show used bisexuality as a gimmick, but not the same way the research team had speculated. The respondents observed sexuality as a tool used to drive the plot forward as various romances among inmates embellished the plotline. Additionally, highly sexualized scenes in the show were used to draw in viewers. The scenes mostly featured lesbian relationships because the show is based in a women’s prison. One interviewee noted that the show also portrayed heterosexual sexual encounters, proving that sex in general is used to amplify the plot. The interviewees identified the female sexual encounters