deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
[personal profile] deepad
On 29th December, 2009, the burnt body of a 25 year old Indian national was found near Griffith, in Australia.

On 9th January, 2010, a 29 year old Indian was set on fire in Melbourne, Australia.

It is true, as the police say, that we do not know that either or both of the attacks were racially motivated until the culprits are caught (and even then, how do you verify the intent of a murderer?)

But minorities do not have the luxury of extending the benefit of the doubt to their potential assailants. And when the Australian acting Prime Minister describes an Indian cartoon that says as much as "deeply offensive" and Bob Cameron, the Victorian Police Minister, says, “We are a tolerant place and Victorian police are very tolerant and this business about racism is just wrong," it is very clear that they are speaking to their White constituents, who would like their outraged astonishment at being accused of racism to be pandered to.

Fire Fly has an excellent post here about the academic-industrial complex in Australia and its relationship to violence against Indian students.

People being set on fire is outragous. A comic speculating about intent is not.

ETA: A comprehensive, albeit dense article about the intersections between racism and educational capitalism in Australia.

2/3 theory

Date: 15/1/10 07:11 am (UTC)
aquaeri: My nose is being washed by my cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
I'm trying to chase down some references for my own interest. I will pass them on to you if I find them. (It is so frustrating because I'm sure I've seen it discussed in several places!)

Re: 2/3 theory

Date: 15/1/10 09:11 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
The refs I've seen are for Dale Spender. The research I've seen wasn't exactly solid. Quoted often by U Le G.


Re: 2/3 theory

Date: 18/1/10 05:48 am (UTC)
aquaeri: white cat, one yellow and one blue eye (white)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
Thanks. Dale Spender fitted in nicely to the stuff I was discovering otherwise. As far as I can tell, Dale Spender has made two specific 2/3 claims:
1. That teachers in classrooms devote 2/3 of their time to the male students, 1/3 to the female students.
2. That perceived "balanced" conversations between a man and a woman actually involve the man talking 2/3 of the time.

There is certainly a body of research and evidence relevant to each of these claims. Neither is necessarily 2/3, but I think the gist does hold up.

1. (Western) Teachers without specific training do in fact devote more time to their male students without being aware of it, usually believing they are completely fair (and they can and do become aware of it with training). Most of the US research seems to have been done by or summarised by David and Myra (now deceased) Sadker. It's unfortunately not really available online, being either in books or academic articles.

2. There is a pop-cultural (Western) belief that women talk significantly more than men which is completely untrue; in fact men, if anything, talk slightly more than women. In other words, for women and men to be perceived as talking equally much, men would have to talk more than women. This belief was crystalised by a book called 'The Female Brain'. The claim was noticed and debunked particularly by the blog Language Log, but also in other places. This page has a long list of Language Log posts about the issue.

I cannot find anything relating to my original claim that workplaces with 1/3 women are perceived as gender-balanced or 'the women are taking over'. I will continue looking, and avoid making the claim in the meantime.

In an attempt to re-rail a bit, I do think there is a core issue here which does not seem to be solidly researched (based on my googling, admittedly) and would apply equally to issues of racism, particularly in majority-white countries like Australia. That is the extent to which privilege distorts the perception of balance, fairness or normalness.

Solid research would be a matter of comparing people's perceptions of situations to hard data: show pictures or video of classrooms or other settings, and afterwards ask subjects questions about the male-female ratio in the room, or the white-PoC ratio (or any other dimension of privilege of interest). Compare the actual ratio with the (range of) subjects' perceptions of the ratio, taking into account the subjects' own status with respect to whatever is being investigated.

Re: 2/3 theory

Date: 19/1/10 12:30 am (UTC)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
You're welcome.

Your 2 is the one I remembered.

Re: 2/3 theory

Date: 25/1/10 04:54 am (UTC)
aquaeri: My nose is being washed by my cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
I've just (in the course of something unrelated) come across this paper by Kanter which looks relevant, although somewhat old (1977). She describes groups as Uniform 100:0 ratio, skewed 85:15 ratio, tilted 65:35 ratio, and balanced 50:50 ratio. What I'm interested in is the tilted case, but unfortunately this paper is about the skewed case.

Nevertheless, I think her description of tilted is relevant: Minority members are potentially allies, can form coalitions, and can affect the culture of the group. They begin to become individuals differentiated from each other as well as a type differentiated from the majority. "Affecting the culture of the group" sounds like a bingo for challenging the privileged majority and making them uncomfortable.

It looks to be quite the classic citation. I hope to find something interesting and more specific in all those links eventually.


deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
Deepa D.

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