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Reading questions for white in jakarta - Coursework Example

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Summary
The author attempts to argue that white people see themselves as the "normal" race and every other ethnic background has to compare itself to whiteness. The dominance of the white race throughout history has contributed to this belief.
2. White people who move to other…
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The ‘Other’ stares back - Experiencing whiteness in Jakarta Part Summary The attempts to argue that white people see themselves as the "normal" race and every other ethnic background has to compare itself to whiteness. The dominance of the white race throughout history has contributed to this belief.
2. White people who move to other ethnic environments are for the first time marked as a particular colour. Before that they are just one of many in society who make up the dominant race. White people who travel overseas are often unaware of how they are being perceived by other cultures because they have never experienced being part of the minority culture in a country.
It is human nature to be curious of other cultures and people. Every culture in the world is defined by the dominant race and not through its own means. Some people who feel uncomfortable being identified as a particular race pretend that they are part of the crowd and do not stand out so much. Non-white cultures often have words to call white people. These words can be offensive if used in the wrong manner, but primarily they are non-threatening even if somewhat impolite. White culture tries to portray the view that it is not marked because otherwise it would not have power over non-white cultures.
Part 2: Reaction
1. Through reading this I did agree that white people do not really have a defined culture. There are very few celebrations specifically for white people because they seem to be able to celebrate every occasion. It is other cultures that are marked because they have their own celebrations and festivities that are important to them. For white culture to gain importance there needs to be more of a celebration of it.
2. I had not thought that it was rude to call white people a slang term. These terms have always been used to call white people because they are different and stand out, especially when they are in an environment where they are in the minority.
3. The thing I am confused about is why other cultures seem to cope better, or assimilate better, when they enter a dominant white culture, yet the reverse does not produce the same results. I mean that white people who live in countries other than their own tend to struggle because they have been used to being the dominant culture and suddenly are not anymore.
Part 3: Relation
I think that it is interesting who white people are portrayed in movies and on television. Because they are the dominant culture, they seem to be able to play every role. Yet people of other ethnicities only have few roles available to them, and those roles will likely fill a stereotype. Why are so many ethnic roles defined in the TV shows and movies that we watch? I think that the reason is that the white culture feels comfortable when they know what the other cultures will do. This gives them power because they have a secure role unlike many other cultures. Read More
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