Culture and Power

Culture and Power

What does the “cultural deficiency” model based on family structures proposed by Daniel Patrick Moynihan do to Black cultures and people?

We have established in this course that Black cultures and, thusly, Black people in the United States have been pathologized as deficient by white institutions, organizations, and people since the enslavement of Black people was the norm. The pathologizing of Black people and their cultures in the United States continued into the post-Emancipation and Reconstruction eras which then bled into the Civil Rights era through Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report The Negro Family: The Case For National Action and the contemporary period of today. After watching the Al Jazeera video report titled “The Myth Of The Absent Black Father,” Links to an external site.write an essay that shows your understanding of how Black cultures and Black people have been negatively affected by ideas of “broken families,” parental irresponsibility, poverty, out-of-control sexuality and childbearing, and inherent criminality becoming pathological to Blackness. h This prompt tests your understanding of how the pathological “cultural deficiency” explanations as to why Black people are not as successful as whites in the United States remain within the country’s culture and policy-making despite the existence of structural alternative explanations for Black peoples’ continued subaltern position. We expect you to answer the following questions by using the video above, as well as information from lectures and the assigned readings to formulate your Short Essay.

1. What does the “cultural deficiency” model based on family structures proposed by Daniel Patrick Moynihan do to Black cultures and people? You should discuss here the roots of pathologizing Blackness as deficient within the institution of slavery and how it evolved to continue into the modern-day You should use some of the examples of stereotypes (i.e. narratives, arguments, presentations of data, etc.) of Black culture found in D.P. Moynihan’s report to ground your analysis as it pertains to the myth of “broken Black families” 2. How do structural explanations for the continued subaltern position of Black people and their cultures undo the “cultural deficiency” model based on family structures that Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed in 1965? Here you should discuss the structural explanations we presented to you in class in order to delve deeper into how the political, legal, economic, cultural, and social structures of the United States keep Black people and their cultures excluded from hegemonic power 3. What role has mainstream culture’s media and entertainment played to advance “the broken Black family” and “absent Black fathers” narratives that pathologize Blackness into the contemporary period? For this question, you should discuss examples of media and entertainment that feature these stereotypical images in order to analyze how they work to put all responsibility of Black failure on individuals as opposed the structures of our society

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