Wise Son, I believe we have identified fundamental disagreements regarding our faith (or lack thereof) in the "peer review" process
Well, I guess so, as my feeling is that the system, as set up, does not require 'faith', regardless of an over-representation of liberals in the groups that make it up. But this looks like another point we're going to have to agree to disagree on - we both find our reasons for our viewpoints convincing, and the other's not so.
(which has been subjected to criticism even in the hard sciences, for example there was a dramatic example in the field of genetic research)
I would be interested in hearing more about that, particularly how the 'drama' was discovered and addressed, as this is exactly the kind of thing the peer-review system is supposed to facilitate where appropriate.
particularly the "peer review" process in the social sciences (which tend to be far more agenda driven), and even more so in this specific field (with virtually all of the academics and organizations sharing the same agenda)
Again, I would seriously interested in reading some more on this, as I would have thought it would have been bigger news.
in the "expertise" of academics (turned advocates), and in the organizations and institutions conducting the research (which over the years have developed an exceeding leftist ideological bias particularly since the 1960s).
Or perhaps the evidence since then has supported more Left wing ideas than Right?
It appears that your faith in these practices and institutions leads you to believe that every "successfully" peer reviewed sociological study is objective, producing valid data and sound analysis.
You make me sound like more of a zealot than I am, but yes, I do believe that peer review of the methodology, results and conclusions of a study offers the most objective way of determining the validity of any given study, and I do believe it represents a system that effectively offers barriers to bias.
You dismiss the opportunity for conscious manipulation or unconscious distortion of the results.
I don't dismiss them, I just view them as a routine part of any sociological study, something that it anticipated and planned for as a matter of course, so if it has passed through the peer review process, I don't view it as a reason to challenge the study.
I believe you understand my perspective, even while disagreeing.
Wise Son and Curtis, as to whether I would be better of or the same, were I black, you asked me about me, based on my experience, which by definition pertains to my educational choices, and my career choices.
Well, I certainly never suggested those were not valid, I simply tried to say that they were just the beginning, and that you were considering them in isolation of the social factors that would also interact with your decisions, which we have been touching on here.
I answered you honestly, and I believe accurately.
the fact that I was not born with some privileged rich white man's silver spoon in my mouth (but rather achieved what I achieved on my own)[/quote]
No one has suggested something like that. What we have said is that the societal issues which 'White Privelege' represent mean that White people can be rewarded fairly for their effort, as you have been, but that minorities have to put in more effort at each level, and at each stage of life, in order to achieve the same reward. This is aside from other issues specific to each culture and ethnicity.
You see, it really varies by education, profession (or job), region, and a number of other factors.
It certainly does. Like I said, we are discussing a number of interacting factors.
For example, it seems to me that you both dismiss the comment of the respected expert (Curtis recalls him name, I'm sure) who stated that black professors on average are compensated at higher levels than equally qualified white professors.
I don't dismiss its veracity, but I don't view it as a point that does not have a huge bearing on the wider issues.
There is a significant disparity between the opportunities that exist for highly educated middle-class (or wealthier) African-Americans as opposed to the opportunities available to the uneducated unemployed and working class, and the sociological dynamics are very different for these two groups.
I agree hugely with the importance of class. For instance, middle-class people are more able to access the means to combat discrimination (they are more aware of their rights, more aware of what anti-discrimination laws might be being violated, and more aware of how to discuss and negotiate these issues). I think you might also be suggesting that they will be helped by the people they are more likely to interact with, who may be more sensitive to the ongoing discussions and debates on race, which would be a factor, yes.
I believe that both of you tend to mush everything together as though it were one simple picture, whereas I know (from our prior discussions, Curtis and Wise Son) that you know the real picture is far more complicated than the simplistic conclusion "black folk are always worse off than white folk."
I guess this is an appropriate point to say that, while I do think that statement holds true, to varying degrees, and for a variety of reasons, I do think Western society is moving in the right direction, that it is less true than it once was, and that we may reach a point where it is no longer true. I do think that some people, because of the more subtle ways in which the effects of discrimination and / or white privelege are felt, underestimate teh degree to which they are still present.
And Curtis, I also believe you are being way too simplistic in positing that there are only two possible explanations for the problems that face the black urban poor: either that (1) their plight is unavoidable because blacks are inherently inferior (which we are reject) or (2) their plight is entirely caused by "white privilege" (a phrase that you are clearly wedded to, notwithstanding its race-baiting overtones).
Not to speak for Curtis, but he did acknowledge the alternative phrasing of 'the effects of discrimination'. I do think that Curtis is approaching the discussion with a broader interpretation of what 'White Privelege' means than you are.
On the studies, they are interesting, but you are quite right that I don't think they establish causality. I do agree that there may be no scientifically certain way of establishing exactly what those factors were, but I do think that a number of social, cultural or religious factors, as you mentioned, as well as economic factors will have been in play.
The link between conservative / religious values and marriage is interesting, as I view them as encouraging marriage, but not happy marriages. I think the increasing availability of divorce as a way out of unhappy marriages has been an effect across all levels of society, but maybe had an impact in groups where people had felt unable to leave marriages because of poverty, and the cost of doing so.
I guess what I'm saying is that the effect of welfare may not have been 'anti-marriage' as you put it (and I would certainly view it as more 'pro-single-parents' than an attack on marriage), but perhaps as 'anti-unhappy-marriage'. (I'm a bit tired, so may not be explaining this well).
If anything, the rural white poor were deprived of their “right” to “entitlements” to the extent they were not identified and approached by welfare workers.
Quite possibly, but as you point out, if they were it was more likely because of geographical and beauraucratic reasons, than on the basis of their being White, so it doesn't reflect the mirror image to what we've been discussing that it might at first appear to.
there is logic to support the notion of causation here (as we have discussed in the past). While a person may be poor, that does not mean he or she is stupid, and that means that on average he or she will rationally respond to economic incentives and disincentives. It appears that people did exactly that.
I agree with that as a logical conclusion, but I think we disagree on to what degree other factors were interacting with those economic incentives. I think you seem to over simplify it to a simple profit/loss calculation, and I think there was more to it than that.
Whatever the causes of these issues, I think we do all agree with what you say about the consequences and the cycle of negative dynamics of expectations and stereotypes they have led to.
Now, when talking about black employers, this does appear to be an example of "racial discrimination" in hiring that is not, in itself, motivated by racism or racial bigotry, since it is fair to assume that the black employers are not themselves anti-black racists.
Well, that is still an assumption. People are perfectly capable, as I've said before, of believing the stereotypes about their own group. I'm just saying.
The problem is broader than just racism and bigotry. It has become a problem of sub-cultural attitudes and misperceptions regarding opportunity.
Well, they are all part of a spectrum of problems facing society today. After all, racism and bigotry have never existed in a pure isolation from issues of, say economics, class and religion.
In some ways, the issue of inner city gangs and crime may be related to the Princeton Study. It appears that the felony conviction used for the "offender" group was a fabricated felony drug conviction. This kind of conviction plays off different ethnic stereotypes, and the researchers must know this ... with white offenders being more associated with engaging in personal use or selling as individuals, while black offenders are more associated with some kind of gang activity.
Now that is a very interesting consideration. I don't think it's one that invalidates the study, as the employers' considerations of those stereotypes are part of the attitudes to race that this study was looking at. It would make a fascinating follow-up study, to maybe repeat the experiment with the same controls, and try to get more detailed feedback from the interviewers afterwards.
I wonder if the felony conviction had been for armed robbery or assault or rape or murder if the results would have been different?
Again, fascinating questions for further study, especially as it would be interesting to pin down whether there are race-related stereotypes relating to those crimes (I know from some of the racists I've been arguing with on a blog that some
people follow a stereotype of Black men being overly sexually aggressive to White women, so in some cases rape might have been an even more provocative conviction).
Might the researchers have selected "felony drug conviction" for this very reason, knowing that the stereotypes differ? This too could have affected the results of the study.
See, this is an aspect of the study that we agree on. A follow-up study comparing the effect of different types of convictions would be brilliant. It would necessarily be a larger and more expensive study, as each new conviction would double or triple the size of the study, but I am happy to say that a study like that would give us even more reliable information than the one we have seen.
See, we can end on a point of massive agreement! Free exchange of ideas works! Hoorah! Now off to bed (I swear I've been writing this reply for more than an hour).