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Conflict Perspective:  society is in a continuous power struggle with competing groups (class, race, ethnicity, gender)

Social Distance:  extent to which people are willing to interact and establish relationships with other racial and ethnic groups

Stereotypes:  overgeneralizations about appearance, behaviour, and other characteristics

Overt Racism:  public statements about the “inferiority” of some racial or ethnic groups

Polite Racism:  an attempt to disguise racism through behaviour that outwardly is non-prejudicial

Subliminal Racism:  an unconscious criticism of another race or ethnicity

Critical Race Theory:  -racism is so ingrained in society that it seems ordinary and natural

           -legislation may remedy overt forms of racism, but it has little effect on day       

            to day forms

           -the best way to document inequality is to listen to the stories of those

            experiencing it; and its effects (alienation, depression, physical illness)

Interest Convergence:  the dominant group tolerates or encourages racial

advances of another racial group if they (dominant) believe their own self-interests will be served – Derrick Bell

Questions:(devised by M. Webb)


What is meant by the following quote spoken by Graham (Don Cheadle)?

It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.


What is meant by the following quote spoken by Sergeant Jack Ryan (Matt Dillon)?

You think you know who you are. You have no idea.


How does the above quote and the chain of events lead to a police officer killing an unarmed and non-threatening man?


Why are the characters so (a) angry with each other and (b) frightened to get to know one another?


What does each character learn about himself/herself by the end of the story? How have most of them changed for the better? Be specific?


The critic, Roger Ebert, says “The movie contains hurt, coldness and cruelty, but is it without hope?” Give a logical answer to his question with support from the film.

Major Presentation:

Discrimination in the media (newspapers, magazines, television, etc.) and the effect on public perception

Guide Questions (from Sociology in Our Times):

Exactly what is meant by racism in the media?

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