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Why Race, Class, and Gender Still Matter Essay

Title: Why Race, Class, and Gender Still Matter
Authors: Margaret L. Andersen, Patricia Hill Collins
Publication: Wadsworth

The critical issues mentioned in “Why Race Class and Gender Still Matter” are how inequalities are going to be spoken about in the book “Race Class and Gender” and about how race, class, and gender still effect society today. Another critical topic in this chapter is Hurricane Katrina and how that brought the poverty level and status of minorities in the country to light. Lastly, this chapter explains how the author expects the reader to look at race, class, and gender as they read the rest of the book and to look at the experiences of every group from that particular perspective.

This book was intended for under-graduate and graduate sociology or political science students. The purpose of chapter one was to explain the point of the book. It was an expository introduction that told why race, class, and gender needs to be examined and studied. According to this book race, class, and gender “shape the experiences of all people in the United States.” There are ways in which different groups can be both privileged in one way while disadvantaged in another. Americans have started describing these different groups using the term diversity. Diversity awareness has started initiatives to prove diversity is pleasing and important, and that it should be celebrated. One more important topic discussed in this chapter is the directions to study exploitations and exclusions of some groups along with the inclusion of others.

The thesis of “Why Race Class and Gender Still Matter” is that developing knowledge of how the progressively universal center of society effects the configuration of race, class, and gender interactions will inspire inclusive outlooks in the United States. The author’s language ability is voice-intimidating. The author uses very advanced language. Specific words I found difficult to understand were matrix, salient, domination, and
framework. The author provides evidence when talking about Hurricane Katrina and the damage that hurricane did. However, most statements are not backed up with evidence of studies or statistics. The author employs the logic of problematic.

I found this reading to open my mind up for what is to come in the future weeks of this class. Since it was only the opening chapter I did not find anything to be implicit or explicit. My biggest question is what is meant by a matrix of domination? This chapter says “we use the approach of a matrix of domination to analyze race, class, and gender.” I realize that it refers to levels in the social structure of the U.S. but how are these levels defined and what makes one disadvantage worse than another?

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