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Project Two Rough Draft Karnib

Page history last edited by Rabeeh Karnib 9 years, 8 months ago




 Analyzing Claude Steele and Stereotypes

     This country has gone through a lot in its history. It has dealt with war, depression, and faulty leadership. However, we have always found a way to deal with those problems and mpve on. There has always been that one problem that we could never see past no matter what was done and that is racism and especially stereotyping. Stereotyping is defined as one person placing a label on another based on race or religion. In his book and other articles, Claude Steele has had a strong view of racism and stereotypes and how they affect society and the people within them. Steele believes that racism and steretypes are ruining todays society and corrupting its people. In his book “Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us”, Claude Steele uses his personal experiences, experiences of others, and the use of statistics with the inclusion of ethos, pathos, and logos in order to convince us that stereotypes are destroying out communities.

     In the beginning of his book, in fact on the first page, Steele incorporated his life experiences into his use of rhetorical strategies. His life experiences is used as evidence to persuade the readers that stereotypes have a negative influence on people and the society that they live in. When Steele was younger he lived in a mixed neighborhood dominated mostly by white citizens. He first noticed the inequality when he and his friends decided to go for a swim but could not because blacks can only swim on Wednesdays (Steele 17). Also Steele and his black friends could not even go to the roller rink unless it was a Thursday night (18). He tells us this to show the audience the restrictions put on colored people back in his time but also uses some more current experiences to show that it did not really change. When Claude was offered a job to be a professor at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor he jumped on a plane and headed straight for Michigan. He could not wait to work at one of the nation's leading graduate programs in social psychology (32). After a two day visit he felt intimidated by all the responsibility but was then determined to take it on not realizing what he was about to find out. After talking to a few of the minority students in the university, Steele noticed that they were getting the grades that they should be getting. Steele realized this was not because of the lack academics or motivation but was due to the fact they

     lacked the motivation or cultural knowledge or skills to succeed at more difficult coursework where underperfomance tends to occur, or they      somehow self-destruct because of low self-expectation or low self-esteem picked up from the broader culture, or even from their own families      and communities. (37)

Steele threw in a lot of emotion into convincing us through his personal experiences and this shows us that he is using rhetorical stragetigies in his writing. The emotional aspect is known as pathos. Steele's own personal experiences and his use of pathos really makes his writing that more convincing to the public. However, he not only uses his own personal experiences but experiences of others as well.

     Claude Steele has had many companions throughout his years of research and writing career and these companions have shared many stories with him about their lives and how stereotypes have affected them even when these companions are not of color. These stories are a great use of a rhetorical strategy because it helps show the readers that Steele is not the only one who has had this problem occur in his life. Claude Steele talks about some of his companions both white and black. He first talks about his friend Joshua Aronson who is of African descent. Joshua worked with Steele on many projects because Josh's original professor &did not have enough time& to help him. These two worked diligently on surveys and experiments to try and prove what Steele has thought all along about stereotypes. Another man that Steele mentions is Brent Staples. Brent Staples is a columnist that was once a psychology major talked about in his article his life growing up a being a black man.

     I became an expert in the language of fear. Couples locked arms or reached for each other's hand when they saw me. Some crossed to the      other side of the street. People who were carrying on conversations went mute and stared straight ahead, as though avoiding my eyes would      save them....(22)

Steele would mention this part of Staples article as a way of showing the horror of how people feel and how they act in the face of a minority. Lastly, there was another person in Steele's life that had understood where Steele was coming from. This man's name is Ted McDougal and he is a white man. Steele talks a great deal about Ted and how he was a minority once in his life. Ted took a class on African american political sciences and he turned out to be one of two white people out of forty-five students in the class. As weeks gone by and discussion in the class became more vigourous, Ted felt that he could not participate in these discussions but then realized that he had to prove not just his academic skills but &to prove that he is a good person, an ally of the cause, a nonracist white person&(102). This helped Steele prove his theory that stereotypes are corrupting society because it is giving unnecessary restrictions to minorities including white people. These experiences of other people indeed help depict what Steele is trying to prove in his thesis that stereotypes are a dangerous and corruptive idealism. Steele has brought up a plethora of life experiences that are great rhetorical strategies because they great examples of ethos which is the use of ethics to support one's theory. He also uses a lot of examples of logos as well when he talks about the statistics behind stereotypes.

     Claude Steele talked a lot about his research a lot throughout his book and how it has helped him convince others why his theory is correct. This use of statistics is another rhetorical strategy that Steele used in his book &Whisting Vivaldi& and is also known as the use of logos. Logos is when the author using facts and logic to persuade his audience. When Steele first got his job at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor he conducted research and compiled data that he used to create a graph. This data contained information relating SAT scores to GPA of a sample of college students. However, in that graph that Steele created he used a seperate line that represented black college students. "This line showed the black students with stronger entering SATs also graduated with slightly higher grades.....the line for black students was consistently lower than the line for other students (35)". This is trying to tell the audience that something his holding these black students back from doing as good as their potential should have them do. Actually, Steele's exact words were

     that among students with comparable acadamic skills, as measured by the SAT, black students got less of a return on those skills in college than other students.      Something was supressing the yield they got from their skills. (35)

Steele also talked about his reasearch article he wrote called "Expert on Stereotypes Hopes to Bring Students Together". This article talked about his research on many different stereotypes that are quite convincing. For example, Steele talks about stereotypes including black students are less intelligent, women struggle more with mathematics, or white men rarely excel at basketball. He goes through at shows us why these stereotypes are not only untrue but that they can have a negative effect on people. These researches and statistics that Steele wrote about are great ways to persuade his audience about his view of stereotypes in that they show use the rhetorical strategy of ethos and logos. He shows ethos because he is a credible psychologist that has studied this topic for many years and has conducted a plethora of experiments. He shows logos because he references a lot of facts and statistics in his writings in both "Whistling Vivaldi" and "Expert on Stereotypes Hopes to Bring Students Together".

     In conclusion, in his book “Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us”, Claude Steele used his personal experiences, experiences of others, and the use of statistics with the inclusion of ethos, pathos, and logos in order to convince his audience that stereotypes are destroying out communities. Not only did he use these rhetorical devices but he used more as well that I did not talk about. He used great tone in his writing that drew the readers in as well a great structure to his writing. Claude Steele wrote with such passion in both his article and his book and that is also what made his opinion that much more credible. Using his vass knowledge of stereotypes mixed in with his experience and passion is what made "Whistling Vivaldi" a great read for any audience.


Comments (2)

Rasha Khanafer said

at 8:56 pm on Oct 25, 2014

1. Yes, I think the thesis is very strong.

2. Yes, it does have a clear purpose and I am aware of why this argument is important. Its exigence is the rhetorical analysis of "Whistling Vivaldi."

3. Yes, although I think you should mention more actual statistics (percentages, numbers) to present your point.

4. The strongest part of the paper is the thesis and the quotes.

5. The weakest part of the paper is how it is written. Although I feel that all the ideas are all very clearly communicated, I think it could be written more eloquently.

6. Yes, the author includes many quotations and paraphrases as well.

7. The paper is well-written, but there are some grammatical errors. For example, use of the word "good" rather than "well," and several typos (mpve on instead of move on, out instead of ours).

8. Yes, this paper is more like an analysis. The author explores Steele's writing technique thoroughly.

9. I would give this paper a B

We have the same book and you brought up a lot of great points in your essay!!

Abigail Landskroener said

at 12:14 am on Oct 27, 2014

1) Yes it is a well written thesis statement
2)Yes and yes, it is a rhetorical analysis of why stereotypes are bad and ruining our society
3) Yes you use a lot of examples from his experiences but maybe throw in a few statics to change the pace a little
4) The introduction is really good. It grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading.
5) The weakest are the grammar mistakes in the paper. Some spots it's hard to understand what you were trying to say because some words were left out. Just do a full re read of your final before submitting it because spell check won't pick up when you type out meaning our.
6)You use a lot of the book and don't mention the article till the end. I don't know if that's what he wants but maybe use a little more in the beginning of the paper.
7)Like previously stated just do a final reread before you submit it. There are a couple run on sentences.
8) I would say it's more of a review but it also analyzes enough to get the point

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