backReturn to Unit One: MWF

Unit One, Day 14 - Wednesday

Class Goals: Discuss main points of Pincus and practice response one last time before essay drafting. Emphasizes using outside texts as a way of supporting response.

Connection to Course Goals: Teaches them how to use an outside text to support another text, which is necessary for research and argument papers, project reports, etc.


  1. WTL: List the main points of Pincus' essay. (5 min.)
  2. Go over their responses to WTL, keeping a log of them on the board. Bring out any other main points they may have missed by pointing out relevant passages and having them discuss them:

structural discrimination can come not from overt racism but from even supposedly race-neutral policies (eg. A school may not purposefully discriminate against a group by barring them from admission to that institution, but if it sets standards for something like SAT scores that few members of that group can realistically attain, they have then still discriminated against them in a sense).

We must assess such structural discrimination on a case-by-case basis to determine if institutional discrimination is at play.

Discussion questions:

(see para. 20; para. 23 on loans; and 22 on insurance)

  1. Divide the class into 6 groups to discuss how Pincus could be used to support a response to another text. Assign one essay per group. They want to discuss among themselves the way that their given text could be used to support a thesis about Pincus (eg., how Chang's ideas could be used to support or refute Pincus'). They will practice exactly what they will do in writing the ARE. It's helpful for them to begin with a thesis for each author, and then compare that to Pincus' as a way in to finding a connection. First, they will need to decide on what type of response they want to focus on, then how Pincus' essay could be used. They should decide which points or passages or concepts will be most relevant and useful to their essay and how.

Have them elect one person to present their ideas to the class when they finish, one to write down the answers, one to keep time, etc.

CSOW: As a group they're practicing what each will do individually for their own essays if they choose to use outside texts as a form of support. It will be difficult at first, synthesizing viewpoints, but that's why we're practicing it here as a group.


(Asian Americans turn to education, according to him, because they are often barred from "unions and traditional lines of credit", but even with often superior educations they do not earn as much as European Americans with similar educations because of systemic discrimination such as Pincus describes (see paragraph 12, pp. 368-9)

(Nelson describes herself as an example of institutional discrimination that allows a few "token" members of a disempowered group to provide proof that they aren't racists -- it's institutional rather than individual discrimination, though, according to Pincus)

(Implications can be drawn from this essay to support Pincus' assertions about the dangers of institutional discrimination. If, as B & S argue in paragraph 30, work helps to form our identity, what is the result for one's identity of being held to a lower position at work because of structural discrimination?)

(Can use Pincus to show the structural causes of some of the statistics Mantsios cites on p. 334, such as "39% of Hispanic children and 45% of Black children in the U.S. live below the poverty line.")

(Shows how Cruz is an example of institutional discrimination that keeps some groups out (in his case, African Americans) by allowing in a few token members of other groups, which is why Cruz believes he was hired.)

(can show how structural discrimination can impede one's efforts, no matter how hard one works, which refutes the viability of the Horatio Alger myth that we can all "pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps")

(15 min.)

  1. Groups present their results and you help involve rest of class in discussing and understanding their analysis. Have them put their results on the board or an OH, and you should highlight important points and be ready to add your own, using the italicized suggestions above. (20 min.)
  2. Remind them that looking at assumptions and implications is a necessary part of critical reading, and , when we get to Unit II, critical viewing of TV dramas, sitcoms, the news, etc. Using other texts to support looking at the author's assumptions, evidence, and structure, etc., can help strengthen your analysis of the writer's work.

Assignment: Bring in three copies of each of your homework essays for this section.