Daily Prompt: Fight the Power

“Tell us about a time when you fought authority and took a stand against “the man.” Did you win?” –The Daily Post

I feel like the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done with someone in a position of power was taking a stand against one of sociology professors when I didn’t agree with what she was telling us. She was trying to teach us the ins and outs of differentiating “race” and “ethnicity.”

She tried telling us that being Jewish could be a religion but that it could also be your ethnicity.
She tried telling us that I could be of the Italian race or say I’m an ethnic Italian.
She tried telling us I could be African in America or I could be an African American.

ethnicityI don’t believe this should be so vague.
Race is one thing. Ethnicity is another.
I didn’t quite understand where this “grey” area was coming from.

If you are identifying as Jewish, I don’t see how that can be anything but your religion? I know it may require you to live a certain lifestyle but it’s still a religion…

If you are talking about the country you PRESENTLY live in, that would be your “nationality” and is something totally separate from what we are discussing. I can’t move to Canada and say my ethnicity is Canadian. I also couldn’t move to African and suddenly say I’m black… Nationality is something else. In my opinion, nationality is about legal citizenship.

And the countries from which your ancient ancestors grew up in would make up your ethnicity.

But apparently it is not that simple? I haven’t studied sociology outside of this course so I’m not in a position to make any bold claims. I tried explaining to my professor how I didn’t understand why this topic wasn’t more black and white and asked why we don’t add “nationality” and “religion” to the discussion of “race” and “ethnicity.” She thought that was an interesting point. She also said she’d consider changing the format of the lecture in future years! 🙂

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