Now we must encapsulate what we have learned in Nations and Nationalities about reification by applying this analytical concept to a number of examples in ways that illustrate how reification operates often with profound negative effects on the domestic life of specific states or nations including the United States. Begin your essay with an introductory statement that outlines your definition of reification. What does it mean and how do you intend to apply it as an analytical concept or perspective relevant to an examination of collective identity? As you answer all of the following three questions, you should refer to your working definition of reification in order to provide a thematic structure or unity to your essay. You should also provide a conclusion that summarizes your perspective and points toward future problems and additional issues beyond the classroom and the course.
Part 1- The American Experience
A. An Examination of Reification as Portrayed in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye poignantly explores the plight of a southern community and of specific characters within it tormented by self-reification. Explain the dynamics of self-reification by examining the episodes depicted in the novel that illustrate it.
Part 2- The International Experience
B. Ethnic Conflict and Collective Cultural Reifications of Identity
During this course, we have studied the plight of various ethnic groups within the context of American social history. On the one hand, we have examined those who were involuntarily incorporated into American society. These groups include: Native Americans, African-Americans, and Latino-Americans, in particular Chicano-Americans. Additionally, we have referenced the experiences of those who came to the United States in what is often referred to as “waves” of immigration from various parts of the world, but mostly from Western and Eastern Europe, as well as from Asia, including waves of Chinese and Japanese immigrants. These groupings were subjected to a wide range of reification experiences that included racialization of their ethnicity and culture, as well as their geographic spatialization. Analyze these experiences in terms of reification in order to illustrate the various forms of illogic applied in ways transform them into subordinated/subaltern groups.
C. The Holocaust, Rwandan Genocide, and Other Examples of Genocide and Mass Atrocity
Our study of reification culminates in a focus on genocide and mass atrocity. We have examined the dynamics of reification, dehumanization, demonization, ideological logics of illogic against the background of historic violence and virulent ethnic conflict. As we come to the end of the course, we ask that you reflect on the tragedy of genocide and mass atrocity using the conceptual, analytical, and explanatory “tools” that we have presented. Consider the dynamics of introjection and projection, the drive toward supremacism, and nativism which are so central to the Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide. Feel free to include other examples, but remember your primary task to apply the framework of analysis we have developed in Nations and Nationalities to a deeper understanding of hatred as it appears to foment large-scale brutal violence. Apply reification to an analysis of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, or other examples particularly in ways designed to show how ideological doctrine becomes the equivalent of what is perceived to be social or cultural reality.
Students should meet with their assigned GTA to discuss and expand their ideas before the submission of the final essay. GTA’s welcome outlines for purposes of discussion. Drafts are not accepted.
-Typed, Double-spaced, 2000 minimum word count (please specify in paper) -Works cited page (in addition to required length of essay)
– Please use credible outside resources
– Please cite all sources (especially websites) in accordance with professional standards – One-inch margins
– Include your last name and a page number in the header or footer on all pages
– Please staple your papers
-12 point font
– Please attach the prompt to your paper and please print your name in addition to your signature
TEXTS used in class:
1)The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
2)Political Culture and the Making of Modern Nation-States by Edward Weisband and Courtney I. P. Thomas
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