Assignment: The Social Politics of “Passing”
Many people have had the experience of being informally tested for fitness for membership in a peer group. However, for members of an oppressed group who can pass as a member of the dominant group, such as members of a racial minority who look like members of the dominant group, “passing” takes on a special significance. One study (Stuckert, 1958) estimates that over 150,000 Americans with some degree of African American blood passed for white between 1861and 1950. For these individuals, it was a complex decision that had a profound impact on them as well as American history. Understanding the significance of passing and its impact on your work is important for your future as a social worker.
Submit by Day 7 a 2- to 3-page paper using APA formatting. Also provide historical references and references from the resources. In the paper, analyze the relationship between passing and privilege in North American society, identify at least two incidents where passing may lead to greater privilege, and explain the implications of passing on social work practice.
Please see attached for my response.
This is a fascinating subject and thank you for considering me for assistance. I have an interesting take on this. You can examine passing from the prospective of an African American passing as Caucasian and what privilege that may bring, but there are other perspectives you can take. For example, the case of Rachel Dolezal demonstrates how passing as black served her very well. She achieved a powerful position within the NAACP that she may not have if she were “white.” This speaks to the shifting racial balance in this country. Should you choose to take it from this perspective, you can cite several current events, as well as past events starting in the 70’s …
This examines the impact of “passing” on American society and how it affects minorities in particular. One can examine this question from the perspective of an African American passing as Caucasian and how that impacts the larger society as well as the individual. However, another fascinating perspective is that of a Caucasian passing as an African American and how that is viewed by the larger society.