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August 26, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

More on answering the Louisville Race Project: Carol Dweck, Mindset, Self-fulfilling Prophesies

[quote]lol, just shut up. [/quote]

1. I’m sorry. It thought debaters liked getting to the underlying arguments…the truth or Truth as it were.
2. If the tables were turned…..and I was you….that tactic would be called “dropping arguments”

Not your most flattering picture there….Catdog….or side for that matter.

Independently though I was reminded of an interesting text from Carol Dweck, an education theorist in her book Mindset. She points out how static representations of learning and development versus dynamic ones are flawed and result in less learning. Not withstanding the ways in which it creates a self-fullfilling prophesy or the ways in which it represents minorities–turns them into non-living objects versus dynamic objects. It basically strips them of their abilities….and deny that they exist. Dweck also points how talking about talent as natural (ie biologically resulting from race….or presumably even innate in cultural norms with biological roots) is flawed and results in static perceptions & wasting of potential (thats a turn or two or three…and there are more to come).

It takes away this histories and achievements of previous African americans by simply denying them outright…..or flippantly and irresponsibly labeling them tokens. What would Colin Powell or Cory Booker or Bill Cosby or any other successful person or debater say if you said their success wasn’t based on their effort and community….but instead mere tokenism. Not only does that warp the truth–it is a terrible message for future. When we change we have to look back and forward–the most idealistic forms of the K tends to focus on the later, while ignoring and discarding the success of the present. If Eurocentrism and white power wasn’t good for African americans–they would live elsewhere like Africa. Moreover it presents a massively simplistic version of the truth–Race explains everything in the world–all successes and failures and evils–thats hardly the case. Moreover, the western form of ethics–called the golden rule, dignity, and rights stand against that. It is freedom and democracy that allows them to do that.

I haven’t read it, but the story of Harrison Bergenon–which explains the ends-means distinction I made earlier:

On TV, a news reporter with a speech impediment attempts to read a bulletin. The speech impediment was given to him by the government because he is too well-spoken. He can’t overcome his impediment, so he hands the bulletin to a ballerina to read. Hazel, who is too dumb to realize that the reporter was handicapped by the government, commends him for working with his God-given abilities and says he should get a raise simply for trying so hard. The ballerina begins reading in her natural, beautiful voice, then apologizes and switches to a growly voice so that her voice will not sound nicer than anyone else’s voice. The bulletin says that Harrison has escaped from prison.
A photo of Harrison appears on the screen. He is wearing the handicaps meant to counteract his strength, intelligence, and good looks. The photo shows that he is seven feet tall and covered in 300 pounds of metal. He is wearing huge earphones, rather than a small radio, and big glasses meant to blind him and give him headaches. He is also wearing a red rubber nose and black caps over his teeth. His eyebrows are shaved off. All in an attempt to “handicap” his intelligence and good looks.


Simplistic summary of Dweck’s book:

According to one bio:
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success. She has held professorships at Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured all over the world, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Federation. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and she has appeared on Today and 20/20.


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