Monday, May 31, 2010

IAT Reflection

Format: Questions.

I'm glad I took the race and gender tests, I found it helpful as I aim to be more self-aware. I am still however, trying to tap into my subconscious to really internalize/analyze the results. In the race test it proved that I favored European whites to African Americans and I'm not really sure what I think of that. I have African American friends and although that seems to be a pretty typical response anytime people defend their racial biases, I think I understand what the test was implying. On a subconscious level, I feel most like white Europeans than I do African Americans. I can relate to other white Europeans more than I can to African Americans and perhaps that is what the test picked up on. I think it's natural to feel most comfortable with people you feel are most like you, although the irony is that I don't typically consider myself white anymore than I consider myself black.
As for the gender test, once the results were posted it made complete sense to me, even though I had never thought about gender and my subconscious associations. According to the results, I associate males with career and females with family. Not a shocker to me and I'll explain. My parents are both Portuguese and in our culture females are valued based on their commitment to their family and to their homelife. In other words, a woman's homelife defines her as a woman. This is how my mother raised me and I can't help but feel some of those same beliefs, even though we're living in 2010. It's who I am. On the other hand however, I value education and my career and feel that my career also helps to define me as a woman. I was always determined to have more than my mother and father in terms of a career and not because I wanted to be better but because they also passed on their wishes of providing me with the opportunities that they unfortunately were not given. I felt I owed it to them and to myself to become a professional while still maintaining a strong connection to my family and our life together.
Questions that might be worth classtime:
Why do people always answer the issue of racial bias by stating the various relationships they have with people of African American descent or vice versa?
How did the IAT tests determine results? What is the margin for error?
What do the results prove about us as a society, seeing that many people seemed to get the same results just in varying degrees?

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