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Research Proposal

han yu's picture

In the last two weeks, I have been unprecedentedly exposed to numerous perspectives on social injustices and the mass incarceration in the United States. Among them I am finding myself especially interested in the topics of racial profiling, the accountability of education system, and stereotype threats as the consequence that further harm disenfranchised people's well-being. 


Banks, R. Richard, Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Lee Ross. "Discrimination and Implicit Bias in a Racially Unequal Society." California Law Review Vol. 94, No. 4 (Jul., 2006), pp. 1169-1190. Web

Erman, Sam, Gregory M. Walton. "Stereotype Threat and Antidiscrimination Law: Affirmative Steps to Promote Meritocracy and Racial Equality in Education." Southern California Law Review 307 (2015). Web

Phillips, Susan D., Trevor Gates. "A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the Stigmatization of Children of Incarcerated Parents.Journal of Child and Family Studies Vol.20(3) (2011), pp.286-294. Web

Meiners, Erica R. Right to Be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, and the Making of Public Enemies. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print

Reasons of choosing the above resources:

The American society has been putting a lot of efforts in equalizing different racial groups. However,  A group of researchers used IAT Test (Implicit Association Test) and found out that implicit discrimination or implicit racial profiling can still exist in many people's mind even though most of them are denying to be racists (Banks 1183). These kinds of racial profiling can also be exerted in the mind of police officers. And I want to research more through this perspective to look for the reasons of people of color being discriminated within the criminal justice system. 

Stereotype threat is a process of people internalizing the negative impressions which would further influence their performances in the tasks related to their ability being stereotyped. Students from the minority groups may receive low expectations on their learning abilities when being compared to white students, and those negative impressions would result in their learning outcomes. 

Stigmatization is a term related to stereotype threat. With the background of mass incarceration, countless children are being seperated with their parents. Whether should we acknowledge them about their parents' situation? What are the outcomes, positive or negative, of their acknowledgement would be? How can we learn from the group of children who are not internalizing the stigmatization as blaming themselves and therefore come up with some constructive approaches to deal with children of incarcerated parents? 

Other than studying students as the victims, I would also like to learn more about education. Meiners raised a novel point about current trend of over-representation of white female teachers in the education system. I am still trying to comprehend her arguments about the "Sexual Contract", "Racial Contract" and "Heteropatriarchy" which are connected to the profession of teaching, but I intuitively think that those terms are associated with the inequalities faced by students in minority groups.