Race, as defined in The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology, as involving the following issues: cultural differences between groups can be explained wholly by reference to genetic differences, and that social inequalities between ethnic groups are genetic in origin; the study of structures which produce and maintain racism and racial hatred; the study of the interaction between social class and ethnicity in social stratification, giving rise to both vertical and horizontal segments in the social structure of societies; the sociological analysis of how these issues have contributed to the specific features of social stratification in contemporary societies. Despite the importance of these empirical studies, it is argued that, in order to conceptualize racism, sociologists must set aside the notion of race as an analytical category.
Sexism, as defined by The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, is a prejudice based on sex. As the term is used, its meaning goes beyond this simple definition in two ways. First, a prejudice is generally treated as an attitude or belief, while the term sexism generally connotes differential action and behavior toward persons which discriminates between them on the basis of their sex. Second, the term is nearly always used with respect to discrimination against females, a unitary focus that derives from the objective data of society but which unfortunately limits the meaning of the term.
Class, defined by the Online Dictionary of Social Sciences, the term is used in various ways in sociology. It usually implies a group of individuals sharing a common situation within a social structure, usually their shared place in the structure of ownership and control of the means of production. Class can also refer to groups of individuals with a shared characteristic relevant in some socio-economic measurement or ranking: it then has a statistical meaning rather than being defined by social relationships. While class is extensively used in discussing social structure, sociologists also rely on the concept of status, which offers a more complex portrait in which individuals within a class can be seen as having quite differentiated social situations.
Rothenberg described the inequalities based on sex in the educational system. She came to realize that “success was contingent on being one of the boys”. (80). She adopted the aggressive approach to classroom discussion, tried to “lower her voice several decibels and worked hard at giving it a round and full quality” so that her comments would be heard. Female students were treated with condescending contempt; they made females students feel that whatever they said was simply wasting valuable class time. One of Rothenberg’s professors left humiliating comments on her English composition assignments like “…When I compare it to a movie magazine or to the Cosmopolitan I’m not attempting to be idly insulting. You have, in point of fact, duplicated their impossible style, their coy euphemisms,...