Analyze the process by which Conley learned the dynamics 

In this paper you are to analyze the process by which Conley learned the dynamics of race and class through social institutions such as family and school.

Analyze the process by which Conley learned the dynamics

In this paper you are to analyze the process by which Conley learned the dynamics of race and class through social institutions such as family and school.

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Honky is more than a powerful autobiography. Sociologist Dalton Conley has written a treatise on the social construction of race and class through the lens of a boy growing up in the housing projects of New York City during the 1970s and 1980s.

Conley begins:

I am not your typical middle class white male. I am middle class, despite the fact that my parents had no money; Am white, but I grew up in an inner-city housing project where most everyone was black or Hispanic. I enjoyed a range of privileges that were denied my neighbors but that most Americans take for granted. In fact, my childhood was like a social experiment: Find out what being middle class really means by raising a kid from a so-called good family in a so-called bad neighborhood. Define whiteness by putting a light-skinned kid in the midst of a community of color. (p. xi)

In this book, Conley skillfully weaves stories of his experiences as a White person to explore definitions of race and class, asserting that “race and class are nothing more than a set of stories we tell ourselves to get through the world, to organize our reality” (p. xii). The result is a useful tool that educators can use to examine concepts of race and class with high school, college, and graduate school students.

Conley’s memoir begins before he is born. He describes his family’s decision to move a few blocks south, from a tenement where they had been repeatedly burglarized to the projects of the Lower East Side. Conley’s family was poor and, unlike their neighbors, White. However, skin tone did not define his family as much as the choices they were afforded because they were White.