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by Mark Mathabane

Visit Mark's website on www.mathabane.com


Class Assignment:

In three to five pages write a paper about racism seen in Mathabane's Kaffir Boy. You are to use Henslin on "Social Stratification in Global Perspective" and "Inequalities of Race and Ethnicity" to analyze the inequality of race that is evidenced in the book. If you choose, you may also use outside sources on apartheid in South Africa.You may use the following questions to structure your paper or you may choose your format. Be sure to footnote all ideas not your own and watch for spelling, sentence structure, and grammar. You will be graded for clarity, writing style, interest and sociological analysis.

  1. Define and explain racism (Henslin, p. 212). Discuss how racism directly impacted Johannes' life? What is your reaction to his life and the experiences that he had? What was your reaction to his visit and talk?
  2. Using Henslin's criterion (p. 214), why would blacks in South Africa still have been considered a minority group under apartheid even though they are the majority?
  3. Use some of Henslin's theories of prejudice (pp. 220-223) to explain why the whites in Mathabane's book might act as they do.
  4. What patterns of intergroup relations excited between whites and blacks are evidenced in this book (Henslin, pp. 223-227).
  5. Compare and contrast the experience of blacks in South Africa to conditions in the US (Henslin, pp. 229-232). Are there similarities historically? How about conditions today?

Remember to be critical sociological thinkers and to engage with the ideas about the nature of prejudice and discrimination. Think also about the nature of racial patterns in the United States. Please write a coherent and well-argued paper. Enjoy yourselves, this is a great book and I think you will learn a lot.



Mark Mathabane speaks to students at Ithaca College, November 2000. Photo: Eskil Sivertsen

Last updated 03/31/2004 . Copyright 2000 by Elaine Leeder and US2 Design. All rights reserved