Friday, March 2, 2012

Discussion Points for "What Does Race Have To Do With Ugly Betty?" by Jennifer Esposito

INFO: The article "What Does Race Have to Do With Ugly Betty?" by Jennifer Esposito examines the use of affirmative action by exploring the episode’s focus on race and privilege. After being told that she was chosen for an internship only to meet a quota, Betty begins to doubt her own abilities and starts to question the value of meritocracy. This emphasis of race over meritocracy in the episode exhibits how race still continues to structure our lives. Esposito also discusses the reverse discrimination that the character Marc faces since affirmative action allows minorities access to education and employment. Since affirmative action is present in society, it is debatable whether or not it is actually beneficial or unfair. The article shows the two separate views from minorities on affirmative action, between Betty (who thinks it is unethical) and her family (who think it is a great advantage). The author concludes the reading by advising that the only way to abolish racialized hierarchies is by examining the ways race, popular culture, history and the political economy support it.

QUESTION: In our society, what is the dominant ideology on affirmative action? Who is actually benefiting from this dominant ideology? Why do you think the ABC network is promoting this social ideology through it’s programming?

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