Why is that bad?

Go here to see why the positive/normative distinction matters. They almost get it in the baby rollerskating post, but even that one ends with the crazy-good argument that our society is racist because, well, its racist.

Every post on the first two pages was bitching about something or other. Its all bad. I’m not sure why because there’s no semblance of a normative theory; except for “everything in our society is bad”. The about page says the site “encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination and that, between all of us, public discourse will increasingly include a sociological lens with which we can all learn about social processes and mechanisms, critique social inadequacies, and design functional and equitable alternatives.” On the first two pages of the site, I didn’t see anything but “critiques of social inadequancies” or at least claimed inadequancies; there is no attempt to argue why they are so.

How am I suppose to engage this website? Nod my head? And if I’m not inclined to do so?

2 thoughts on “Why is that bad?”

  1. I don’t know what to make of that site either. I can’t tell if the problem with the ad was:

    too few white babies
    too many white babies

    that non-whites are included in advertising because that shows they need to be included
    that non-white babies aren’t included in advertising enough, because we are racist

    That the music is “black”

    I really don’t get it. Would playing “white music” (whatever that is) be better? What is the question?

  2. Well, the cluster of links at the bottom of the post you linked to could be viewed as alternative advertising that challenges stereotypes. Or something. They aren’t the topic of the post, but they aren’t negative either.

    I counted three black babies, one asian baby, and possibly one latino baby (wasn’t sure). Except for the latino (again, it’s sometimes hard to tell), these ratios seem fairly in-line with their actual proportions in the US population. Also, “Rapper’s Delight” is generally credited as the first hip-hop title to break out of a niche urban market to find traction with a more diverse general audience – it’s not unreasonable at all to have a diverse “cast” dancing to it.

    There’s a running joke in marketing that in any stock photo with three or more people, at least one person will be black. Because they represent diversity, see. Often the black person will be a woman. Again, diversity.

    It does seem that advertisers are stuck in a catch-22, especially in the context of this post. If an advertiser uses a non-white, they must be promoting $_STEREOTYPE. If they use a white model, they are being non-inclusive.

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