Reflection of Diversity in Terms of Class, Race or Gender and Power
Miranda experienced a high-school chemistry teacher treating her different than other students in her class. Her grades were good and she participated in class just as much as other students but the teacher was very short and rude to her. Miranda tried to be nice to Ms. Matthews and could not understand why she was not treated equally. After dealing with this treatment most of her senior year, our family tried to make sense of the whole situation. The only difference between Miranda and other female students was that she did not participate in sports. Ms. Matthews was a coach and favored athletes in her classes. Miranda finally got the courage to write a note to Ms. Matthews asking if there was a problem. Ms. Matthews did not acknowledge the note and continued the treatment through the school year. Other students were treated noticibly different in front of Miranda to the extent that other students also made note of the treatment. Our family had a hard time trying to understand why a high-school teacher would be involved in any type of student discrimination.
If Ms. Matthews treated her students differently because they were or were not athletes then she stereotyped them according to what she considered a "good student. Social inequality is also another way to look at this type of treatment. The teacher obviously considered athletes to be unequal to other students. In this situation the achieved status of student athletes was looked at as being more important than nonathletes. In chapter 9, pg. 230, an achieved status is described as an open system that encourages competition among members of society.
The feminist perspective might have played a role in her thinking. Because the teacher dressed in a less feminine way and had a larger framed body we thought she could have been showing signs of resentment toward nonathletic female student