Objectification and Oppositional Identity

In Week 2, you learned about stigma and privilege. Privilege results in preferential treatment, and stigma results in negative treatment. Stigma involves objectification, or treating people as if they are objects and members of a category rather than as individuals. In the A Class Divided video clip, you saw the teacher Jane Elliott use an exercise in her third grade classroom to teach students about discrimination. She used discrimination as the overarching term. Here discrimination includes objectification, stigma, and privilege. When people encounter discrimination, they may redefine their identity. In this Discussion, you will consider how identity can be redefined as a result of objectification. In addition, you will address the concept of oppositional identity, which occurs when individuals embrace the way they are objectified and act in a way that reinforces the objectification.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the “Framework Essay” in Section I in the course text and the article “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Pay particular attention to the discussion regarding objectification and oppositional identity.
  • Review the Frontline video clip, A Class Divided. Look for examples of objectification and oppositional identity in the clip.
  • Consider how objectification and oppositional identity influenced students in Jane Elliott’s exercise to redefine their racial and ethnic identities.

With these thoughts in mind:


Post by Day 3 one example of objectification in A Class Divided. Then post one example of oppositional identity in A Class Divided. Explain how objectification and oppositional identity influenced students to redefine their racial and ethnic identities.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.


Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question and provide insight into how you would answer your question and why.
  • Ask a probing question and provide the foundation, or rationale, for the question.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting by offering a new perspective or insight.
  • Agree with a colleague and offer additional (new) supporting information for consideration.
  • Disagree with a colleague by respectfully discussing and supporting a different perspective.

Learning Resources


Rosenblum, K. E., & Travis T. C. (2016). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexuality, and disability (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • For review: Section I, “Framework Essay”
  • For review: Section III, “Framework Essay”
  • Section III, Reading 41 “Balancing Identities: Undocumented Immigrant Asian American Students and the Model Minority Myth”