Pick a practice that is currently widespread in the USA that specifically subordinates people belonging to
some group. Describe the social practice, which group it subordinates, and how it subordinates that
group. Describe a few of the main harms the practice inflicts on subordinated people and to others (if it
does harm others). Now describe some bit of culture (widespread idea, social norm, cultural techne, or
the like) that supports the practice – being clear about how it supports the practice. Explain how the bit of
culture you have described is a form of ideology. (Be sure to explain how it misrepresents the facts or
otherwise prevents the recognition of subordination as subordination.) Now propose a reform to culture,
which you expect would reform the social practice by replacing the subordinating practice with a practice
that is either not subordinating or less subordinating. Call your paper “A Vindication of the Rights of
___” (where the blank is filled-in with the name of the subordinated group you discuss.)
This paper should be about 6-10 pages, double-spaced, 11 pt., Times New Roman font (or similar), 1-inch
margins. The pages should be numbered in the lower-right corner.
NOTE: Be sure to use the definitions of subordination and ideology that I give in the notes! Maybe think
of the definitions as checklists.
What group to choose? You can choose whatever group you want, so long as you can provide evidence
that the group is subordinated in connection with some ideology. Examples: women in America, women
in another country (be specific), women in America in a certain subculture, members of a certain race,
members of a certain class, members of a certain age-group, religious groups, political groups, groups
with some common belief-system, people who live in a certain location, combinations of the above (e.g.,
women of a certain race and class), or some other group not on this list.
Citations: For this paper, you must use at least two course-external sources of information. It is up to you
to make sure that your source is reputable. Your source can provide argumentative support for or evidence
for your thesis. You may want to occasionally use quotes to strengthen your paper (e.g., you might want
to quote a particularly challenging premise (that you’ll go on to explain)). Please use internal
(parenthetical) citations (Author, p. x). Please provide a complete bibliography (in APA or MLA style) at
the end of your paper. (See http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/949/01/ for citation details.) To
cite my notes: internal citation: “(Hughes, NOTES Ideology: pg. x)”.
Plagiarism: Please note that all instances of academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating, fraud, etc.) will
be referred to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services. If you are uncertain about what
constitutes plagiarism, please feel free to discuss it with me (and do so before you do anything).
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to know what academic dishonesty is, and ignorance will not be
accepted as an excuse. If you are found to have cheated on any assignment, it is my policy that you will,
at minimum, be given 0 points for that assignment.
Editing: Edit and proofread your paper! While you will be graded primarily on content, grammar and
spelling matter—a paper that is unedited will not be as clear as one that is (and you will be graded on
File Format: Submit the paper as a pdf file.
Grading: As I grade, I ask myself two questions: (i) Am I convinced that your thesis is true? (ii) Is it
clearly articulated and argued for?
Of these, the second is more important – since I can’t answer the first question with much
confidence, if I can’t answer the second question affirmatively. Use simple, straightforward language.
Don’t be too zesty. Avoid talking points (easy-to-make, superficially-convincing arguments you might
see a politician make). Be sure there’s an obvious thesis statement within the first two paragraphs!
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