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Introduction Minority women in America face their double jeopardy status daily The lower paying jobs the lack of resources offered and available perceived higher numbers of violent relationships and the inability to be looked at as an equal member of American society due to the white mans standards just to name a few These women are looked upon as being less than from the time they are very young which is the most important time in a childs development Minority women are classified as troublemakers and deviants and grow up fulfilling the duties of this classification that has been forced upon them Women in the prison system are a growing concern in our society and it is not difficult to see that the majority of women in the system are minority females primarily African American women This essay is written to uncover how our American society shapes African-American womens perceptions of themselves beginning at a young age and strengthening throughout their lives also some of the problems women face while incarcerated and lastly womens experiences after their release from incarceration Labeling our Youth Labeling theory states that deviance is seen as a consequence of societys decision to apply that term to a person and deviant behavior is behavior that society labels as deviantReid 2003 Labeling theory is explained best as the ideasprejudices used by society to generalize and exaggerate characteristics of a certain gender class or race category of a person which subsequently causes stereotypes to be formed and change an individuals view of themselves and their role in society Throughout American and some European history African American men and women have been considered in all aspects inferior and incompetent in comparison to the white men and women Stereotypes of this culture include the ideas that all African Americans are drug addicts crack heads ghetto lazy dirty troublemakers and aggressive to name a few Our entire society is built based on these levels of superiority
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