Orlando Patterson headshot

What Have We Learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?

A substantial minority of black youth suffer major disadvantages in America—racism, ghettoization, poverty, high drop-out, unemployment and incarceration rates, violence and policy brutality. Despite these disadvantages, they are among the most culturally creative and influential groups in the nation.

Social scientists have had only limited success in explaining their plight and paradoxical role in America’s popular culture, largely due to the reluctance to consider cultural factors.

Orlando Patterson headshotAt the next Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities event, Orlando Patterson, a historical and cultural sociologist, will explain the reason for this reluctance and propose an interactive approach to an understanding of these problems.

Patterson’s proposed approaches to understanding these problems see culture as a dynamic process that operates interactively with socio-economic and environmental forces in accounting for both negative and positive outcomes.

His talk—titled “What Have We Learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?”—will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Harkness Chapel.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended and can be completed online.