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Stephen Cruz by Terkel Studs


    Stephen Cruz by Terkel Studs

    1. What is the conflict that keeps Cruz from being content with his accomplishments?

    Marianasays Cruz feels that throughout his corporate career he had not been appreciated for who he was and his achievements because he was a minority and having him in the work place made the business look good. He also was searching for self-fulfillment in his career and his pride could not allow him to feel accomplished while others like him suffered. Racism and discrimination was rampant in the workplace and it oppressed the minority people around him (Analysis of Studs).

    1. What do you think is meant by “get to know our business?” What did it mean for Cruz to “behave himself?” How had he not behaved himself?

    When Cruz is told that he should get to know their business when he started asking about the unfair treatment of the minority meant that businesses made money utilizing cheap labor from the minorities and through their exploitation. Cruz’s inquisition is met with harsh words urging him to “fall in line” and not question the system but instead follow it. He is told to should stop asking questions about the differential treatment in the workplace and to stop trying to unite the minorities in the workplace (Mariana).

    1.  What do you think is Cruz’s notion of the American Dream? How did he feel about it? What do you think was his notion of success? Did it change?

    According to Cruz, the American dream is a power struggle and is governed by fear and power and not by hard work, opportunity and education. Cruz feels that working towards the American dream was not for him but was making businesses stronger as they took advantage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to hire minorities for their businesses to look good. The minorities are not given freedom to make decisions but followed strict rules in the workplace (The American Dream).

    1. Is there any way in which you can relate to Stephen Cruz’s experience?

    There still exist forms of racism in today’s society where someone’s race is used to judge an individual. A friend of mine told me that his father kept being overlooked for a promotion every time despite him being the most experienced in his work, having worked with the company for a long time and having among the best output for his work because he was Mexican. This shows how the minorities have to work extra hard to earn respect and promotion compared to the whites.

    1. When thinking about the issues Cruz brings up, what forms of oppression come to mind?

    Racism when used as a determinant of success or who gets to be rewarded. This sometimes is common in schools especially joining particular clubs considered prestigious. This kind of oppression denies the minority some of the opportunities to better themselves in schools.

    Works cited

    “Analysis of Studs Terkel’s Book and the World of Work.” 29 Nov. 2010. <>.

    Mariana Alvarez. “Stephen Cruz by Studs Terkel” MLA English 101 Journals.Web. 27 Mar. 2012. <>

    “The American Dream.” Web.30 Nov. 2005. <>.