“A Roshanda By Any Other Name” Objective Summary Response

The segment “A Roshanda by Any Other Name” in the film Freakonomics talks about what possible effect the name a person is given will have on their lives.  There is also discussion on the types of names that white people and black people tend to name their children.  White people are more likely to give their children European names, while black people tend to give their children names that are Arabic and African in origin or names that sound made-up and are thought of as ghetto.  The segment mentions that people with names that are considered unique, “black-sounding,” or strange will have a harder time in life.  It is mentioned that a study was made where resumes were sent out, and the resumes with so-called white names received more callbacks than identical resumes with black names.  In addition it was mentioned there was a belief that a person with a black name is more likely to have a hard time in life, being poor, being raised without a father, being violent, doing poorly in school and etc.  However, the film showed the types of parents that give their children stereotypically white names will be more likely to be poor, single parents, and unable to give their child an upbringing that is considered “ideal.”  Certain names are favored by certain socioeconomic groups.  The segment ends with the story of a man who named one son Winner and the other Loser.  Loser turned out to be a successful person.  Winner turned out exactly the opposite.  The conclusion is that often it is a person’s actions that make more of a difference in their lives than their names.

`Spurlock, Morgan, “A Roshanda by Any Other Name” from the film Freakonomics. 2010. DVD. Magnolia Pictures, 2011.

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