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Outline Social Construction of Race Defining Race and Ethnicity Minority groups and Racism Prejudice and Discrimination Theoretical Approaches Life Chances Conflict and Cooperation in Race Relations
Social Construction of Race Race and ethnicity are socially constructed categories Meanings are created over time Race is also a means of stratification 19th century shema-3 races Negroid, Mongoloid, Caucasoid Modern scientists-there are no “pure” races
Race and Ethnicity Race-social category, based on real or perceived biological differences between groups of people Ethnicity-social category based on common language, religion, nationality, history, or another cultural factor How do we show our racial/ethnic group membership? Symbolic ethnicity-enactments of ethnic identity that occur only on special occasions Ex.: St. Patrick’s Day Situational ethnicity-ethnic identity can either be displayed or concealed depending on its usefulness in a given situation In U.S., if you are non-white you don’t get a chance for symbolic/situational ethnicity – your ethnicity usually shows
Minority groups and Racism Minority group-members of a social group that’s systematically denied same access to power and resources available to the dominant groups of a society Not necessarily fewer in number Minority status is not about numbers!! It’s about social inequalities! May serve as a master status Racism-ideology about the superiority of one racial or ethnic group used to justify inequality Often rooted in assumption that differences between groups are genetic
Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice-“Pre-judgment”-inflexible attitude about a group of people rooted in generalizations or stereotypes Applied to all members of the group, unlikely to change unless evidence against it (usually negative) Discrimination-unequal treatment of individuals based on their membership in a social group, usually motivated by prejudice
Prejudice and Discrimination Individual Discrimination-discrimination carried out by one person against another Institutional Discrimination-discrimination carried out systematically by institutions (political, economic, educational) that affects all members of a group who come into contact with it 1944-G.I. Bill- advantages were institutionally blocked for blacks Loans granted to those only buying in all-white neighborhoods
Why does race still play such a critical role in society? Functionalist-Groups have a tendency toward ethnocentrism and social bonds toward their own group-can lead them to view other groups unfavorably Conflict-Struggle for scarce resources drives society. Split along racial lines. One group is routinely paid less than others Ideas like Manifest Destiny helped to justify the taking of lands from Indians (heathens) and justified killing them
Interactionism Passing-presenting yourself as a member of a different racial/ethnic group than you were born into Light-skinned blacks try to avoid consequences of being black in a racist society Occurred via marrying other whites, having no children, using make-up to lighten skin “Doing white” still occurs Bleaching, make-up
Race, Ethnicity and Life Chances Health-Disparities in life expectancy rates of men and women of different races Education-High dropout rates are associated with those from economically disadvantaged and non- English speaking backgrounds Among high school dropouts: 11.8%-Whites 14.2%-Blacks 28.4%-Hispanics
Work and Life Chances Work and Income-People of color carry burden of most difficult jobs Many minorities in semi-skilled or unskilled occupations-fill bottom tier of job market Minorities also compete with each other for those jobs Class and race often intersect, influencing life chances In 2001, below poverty level: 7.9% of whites 23.1% of blacks 24.9% of Hispanics
Criminal Justice and Life Chances U.S. population is 69% white, 13% black, 13% Hispanic, but 40% of prisoners are African- American, 34% are white, 21% are Hispanic Half of all hate crimes related to racial discrimination; 2/3 targeted towards blacks
Race Relations: Conflict Genocide-deliberate and systematic extermination of a racial, ethnic, national or cultural group “Ethnic cleansing” Ex.: Holocaust: 6 million Jews, millions of other undesirables (Gypsies, people with disabilities, political enemies, gays, etc…) Population Transfer-forcible removal of people from the territory they have occupied Native Americans forced to move onto Indian reservations in early 19th century 1838-9:“Trail of Tears”-17,000 Cherokees moved 800 mi. 4,000 people died on the way
Race Relations: Conflict Internal Colonialism-the exploitation of a minority group within the dominant group’s own borders Takes form of economic exploitation Includes physical segregation Segregation-formal and legal separation of groups by race Ex.: Blacks in the American South up to the 1960s Separate neighborhoods, sections of buses, restaurants, etc… Separate and unequal
Race Relations: Cooperation Assimilation-the minority group is absorbed into the mainstream or dominant group America as “melting pot” Society becomes more homogenous-immigrants lose sense of “foreign-ness” Racial assimilation-minority groups absorbed into dominant group through intermarriage Cultural assimilation-minority groups adopting the dominant group’s culture May be forced-results in loss of previous cultural identity
Race Relations: Cooperation Pluralism-(multiculturalism)-encourages racial and ethnic variation within a society Tolerates and celebrates racial/ethnic identities America as “salad bowl” Switzerland-French, German, Italian 1848-constitution makes sure power is shared among all groups How can the U.S. gain a more multicultural national identity?