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Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity
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Insocio lecture 9 race and ethnicity

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Credits to my profs

Credits to my profs

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  • 1. Race and Ethnicity “An irony of human condition is that color and culture – a source of great pride – also cause us to degrade ourselves with hatred and violence”. Race  Race refers to a group whose members share a real or supposed biological heritage that is thought to give rise to a set of fixed physical, mental, emotional and moral characteristics.  Members of a race also typically share common customs, values, and traditions that give them a sense of people hood, or identification with one’s “own kind of people”  Much of human history people rarely assigned one another to different racial groups. It was not until the late 18th century, when biology achieved some stature in the scientific community and western Europeans began exploring and colonizing Africa, Asia, and the Americas, that scientists set about classifying human into racial categories.  Since the late 1700s, race has been popularly thought of as a biological concept, even though most scientist today reject the notion that race has any biological basis.  Nevertheless, most people continue to believe that “racial differences” reveal themselves in physical – that is biological differences that can be seen across groups.  Members of one race typically point to a host of physical characteristics such as: skin color hair color and texture height bone structure  That they believe set them apart from other races. Race as a Social construct  There is abundant evidence for the social foundation of race.  1st we emphasize physical difference between racial groups, but no real physical differences are necessary for racial categories to be developed and the distinguishing physical traits are frequently arbitrary. A look at racial labeling cross culturally illustrates how artificial and arbitrary it is  For example: Many people classified as Black in the United States would be considered “coloured” in South Africa. At the same time in Peru, where hair 1
  • 2. texture, eye color, and stature are considered more indicative or racial heritage than skin color, many US blacks would be labeled White.  Even within a single society, racial labeling is often inconsistent. In the United States, the racial classifications used by the Census have changed nearly every decade since the late 1800s. In the 1890 census, there were 8 racial groups with four distinguishing the Black population alone. Blacks – people with ¾ or more black ancestry Mulattos 3/8 to 5/8 black ancestry Quadroons – ¼ black ancestry Octoroons – 1/8 or any trace of black ancestry  Just ten years later, there were only five racial categories because Mulatto, Quadroons and Octoroon fell into disuse.  However by 1930, the number of racial categories on the census swelled to ten: White, Negro, Indian (American Indian), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Hindu, Mexican, and Other.  Within twenty years “Hindu” and Korean also disappeared as racial categories.  The changes in the census racial classifications over the years reflect the changing social, economic, and political concerns of the White population.  Following the Civil War, white people are obsessed with the notion of “racial purity” and a desire to keep the race separate.  Racial classification is a social and political process, not a biological or even scientific process.  While racial categories have no intrinsic meaning, the meanings that members of a society give to the racial categories they create reinforce a hierarchy of privilege and power in that society.  Individuals maybe granted or denied resources, rewards and opportunities simply on the basis of their membership in a particular racial group. Ethnicity  In everyday speech, the terms race and ethnicity are often used interchangeably, and there is certainly overlap between them.  In general, biological heritage is emphasized in defining racial groups, whereas culture and feelings of peoplehood are emphasized in identifying ethnic groups. Difference of Race and Ethnicity RACE ETHNICITY  Involves biological traits  Involves cultural traits 2
  • 3.  Racial distinctiveness persists over generations  People can fairly modify their ethnicity  Involves even more variability and mixture than race  Most people identify with more than one ethnic background Ethnic Group  Is a group whose members share a common cultural heritage and a sense of peoplehood that they pass on from one generation to the next.  The characteristics of an ethnic group – that is, the ways they express their cultural heritage and sense of belongingness to the group is referred to as ethnicity Ethnocentrism and Racism  Ethnocentrism is a belief that one’s own group’s values and behavior are “right’ or “best” and other group’s practices, values are inferior.  Some degree of ethnocentrism is inevitable.  Intense ethnocentrism can be volatile and destructive. Racism  When we speak of unjust treatment of one group by another on the basis of race alone, we are discussing racism.  Racism is a from of inequality in which one racial group dominates another and legitimates its dominance by proclaiming itself physically, intellectually and/or socially superior, and instituting laws or practices to protect its dominance.  Racism may take the form of hate crimes, in which individuals of one race attack members of another race because their racial identity. Prejudice  Refers to biased beliefs about individuals based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group.  A rigid and irrational generalization about an entire category of people including the vast majority of whom they have never met 3
  • 4.  May target people of particular social class, sex, sexual orientation, age, political, affiliation, physical disability, race or ethnicity Forms of Prejudice 1. Racism 2. Stereotypes  An exaggerated description applied to every person in some category  Oversimplified, summary description of a group  A powerful and destructive form of prejudice  Refers to the belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another  In thought and deed – remains a serious problem everywhere, and people still contend that some racial and ethnic categories are “better” than others 3. Discrimination Refers to any actions, policies, or practices that deny an individual or group equal access to the society’s resources, rewards and opportunities Theories of prejudice 1. Scapegoat Theory  Scapegoat – a person or a category of people, typically with little power, whom people unfairly blame for their own troubles  Prejudice springs from frustration among people who are themselves disadvantaged  Because they are usually “safe targets”, minorities are often scapegoats 2. Authoritarian Personality Theory  Extreme prejudice is a personality trait in certain individuals. This conclusion is supported by research showing that people who display strong prejudice toward one minority are usually intolerant of all minorities 4
  • 5.  Authoritarian personalities rigidly conform to conventional cultural values and see moral issues as clear–cut matters of right and wrong  People with authoritarian personalities also look upon society as naturally competitive and hierarchical, with “better” people inevitably dominating those who are weaker  Adorno found that people tolerant toward one minority are likely to be accepting of all. These people tend to be more flexible in their moral judgments and treat all people as equals  Adorno also found that people with the little education who are raised by cold and demanding parents tend to develop authoritarian personalities. Filled with anger and anxiety as children, they grow into hostile, aggressive adults, seeking scapegoats whom they consider inferior 3. Culture Theory  Extreme prejudice may be characteristics of certain people, some prejudice is found in everyone because it is embedded in a society’s culture  Emory Bogardus studied the effects of culturally rooted prejudices for more than Forty years  He developed a concept of social distance to gauge how close or how distant people feel towards others in various racial and ethnic categories  Almost everyone in this society expresses some degree of bigotry because we live in a “Culture of Prejudice” that has taught us to view certain categories of people as inferior to others 4. Conflict Theory (1)  Powerful people use prejudice to justify their oppression of others  All elites benefit when prejudice divides workers along racial and ethnic lines and discourages them from working together to advance their common interests 5
  • 6.  Authoritarian personalities rigidly conform to conventional cultural values and see moral issues as clear–cut matters of right and wrong  People with authoritarian personalities also look upon society as naturally competitive and hierarchical, with “better” people inevitably dominating those who are weaker  Adorno found that people tolerant toward one minority are likely to be accepting of all. These people tend to be more flexible in their moral judgments and treat all people as equals  Adorno also found that people with the little education who are raised by cold and demanding parents tend to develop authoritarian personalities. Filled with anger and anxiety as children, they grow into hostile, aggressive adults, seeking scapegoats whom they consider inferior 3. Culture Theory  Extreme prejudice may be characteristics of certain people, some prejudice is found in everyone because it is embedded in a society’s culture  Emory Bogardus studied the effects of culturally rooted prejudices for more than Forty years  He developed a concept of social distance to gauge how close or how distant people feel towards others in various racial and ethnic categories  Almost everyone in this society expresses some degree of bigotry because we live in a “Culture of Prejudice” that has taught us to view certain categories of people as inferior to others 4. Conflict Theory (1)  Powerful people use prejudice to justify their oppression of others  All elites benefit when prejudice divides workers along racial and ethnic lines and discourages them from working together to advance their common interests 5

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