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Soc. 101 rw ch. 9
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  • 1. Chapter 9
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. 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
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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
  • 15. 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
  • 16. 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?