Race & ethnicity
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  • Kendall, Diana. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials Annotated Instructor's 8th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2012.

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  • 1. GS 138: Introduction to Sociology 1
  • 2.  How is race “socially constructed” in society? What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? What evidence is there that race relations are improving in the society? 2
  • 3.  Race and Ethnicity Prejudice Discrimination Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States 2010 Census and its Definitions of Race 3
  • 4.  Some people view race as: • Skin color: the Caucasian “race”, • Religion: the Jewish “race” • Nationality: the British “race” • Entire human species: the human “race” Sociological definition of race: “A category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, or other subjectively selected attributes”1 4
  • 5.  A race is a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, or other attributes. Race has little meaning biologically due to interbreeding in the human population. Only 6% of DNA differences in humans can be attributed to racial differences and thus many social and natural scientists have dismissed race as a category 5
  • 6.  Monogenism (14th – 18th century) Racial classification by origin Polygenism (18th – 19th century) – Focus on inheritance of traits/hierarchy of races Evolutionism (late 19th century) – Races evolved over time, explained the dominance of Europeans Race as Class, Culture (19th cent.)- Race was though to determine social standing and culture Race as Ethnicity, Nation (19- 20th century) – Racial mixing blurs fixed categories, race used as a political strategy 6
  • 7. Historical Conceptions of RaceTaken from Baron Cuvier‟s Natural History (1890) 7
  • 8.  Itis generally agreed among sociologists that race is socially constructed based on the social realities, norms and group experiences within society at a particular time. (Remember the Thomas Theorem) Race became significant only after the transatlantic economy emerges in the 1400‟s 8
  • 9. John F. Kennedy Albert Einstein Rudy Guiliani Sonia Sotomayor Irish Ancestry Jewish Ancestry Italian Ancestry Puerto Rican AncestryWho would you consider white? Why? 9
  • 10. Dr. Michael O’Malley, professorat George Mason University, had an Irish great-grandfather and a native Virginian great grandmother . His grandfather was listed as colored on their wedding certificate. 10
  • 11.  Unique cultural traits. A sense of community. A feeling of ethnocentrism. Ascribed membership from birth. Tendency to occupy a geographic area.Example:Irish Americans were historically united by a common faith (Catholicism), lived in ethnic enclaves in cities like NYC and Boston, preferred the folkways of Irish over the WASP culture, and remained in Irish neighborhoods due to discrimination. 11
  • 12. A dominant group is one that is advantaged and has superior resources and rights in a society.A subordinate group is one whose members are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by the dominant group and who regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination.Why would sociologists use dominant/subordinate rather than majority/minority? 12
  • 13. A negative attitude based on generalizations about members of selected racial, ethnic, or other groups. • Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to regard one‟s own culture and group as the standard. • Stereotypes are overgeneralizations about the appearance, behavior, or other characteristics of members of particular categories. Racism-attitudes, beliefs, and practices that justify the superior treatment of one group 13
  • 14. Term Definition Related ConceptsRacism Set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices that is used to justify the treatment of another racial or ethnic group.Discrimination Actions or practices of dominant group Isolated vs. members that have a harmful impact on Instituationalized a subordinate group Indirect vs. DirectPrejudice Negative attitude based on faulty Stereotypes generalizations about members of Ethnocentrism specific ethnic, racial, or other groups 14
  • 15.  Frustration–aggression (scapegoat) hypothesis • People who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal will respond with a pattern of aggression toward others. CULTURE OF PREJUDICE • THE SOCIALIZATION EXPERIENCE • IT’S “NORMAL” FOR PEOPLE TO PREJUDGE OTHERS 15
  • 16. Example of Indirect:1937 Map of Philadelphiadeveloped by Homeowners LoanCorporation, a New Deal effort tosalvage distressed propertiesSections of the city were givengrades according to theirproperties and the racial‘infiltrations’. The red and yellowareas were predominantlyminority, while blue and greenwere ‘safer’ areas for lending. 16
  • 17. Jennifer Lee and Immigration 17
  • 18. Previous racial categories included: 2010 Census, Race Section1790:Free white malesFree white femalesAll other free persons (included NativeAmericans who paid taxes and freeblacks)Slaves1890: „Mulattos‟, Quadroons, Octoroons, Chinese, Japanese,20th century: “Hindu”, “South Americans”Census categories from other nations 18
  • 19. The 2010 Census lumps diverse groups intoone race category: • Hispanics may choose „White‟ as race or any other (most choose white) • Arabs are instructed to mark their race as white • Beginning in 2000, people are allowed to choose a „two or more races‟ 19
  • 20.  When asked to indentify racial groups in America, most people will list White, African-American, Native American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, but there are other groups/subgroups worth mentioning White Ethnics • Non-British Europeans-Czechs, Poles, Italians, Irish, Russians, entered the U.S. between 1880-1920 WASPs • White Anglo-Saxon Protestants-the upper class for most of US history has been described as WASP, usually attend mainline churches, members of country clubs, send children to elite prep schools 20
  • 21. Subgroups of Whites Cast of the Jersey Shore, which depicts the ‘guido’ lifestyle of young, Northeastern Italian-Americans Do you think that white subgroups, like WASPS or white ethnics still exist? OrGeorge H.W. Bush, a WASP do they simply exist in popular media prototype depictions? 21
  • 22.  Latino/Hispanic-The only ethnic group recognized by the Census, not a race Hispanic refers to Spanish language (and thus excludes Brazilians and Surinamese) while Latino includes people from Latin-speaking countries Javier Weyler Celia Cruz (Argentinean) (Cuban) 22
  • 23. AsiansThe Census asks forcertain majornationalities, but oftenlumps Southeast Asians,„Orientals‟, Indians, andnative of the Pacificislands togetherWhat „Asians‟ are notincluded in this Censuscategory? 23
  • 24. 24
  • 25. 25
  • 26. Overview of Theoretical Perspectives 26
  • 27.  Contact theory - contact between divergent groups should, in theory, reduce racism Interactionists would study how people define themselves along racial & ethnic lines and how they perceive people of other races Interactionists would also study the daily encounters between people of different races 27
  • 28. How Does This Ad Exemplify the Interactionist Perspective? 28
  • 29.  Assimilation A process by which members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become absorbed into the dominant culture. Ethnic Pluralism The coexistence of a variety of distinct racial and ethnic groups within one society. Functionalists focus on unequal opportunities and achievement of subordinate groups, racism is merely a dysfunction (not an overt set of obstacles) 29
  • 30.  The Caste Perspective views racial and ethnic inequality as a permanent feature of U.S. society. Class perspectives emphasize the role of the capitalist class in racial exploitation. • William Julius Wilson‟s The Truly Disadvantaged explain racism as limited life chances for inner city blacks 30
  • 31.  Internal Colonialism occurs when members of a racial or ethnic group are forcibly placed under the control of the dominant group. SplitLabor Market - The division of the economy into a primary sector composed of higher paid workers in more secure jobs, and a secondary sector of lower-paid workers in jobs with little security. 31
  • 32. Gendered Racism 32