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SOCI 1002 w8.docx

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SOCI 1002
Kathleen Moss

SOCI 1002 E Foundations of Sociology Week 8: Race and Ethnicity • Rankism: rank-based abuse. It offends human dignity and is based on power. • Mutability of Rank: Everyone has suffered from rankism at one point – explanation for someone’s empathy against discrimination. • Rank and power differences: not the problem, abuse of power and rank is the problem. • Use of power to discriminate, exploit, demean and disrespect is the problem. Ex: boss harassing an employee, teacher humiliating a student. • Rankism is a problem if one believes all human beings are entitled to a fundamental equality of dignity. • Need to be a promotion of legitimate uses of rank and an elimination of illegitimate uses which lead to discrimination and prejudice. Race and Ethnicity in Canada • Canada is known for its cultural democracy and ethnic diversity. • Significant gains have been made in the past 50 years for ‘visible’ and ‘non-visible’ minority groups in Canada. • Racism is still an issue in Canada. Social Construction of Race • Racial categorization based on phenotypical differences (such as facial characteristics or skin colour) does not correlate with genotypical differences (differences in genetic makeup). • Race: a social construct used to distinguish people in terms of one or more physical markers, such as skin colour, hair texture, eye shape, etc, usually with profound effects on their lives. • Race matters b/c it allows forms of social inequality to be created and perpetuated. Race matters b/c of how people treat one another b/c of it. Race matters b/c of power. Ethnicity • Ethnic group: collection of people distinguished, by others or by themselves, primarily on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics. • Ethnic groups: often share cultural traits such as language, clothing, holidays, religious practices, a sense of community, ascribed membership from birth, geographic area. • Provides a sense of identity and belonging. Relations between Race and Ethnicity • Symbolic interactionists suggest development of racial and ethnic labels as well as ethnic and racial identities, is typically a process of negotiation: • Members of a group may have racial or an ethnic identity, outsiders may impose new labels on them. • Group members then reject, accept or modify label. • Negotiation between outsiders and insiders eventually results in crystallization of new, more or less stable ethnic identity. • If social context changes again, negotiation process beings anew. • Imposition versus Choice • Idea that race and ethnicity are socially constructed does not mean that everyone can always choose their racial or ethnic identity freely. • Are wide variations over time and from one society to the next in degree to which people can exercise such freedom of choice. • As well, in a given society at a given time, different categories of people are more or less free to choose. Majority and Minority Groups • Majority: dominant group that is advantaged has a superior resources and rights in a society. • Minority: subordinate grou
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