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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)
Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Race and Ethnic Relations (Includes Textbook material).docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Lecture 10 - Race and Ethnic Relations January-10-13 7:00 PM  Ethnic groups are distinguished "by ancestry, culture, and social location"  "Races have relatively unique ancestries, cultures, and social locations too. In addition, races differ from ethnic groups and from one another in terms of visible physical characteristics, such as skin colour, that are socially defined as significant and that are therefore significant in their social consequences".  The sociology of ethnic and racial relations concerns primarily of how power and resources are unequally distributed among ethnic and racial groups  Example: Death of Dudley George  September 1995 - Killed by police officer during peaceful protest in Ipperwash Provincial Park  Done out of racism towards "indians" A Sociological Perspective (Race/Ethnicity)  Focus on inequality and power  Social significance of categories of race and ethnicity  Look at systematic discrimination  Social significance of categories of race and ethnicity  Ethnic boundaries are flexible, negotiated and historically variable  Race and ethnicity as achieved statuses (status acquired by society)  Race and ethnicity as socially constructed and can change  Race as a biological myth  Using racial classifications (e.g. skin colour, hair texture, body shape) is not scientifically sound  Genetic differences between races are small and behaviourally insignificant  Only a fraction of 1% of all human genes are shared by people of the same race Ethnicity  Objective definitions of ethnicity: ethnic groups exist because of people's social attachments  Ethnicity as fixed and static  Something people possess because of differences in language that you speak, cultural practices, customs, nation of origin, ancestry  Subjective approaches to ethnicity: focus on process of ethnic self identification or others identifying them as belonging to same ancestral/cultural group  Ethnic identity as situational, variable and flexible, not fixed or static (transactional process)  E.g. Racism in the Canadian University book - friendships increasingly organized based on ethnicity  Experience of visible minority university students described  E.g. Quebec civic nationalism vs. ethnic nationalists  Ethnic nationalists - Membership in separatist Quebec should be determined by your cultural/linguistic background (have to speak French, long deep roots in Quebec), some say only those who have families in Quebec for generations  Civic nationalism - separation based on whoever is living in Quebec  Ethnicity is socially constructed - most people identify themselves as Canadian  Many people believe in the existence of ethnicity and race and organize their relationships with others on the basis of those beliefs  Thus, race & ethnicity are important parts of our social reality  In constant flux - e.g. "Germans" did not exist 150 years ago  Study found that majority of people in Canada identified their ethnic identity as "Canadian"  B/c some are unaware/uninterested in our roots, thus define ourselves Canadian  Others it's a political act to express dissatisfaction with government's policy of multiculturalism  Many do so because it's the group with whom we identify and a share a sense of belonging  Emergence of this sense of community means that the ethnic English-Canadian is a new social creation Institutional Racism  Discriminatory racial practices built into institutions (e.g. political, economic and education systems)  3 Forms: 1. Based on racist ideas  E.g. Denying certain groups to vote (Chinese/Indians in Canada couldn't vote), Japanese in put in camps, residential segregation of Blacks and refused service in places, not selling property to Blacks/Jews 2. Institutional practices that were originally racist but no longer are  E.g. Migrant workers (mostly from Mexico and Caribbean) can only stay for summer- justified this saying they can take heat, not Canadian winter 3. Institutions that unintentionally restrict the chances of certain groups through rules, regulations, procedures  Referred to as "systemic discrimination"  E.g. Racial profiling by police (Blacks/Aboriginals more likely to be stopped than whites), Height and weight requirements for certain fields of work (police officers/firefighters) so Asians underrepresented, word of mouth recruiting in organizations + inflated educational requirements for non-tech jobs put minority groups at disadvantage in the distribution of scare resources like jobs New Racism  Theory that suggests that it's natural for groups to form bounded communities  Developed by Martin Barker  One group is neither better nor worse than another, but feelings of antagonism will be aroused if outsiders are admitted  British Parliament - 1970's - immigration policy: who to let in  Immigrants of colour that had been living in former British colonies in Africa, Asia could go back and live in Britain  But some wanted to prevent them from coming in to Britain - called them 'culturally different' and can have an effect on British society  If underlying intent is the same (margalizing); it's still racism  New racism: Racism has taken on new forms (cultural differences as opposed to biological differences)  Impact of new racism is the same: unequal treatment  Survey found:  9% of Canadians considered themselves strongly/moderately racist  Men more likely to describe themselves as moderately racist  21% of Canadians believe some races are more gifted than others  9% of Canadians would be upset if child married someone of a different race  92% of Canadians witnessed racist comments/behaviours  17% believe their city is more racist than it was 10 years ago  Canada less racist than countries like America + U.K.  Most visible minority Canadians did not experience discrimination/unfair treatment in past 5 years Prejudice vs. Discrimination  Prejudice (hostility) vs. discrimination (unequal treatment)  Prejudice - having negative attitudes towards people of another ethnic group; hostility  Survey data reveal that approx. 1/3 of Canadians hold prejudicial attitudes  Discrimination - unequal treatment because they belong to another ethnic group  Employer doesn't higher someone because they're a visible minority White Privilege  Unearned privilege that whites benefit from  Privilege you haven't earned (socially, politically, economically etc.)  Concept developed by Peggy McIntosh, Feminist and Anti-Racist Scholar and Activist 2006 Census  16.5% of Canadians self-defined as a member of a visible-minority group (not going to be tested on this)  Large cities have higher proportions of visible minorities  Immigration in Canada - point system (biased, favoured to who will do well, occupational) 3 Groups Facing Inequality 1. Aboriginals (economic and health outcomes)  Lack of good housing, clean water, food is expensive in remote areas, higher death rate, shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality, problems of suicide/violence, substance abuse, less family income  Gov view: Historical and intergenerational trauma - exploitation of reserve systems and residential schools, youth still face this because their parents were forcibly raised in residential schools (sexual/physical abuse)  Stripped of language and roots, were forced to become European and taken away from families  Most socially + economically disadvantaged group in Canada 2. Black men (economic outcomes suggest persistent discrimination)  Higher unemployment/lower incomes, incomes not in line with educational attainment or work experience  Systematic discrimination  Different from other immigrant groups  Black women - income DOES match with educational attainment + work experience 3. Recent Immigrants (poorer outcomes as compared to earlier waves of immigrants)  Those who've come in last 20 years  Lower earnings, less employment even though they're more educated  Education and work experience is not recognized here (trained as health professional in their country but credentials not recognized so they work in service industry)  Factors that shape Canadian Immigration: 1. Social class - fill jobs in Canadian economy (typically ones that no one else wants to do) 2. Ethnic and racial stereotypes - European immigrants were considered superior to the rest of immigrants 3. Geopolitical considerations based on Canada's relationships with other countries 4. Humanitarianism - accept those based on compassionate grounds 5. Public opinion 6. Security considerations (e.g. due to Sept. 11 attacks) Contemporary Immigration Categories  Refugees  Convention refugees - people who are denied as refugees (due to Geneva Convention) by reason of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, live outside of their country or nationality or their country of habitual residence and who are unable/unwilling, because of fear of persecution to return to their country of origin  Country of asylum refugees - people who are outside their country of citizenship who are seriously/personally affected by civil war, armed conflict or violations of human rights  Source country class refugees - People who would meet definition of a Convention refugee but who are still in their country of citizenship  Also includes people who have been detained/imprisoned and are suffering serious deprivations of right of freedom of expression, right of dissent, right to engage in trade union activity  Family Class Immigrants  Have close members already living in Canada who are willing and able to support them  Sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over age of 18 and living in Canada  Depending on circumstances, sponsor must be able to provide for lodging, care, maintenance and settlement of family member(s) for 3-10 years  Economic/Independent Immigrants  Federal government has increased this category, in comparison to family class  Greater economic benefit to Canada  Independent Immigrants  Skilled workers and professionals - selected based on ability to meet certain minimum work experience requirements to prove they have enough funds to support themselves +family in Canada  Measured by points system  Immigrant entrepreneurs - people who will own and manage a business that will contribute to economy and create jobs + must have min. net worth of $400 000 and business experience  Immigrant investors - capitalists who have a personal net worth of at least $800 000 and invest half
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