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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)

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Sandra Colavecchia

Sociology – Race and Ethnic Relations 1/9/2013 1:24:00 PM Page 159 SIQ  Ethnic groups are distinguished “by ancestry, culture, and social location”  Where your parents or grandparents are from  Race‟s have relatively unique culture, ancestry and social locations  Race‟s differ from ethnic groups  Physical characteristics play a role; skin colour A Sociological perspective  Focus on inequality and power  Social significance of categories of race and ethnicity  Focus on discrimination  Race and ethnicity as achieved statuses  Race and ethnicity as socially constructed  Race as a biological myth o Racial classification systems are scientifically „unsound‟ o Scientists have come to the conclusion that there are genetic differences between races, and this has become problematic o The genetic differences between races are extremely wrong and insignificant o Only a fraction of 1% of all human genes are shared by people of the same human race, which is virtually insignificant o Today the scientific community shares the idea that genetic classifications are not useful People view race and ethnicity as ascribed; something you can‟t change, you‟re born with it Sociologists view it as achieved; not fixed but acquired through social experiences Ethnicity: Objective: ethnicity as fixed and static  Language you speak  Customs you practice  Your culture  Nation of origin = where you came from  Ancestry  Talks about ethnic groups existing because of where a person is situated socially Subjective: ethnic identity as variable and flexible  Looks at self-identification (how do you see yourself)  Ethnic identity is not fixed, but flexible  Sometimes even situational  Ethnicity is self defined by people  Your sense of self identity can change over time, you might identify less as time passes  Self-defined, and fluent  Examples: o Education; Henry and Tator (their novel) Canadian university
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