SOCIOL 1A06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Ipperwash Provincial Park, Institutional Racism, Visible Minority

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
Department
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
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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)
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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)
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