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Lecture

Race and Ethnicity. An Important Health Issue. Lecture Note..
Race and Ethnicity. An Important Health Issue. Lecture Notes.doc

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School
Ryerson University
Department
Family Studies
Course
FNF 100
Professor
Dan Mahoney
Semester
Fall

Description
Race and Ethnicity: An Important Health Issue How do we define Ethnicity, Race, Culture and Nationality? Definitions on ethnicity, race, culture and nationality are usually based on prejudice and colloquial info. Ethnicity: ▯ common descent from a group of ancestors ▯ customs, characteristics, language and experience ▯ and/or a sense of common identity *Ethnicity at its core is about our ancestors though it has recently been politicized Subjective Meanings…. ▯ highly subjective phenomenon ▯ can vary between groups, between generations within the same group, between stages of life, and within individuals over time ▯ not based on country of origin (or geographical areas b/c where we or our ancestors came from don’t necessarily identify ethnicity) *we all have varying understandings of ethnicities. How ppl come to identify their ancestry more are hugely personal. Ethnicity as Identity…. ▯ Ethnicity is not an automatic membership (ppl may not want to be identified in an ethnic group) ▯ nor do people necessarily strongly relate to these definition of ethnicity ▯ These definitions were constructed by the dominant groups to identify those individuals, and groups considered to be “outside” of society *the problems around ethnicity is our presumptions based on looks, its become overuse; allows ppl to describe themselves. Increasingly, our ethnicity has become labels/ways to categorize people which may put them in powerless categories. It has became a way to segregate society which is a proble (us vs them); in the true sense, ethnicity is about your historical/generational background. Constructing the “Other” -the construction of an ethnic identity in Canada was largely a reaction by the charter groups in Canada -if you were not of English/French descent, then you were determined to be categorized in the other. -creating the other is a convenient way to distinguish between dominant vs. minority. Culture…. ▯ The sum of all ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge which form the basis of social action ▯ Are enforced within a social group ▯ Are passed on from generation to generation *culture is often passed through word of mouth, historical materials/artifacts, generations Race and Nationality ▯ Race: A category of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society deem socially significant (an unpoliticized defn; in real sense, is based on biological similarities) ▯ Nationality: Status of belonging to a particular nation (inc becoming hyphenated, eg. Irish-Cdn) Social Construction of Race is very Controversial -very difficult to link race to genetic factors 1 -biological diff b/w popns are found in blood groups -popns sharing same blood groups don’t coincide w/ racial groups as they are commonly understood -race has been controversial & socially constructed based on physical characteristics even though it’s not supposed to be Mechanical Views of Race and Ethnicity... ▯ Superficial physical traits often regarded as logical grounds for classifying people into racial groups ▯ Combining physical and cultural traits provides an ever-widening basis for discrimination ▯ Physical and cultural characteristics, whether real or imagined, have been used to justify segregation and discrimination *current defns of race don’t actually have a logical ground; race has become to be defined by physical characteristics which only serves political function to justify discrimination. Dominant Group vs. Minority Experience…. ▯ Race and ethnicity have been used as consequences of unequal relationships ▯ Differential power relationships between a dominant and subordinate group. ▯ Dominants groups have the power to link culture and race with intellectual, moral or behavioural characteristics Understanding the Importance of Population Growth Through Immigration *concern that there won’t be enough ppl to support t
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