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PERLS104 Lecture Notes - Myocyte, Human Genome Project, Tiger Woods

Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies
Course Code
Melanie Muise

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Chapter 9 Race and Ethnicity
Defining Race
Race = a population of people who are believed to be naturally or biologically
distinct from other populations
Race depends on a classification system though which meanings are given to
physical traits
Defining Ethnicity
Ethnicity = a particular cultural heritage that is used to identify a category of
An ethnic population = a category of people regarded as socially distinct
because they share a way of life, a collective history, and a sense of
themselves as a people
Minority Group
Refers to a socially identified collection of people who:
Experience discrimination
Suffer social disadvantages because of discrimination
Possess a strong self-conciousness based their shared experiences of
discriminatory treatment
Visible Minority
Term used in Canada to refer to racial minority groups who are identifiably
different, often by skin colour, from the majority group
Visible minority has a specific meaning as used by Stats Canada, and it terms
of its use in Canadian censes data (ex. It doesn’t include First Nations)
Canada has been the subject of international criticism, including from the UN,
for the use of this term
Racial Ideology In History
Racial classification systems were developed as white Europeans explored
and colonized the globe and found that there were physical differences
between people
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These systems were used to justify colonization, conversion, and even
slavery and genocide
According to these systems, white skin was the standard, and dark skin
was associated with intellectual inferiority and slowed development
Trouble With Race And Racial Ideology
Racial categories are social creations based on meanings given to selected
physical traits
Race isn’t a valid biological concept: verified by data from human genome
Racial classifications are fuzzy because they are based on continuous traits
with arbitrary lines drawn to create categories
Racial classifications vary from culture to culture
Drawing Colour Lines In Society
CONTINUOUS traits = skin colour, height, brain size, nose width, leg length,
leg length ratio, number of fast twitch muscle fibers, etc.
Discrete traits = blood type, sickle cell trait, etc
Racial category can be drawn anywhere on a continuum ! we could draw 2 or
200 lines, our decisions are a social decisions, not decisions based on biology
Race in Canada
Race is a primitive but powerful classification system that has been used
around the world
Mixed race people challenge the validity of this socially influential way of
defining race
Canadian views on “race” have been influenced by proximity to the US
Tiger woods disrupted the dominant race logic
CA = Caucasian
BL = Black
IN = Indian [native American]
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