CHAPTER 12 – ‘RACE’ AND ETHNICITY: SITES OF INEQUALITY
VIDEO: “Living Colour”
Vancouver’s diverse ethnic communities come together to create a unique
blended culture, and ethnic mixing is presented in the new norm.
o Do inequalities diminish as these new cultures develop?
Spoken Word: Boon Mohammed “Green Card”
Much like Conflict Theory
Race – Social construct used to distinguish people in terms of one or more physical
markers, usually with profound effects on their lives.
As biological entities ‘Race’ doesn’t exist, but still matters.
• Allows social inequalities to be created and
Ethnic Group – Composed of people whose perceived cultural markers are socially
significant (especially in creating and maintain systems of social inequality).
Racialization – The process in which people are viewed and judged essentially
different in terms of their intellect, their morality, their values, and their worth because
of differences of physical type or cultural heritage.
A Sociological Profile of Canada’s Aboriginal People
Aboriginal people have been racialized:
o Aboriginal history is largely ignored
o Aboriginal people tend to be studied from the perspective of social
Relational Accountability – An approach that balances the
social portrayal of a people so that both strengths and
weaknesses, problems and successes can be seen.
o Aboriginal voices have been barely heard in the sociological study of
o Aboriginal people are defined by a complex system of legal status that
separates them from nonaboriginals and each other Recent Changes in Aboriginal Canada
1. The Powley Test (2003)
a. Used to determine whether First Nation and Metis people can hunt
without a license.
i. Show that they have been identified as Metis and an accepted
member of the community.
2. Urban Reserves
a. Lands located in an urban area, which allow for Aboriginal business.
3. Land Claims and SelfGovernment
a. First Nations and Metis Land Claims.
b. Nunavut (1999), Western NWT, Yukon.
Four Elements of Racism
1. Construction of certain groups of people as biologically superior or inferior.
a. The prejudgment of others on the basis of their group membership.
a. Acts, by which individuals are treated differently, rewarded or
punished, based on their group membership.
a. Manifested where institutionalized advantages are regularly handed to
one or more groups over others.
Types of Racism
o Open, conscious expression of racist views by an individual.
Institutional or Systematic Racism
o Racist practices, rules, and laws that have become part of the system.
Polite, Smiling, or Friendly Racism
o Racism hidden behind smile or words that seem friendly.
Master Narratives and Buried Knowledge
Racism is often downplayed or ignored in the master narrative that a country
constructs about its history.
Foucault’s buried knowledge
o Defending the Women: An Act to Prevent the Employment of Female
Labour (pg. 33233)
o Punished for Success: JapaneseCanadian Fishers (pg. 333)
o Not Wanted on the Voyage: the Komagata Maru (pg. 333336)
Theories of Ethnicity
1. Primordialism (essentialism)
a. Every ethnic group is made of standardized traits that have been