SOC 3391 Lecture Notes - Umber, Meritocracy, Ethnocentrism

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3 Feb 2013
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Ethnicity:
-usually a cultural phenomenon
-can have race socially defined as a part of it
-ethnic groups are made up of people who has perceived cultural markers that are significant ex. Dress
and religion
-the cultural aspectlanguage, religion, customs, values
-physical distinctions don’t cause difference in behaviour
-ethnic groups can experience prejudice and discrimination
-ethnic origins in Canada:
-people who use multiple responses
-about 20 million Canadians use multiple responses
-ex. If do a survey and say who are you, not many people put just Canadian
-if write a multiple response, would list diff backgrounds
-this shows that identity is important
-many Canadians identify themselves as multiple ethnic origins
Ethnic traits:
-religion, language, clothing, holidays
-sense of community, ethic people are aware that they belong to a certain group and other
people in society are also aware of that
-feelings of ethnocentrismit is widespread and boils down to a culture (or subculture) that i
belong to is the best one
-and we have the most favoured set of attributes compared to other subcultures
-my people are harder, more moral, better in all kind of ways than the outsider
-tend to get ethnocentrism within ethnic identification
Membershipcomes from birth
-don’t choose to be born w/n a certain ethnic group
-not something that you achieve but it is ascribed
-sometimes ethnicity is associated w/ territory
-ex. Quebec: home of the French Canadians
-you can also have residential segregation
-you find this across North America
-certain areas of the city are monopolized by certain ethnic groups
-ex. Greek along the Danforth (therefore it is a Greek area)
-this can be voluntary or involuntary
-in an apartheid society, certain groups must by law live in certain areas and places
-cannot live in other areas b/c another group lives in that area
-in Canada, the residential segregation is more voluntary
-people choose to live in a area where there are people of their ethnic group
-this is most seen when people first immigrate to Canada
-people feel more comfortable living among people who speak the same language, eat
the same food
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-usually what takes place is that their offspring moves out of the center and moves to
the suburbs which are more multi-racial
-they don’t find it as intimidating as their parents did
-another thing that can be done is to network w/n your community for either business opportunities or
ethnic sociability
-great deal of business gets done by ethnic enclaves?
-usually dentists, lawyers, accountants from that ethnic group will set up shop w/n that
community
-thus they have an ethnic foundation for their business
Ethic traits lead to institutional completeness: when a community is self-sufficient
-they’ve got restaurants, theatres, schools, clothing stores, grocery stores, doctors, lawyers etc
-mean you can get all the services that you want in your community
-the more institutional complete your community, the less people need to go outside of their
society
-Canadian sociologists are the best in the world when dealing w/ race and ethnicity b/c we’ve
got the best areas to study b/c Toronto is the most multi-ethnic city in the world
-so this is when a particular community possesses all the services it needs for that particular
group
Social significance of race and ethnicity:
-when ask Canadians “what do you think of race and ethnicity”, most are uncomfortable w/ the terms
-one of the mainstream interpretations, in a pluralistic, open, upwardly mobile society, individualistic
type society, meritocratica society that rewards people based on merit
-so Canada sees itself as a meritocracy and whn you mention race and ethnicity, what those
terms tend to do is diminish the possibility of upward mobility
-they bring out images that a person’s destiny is determined by birth and is beyond personal
control
-historically in a Canada, ethnicity has been the basis of hierarchical ranking relative to resources, wealth
-the first to point this out was John Porter who wrote the Vertical Mosaic
-talks about the hierarchical ranking of ethnic groups in Canada based on income
-argued that prior to 1968, there was an entrance group status
-meant that by and large, ethnic groups that entered the country were slotted into the
bottom of the income hierarchy
-and the groups that were affected by that were Eastern Europeans for the most part
-this also happened to Japanese and Chinese
-beginning in the 1880s, the west was largely empty and the American poured into Alberta
-they began to talk about succeeding to the united states
-the federal government of Ottawa didn’t like this so they built the CPR
-in combination w/ the CPR, it opened up the immigration gate to eastern Europeans who were
peasants from Poland and the Ukraine
-when they came, the train didn’t stop until it got to Western Canada so thay they would settle
into the land
-so when Porter looks at income, he finds a close relationship b/w eastern europenas and a lower SES
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