SOC 1101 – Lecture 18
Race and Ethnicity
Race – a category of people who share certain common physical traits deemed
to be socially significant.
There are no clear-cut “races”, only a range of physical differences.
Human populations are a continuum, and the genetic diversity within populations
that share visible traits is as great as the diversity between them
- No pure geno types
- In various points of history, for various imperialist reasons when people try
to categorize and classify people, it is not in fact that easy to fit people into
specific narrow categories
Process of racialization – is the process by which people use their
understandings of race to classify individuals or groups.
Historically, certain groups were thought to be distinct biological groups
- Used to justify this racialization
- Scholars went to great lengths to come up with justifications for the
process of racialization
Beginning in the 15 century, as Europeans expanded their travel, their
increased contact with different regions of the world lead to attempts to
categorize and explain natural and social dynamics
Slavery, apartheid, segregation, and racial discrimination resulted.
Racialization also means singling people our for unequal treatment on the
basis on real or imagined physical characteristics
o Part of discrimination
Distinguished by socially selected cultural traits, rather than physical ones
Social groups and cultures tent to evaluate themselves and their way of
life favorable in relation to others.
A system of domination through social processes and social institutio