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SOC1101 (756)

Notes for Nov 8 to 22.docx

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Stephan Larose

Ethnicity I: Inequalities and social differences of ethnicity Ethnic jokes: a short sociological analysis • Humour as reality construction – mixing conventional and unconventional realities • The social function of humour – serving as a social safety valve • Humour and conflict – putting others down – making fun of the powerful – turning the jokes on oneself “As Jew, black, and Indian, the Ku Klux Klan saw Zelig as a triple threat.” - Voice-over in the film (Pure Gold) Next Lecture • Ethnicity continued: Arab-American comedians… • Short (thinking) assignment: – How do race and/or ethnicity play a part in the meanings we give to our interactions with others? Ethnicity II: Racial and ethnic discrimination Race vs ethnicity • Race: – category of people singled out as different on the basis of real or alleged inherited physical characteristics such as skin colour, hair texture, eye shape, or other arbitrarily selected attributes – a socially constructed reality, not a biological one • Ethnic group – group of people distinguished, by others or by themselves, on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics – ascribed membership from birth, characterized by cultural traits and a relative sense of community Questions: • How do race and/or ethnicity play a part in the meanings we give to our interactions with others? • Can race/ethnicity constitute a master status? Ethnicity as a stigmatized master status: • An excerpt from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911: Arab-American comedians A few more stats… • Percentage of Americans in 2006 who believed that U.S. Muslims should have to carry special I.D: 39% • Chances an American in 2002 believed the government should regulate comedy routines that make light of terrorism: 2 in 5 – A retrospective of the Bush era (Harper's Index - Harper's Magazine), January 2009 – Next lecture: Gender • Short (thinking) assignment: – According to prevailing gender stereotypes, what characteristics are associated with men? With women? – Are these characteristics natural or cultural? The First Social Differentiation: Gender Gender Matters • Gender differentiation • Gender socialization – Gender roles – Gender identity – Gender stereotypes Short (thinking) assignment: • According to prevailing gender stereotypes, what characteristics are associated with men? With women? – Men: strong, rational, dominant, independent, don’t care for (their own) appearance – Women: weak, emotional, nurturing, dependent, care for (their own) appearance Are these characteristics natural or cultural? Margaret Mead (1901-78) • Famous first female anthropologist • Three societies in New Guinea: - Arapesh - Mundagumor - Tchambuli - Mead, Margaret Book Three societies in New Guinea: Arapesh Mundugumor Tchambuli – Mead, Margaret (1963; orig. 1935). Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. New York; William Morrow.  Arapesh: – both genders were responsive, co-operative, gentle and sensitive to others  Mundugumor: – both genders were selfish, violent and aggressive, seeking power and position  Tchambuli: – like our own but… females were dominant, impersonal, and rational (managerial) – males were submissive, less responsible, more emotionally dependent, and nurturing towards children Sex, Gender, and Sexism • Sex: – the biological and anatomical differences between males and females • Gender: – the culturally and socially constructed differences between males and females found in the meanings, beliefs, and practices associated with femininity and masculinity • Sexism: – the subordination of one sex, usually female, based on the assumed superiority of the other sex Language and Gender • In Norwegian, the one word, kjønn, is used for both sex and gender… • According to the text, many North American aboriginal languages don’t have words for gender… Gender and Occupations • In 1901, women made 13% of Canada’s paid workforce, and earned 50%, of men’s income – Canada’s 125 Anniversary Yearbook, 1992 • In 2000, 70% of women, and 74% of men, were active in the Canadian labour force – Statistics Canada Professional Wage Gaps (2008) Occupations Men Women Dentists 100% 65% Lawyers 100% 68% University 100% 77% Professors Gender rituals: the bachelor party and the bridal shower • Rite of passage: a ritual that marks a change in a person's social status – Child birth, puberty, graduation, getting a driver's license, wedding, having a baby, buying a house, death… Bridal Shower Bachelor Party Birth and celebration of a new life Death and celebration of the current life Gain of a new social status loss of a valued social status Inclusion of the bride to be in a new Violent exclusion of the groom to be social group: married women from the current group… PS: in French, the bachelor party is called "enterrement de vie de garçon", which literally means "burial/funeral of the life as a bachelor"… Couples touching each other: addendum • Touching in coffee houses in Puerto Rico, France, USA, and England (during one hour): – Puerto Ricans: 180 – French: 110 – Americans: 2 – English: none… – Harper, R. G., Wiens, A. N. & Matarazzo, J. D. (1978). Nonverbal Communication: The State of the Art. New York: John Wiley & Sons., pp. 297. Class management… • Rest of the semester: reminder… • Next two lectures Sociology at the Movies – Friday: The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (on (sub)urbanization, consumerism, fossil fuel addiction, and the energy crisis) • Tuesday Nov. 29: in-class discussion of the movie and Course evaluation. Please be there (if you have anything good to say! Otherwise, stay home…) • Final exam (Dec. 9, 9:30-12:30): Not comprehensive Families, Marriage, and Intimate Relationships Outline: • The family as an agent of socialization and a social institution • Marriage • Housework and childcare responsibilities • Love and intimacy What is a family? • Made of a mom and a dad? • A nuclear or subnuclear unit? • Related by bonds of blood and marriage? • New reproductive technologies… How many ‘parents’ can one child have? – Egg donor, surrogate mother, sperm donor, adoptive parents… • According to the text, families are: “relationships in which people live together with commitment, form an econom
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