SOC100H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Symbolic Ethnicity, Ethnic Group, Symbolic Interactionism

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5 May 2018
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Chapter 7: Race and Ethnicity
1
(L1) Defining Race and Intelligence
Race and intelligence
Sanford believed that the biological makeup decided your intellectual inferiority
Believed Canada must adopt a policy of selective immigrants to ensure misfits/defectives are not in
the country
If the biological made up you intellectual, then why spend money on those people who aren’t smart?
Why invest good money in schooling, if low IQ scores are rooted in biology and therefore fixed?
Social setting in which a person is raised and educated has a big impact on IQ.
The average IQ of members of racial and ethnic groups has nothing to do with biology
Race and Sport
If a certain racial group is good at multiple sports, it does not mean that they are genetically better
Ex, it’s known blacks are better in basketball, however not known for playing hockey like white ppl
Prejudice: An attitude that judges a person on his or her group’s real or imagined characteristics.
Discrimination: Unfair treatment of people because of their group membership.
The idea that black people are genetically superior to whites in athletic ability is the complement of the idea
that they are genetically inferior to whites in intellectual ability.
The less discrimination/prejudice faced the less likely a professional athlete will form
Racial Mixing
Problem: Genes determine the behaviour of racial group!
It is impossible to determine races based on genetic differences
This is due to the fact that a high level of genetic mixing takes place
We have so much intermixing that race as a biological category has lost nearly all meaning
Biologist/social scientists think that the term race should be dropped due to the fact that subsequent migration,
geographical separation and inbreeding left to the formation of more or less distinct race
A Sociological definition of Race
Sociologist use the term race bc the perception of race still affects our lives
Being rich or your health is influenced by your race and how people see you
Race refers to socially significant physical difference (skin color) rather than biological differences that shape
behavior pattern
Race: A social construct used to distinguish people in terms physical markers, usually with profound effects
on their lives.
Scapegoat: A disadvantaged person or category of people
whom others blame for their own problem
PIC: The vicious circle of Racism:
When races were subordinated in concentration camps/slavery,
the masters noticed that this provided slow/unreliable workers
which created stereotypes
Ethnicity, Culture, and Social Structure
Race is to biology as ethnicity is to culture
Ethnic group: ppl whose perceived cultural markers are deemed socially significant.
differ from one another in terms of language, religion, customs, values, ancestor
Physical differences don’t cause differences in behaviour of various races
Ethnic values and other elements of ethnic culture have less of an effect on the way people behave than we
commonly believe, due to the fact social structural differences frequently underlie cultural differences
Immigration status is responsible for income gap
Annual average income for white Canadians is higher than non-white due to the fact that so many
non-whites are immigrants
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Chapter 7: Race and Ethnicity
2
There are so few aboriginal professors due to the century long discrimination hence the low income
Resources and Opportunities
What determines the economic success of an ethnic or racial group are the resources that people possess:
(notably literacy, education, urbanity, and financial assets)
Porter founder of modern sociology
Called Canada a vertical mosaic- a highly ethnically and racially stratified society
He thought that the retention of ethnic/racial culture was a big problem bc it affected the upward mobility of
immigrants
the Canadian value system encouraged retention of ethnic culture making a low-mobility society
Had to reject the view that ethnic culture determines economic success or failure
Many members of ethnic minority groups were economically successful despite racial prejudice
The resources a person possesses are the structure of opportunities that determines income and occupational
and educational attainment.
(L2) Symbolic Interactionism, Race, and Ethnic Relations
Labels and Identity
Experiencing a shift in racial or ethnic identity is common.
Social contexts and the nature of a person’s relations with members of other racial and ethnic groups shape
and reshape a person’s racial and ethnic identity and leads to change
Symbolic interactionists emphasize:
The development of racial/ethnic labels and identities is a process of negotiation
Ex, members of a group may have a racial or an ethnic identity but outsiders may impose a new label on them.
Group members then reject, accept, or modify the label.
The negotiation between outsiders and insiders results in the crystallization of a new, more/less stable
ethnic identity.
If the social context changes again, the negotiation process begins anew
Choice vs Imposition
The idea that race and ethnicity are socially constructed does not mean that everyone can choose their ethnic
identity freely
Following a path of what the successful race has done led to achieving upward mobility, blending with the
majority
Symbolic Ethnicity: A nostalgic loyalty to the culture of the immigrant generation, or that of the old country
that is not usually incorporated into everyday behaviour.
Racism: The belief that a visible characteristic of a group, such as skin colour, indicates group inferiority and
justifies discrimination.
Black people lack freedom to enjoy symbolic ethnicity
Institutional racism: Bias that is inherent in social institutions and is often not noticed by members of the
majority group.
Where racism is common, racial identities are compulsory and at the forefront of a person self identity
(L3) Conflict Theories of Race and Ethnic Relations
Colonialism and Internal Colonialism:
Conflict theorists argue that one of the most important mechanisms promoting inequality/conflict b/w ethnic
groups is colonialism
Colonialism: Involves people from one country invading and taking political, cultural, and economic control
over people from another country.
In the process other countries culture change or get destroyed
Internal colonialism: Involves one race or ethnic group subjugating another in the same country.
prevents assimilation by segregating the subordinate group in terms of jobs, housing, social contacts.
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Document Summary

Sanford believed that the biological makeup decided your intellectual inferiority. Believed canada must adopt a policy of selective immigrants to ensure misfits/defectives are not in. Social setting in which a person is raised and educated has a big impact on iq. The average iq of members of racial and ethnic groups has nothing to do with biology. If a certain racial group is good at multiple sports, it does not mean that they are genetically better. Ex, it"s known blacks are better in basketball, however not known for playing hockey like white ppl. Prejudice: an attitude that judges a person on his or her group"s real or imagined characteristics. Discrimination: unfair treatment of people because of their group membership. The idea that black people are genetically superior to whites in athletic ability is the complement of the idea that they are genetically inferior to whites in intellectual ability. The less discrimination/prejudice faced the less likely a professional athlete will form.

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