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Lecture

Chapter 14 - Race & Ethnicity - pp.324-347

5 pages130 viewsFall 2010

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC100H5
Professor
Suzanne Casimiro

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Race & Ethnicity 01/11/2010 17:45:00
The Social Meaning of Race & Ethnicity
Race - a socially constructed category of people who share biologically
transmitted traits that members of a society consider important
Scientists created 3 BROAD CATEGORIES OF RACE CAUSCASOIDS,
MONGLOIDS and NEGROIDS- there are no biologically pure races
Ethnicity - A shared cultural heritage. It is reflected in ancestry, dress, religion,
language
Minority - A minority is any category of people distinguished by physical or
cultural difference that a society sets apart and subordinates
Prejudice & Stereotypes
Prejudice - a rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people
Stereotype - a simplified description applied to every person in some category
**Aboriginal people are stereotyped by some as lacking motivation, but most
poor people are white
Racism - The belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to
another
**A powerful rationale
** Racial conflict has intensified in Britain and Western European societies due
to immigration from former colonies
Theories of Prejudice
Scapegoat theory: prejudice springs from frustration among people who are
themselves disadvantaged
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*Prejudice is a way to express anger
*Produces feelings of superiority
Scapegoat - People blame them for their own troubles
Authoritarian Personality Theory - A personality trait of certain individuals who
show Intolerance towards all minorities
*They are rigid moralists with little education who see things as clear-cut matters
of right and wrong
*They view society as naturally competitive and hierarchical
Culture Theory - Some prejudice is found in everyone because it is embedded
in culture
*Belief in the social superiority of some categories of people (e.g. British) is still a
part of Canadian culture
*Bogardus social distance scale shows consistency between Canada and US
Conflict Theory - Prejudice is a product of social conflict
*Self-justification for the rich and powerful to oppress others, e.g., Chinese
railroad labourers
Steele - Minorities themselves may cultivate climate of race consciousness
(victimhood) in order to win greater power and privileges (“special treatment”)
Discrimination
Discrimination - Unequal treatment of various categories of people, it is a matter
of action
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