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Race and Ethnicity Lecture

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Mc Kinon

SOCA01-Lecture 10 Race and Ethnicity: (No marginality and creativity on the final) Social construction: -sociology on race and ethnicity is important b.c we look at how race and ethnicity shape power and resources -race and ethnicity often focus on inequality -some people think race and ethnicity is proscribedborn w/ it and so unchangeable -traits that you’re born w/ -sociology says race and ethnicity are socially constructed -consider greater importance for sociology than in biology -racial distinctions aren’t biological given -some scientists believe we all belong to one race and this is in Africa -some people think we all come from one mother named Lucy who is from Africa Race: -is misused -some people think of race in connection w/ skin colour -the Caucasian race-->white people or people of European background -some people label Jews as a race but they are an ethnic group -another misuse is nationality -the English racewrong -the human racewrong -not the way sociologists or biologists use the term race -Canterbury people who have been singled out as inferior or inferior on the basis physical of genetic characteristics -term racism is also misusedmeans to be prejudiced against a socially defined group of ppl and to discriminate them based on genetic inferiority of that group of individuals -often find today that when people see prejudice or discrimination, they think that it is based on racism but it’s not always true -can discriminate against people not just for race but can also discriminate based on religion, colour of hair, etc. -should be aware of the fact that racism is the discrimination against people who show genetic inferiority Race biology of society: -race is a social construct -race matters historically b/c it has been associated w/ inequality -the group defined as genetically inferior experiences prejudice -scapegoating is when a group of people blame and inferior group of people for their problems that they themselves have created -problems w/ race -this system of classification, white and non-white took hold in western Europe during the era of colonialism -this system is now outdated b/c many ppl don’t fit in this either/or classification -Asians, Africans, etc don’t fit this type of scheme -another problem is fiction of pure race -sociologists use race b/c the perception of race affects the lives of people profoundly -it remains a social category -but it lacks a biological foundation -racial purity is thought to exist but this is fiction -most of us are genetically mixed -we have more biological similarity in places like Japan which has been isolated from the rest of the world for a long period of time and today it still doesn’t have immigration -there is a small Chinese and Korean population but are isolated from the larger society -even so, they are not a race biologically speaking -why are people mixed? -migration -can also have immigrationmoving into a county -emigrationmoving out of the country -this is increasing w/ the modern world -intermarriage is also increasing so these make it impossible to draw biological lines b/w people -another problem of race: genetic variation (height, size, etc.) w/n groups, is greater than genetic variation between groups -so when you compare 2 groups, the genetic variation is smaller in a b/w group comparison than w/n a particular group -so this makes a hold as a biological category -society arbitrarily selects certain traits -but when look at the entire range of genetic characteristics, the genetic biological sectioning of race falls to pieces -this means that the concept of race is social rather than biological -thus people are pinned w/ a racial tag by society and it is unjustified -Tiger Woods: -has an interesting racial background Aboriginal White Black Chinese Thai Father Mother Tiger Cablinasian -Woods actually invented the term -consciousness of kind -people are conscious of belonging to a particular group that has been socially defined -this segregates populations and can create an insider (i belong to thins group and the rest of society belongs to another group) -this can lead to social conflict Types of racism: -classifying yourself as a part of a race is incorrect -prejudice is an attitude, discrimination is a behaviour -institutional racism -this is genuine racism -you can find this in apartheid societies like south Africa and the southern part of the united states -this is when government and the state develops laws which discriminate against people based on their socially defined race -the most prominent laws are the laws of segregation -make intermarriage illegal -systematic racism: when you establish policies that discriminate against certain groups mauybe b/c of size -ex. Toronto police force said that you had to be of a certain height and size before you were accepted -this left out women and certain ethnic groups -police and firefighters are example of this -included groups that were larger and excluded groups that were smaller -cycle of racism -physical markers are used to distinguish certain groups -create inequality based on race -ex. Colonialism and slavery -next step is to provide diff working conditions b/w subordinates and superordinates -creates behavioural differences -perceptions of different behaviours leads to stereotypesto make an evaluation of somebody based on that individual’s membership in a socially defined group 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 aspectlanguage, 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 ethnocentrismit 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 Membershipcomes 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 -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, a
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