Textbook NotesChapter 10: Race and Ethnicity 1
Defining Race and Ethnicity
The Great Brain Robbery
•150 years ago Dr. Morton measured the size of human brains from different ethnicity and
ranked them from biggest to smallest. Whites of Europeans > Asians > Native North Americans
> Blacks (loll)
•Morton used science to show that Native Americans and Blacks were naturally rested at the
bottom of the social hierarchy, this lead to domination and injustice: colonization and slavery.
•Scientifically speaking, Morton's findings are meaningless, because the tests were HIGHLY
invalid and unreliable. (very biased... but honestly.. Asians should have the biggest skull >=])
•However, Morton's findings were so influential that everyone believed him.
Race, Biology, and Society
•Prejudice: is an attitude that judges a person on his or her group's real or imagined
characteristics. Prejudice is an attitude.
•Discrimination: is unfair treatment of people because of their group membership.
Discrimination is a behavior.
•Scapegoat: is a disadvantaged person or category of people that others blame for their own
•All the racial stereotypes (blacks are better in sports and whites are smarter) are untrue and used
only t reinforce black-white inferiority.
•Racial stereotypes reinforces racial inequalities, racial stereotypes are created by people.
•The Vicious Circle of Racism
Physical markers are used to distinguish groups and create social inequality based on race by
means of colonialism, slavery etc
Different social conditions between superordinates and subordinates create behavioral
differences between them (eg, energetic versus lazy workers).
Perceptions of behavioral differences create racial stereotypes that get embedded in culture.
Ethnicity, Culture, and Social Structure
•Race is to biology as Ethnicity is to culture.
•Race: is a social construct used to distinguish people in terms of one or more physical markers,
usually with profound effects on their lives such as being singled out as inferior or superior.
•Ethnic group: collection of people who because they share cultural traits and interact with each
other, regard themselves and are regarded as a cultural unit. Ethnic groups differ from one
another in terms of language, religion, customs, values and ancestors etc.
•Majority Group: dominant group, one that's advantaged, has superior resources and rights in a
•Minority Group: one whose members, because of physical or cultural characteristics are
disadvantaged and subject to unequal treatment by the dominant group and who regard
themselves as objects of collective discrimination.
•Culture is unimportant in determining the economic success of racial or ethnic groups.
•Race and culture are not the only sources of differences in behaviors in different ethnic groups;
social culture also plays a role.
Function of Pure Race (Doesn't Exist anymore)