Race & Ethnicity
Sociology of race and ethnic relations deals with power and resources. Power and
resources are distributed along racial and ethnic lines.
Social construction of race: perceptions of race are socially constructed and often
arbitrary. They are not biological givens.
Racism today is used to represent prejudice and discrimination. Racism is not
synonymous to prejudice and discrimination. Racism is about genetic
inferiority/superiority. Some represent race as religion, nationality but is not what race
really is. Race is a category of people that have been singled out as superior or inferior
due to skin colour, eye colour, etc. and results in social superiority/inferiority.
Problems with race and biological racism are if identified by skin colour, there is a great
deal of variations amongst each category (white/ black). The system of classification was
created during the age of expansion and discovery, not it is outdated. Originally used to
distinguish white and black.
Much racial mixing is going on, racial purity doesn’t exist anymore. Biology says that for
the most part, people are genetically mixed. This is due to globalization. Intermarriage is
Genetic differences within group variation are larger than between group variations.
Types of racism:
Institutional racism: found in south Africa. Fully equipped with a whole ideology
based on genetic inferiority. When laws are passed defining people are inferior.
Systemic racism: selecting police and fire fighters based on size is an example.
Racism is self perpetuating.
Superordinate: group on top. Subordinate: group below.
Cultural markers rather than physical distinctions.
Collection of people whom because share cultural traits regard themselves as cultural