SOCA02 LEC #1 - JAN 9, 2014 / week1
PART 1: Social control & Race (Afro Americans = experienced "special" racism)
Eg Sammy Davis (entertainer) - Sammy Davis wanted to perform somewhere denied but Frank
Sinatara wanted him to perform w/ him so Sammy got to perform there.
Intermarriages show that small number of intermarriages w/ whites and blacks compared to
Asians & Native Americans.
Minorities = overrepresented in sports
1. Easier to assess / measure performance
2. Lack other opportunities
Boxing - oldest sport (19th c Euro Aristocrats / poor ppl favoured)
Now boxing attracted many writers = a lot of terms developed from boxing.
Heavy weight champ = pinnacle of sport positions (greatness)
• Heavy weight champs = given leeway - deviance excused / neutralized / tolerated
Afro Americans Athletes create ambivalence / fear = increase social control.
• Because they are minorities who are successful athletes.
African American Black Champs:
This Example shows the special racism experienced by black champs, where there was an
emphasis on attitude / performance in the ring because they were successful athletes who were
First Black Champion = Jack Johnson (1915) = controversial
Traditionally Black fighters were not allowed to fight white fighters.
• Johnson tried to fight Burns (champ at the time), couldn't because of the rule that blacks
couldn't vs. whites but after got to fight Burns.
• In the end Johnson BEAT Burns, police stopped fight before KO, scared Burns would
die. • Johnson became champ but he was exactly the champ people didn't want: He taunts
other people flaunts his money, married 3 times (white woman), taunts other people
It was not until 22 years later there was another black champ because not allowed to fight.
Joe Louis followed - great champ that ppl liked
• Humble, gave money to war effort, liked by whites.
• Really good fighter performed punch around the world = FIRST ROUND KO against
shmelling (German champ)
Many others followed including: Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, & Ali.
An example that shows the racism experienced is the "Great White Hope" play that tells a story
about the hopes of a white fighter to beat Johnson highlighting the segregation, racism and
prejudice he faced.
Social Control (an increased amount experienced by African Americans)
1/3 Afro American men dealing w/ law: prison, parole or probation.
1. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
20 years in Jail wrongfully convicted for murdering 3 people - thrown out of jail by US
Superior after many trails and many famous celebrities came to his aid.
2. Police stops Black Guys randomly while driving because they are black
3. Many black people in trouble with law: Michael Jackson, Rodney King, OJ Simpson,
4. Henry Louis Gates (July, 2009)
Regarded @ Harvard as America's most eminent African American Academic was cuffed
/ locked up for disorderly conduct by Cambridge policeman, later dropped the charges.
Obama stepped in, invited the police and Gates to the white house for a beer to discuss
The increased social control shapes both how blacks are viewed in society and how black ppl
view each other either as models, stereotypes, victims, or oppressors. Emphasizing their crimes(untrue or not) make it even worse: ppl fear them even more and they
continue to increase fear.
• Black youth try to intimidate / create fear towards them with the example of a black man
being followed by 3 white men, he said if it were 3 black men he would have been
PART 2: Race & Ethnicity (from textbook)
Race = Little / no biological or genetic basis left
• Race exists only because ppl treat "race" as different eg: In Brazil 40 diff skin colours.
Ethnic groups (more important than race and will not disappear anytime soon)
Classifications of ethnic groups:
• descendents of same ancestors.
• share some cultural traits