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Introduction to Sociology Lecture: Race and Ethnicity

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Adam Green

Bogdan M. January/16 Sociology: Race and Ethnicity Morton -was a us physician and esteemed at it -he collected human skills, filled it with marbles to measure brain volumes -compared size across races, saw that races at top of society’s hierarchy (whites) had biggest brains and those at bottom (blacks) had smallest brains -it was common to believe in colonial America and across world that biology causes racial inequalities. i.e, if a race is poor it’s cause there is something wrong with them. -these theories used to justify colonialization and slavery -but morton’s studies were inaccurate, had methological problems – he used a lot of female black brains and a lot of white male brains (men naturally have bigger brains) instead of 50/50 gender proportion -in reality = white people don’t have bigger brains -1920s = jews scored low on iq tests, today they score high. Their biology stayed the same but their socio-economic status and amount of resources increased since the 20s. -there was a bad, mostly minority school in the bronxs, the school got funding and stuff and then the students started doing very well. -some ppl say blacks are better at sports cause of genetic reasons. It seems to make sense cause most bball, football players, runners, etc… are black. Consider these things though = not many black swimmers, hockey players, etc… so you d have to say black ppl have bad hockey genes which makes no sense. The real (sociological) explanation is that social structural factors and climate make black ppl go into these sports. Blacks and others who face lots of disadvantages so they enter crime, entertainment and sports more than the advantaged races. -the above are ways out of poverty for those who cant access education Prejudice and Discrimination -up until 1950s = very much jews in pro basketball -koreans are often athletes in japan but not in Canada (cause there is lots of prejudice against Koreans in japan but not in canada) -no race is inherently better at anything DNA SNIPS Comparative Genomics -blacks have most genetic variation in between them, maybe being “black” or “African” or “white” or any other race is meaningless Race, bio, and society -iq, and athletcic achievement and stuff like that vary due to social circumstances, structural factors, access to resources, etc… -race has no biological basis, but it’s a social construct and ppl pay lots of attention to it -race is important as long as we keep paying attention to it -social constructions of race change over time. Irishmen and blacks were considered as black before. Some north Italians think south Italians are black. Positions in power choose how race is constructed. -sociologists don’t talk about race. They talk about racialization. Racialization -ppl judge you by how you dress, how you wear your hair, etc… -racialization = judging someone’s character based on ethnicity and race -you see a person of race X and make a judgment on his character -research shows ppl often make dispositional attribution of crime on black people -study of implicit attitudes = ppl have negative responses to black ppl and good responses to white ppl. Ppl assess youth as beautiful but not the old -a lot of ppl will explicitly and consciously report being not-racist but on a test their implicit attitudes could be racist -even if you think u re not racist or agist, ur implicit attitudes m
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