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SOC102H1 (261)

Chapter 3 - Race and Ethnic Relations A summary of Chapter 3 of the Social Problems book

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Lorne Tepperman

Chapter 3Race and Ethnic RelationsIntroductionMost people view racial prejudice as unfair and Canadians tend to look for remedies to injusticePrejudice creates conflicts in our societyminorities vs majority people prejudiced vs those who are notPrejudice and its outcomes discrimination conflict exclusion hatred distrust are politically and economically wasteful because they neglect certain human resources and thus hinder our societys potential for prosperity RacePeople who have the most difficulty accepting other races believe that race is biologicalBelieve that race is an essential and permanent feature of any human being that certain cultural or personality dispositions are genetically based as wellBelieve in at least 3 categories 1 Negroidblacks 2 Caucasoidwhite 3 Mongoloidyellow Scientists reject this view because there is more variability within a race than between racesThe physical features associated with race are not genetically associatedskin colour hair texture eye colourRace may be a social construction but as long as large numbers of people continue to think race does make a difference the idea of race will continue to influence the social order and social inequalitysignificant in a sociological perspective EthnicityCultural differences certainly exist between groups of people and when they are sharpened by clear differences in skin colour height and other physical features cultural differences seem more prominent and somehow significantPhysical features are supposed results of collective evolutionary adaptation to specific environmental conditions Race and ethnicity are not necessarily connected people who differ in appearance may share the same cultural valuesThe cultural features people share as members of an ethnic group are usually a result of collective experiences that are interpreted in a certain way given a particular historical and regional backgroundWe form ethnic groups relationally through processes of exclusion and inclusion around symbols of real or imagined common descentcommon language rituals and folkloreEthnic boundaries may made and unmade over timeCulture the way of life of a society that includes dress language norms of behaviours foods tools beliefs and folklore this framework of values and practices adapts to the changing sociohistorical context Multiculturalism in CanadaImmigrants are a large fraction of the population of Canadas citiesThe multicultural policy was first set up in 1971 the factors that influences its introduction include o Stormy relations between English and French speakers in the 1960s o The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism did original research and held hearings in 1963 o In 1969 the Official Languages Act was voted into law Spokespersons for ethnic minorities argued that the old policy of cultural assimilation was unjust o they had made great sacrifices just as other Canadians had done o they deserve the same respect and the same benefits of Canadian citizenship o favoured a cultural mosaic with distinct parts fitting together in a single society not melting pot USRoyal commission agreed recommending that the government recognize the value of cultural pluralism and encourage Canadian institutions to reflect the value of pluralism in their policies and programssupported by PM Pierre Elliot TrudeauThe policy proposed that multiculturalism operate within a bilingual frameworkEnglish and FrenchAlso declared ethnic pluralism a goal worth preserving and nurturing in Canadian societyProvinces followed the federal lead introducing their own multiculturalism policies1971Multiculturalism Act1982the desire to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canadians was entrenches in the Constitution1988a new Canadian Multiculturalism Act became law
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