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Soc102 Lec 4

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Lorne Tepperman

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Sociology Lecture 4: Ethnicity and Racialization Hadley Cantil -The Pattern of Human Concerns -Conclusion based on survey data from 14 countries -Despite diversity, people very similar -They all want: 1) Satisfaction of basic material needs 2) physicalAND psychological security 3) Order and certainty in lives 4) Opportunity to enlarge their range of satisfaction 5) Freedom to make and exercise choices -may not like end result but ability to choose more important 6) chances to experience own identity/integrity 7) Opportunities to feel worthwhile 8) A system of beliefs/values to which they are committed 9) Confidence their society will further these goals -Despite Universal similarities, people continue to celebrate superficial differences Performing Race and Ethnicity -both race and ethnicity are performances, not qualities -race: physical or genetic differences that produce different appearance -ethnicity: social and cultural characteristics shared by people Constructing Ethnic and Racial "Groups" -both are social constructions -ethnic group: consider themselves or by others that they share common characteristics that distinguishes them from other groups -more cultural and social base i.e. base on history and descendent origins -race: seen by most as physiological characteristics due to genetics. -Results in features other groups don't have -can be stereotypes of features -people for some reason feel obliged to act a certain way to conform to groups (ethnic or race) "Races are MoreAlike than Different -scientists reject view of race -genetic evidence show that we are more alike than different between races -Physical features exists as a continuum - due to migration and interbreeding etc. -no distinct physical features to identify "race" -no correlation between these with intelligence, morality, industry or other social features -some of these things are better predicted using social class -likewise, ethnic background has nothing to do with it. Interest in Racial Differences is KeptAlive by Cultural Tropes ex: Beauty and the Beast -difference in physical features between races due to adaptation -ex: skin colour adaptation to sunlight exposure time -Race is really not more interesting then that -racial thinking are simply things promoted by social media (tropes) -keep us interested in this topic and relating myths Or Consider Our ImaginingsAbout "Orientalism" and Middle East -Difficult to change people's perceptions, prejudices and stereotypes on race and ethnicity -tendency to link race to moral and sexual differences that are imagined -Only connection between the two: -racial and ethnic minorities suffer from prejudice and discrimination This Would Have Surprised 19th Century Thinkers -Marx, Durkhaim and Weber would have never expected race and ethnicity to remain as social identifiers today -completely different from expectations -modern people expected to homogenize -race and ethnicity would no longer be an identifier -Marx expected class identities to take over -especially the emergence of class conscious workers -Durkheim: expected people to organize identities base on interests -such as occupation Survival of Ethnic Communities -Ethnic Communities and identities persist because they adapt to changes with time -rely on Institutional Completeness to maintain identities and loyalties -problem: promotes association via ethnicity Role of "Multiculturalism" -help ethnic communities survive via multiculturalism policy in Canada -originally intended to ensure Canadian institutions would reflect value of cultural tolerance -modern multiculturalism more focused on protecting the survival of these communities -not so much about protecting individuals from discrimination -this is contrary to many people's beliefs -accomplished by financial support and giving political attention -essentially investing on ethnic differences The Ethnic Community: An Imaginary World -High immigration rates support ethnic groups' survival -ethnic groups are an imagined community -are suppose to be people who shared a lot in common -simply because ethnic background is the same -these connections are invented -however, within these groups, people have different classes, political interests etc -need to have people more interested in invented similarities then actual differences -an ethnic community: a group with boundaries -often live together in a defined geographic location i.e. Chinese Community in Toronto What Hold "Imagined Communities" Together? -has great staying power -people have been studying this and race for a long time -Durkheim: studied what makes tribal societies (base on common ancestry) so cohesive -more so than modern industrial societies The Importance of Shared Rituals, Symbols and "Totemic Objects" -collective consciousness was the reason for cohesion and personal identity -are a shared group sentiment -common way of thinking how the world functions -The Elementary Forms of Religious Life: proposed collective consciousness mobilized by rituals and ritual objects called totems -creation of collective mythology and performance about totems help groups firm their ethnicity groups celebrates specific events, special days, symbols -helps maintain ethnic community Boundaries, Rituals and Threats -Rituals and objects involve act as sources and boundary markers -boundaries set to isolate outsiders from group -However, external threats also help cohesion -used to further strengthen group consciousness -can be used to create or reaffirm ethnic identity ex: protect oneself from threats Ethnic Groups are "Status Groups" -Weber: looked at how ethnic groups controlled their members -As status groups, practiced: -closure: exclusion of outsiders -usurpation: capture goods, power for group ex: claim social privileges on behalf of group members -Status groups have defined membership -promote collective consciousness -exclude outsiders -these practices were to maintain the group -ethnic communities, social class are examples of status group -Note: working class not a strong status group -poor collective consciousness Status Groups Vs. Classes -as status groups, ethnic groups more effective then social classes -many achieved more group awareness and consciousness that Marx wanted classes to. -ex: French Canadians -Why are people more ready to perform race then class? The Role of Institutional Completeness -coined by Raymond Breton -helps ethnic communities survive -is a set of institutions (church, schools, newspapers) that help people maintain their culture and social connections -most successful ethnic groups promote idea the need to meet cultural needs -i.e. by going to special classes, TV channels etc -multiculturalism supports and helps groups accomplish institutional completeness -ensure communities survive and are differentiated -Do classes have institutional completeness? -no Segregation as a Problem for Society -there are downsides to institutional completeness of ethnic groups -can result in segregation -concentrates poverty, prejudice and other social issues -reduces social mobility -reduces cross-cultural contact, familiarity and friendship -social exclusion -feed prejudice as a result Aclassic work: The Vertical Mosaic -by John Porter -looked into why certain groups are better integrated into host society then others -put a rest to idea that Canada was classless -was actually very much like US -had a vertical society: hierarchy of wealth and power -Mosaic: emphasize Canada is not a "melting pot" -US: give up ethnicity to beAmerican -Canada: Encourage to maintain ethnicity but also identify as Canadian -we do not assimilate -ethnic groups remain distinct The Horizontal Dimension of Inequality -historical social factors resulted in Canada's ethnic mosaic -forced it into a vertical framework -Canadian history has conspired to slide certain groups to top, middle and bottom -Two early settlers: British and French were at the top (Charter Groups) -new groups used to fill gaps others did not want -ex: Ukrainian immigrants recruited to occupy the Prairies -b/c British and French did not want to -ethnic segregation: a result of selective immigration and social immobility -Each group ends up in a particular niche -many remained in that niche due to poor educational opportunities -lack of social mobility Canadian Society as a Game of Monopoly -limited educational opportunities made it hard for those in inferior statuses to move up -include non-WASP groups -generations suffer this inferior economic status -generations from charter groups continue to benefit from advantage -even extended their advantages -monopolized higher education opportunities The Solution: More Education, Less Ethnicity -Porter wanted to transform Canadian education system -wanted a more open system to allow for equal opportunities -more egalitarian -decrease correlation of struggles between ethnicity and class -hope to provide chance at better occupation and economic status -wanted ethnic background to be a less deciding factor -believed assimilation would occur -was very influential and changes were made Shortcomings of this Study -great for understanding problems for 20th century European immigrants, particularly men -says nothing about women or racial minorities in Canadian Mosaic -these actually became problems in late 20th and early 21st -However, the vertical mosaic has disappeared -no more correlation between struggles and ethnicity -The main problem may be a gender mosaic present. Measuring Social Distance -Visible minority immigrants tend to earn less than native born Canadians -Are racial minorities also socially excluded for reasons of race? -Emory Bogardus: invented a way to measure social distance between pairs of ethnic and racial groups The Bogardus Social Distance Scale:Ameasure of Theoretical Interaction -is a survey -respondents say whom (racial or ethnic group) they would accept in various close social relationships -sum up scores base on answers -include 1) Close Relativ
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