SOC102H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Allan Hubley, Prejudice, Social Inequality

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15 Nov 2012
•  All societies display
social inequality of varying kinds
•  These social
inequalities are socially constructed: that is, collectively imagined
on the basis of a supposedly important natural difference
•  Societies vary in the degree
and kinds of social inequality they display.
  The Scandinavian
countries show least inequality
  Canada falls somewhere
near the middle of the pack
•  Societies with the widest
variety and intensity of inequality are most likely to
display clear and long
lasting patterns we call
habits of inequality
The Cultural Habits: S
•  All types of social inequality display similar patterns or cultural habits
that include the following (S
  Social differentiation
  Narratives of blame
  Practices of
  Narratives of validation
  Strategies of
•  Social differentiation is the practice of identifying different kindsof
people who are assumed to be essentially and importantly different
•  E.g., Heterosexuals
vs homosexuals.
Chania (or Xania), Crete
•  Last week I visited
Chania (Crete) for a family wedding
•  It has been an
important commercial town for 2000 years
•  Today, it is a major
tourist destination
Like elsewhere, gay and lesbian peoplehave their own parts of town
1. Dyo Lux Revolution
•  Sarpidonos Street 8, Chania,
2. Tavronitis Beach Chania,
•  Crowd : Locals , tourists, not
many oldies .
3. Agioi Apostoloi Beach
•  Agion Apostolon Street, Agioi
Apostoloi (Nea Kydonia), Chania,
4. Rapaniana beach
•  Chania, Greece3 Ratings
•  Crowd : Men looking for sex.
Why do gays and lesbians havetheir own parts of town?
•  LGBT communities
develop in every city and tourist town(e.g., Puerto Vallarta)
•  What is the value of
cities for minority groups?
•  What is the value of
institutional completeness?
Gay Jamie Hubley (Ottawa) killed himself Oct 15, 2011. Theonly openly gay boy
in his school, he had been bullied severely
•  A suicide note was
posted on his online blo
•  The note spoke of the
pain from both bullying and depression.
•  "I'm tired of life, really.
It's so hard, I'm sorry, I can't take it anymore," his note
Christopher Skinner , age 27
Lecture 6-Cities and minorities
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Christopher Skinner , age 27
•  was killed on Oct. 18, 2009 after
being beaten up, then struck by a black SUV
on Adelaide St. E. between Yonge and Victoria Streets
•  His family made a final appeal last
week for anyone with information on the
case to come forward
•  Christopher was gay
•  Was this a hate crime; no one
•  The violent circumstances suggest
it may have been
The numbers problem
•  Unlike women, who are a majority of the
population; and
•  Unlike ethnic or racial groups, classes, or age
groups, which may all be very
•  The homosexual and lesbian population is very
perhaps only 1
2 per
cent of the total
•  Therefore, it is particularly vulnerable to attack and
Consider the risks
•  98% of the population is heterosexual
  Some fraction of this majority is strongly
opposed to homosexuality
•  Questions:
  How can homosexuals safely find sexual
–  How can homosexuals safely judge whether and when to come out?
  How can homosexuals create safe, fulfilling lives
for themselves in a dangerous
dangerous world?
•  Faced with ridicule, bullying, violence and
occasionally even murder, this
group has had to develop strong protective strategies
•  How and where has it done this, and by
what means?
•  How has location made a difference for
The protective role of cities
•  Cities are often said
to be dangerous places
•  Are they the worst
places for homosexuals to protect themselves, or the best?
•  If suitable, where in
cities should homosexuals locate themselves?
Reliable statistics on homosexuality are scarce
•  Data from the Canadian
Census of 2001 found only 34,200 same
law couples
•  Homosexuality is the
sexual orientation of only a small social minority
•  Canadian, US, and other
studies suggest that only about 2
3% of sexually
active men and 1
2% of sexually active women are currently homosexual
Debates flourish about numbers
•  Homosexuals in cities
are more concentrated insome neighbourhoods
•  The homosexual
population may reach 10per cent or more in
where they are concentrated
•  There is debate about
how properly to define and measure homosexuality
The problem they face: homophobia
•  Homophobia is
conventionally defined as a fear or hatred of homosexuals
•  The term bhomophobia`
implies that anti
gay prejudice is an irrational feeling
based mainly on fear and, consequently, a defense mechanism
Likely, this is incorrect
•  Likely, opposition against
gays and lesbians is not a phobia, but a learned
subcultural attitude
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