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SOC210 Lecture Notes

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Baljit Nagra

SOC210 Ethnicity in Social OrganizationLecture 1 Ethnicity in Social Organization Wednesday September 112013 Race can be anywhere Nonracial issues can easily become racial Race can be deadly where you dont think they have moral worth and doesnt deserve to live ExHolocaust20th century was an ethnic centuryIntroduction to Ethnic and Race Relations Why is it important to study Ethnic and Race Relations Ethnicity and race are among the fundamental organizing concepts of contemporary world In the 20th century major world conflicts organized in ethnic termsEthnic diversity also sources of pride unity and achievementEthnicity and race shape our experiences our opportunities and our identitiesMultiple ways to experienceHistorical ideas about ethnicityRobert Park One of the most influential American sociologistpredicted that certain forces in the world would make ethnic and racial bonds disappearModernity the gradual and eventual global process by which industrialization urbanization and mass communication and other institutional changes transform society would bring a supposed end to ethnicity and raceWhy did Park thought ethnicity would disappear through modernity 1 UrbanizationPeople would move into cities intermarry 2 Growing Marketsmore businesses and factories meaning people working together from different races and ethnicities 3 New technologies 4 Modernized education systemspeople would start getting knowledge and shared ideasa degree of common culture 5 Nation building processesPeople would develop loyalty to their nationHistorical ideas about ethnicity Karl Marx Capitalism would break ties of nationality and tribe and instead would connect people based on their class position But that didnt happen racial discourses have become a fundamental part of our world Primordial Approach to Ethnicity Ethnicity seen as being something that was ascribed at birthDerived from the kin and clan structure of human societyEthnicity was more or less permanent Overall ethnic and racial identities are fixed fundamental and rooted in the unchangeable circumstances of birthHarold Isaacs 1975The physical body including sizeshape skin color etcA persons name individual and family nameThe history and origins of the group that one is born intoOnes nationality or other group affiliation The language one learns to speak The religion one is born intoSOC210 Ethnicity in Social Organization The culture one is born into The geography of the place of birthPrimordial approach to ethnicity The primordial approach ties behaviors or attitudes to race or ethnicity This approach assumes such behaviors or attitudes are acquired somehow at birth are produced by membership in the groupIt assumes that it is natural for hostility to exist between different ethnic groupsOne positive aspect of it is that is can lead to a sense of belonging and to the creation of community and bonds Russell Peter VideoPopularizing the stereotype OvergeneralizationDesensitizing people to the issueCriticisms of Primordial Approach What about other bases of identityyou may identity more with your sexual orientation or gender What about intra ethnic conflict What about variation ofethnic conflict What about variation in ethnic self identification different ideas of what means to be JewishWhat about people from mixed backgroundsNo real biological link between ancestry and behaviorWhat about socialization or social forcesAcademic Journal Have you ever encountered a primordial approach to ethnicity in your own life or seen it being applied to others How did that make you feel Lecture 2Wednesday September 18th2013 Robert Park predicted Race ad Ethnic Ties would disappear as early as 1926 WE Dubois was famously quoted in 1903 as saying that the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colorline Early Sociologist on EthnicityFredrick Barth was one of the 1st sociologists to explore how ethnicity was socially constructedArgued that ethnicity involved both selfascription and the ascription of others He started this movementSociological Definition of Ethnicity John Farley defines an ethnic group as a group of people who are generally recognized by themselves andor by others as a distinct group with such recognition based on social or cultural characteristicsImportant Elements to EthnicityPerceived common ancestry The perception of a shared history of some sort ex a history of being marginalizedShared symbols of peoplehood kinship patterns geographical concentration religious affiliation languageSelf Consciousness ethnic groups see themselves as distinct but the source for self consciousness is often labels used by othersSelfidentification is key to ethnicity
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