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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration in Canada

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Geography 2410A/B
Jeff Hopkins

Geography 2410B February 4, 2014 Lecture 5 ‘Race’, Ethnicity & Immigration in Canada 1. Race & Racism 2. Ethnicity & Diversity 3. Immigration in Canada 4. Problems & Prospects (February 11) Race & Racism ‘Race’ as Traditionally Defined • Agroup of individuals sharing common genetic attributes which determine that group’s physical appearance and, more controversially, their cognitive abilities -WRONG Three Dominant Categories • Caucasoid (White) • Negroid (Black) • Mongoloid (Yellow) ‘Race’as Defined By: Contemporary Social Scientists • The belief that human beings can be readily divided into a series of discrete races is now widely regarded as fallacious Instead, races are now widely regarded as a political and social construction rather than a biological fact, the product of racism rather than of human genetics. Do Races Differ? Not Really, DNAShows –NewsArticle • Examination of human genome: ‘race’–little or no biological meaning • No DNAhallmarks of ‘race’ • Only one ‘human’race • ‘race’is a social concept, not a biological one Contemporary Biology Scientists • The term ‘race’has little, or no, biological meaning with respect to modern humans • Human species too young for separate biological groups • Surface characteristics of race –eyes, skin colour, nose width –controlled by relatively few genes • Few genes can change rapidly to environmental pressures o Example: dark skin in equatorial people for UV radiation protection o Example: pale skin in northern latitude people to better produce vitamin D • 0.01% of genes reflected in external appearance • Differing surface appearances do not constitute distinct biological groups or ‘races’ ‘Racism’Defined • Actions, attitudes and policies that attribute social, cultural and cognitive characteristics to people based solely or arbitrary physical criteria o Example: nose, hair, eyes, skin colour, belly buttons... Types of Racism Geography 2410B February 4, 2014 Lecture 5 • Individual: Expression of personal attitudes, views, practices • Subconscious, indirect/unintentional: Individuals hold negative attitude and... • Institutional/Systematic: government, business, organizations responsible for public policy, health care, education, housing, social and commercial services function in ways that limit rights and opportunities based on ‘race’ All may be practiced directly/overtly, indirectly/covertly Consequences of Racism • Discrimination • Oppression • Inequality • Genocide: racial extermination • Superior/inferior rankings Spatial Manifestations • Every day practices in ‘lived’spaces • Promotes: o Segregation o Ghettos o Territorial conflicts o ‘No-Go’areas • Example: 1:6 Canadians a victim of racism Ethnicity & Diversity ‘Ethnicity’Defined • The culture and lifestyle of a particular group lined by birth, which marks them out as being different from others • Perception: how members/others see themselves • Social stratification: their ‘place’or station in society Ethnicity Conceptualized • Which cultural expressions, lifestyles and ‘by birth’characteristics constitute and ‘ethnicity’? o Language o Ancestral origin o Religion o Sexual orientation
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