Class Notes (834,176)
Canada (508,397)
Sociology (758)
SY404 (13)
Lecture 11

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Katherine Roberts

Ethnic and Racial Choice in Canada: -Canadians are freer to choose their ethnic identity -people w/ the most freedom to choose are white European Canadians -ex. Irish used to be associated w/ negative implications but have achieved upward mobility and blended w/ the majority -thus they no longer find their identity imposed on them -ethnicity is largely a symbolic matter Herbert Gans: -defines symbolic ethnicity as a “nostalgic allegiance to the culture of the immigrant generation or that of the old country; a love for pride in a tradition that can be felt w/o having to be incorporated in everyday behaviour” -most African Canadians lack the freedom to enjoy symbolic ethnicity -their identity as a people of African descent is not an option b/c a considerable number of non-blacks are racists and impose the identity on them -racism is the belief that a visible characteristic of a group indicates group inferiority and justifies discrimination -Malcolm X noted how racial identity can be imposed on people -he states that it doesn’t matter to a racist whether a black person is a professor, genius, or fool -where racism is common, racial identities are compulsory and at the forefront of self-identity -relations among racial and ethnic groups can take different forms Theories of Race and Ethnic Relations Ecological Theory: -Robert Park: -proposed an influential theory of how race and ethnic relations change over time -focuses on struggle for territory -distinguishes five stages by which conflict among ethnic and racial groups emerges and is resolved: 1. Invasionone racial or ethnic groups tries to move into the territory of another 2. Resistancethe established group tried to defend its territory and institutions against the intruding group by legal means or violence or both 3. Competitionif they cannot drive out the newcomers, the 2 groups compete for scarce resources, including housing, jobs, public park space, and political positions 4. Accommodation and cooperationover time they work out an understanding of what they should segregate, divide and share -segregation involves the spatial and institutional separation of racial or ethnic groups ex. They can segregate churches, heritage associations, newspapers 5. Assimilationthe process by which a minority group blends into the majority population and eventually disappears as a distinct group -Park argued that assimilation occurs as accommodation and cooperation develop trust and understanding -ethnic groups fuse socially and culturally and only one group remains -Park strongly influenced the first Canadian sociologists Carl Dawson: -regarded communities as the proper objects of sociological investigation -investigated how community life is shaped by distinctive values and cultural practices and community life shapes intergroup relations -studied Montreal neighbourhoods and their ethnically distinct ways of life by implementing Park’s ideas Everett Hughes: -applied Park’s approach of combining direct observation w/ other kinds of data to study the relations b.w the French and English in Drummondville -documented increasing tension b/w French speaking employees and English speaking managers and owners -Park’s theory applies to some ethnic groups better than to others -In N.A., it applies best to whites of European origin -many of them stopped thinking of themselves as Italian or German Canadians and just consider themselves Canadian b/c they achieved rough equality w/ members from the majority group
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