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Lecture 3

SOSC1210 Lecture 3 Notes.docx

5 Pages
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Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1910
Professor
Kerry Taylor

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SOSC1210 Human Rights in a Socio-Legal Context:KEY CONCEPTS IN THE CREATION OF MINORITIES Sept 26th, 2012 INTRO: THE SOCIAL CREATION OF MINORITY STATUS  An idea can't have real effects.  Social construction of reality. ** perceptions. What is a minority?  Actions based on social surroundings.  These constructions develop definitions.  We always make assumptions based on previous knowledge, or partial knowledge.  The problem is that we tend to act based on assumptions and no proof/evidence.  "What is true?"  What makes something "true"?  Humans use these ideas to create minorities.  Minority groups do not naturally become inferior, only when we choose to believe a specific group is inferior, it is based on the cultural or other attributes they have.  When we act on these ideas, we can violate human rights.  We have to understand the existence of minorities.  Power: Where it can be exercised. Political, Economical, and Social.  It's not about the fact that power is given to people, it's more about how it is exercised, and how inequality occurs. 1. DEFINITIONS OF MINORITY AND MAJORITY/DOMINANT GROUP  "A group where human rights are denied."  It is possible for the minority to outnumber the majority, it is not necessarily based on a numerical value, but based on power. *  To figure minority, you must be able to see the majority.  We deal with minorities at the societal level, which groups have more power over the other?  Ex. USA - Pres. Obama, Africian-American, he is part of the minority in the USA. Does that mean all racism towards this group is gone? No.  Minority - denial of rights.  Oppression*  Being a minority does not mean you can't discriminate yourself. You can still violate another individual's rights.  Majority - The social category with the most power in society, refer to own characteristics as being positive and the norm. People who differ from these "good/normal" characteristics are labelled as the minority. 2. LABELLING AND STEREOTYPES  A label justifies human rights violation.  ex. Aboriginals, they are not entitled to human rights, they can be denied dignity, political power, etc.  They occupy a lower status in society, not their attributes, but assumptions made by the majority/dominant group.  These assumptions are not scientifically based.  Based on normative attributes of the majority group and cultural standards.  Stereotypes are ignored in a given population.  The number of similarities between populations are ignored.  Ex. What defines a minority/majority?  You might land on a majority group for one category, but a minority in another category.  You can lose a minority status, in different ways. 3. INVALIDATION MYTHS AND IDEOLOGIES  At the roots of groups, we have a complex set of myths and ideas towards a given population.  Some of these ideas may come from religious beliefs.  These myths can develop into theories or ideas, and these ideas can change a way how a group is treated.  These myths and ideas come from pseudo-scientific (sort of scientific). Science based on socially constructed ideas or assumptions/negative connotations. Social Darwin-ism.  People are ranked based on "so-called race", because race is a social construction.  These myths and ideas are very important, it is the base to build human rights and it is a platform for discrimination. 4. DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS: FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION:  Discrimination is the differential and unequal treatment that serves to advantage or disadvantage a person, becaus
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