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Lecture

SOCI 2030 Lecture Notes - Umber, Thai Chinese, Endogamy


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 2030
Professor
Eytan Lasry

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SOCA01-Lecture 10
Race and Ethnicity:
(no marginality and creativity on the final)
Social construction:
-sociology on race and ethnicity is important b.c we look at how race and ethnicity shape power and
resources
-race and ethnicity often focus on inequality
-some people think race and ethnicity is proscribedborn w/ it and so unchangeable
-traits that you’re born w/
-sociology says race and ethnicity are socially constructed
-consider greater importance for sociology than in biology
-racial distinctions aren’t biological given
-some scientists believe we all belong to one race and this is in Africa
-some people think we all come from one mother named Lucy who is from Africa
Race:
-is misused
-some people think iof race in connection w/ skin colour
-the Caucassion race-->white people or people of European backround
-some people label Jes as a race but they are an ethnic group
-another misuse is nationality
-the English racewrong
-the human racewrong
-not the way sociologists or biologists use the term race
-Canteburry people who have been singled out as inferior or inferior on the basis physical of genetic
characteristics
-term racism is also misusedmeans to be prejudiced against a socially defined group of ppl and to
discriminate them based on genetic inferiority of that group of individuals
-often find today that when people see prejudice or discrimination, they think that it is based on racism
but it’s not always true
-can discriminate against people not just for race but can also discriminate based on religion, colour of
hair, etc.
-should be aware of the fact that racism is the discrimination against people who show genetic
inferiority
Race biology of society:
-race is a social construct
-race matters historically b/c it has been associated w/ inequality
-the group defined as genetically inferior experiences prejudice
-scapegoating is when a group of people blame and inferior group of people for their problems that they
themselves have created

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-problems w/ race
-this system of classification, white and non-white took hold in western Europe during the era of
colonialism
-this system is now outdated b/c many ppl don’t fit in this either/or classification
-Asians, Africans, etc don’t fit this type of scheme
-another problem is fiction of pure race
-sociologists use race b/c the perception of race affects the lives of people profoundly
-it remains a social category
-but it lacks a biological foundation
-racial purity is thought to exist but this is fiction
-most of us are genetically mixed
-we have more biological similarity in places like Japan which has been isolated from the rest of
the world for a long period of time and today it still doesn’t have immigration
-there is a small Chinese and Korean population but are isolated from the larger society
-even so, they are not a race biologically speaking
-why are people mixed?
-migration
-can also have immigrationmoving into a county
-emigrationmoving out of the country
-this is increasing w/ the modern world
-intermarriage is also increasing so these make it impossible to draw biological lines b/w people
-another problem of race: genetic variation (height, size, etc.) w/n groups, is greater than genetic
variation between groups
-so when you compare 2 groups, the genetic variation is smaller in a b/w group comparison than
w/n a particular group
-so this makes a hold as a biological category
-society arbitrarily selects certain traits
-but when look at the entire range of genetic characteristics, the genetic biological sectioning of race
falls to pieces
-this means that the concept of race is social rather than biological
-thus people are pinned w/ a racial tag by society and it is unjustified
-Tiger Woods:
-has an interesting racial background
Aboriginal White Black Chinese Thai
Father Mother
Tiger
Cablinasian
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-Woods actually invented the term
-consciousness of kind
-people are conscious of belonging to a particular group that has been socially defined
-this segregates populations and can create an insider (i belong to thins group and the rest of society
belongs to another group)
-this can lead to social conflict
Types of racism:
-classifying yourself as a part of a race is incorrect
-prejudice is an attitude, discrimination is a behaviour
-institutional racism
-this is genuine racism
-you can find this in apartheid societies like south Africa and the southern part of the united
states
-this is when government and the state develops laws which discriminate against people based
on their socially defined race
-the most prominent laws are the laws of segregation
-make intermarriage illegal
-systematic racism: when you establish policies that discriminate against certain groups mauybe b/c of
size
-ex. Toronto police force said that you had to be of a certain height and size before you were
accepted
-this left out women and certain ethnic groups
-police and firefighters are example of this
-included groups that were larger and excluded groups that were smaller
-cycle of racism
-physical markers are used to distinguish certain groups
-create inequality based on race
-ex. Colonialism and slavery
-next step is to provide diff working conditions b/w subordinates and superordinates
-creates behavioural differences
-perceptions of different behaviours leads to stereotypesto make an evaluation of somebody
based on that individual’s membership in a socially defined group
Ethnicity:
-usually a cultural phenomenon
-can have race socially defined as a part of it
-ethnic groups are made up of people who has perceived cultural markers that are significant ex. Dress
and religion
-the cultural aspectlanguage, religion, customs, values
-physical distinctions don’t cause difference in behaviour
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