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Lecture 37

SOC 153 Lecture 37: Race and Ethnicity

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Course Code
SOC 153
Steven Nelson

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Race and Ethnicity Race and Ethnicity make the lines that separate groups and create group identities Ethnicity: is a grouping based on culture. ● Defining characteristics ○ Shared history ○ Culture: Religion, Dress, Food, Practices ○ Kin or ancestry ○ Sense of shared destiny ○ Language ○ Identification with a geographical place Race: is a categorical social classification based on physical features and presumed biological kinship ● Races is a means of categorizing the world population into a small number of fundamental subcategories that suggest basic differences ● Race is a means of social stratification ● Race is socially constructed as biological, but this is an unworkable idea scientifically ○ Race does not exist on a biological basis, it was socially invented and given meaning In the U.S. we used to categorize people as Mulattos and Octoroons. Some states used the “one drop rule.” Differences between us and them: ● We use visual differences to classify people into 4 or 5 groups, that we call races ● We think race thinks internal complex differences such as athleticism and intelligence ● No genetic markers that define race ● Students start the workshop with similar assumptions as everyone else ○ People of similar “races” believe they are most alike ○ Need an absolute paradigm shift for people to understand that race is an idea that we contribute to biology ● Scientists have been looking for specific traits that can differ one race from another ● The face of America’s power and prosperity was white ○ Native americans were forced to live on reservation ○ Death rates sored, and infant mortality was low ○ Negroes were forced to work on plantations and be at the bottom of our social hierarchy ● The extinction thesis: death rate were compared between Whites and African Americans ○ He ignored the simple effects of poverty on health, so his data was flawed ○ Saw attempts of improving their environment as worthless, because their race was doomed regardless(obviously false) ● Intermarriage was forbidden, so that the white race remained “pure” ○ Wanted to breed the best and brightest, always white ○ Didn’t want to mix races because it may bring the superior race down ○ Eugenics movement ● Virginians mixed race and were able to pass for white ○ They were called the wind tribe for their White, African and Indian ancestry ● Jesse Owens, di
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