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Lecture 6

SOC 207 Lecture 6: Lecture Notes for Week 3 (Thursday)

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SOC 207

Contemporary Definitions of Race and Ethnicity Ethnicity: belief in shared common descent, based on perceived cultural similarities Think of Europe in different cultures ie Italian, French, etc. Think of a chosen identity Race: belief in shared common descent, based on perceived innate or physical similarities Presumed or perceived physical differences Based on social ideas rather than on biological distinctions Genetic variations is greater within than between groups Distinctions between race and ethnicity Ethnicity Categories are self designated Idea of hierarchies not used with ethnicity Ethnic terms are free from regulation Race Racial categories are imposed on groups Idea of racial hierarchies promoted by European explorers One Drop Rule and Fraction Laws Explanations for Racial Categories Essentialist: based on biology, fixed, natural Social constructionist: based in human ideas about difference Differ across societies Differ over time Clearcut racial categories require An objective basis for race that would eliminate variation across societies and across time Changing categories in the US Census A sharp dividing line that distinguishes characteristics of different groups and a plan for categorizing mixed race offspring. Quiz question: partide (name of gov. System in Africa over black people) Spoke about the background of Between the World and Me Essentialist ideas and social constructionist ideas in passage shared Essentialist: mistreating people based on race and used race to justify this action, Trail of Tears was treated like tornados (an act of God) Social Constructionist: Race is the child of racism
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