Race and Ethnicity
• Race: a socially defined category, that has become institutionalized, based on real or perceived biological differences
between groups of people that is socially imposed, not hierarchical. For example, appearance and physical traits, such as,
skin colour and facial features).
• Presumes shared biological or genetic traits. Most racial categories are defined by governments – not scientists
• Cannot explain behavioural differences, they are not constant and vary by social circumstances
• It allows social inequality to be created and perpetuated
• Ethnicity: subjective criteria involve the internalization of a distinctive social identity, whereby people identify
themselves or are perceived by others as belonging to a different group
• Ethnic group: is comprised of people whose perceived cultural markets are deemed socially significant
• Relates to cultural factors such as nationality, culture, ancestry, language and beliefs. Usually associated with a
• Shared cultural traits and a shared cultural group history. Some ethnic groups also share linguistic or religious
traits, while others share a common group history but not a common language or religion.
• Racialization: the process in which people are viewed and judged essentially different in terms of their intellect, their
mortality, their values, and their worth because of differences of physical type of cultural heritage.
• Racial Inequality: perceptions of racial differences are socially constructed and often arbitrary. Racial distinctions have
been the basis of unequal treatment.
• Majority group: advantaged and has superior resources and rights in a society
• Minority group: whose members, because of physical or cultural characteristics, are disadvantaged and subjected to
unequal treatment by the dominant group and who regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination.
• Visible minority: an official government category of nonwhite, nonCaucasian individuals
• Stereotype: an overgeneralization about the appearance, behaviour, or other characteristics of members of particular
• Discrimination: action of treating an individual differently
• Prejudice: prejudgement of an individual on the basis of stereotyped characteristics assumed to be common to all
members of that individual’s group.
• Racial prejudice: beliefs that certain racial