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Chapter 9 Race and Racialization.docx

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Ryerson University
SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

SOC103 How Society Works CHAPTER 9 Race and Racialization MODULE 9.1 – What Is a Minority?  Minority: definable category of people who are socially disadvantaged o Lacks social power and is definable from the majority o Due to lack of power, minorities often experience both prejudice and discrimination and are recognizably different from the majority  The more obvious the defining characteristics (language, skin colour, religious belief), the more severe the stigma, or negative social labels assigned to the minority RACE: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DIFFERENCE  Race: historically, a group of people who were physically and genetically distinguished from other groups  Genetic differences do not determine significant behavioural or substantive biological differences, may have invented the “myth” of race o Assignment of people to racial categories is, therefore, a function of social construction o Term has colonial and ethnocentric biases  Differences that exist are only cosmetic o 75% of all genes in a human being are identical and only 25% vary between people  There are no credible evidence to substantiate the claim that people of different “races” are innately superior or inferior in temperament or in mental or physical abilities  Racialization: the process of attributing complex characteristics (e.g. intelligence, athletic abilities) to racial categories  Internalized racism: the internalization of racial categories into a person’s identity ETHNICITY: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GROUP IDENTITY  Ethnicity: a multi-dimensional concept that includes one’s minority or majority status, ancestry, language, and often religious affiliation o Identifying heritage and customs is part of your ethnicity and helps define your self-concept  Ethnic group: a collection of people who identify with each other and share a common culture IMMIGRATION  Minority groups gain their inferior social status only once they migrate to other countries  Immigration levels spiked during the 1910s, 1950s (post-war economic growth) and early 1990s; declined during the First World War and 1970s and 1980s (Great Depression)  Changes to federal immigration policy have made it easier to come to Canada – which is the best long-term interest of the country since it promotes diversity and facilitates population growth  Immigrants tend to settle in more populous provinces because they are attracted to urban centres, which offer better employment potential and tend to provide more services for immigrant populations o When immigrants choose to live in small urban centres or in rural areas, they achieve economic integration much faster and have smaller initial income gaps between immigrants and Canadians o 2006 Census – 75% of immigrants choose to live in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver; less than 3% settle in small town or rural area MODULE 9.2 – Prejudice, Racism, and Discrimination PREJUDICE  Prejudice: a negative judgement about a person or group that is irrational, long-lasting, and not based on fact  Ecological fallacy: drawing conclusions about individual attributes from data gathered from an entire group o Asserting that all white people are hard working and all Asians are good at math  Exception fallacy: drawing conclusions about an entire group based on observations of individuals o If black student is highly intelligent, you cannot correctly conclude that all black people are just as intelligent SOC103 How Society Works  Prejudice attitudes are the result of dominate group classifications because they are the ones who have the power to impose their views on others o Minority groups have prejudice views of dominant group or other minorities, they are generally not in a position to systematically impose their views on others  Stereotypes: a stable and sweeping generalization about a category of people o Some stereotypes are accurate, but assuming all members of a group adhere to that generalization is inaccurate o Influences some interactions with those people, thus distorting their perception RACISM  Racism: an ideology that maintains that one “race” is inherently superior to another and that these biological differences are directly related to ability or character o Sociologists suggest that a racist ideology is an invaluable tool in helping a group feel better about itself  Democratic racism: a system that advocates equality but in fact perpetuates minority differences and oppression DISCRIMINATION  Discrimination: actions that deny or grant advantages to members of a particular group o It is not a single entity but instead operates on a number of levels in society  Individual discrimination: occurs when an individual advantages or disadvantages someone because of that person’s group membership  Direct institutional discrimination: occurs when an institution employs policies or practices that are discriminatory against a person or group  Indirect institutional discrimination: occurs when an action produces uneven results on a group or person because of an unlawful criterion but lacks the intent of being discriminatory IS PREJUDICE THE SAME AS DISCRIMINATION?  Even when we don’t intend to discriminate it is sometimes hard not to; we are social beings who are often influenced by those around us  By interacting with people from our own racial, ethnic, or professional organization, we may be discriminating against others and not even know it  People can be prejudice discriminators, non-prejudice non-discriminators, prejudice non-discriminators or non- prejudice discriminators Prejudice Discriminator Prejudice Non-discriminator Prejudice person who discriminates Prejudice person who does not discriminate Non-prejudice Discriminator Non-prejudice Non-discriminator Non-prejudice person who Non-prejudice person who does discriminates not discriminate EXPLAINING PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION  Psychological theories: o Scapegoat theory: asserts that prejudice and discrimination originate in the frustrations of people who want to blame someone else for their problems  When there is tension and social problems seem insurmountable, find an innocent, weak and distinctive group to blame and victimize o Authoritarian personality theory: assets that extreme prejudice is a personality trait of people who strongly believe in following cultural norms, traditions, and values SOC103 How Society Works  Are generally conformists, faithfully follow instructions from their superiors, and reject those whom they consider to be inferior to them  Socio-cultural theories o Culture theory: assets that some prejudice is healthy and part of all cultures  It occurs because some belief in the benefits of one’s own culture over others is healthy, since it unifies the group o Social distance: Bogardus’s concept of the relative distance people feel between themselves and other racial/ethnic groups o Culture of prejudice: a value system that promotes prejudice, discrimination, and oppression o Functionalist theory examines racist ideologies and the prejudice and discrimination they breed often promote social cohesion, and, in turn, social stability.  Suggests that minority groups have been socialized to accept racist belief systems, and that this makes them less likely to challenge existing social conventions o Conflict theory assumes people naturally compete over limited resources  Dual labour market theory: asserts tha
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