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SOCA01H3 Study Guide - Institutional Racism

Course Code
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Race and Ethnicity
The Field Defined
-sociologists recognize that ethnicity & race are socially defined and do change they
areacquired rather thanascribed characteristics
-race category of ppl who have been singled out as inferior/superior (genetically) on
the basis of physical characteristics such as skin color, hair color, texture & eye
-racism to judge somebody as being genetically inferior/superior
-migration, immigration = intermarriage
-you find more genetic variation within a race than you do btwn races
An ethnic group may be defined:
-objectively by group language, culture, customs, national origin & ancestry, or
-subjectively by the self-identification of group members
-over 20 million Canadians report themselves as having a multiethnic origin
-classifying humans into races is now regarded as arbitrary b/c differences are trivial
-however, racial groups are real in a sociological sense as ppl w/ diff skin color, etc are
treated differently
-racism disadvantageous treatment of certain groups whose members are
distinguished by socially significant
-ethnic traits include language, clothing, holidays, sense of community, membership
at birth, geography/territoriality
-in Canada, we see residential segregation certain groups in certain areas
- residential segregation is mostly voluntary
-institutional completeness when an ethnic community becomes self-sufficient
(has its own restaurants, schools, fears, entertainment, clothing/grocery stores)
Racism: Institutional & Systemic
-Institutional racism refers to practices that discriminate against racial minorities
and that are built into the structure of politics, economic life, education, etc
-Systemic discrimination
-Against certain groups because theyre not big enough, etc
Social Significance of Race & Ethnicity
- the terms race & ethnicity tend to carry negative baggage b/c they suggest some
conflict w/ an individualistic achievement and upward mobility
-discrimination is actual behaviour while prejudice is to pre-judge
-cumulative advantage once you get your foot in the door to power, wealth, etc
then you can get your foot in the door to other things
Minority (subordinate) group one whose members because of physical or cultural
characteristics are disadvantaged and are subjected to unequal treatment by the dominant
-traits: subordinate, segments, underclass of ppl in a complex society,
physical/cultural traits (low esteem)
-can be an ethnic group
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