SOC101Y1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: De Jure, Symbolic Interactionism, Cultural Assimilation

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Published on 16 Sep 2015
SOC101Y1 Term Test #2
P. 1
Race is a socially constructed reality, not a biological one
oThis means that races do not actually exist, but groups are still racially defined due to the idea that
races are distinct biological categories w/ physically distinguishable characteristics and common
cultural heritage
Ethnic group: collection of people distinguished primarily on the basis of cultural/nationality
characteristics; share five main characteristics
1. Unique cultural traits (e.g. language, clothing, holidays, religious practices)
2. Sense of community
3. Feeling of ethnocentrism
4. Ascribed membership from birth
5. Territoriality; tendency to occupy a distinct geographic area
Ethnicity provides individuals w/ sense of identity and belonging based on perception of being
different/others’ recognition of their uniqueness
R/E has impact on how people act, what opportunities they have, how they are treated
John Porter described Canada as a vertical mosaic that is made up of different ethnic groups
wielding varying degrees of social and economic power, status, and prestige
Majority (dominant) group is one that is advantaged and has superior resources and rights in a
society (e.g. white people with northern European ancestry)
Minority (subordinate) group is one whose members, because of physical/cultural
characteristics, are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by dominant group
Visible minority refers to an official government category of non-white, non-Caucasian individuals
Prejudice is a negative attitude based on preconceived notions about members of a selected
group (can be positive and negative)
oEthnocentrism is the tendency to regard one’s own culture/group as the standard (superior)
oStereotypes are overgeneralizations about appearance/behaviour/other characteristics of
members of a particular group (media is major source of perpetuating stereotypes)
oScapegoat: person/group that is incapable of offering resistance to the hostility or aggression of
oHighly prejudiced individuals tend to have authoritarian personality (excessive conformity,
submissiveness to authority, intolerance, insecurity, high level of superstition, rigid/stereotypic thinking)
Discrimination involves actions or practices of dominant group members that have a harmful
impact on members of a subordinate group
otwo basic forms: de jure – legal discrimination, encoded in laws; de facto – informal discrimination,
entrenched in social customs and institutions
oprejudiced attitudes do not always lead to discriminatory behaviour
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SOC101Y1 Term Test #2
P. 2
unprejudiced nondiscriminators are not personally prejudiced/do not discriminate against
unprejudiced discriminators may have no personal prejudices but still engage in
discriminatory behaviour due to peer group pressure/economic, political, social interests
prejudiced nondiscriminators hold personal prejudices but do not discriminate due to
peer pressure, legal demands, desire for profits (“timid bigots”)
prejudiced discriminators hold personal prejudices and actively discriminate against
Racism is a set of ideas that implies the superiority of one social group over another on the basis
of biological/cultural characteristics, together with the power to put these beliefs into practice in a way that
denies/excludes minority people
oOvert racism take form of deliberate and highly personal attacks (slurs, name-calling)
oPolite racism is the attempt to disguise a dislike of others through behaviour that is outwardly
nonprejudicial (not offering jobs to certain groups)
oSubliminal racism is a form of subconscious racism that occurs when there’s a conflict of values
(demonstrated in opposition to progressive minority policies); enables individuals to maintain two
apparently conflicting values
oInstitutionalized racism occurs where established rules, policies, and practices within an
institution/organization produce differential treatment of various groups based on race
Symbolic interactionists point out that contact between people from diff. groups should lead to
favourable attitudes/behaviour when certain factors are present
oMembers of each group must 1) have equal status, 2) pursue same goals, 3) cooperate w/ one
another to achieve their goals, 4) receive positive feedback when they interact with one another in
positive environment
oWhen individuals meet people who do not fit the stereotype, they will ignore the contradictions and
interpret situations to fit their prejudices
oSymbolic interactionist perspectives make us aware of importance of intergroup contact and that it
may either intensify or reduce racial/ethnic stereotyping and prejudice
Functionalists studied immigration/patterns of majority and minority group interactions to figure
out who members of subordinate racial/ethnic groups become part of the dominant group
oAssimilation is a process by which members of subordinate racial/ethnic groups become
absorbed into dominant culture (contribution to stability of society through minimizing group
Cultural assimilation, structural assimilation (integration), biological assimilation
(amalgamation), psychological assimilation
oEthic pluralism is the coexistence of a variety of distinct racial/ethnic groups within one society
Equalitarian pluralism (accommodation)
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SOC101Y1 Term Test #2
P. 3
oSegregation exists when specific ethnic groups are set apart from the dominant group and have
unequal access to power and privilege; it’s the spatial and social separation of categories of people by
race/ethnicity/class/gender/religion (may be enforced de jure or de facto)
Conflict theorists examine why some ethnic groups continue to experience subjugation, they
focus on economic stratification/access to power
oInternal colonialism refers to a situation in which members of a racial/ethnic group are conquered
or colonized and forcibly placed under the economic and political control of the dominant group
Experiences of internally colonized groups are unique in three ways: 1) they have been
forced to exist in a society other than their own; 2) have been kept out of economic/political
mainstream; 3) they have been subjected to severe attacks on their own culture, which may lead
to its extinction
Split labour market refers to the division of the economy into two areas of employment:
primary sector composed of higher-paid workers in more secure jobs, and secondary sector
made up of lower-paid workers with little job security
Feminists use the term gendered racism to refer to the interactive effect of racism and sexism in
the exploitation of women of colour (people of colour and most white women more often hold lower-tier
Postmodern perspectives view ethnic and racial ID as largely a consequence of personal
choice/subjective definition (discourse is used)
Critical race theory implies that the best way to document racism and ongoing inequality in
society is to listen to the lived experiences of people who have experienced such discrimination
White ethics is a term to identify immigrants who came from European countries other than
England (e.g. Scotland, Ireland, Poland)
Vertical mosaic: Canada’s ethnic groups are vertically arranged according to
Gender refers to the culturally and socially constructed diff. between male/female found in meaning,
beliefs, and practices associated w/ “femininity” and “masculinity”
oGender is a human invention
oMicrolevel analysis focuses on gender roles (attitudes/behaviour/activities that are socially defined
as appropriate for each sex and are learned through socialization process) and gender identity (a
person’s perception of the self as female/male)
oMacrolevel analysis defines gendered institutions, as gender is one of the major ways by which
social life is organized in all sectors of society (reinforcement of gender belief system)
oThere exists gendered stereotype (eating problems, bodybuilding are gendered experiences)
Sex is the biological and anatomical differences between females/males
Transsexuals believe they’re born into “wrong” body; identifies and want to live fully as opposite sex
Transgender people break society’s gender norms by defying the rigid distinction between the genders
Sexism is the subordination of one sex based on the assumed superiority of the other sex
oSexism directed at women has three components: 1) negative attitudes women; 2) stereotypical
beliefs that reinforce, complement, or justify the prejudice; 3) discrimination (acts that exclude,
distance, keep women separate
oBoth men and women can be victims of sexist assumptions
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