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socio notes for exam ( feb 15).docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Robert Brym

CH. 8 Race and Ethnic Relations th - 5 of September 1995, Dudley George is shot and killed by an O.P.P officer during chaotic altercations the day after the occupation of Ipperwash started. The officer was convicted and trialed for criminal negligence causing death. Investigations showed racism in the OPP and conservatory government at the time. Race and ethnicity Both are ascribed characters, but sociologists believe it is more useful to see race and ethnicity as certain Kinds of achieved statuses. Ethnicity: - Objective definitions of ethnicity assume that ethnic groups exist because of people’s social attachments. From this point of view, ethnicity is something that people possess because of differences in; language, culture, customs, national origin, ancestry. - Subjective approaches to ethnicity focus on the process of ethnic identification. Sociologists who emphasize the socially constructed nature of perceived reality insist that ethnicity is a ``transactional`` process. Ethnic groups are made up of people who identify themselves, or who are identified by others as belonging to the same ancestral or cultural group. Canadian is now numerically the largest ethnic group in Canada. Why? People lose interest or are simply unaware of their so-called roots, or they do this as a political act to express their dissatisfaction with the Gvt’s policy of Multiculturalism. But mostly it’s because that this is the group that we identify and with whom we share a sense of belonging. Race: - Most scientists believed that races were real and objective subdivisions of Homo sapiens. Divisions supposedly based on a combination of unalterable physical and genetic characteristics ( skin colour, hair texture, body and facial shape, genetic diseases, blood groups) - During the 1930s, scientists began to raise doubts about the scientific validity of the concept of race. - Since 1950s, the scientific consensus is that racial classifications of humanity are arbitrary, that genetic differences between groups are small, and that genetic differences are behaviourally insignificant. Racial classifications based on characteristics such as skin colour, are as illogical as racial classifications based on the length of the index finger! Racism: - Sociologists define racism as a certain kind of idea and a certain kind of institutional practice. - Traditionally, sociologists defined racism: the belief that humans are subdivided into distinct hereditary groups that are innately different in their social behaviour and mental capacities and that can therefore be ranked as superior and inferior. - New racism: developed by Martin Barker, he argued that the new racism involves the belief that, although race s of people cannot ranked biologically, they are different from each other and social problems develop when different groups try to live together. These beliefs should be considered racist because of their underlying intent: to socially exclude, marginalise, and denigrate certain groups of people. But to do so without reference to unalterable biology. - Institutional racism: refers to : Discriminatory racial practices built into such prominent structures as the political, economic and education systems. Three different forms: o Some institutional practices are based on explicitly racist ideas. i.e., in Canada,Chinese people were excluded from certain jobs until 1947. o Some institutional practices arose from, but are no longer sustained by, racist ideas. i.e., abmitting a small groupe of black workers to work on farms, for the soul reason that they are ‘’racially’’ suited for the job. (Federal GVT, 1966) o Institutions sometimes unintentionally restrict the life-chances of certain groups through a variety of seemingly neutral rules, regulations, and procedures. Sometimes referred to as a systematic discrimination.THEORIES OF RACE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS Social Psychology: - Social-psychological approaches to the interpretation or face and ethnic relations focus on how prejudice: an unfavourable, generalized, and rigid belief applied to all members of a group, and racism satisfy the psychic needs of some people. - Frustration-aggression is a popular variant of social-psychological theory. It explains prejudice and racism as a form of hostility that arise from frustration. People take out their anger on minorities (scapegoating). - Primordialism: Primordialist thesis suggests that ethnic and racial attachments reflect an innate tendency for people to seek out, and associate with, others who are similar in terms of language, culture, beliefs, ancestry, and appearance. They are ways of maintaining social boundaries. - Ethnic and racial groups are seen to be nothing more than large extended families. - Normative Theories: They concentrate on the way in which prejudices are transmitted through socialization and the social circumstances that compel discriminatory behaviour. For example: the socialization approach focuses on how we are taught ethnic and racial stereotypes, prejudices, and attitudes by our families, peer groups, and the Mass Media. - Socialization theories: are superior to social-psychological and primordialist approaches because they emphasize the way in which ethnic and racial prejudices and attitudes are learned through social interaction. The limitation of socialization theories is that they are unable to explain how prejudicial ideas, attitudes, and practices arise in the first place. - Power-Conflict Theories: Karl Marx wrote that ‘’ the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black skins signalled the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.’’ - Orthodox Marxists argue that racism is an ideology: a set of statements shaped be economic interests about the way the social world ‘’really works’’. Used by capitalists to mystify social reality and justify the exploitation and unequal treatment of groups of people. - In the case of advanced capitalism, racism is viewed by Marxists as an ideology that justifies the intense exploitation r racial minority and immigrant workers.- The Split Labour Market: developed by Edna Bonacich. Her argument states that orthodox Marxism tends to assume that the capitalist class is all powerful and that all other classes play no role in the development of racist thinking. Racism is found in all classes. Second she states that Orthodox Marxism portrays racism in overly conspiratorial terms. Third, orthodox Marxism has trouble explaining why racialized conflict so often results in exclusionary practices – practices that deny employers access to cheaper, more exploitable labour. - Split Labour Market theory suggests that racial and ethnic conflict is rooted in differences in the price of labour. Historically, White people have been paid more than non-whites. - Three other points: o Individual racism, ethnic prejudice, and institutional racism emerge from intergroup conflict. o Prejudicial ideas and discriminatory behaviour are ways of socially marginalizing minority groups that the dominant group sees as threats to their position of power and privilege. o To understand ethnic and racial relations, we need to look beyond individual personalities and sociobiological processes and analyse processes of economic, social, and political competition among groups. Aboriginal People - ‘’Indian’’ is a label given to first nations by Christopher Columbus. - ‘’Métis’’ descendants of the historic Métis who evolved in what is now Western Canada as a people with a common political will, and anyone of mixed European-aboriginal ancestry who defines himself or herself as metis. - ‘’Inuit’’ People who live for many centuries above the tree lines. Used to be called Eskimos. - Statistical evidence shows that Aboriginal people are the most socially and economically disadvantaged groups in the country. - ON average, have much lower family incomes, rates of labour-force participation, and higher rates of unemployement. - The GVT try to Europeanize and Christianize the Aboriginals. - The Culture of Poverty Thesis: Some ethnic groups do not readily assimilate, and hence are poor, because their culture does not value economic success, hard work, and achievement. ( straight up what The Aboriginals believe man)- Conflict Theory: The internal colonial model analyses the problem of inequality in terms of power imbalances and the exploitation of Aboriginal people and lands by white society. Quebec-ers: Quebec was mostly run by English speakers, Quebec-ers being the labour force.. English being the upper classes. In the 1940s
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