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COMPLETE Sociology of Race and Ethnicity Notes: Part 1 [got 4.0 in the course]

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CAS SO 207
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NativeAmerican Notes Creation of Minority Status: • European Conquest began in East, expansion into West led settlers to fulfill economic dreams • 300 year long “contact situation” that killed off NativeAmericans via destruction of food supplies and disease (particularly the Plains natives in which they killed 15 million Buffalo) Noel and Blauner Hypothesis: • Victims of both conquest and colonization • Too powerless to establish pluralism and too colonized to pursue equality Indian RemovalAct of 1830: • Under PresidentAndrew Jackson • Vacuum Domicilium established by Spain • Trail of Tears: The Cherokee nation • Apolicy of forced emigration—forced NativeAmericans west of the Mississippi and why 2/3 of NativeAmericans today live in the west • According to Blauner, negative consequences of colonized minority group still persist today Gender Relations: • Women sometimes held powerful positions and controlled wealth • One example is the Iroquois (a larger and powerful federation of tribes in Northeast) women controlled land and harvest, arranged marriages, supervised children, and responsible for appointing tribal leaders and decisions about peace and war • Some women were warriors or chiefs • Women’s roles were affected by colonization and some status of women rose and some fell • Status of women in Navajo tribe rose: now responsible for livestock when Spanish introduced sheep and goats • Status of women in Great Plains tribe fell: once responsible for gardening and men now had horses and became more powerful/dominant • Overall the colonization forced NativeAmericans to assimilate to the patriarchal ways of Europeans Comparing NativeAmericans to Others • Hawaiians were also colonized for land for plantations and were institutionally discriminated against via political and economic power without being enslaved • Australian Aborigines were also seen as savage and relations with European colonization were centered on competition for land Population Size • Decreased from 1 million to 250,000 in a matter of 300 years but then increased by 1960s, mostly due to an increased status (more willing to identify) and intermarriage Culture Differences • American Indians do not view ownership the same way Europeans do • Do not view the use of land the same way they do; this is what sets them apart • Lenski says that societies are profoundly shaped by their subsistence technology and in this case it is hunting and gathering and that is what shapes NativeAmericans and their relations Reservations • Economically poor and remote areas, far from industrialization/modernization and when industries tried to help out by moving onto reservations, many NativeAmericans did not have the skills to work there (lack of knowledge of English, lacked familiarity with Western culture) • Reservations were run by agency of federal gov’t U.S. Bureau of IndianAffairs (BIA) —controlled all aspect of day life, like budget, justice system, and schools, even determined tribal membership DawesAllotmentAct of 1887 • Aflawed attempt to impose white definition of land ownership and to transform American Indians into independent farmers by dividing their land among families of each tribe • This legislation sought to destroy broader kinship, clan, and tribal social structures and replace with Western systems • It was a disaster and decreased their resources and force acculturation • SentAmerican Indian children to boarding schools (required to speak English) • Consistent with Blauner hypothesis, they could not mention native culture Indian ReorganizationAct of 1934 (IRA) • Franklin D. Roosevelt and john Collier (man he appointed to run BIA) were sympathetic toA.I. poor reservation conditions—they secured passage of Indian Reorganization act (IRA) of 1934 • This was around great depression time and gov’t can’t take care ofA.I. so they give back their autonomy, but do not help them find employment • Rescinded the Dawes act of 1887 and policy of individualizing tribal lands; mechanisms of school system were dismantled and financial aid was made available; also proposed increase inA.I. self-governance and a reduction in paternalistic role of BIA • IRAhad its limits and governing still had white political forms to it (popular vote instead of elders)—illustrates basic assimilation intent
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