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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity

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Antonio Sorge

Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity Social Stratification: Class, Ethnicity, and Racism (pg. 81)  Modern industrial and post-industrial societies like our own are socially stratified  Anthropologists argue that egalitarian societies (people are equal) exists where social groups (Ex. Families) have the same the rights and advantages  Egalitarianism characterized most of human history  Physical features such as skin colour can promote racism and beliefs that some racial groups are inferior to others.  Stratification can consists of economic resources, other benefits such as prestige and power  Social stratification involves the status, duties and responsibilities of ones self o The lower the social stratigraphy the more difficult it is, and the more undesirable the duties and responsibility. Variation in Degree of Social Inequality (pg. 81)  3 types of factors that people strive for in an society are: 1) Wealth or economic resources 2) Power 3) Prestige  Economic resources are things that are needed in cultures o Ex. Land, tools, technological goods, money, etc.  Power having the ability to force people to do things. Power usually comes from force, intimidation, and wealth/resources. o People with more wealth/resources have more access to power  Prestige are people that are highly respected  Different social groups have unequal access to Economic resources, power, & prestige: o Egalitarian (equality) Societies o Rank Societies o Class societies Types of Society Economic Power Prestige Resources Egalitarian Society No No No Rank Society No No Yes Class Society Yes Yes Yes 1 Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity Egalitarian Societies (pg. 82)  Egalitarian society is people amongst that society are treated as equal. However it doesn’t necessarily mean that all members of societies are the same. They will differ in terms age, gender or abilities.  Everyone in this society is able to achieve prestige status, however everyone has an equal access to economic resources or power. They are considered stratified.  Egalitarian society keeps inequality at a minimum level  Differences in individuals in society varies in age, gender and other abilities  In an egalitarian society, the number of demands of one person or persons can become prestige o Ex. A person is good at making clothing, if a lot of people likes that person’s clothing line, then they will be viewed as a designer  Ex. Louis Vuitton, True Religion etc. o In this case, society is NOT socially stratified o Socially stratification means the inequality of people in wealth, power, status  Equal access are status for people with the same ability/abilities o Ex. Hunting, skilled artists etc.  Sharing such as economic resources amongst members of society regardless of prestige Rank Societies (pg. 83)  Ranking is a status that everyone has. Everyone can access to prestige status, however everyone do not have equal access to economic resources or power. This society is partially stratified  In ranked societies, higher ranked personnel (such as chiefs which are the head of the village) are treated differently appose to the lower ranked people o Ex. In respect to a chief, usually people of lower rank would lower their heads while the chief is standing o The chief would receive more food than the commoners o The chief lacks power. He/she can not force people to do his/hers bidding Class Societies (pg. 84)  In Class societies, there is about an equal opportunity to obtain economic resources, power and prestige. They are more stratified than rank societies  This society is considered “open” because everyone in society has the chance to moving from one class to another  Different classes have different opportunities o Meaning not everyone in the society has a opportunity to obtain land, money, and other economic resources  Ex. Think about the society we are living now. Not everyone can become a nurse, DJ etc. Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity 2  Class does not always have to be refer to economic factors o Ex. Taste  A certain genre of music may be viewed high class in one country while another country may view that same genre as low class  Class depends on a variety of factors: o Economics o Social status o Appearance o Occupation  A fully stratified or class societies range from somewhat open to closed class  People born in a open class society will remain and marry within that same class  People in the same class are more comfortable with each other oppose to people of different classes.  People of the same class most likely share similar taste and interest o Ex. Guido’s share similarity oppose to gangsters  Open class societies that allows people to move up in class or down  Closed class societies prevents people from moving class and often people marry people of the same class. Degree of Openness (pg. 85)  Some class systems are more open than others o It is easier in some societies to move up from one class to another  Degree of mobility is the change of an individual’s social class over time. o It is very flexible. It is not fixed.  Ex. Being a regular person, then suddenly you become a famous DJ  To measure the degree of mobility, social scientist measures the social class of an individual’s parents. o The degree on mobility can either cause an individual to move up or down in class  Ex. Education, university education can make you go up in class in society because a university education is highly recognized rather than a high school diploma o The degree of mobility is basically your reputation in society  In certain countries, individuals social class ranking, are predicted based on their education Degree of Inequality (pg. 85)  Degree of Inequality is the status of individuals in society that are not necessarily equal o Can vary over time  Degree of class mobility is not the same as degree of economic inequality o Ex. Japan, Italy and Germany has less mobility than U.S but less inequality  Change in degree of inequality sometimes appears to have economic causes Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity 3 o Ex. 1929 stock market crashed has made the wealthy less wealthy. In other words they went from a wealthy status to a poor status Caste Systems (pg. 86)  Caste is a ranked group. o When you are born you are automatically classified into a rank o You can only marry members of the same caste.  Therefore your children can not have more than one caste status  Caste is a closed class society Slaves (pg. 87)  Slaves do not own their own labour. They represent a class  Sometimes the slavery system has been a closed class/caste, system. But relatively it is a open class system  Slaves were treated unequal. They could not marry or make any other contracts own any property  Children were slaves too and the head masters had full authorities over the female slaves  Slaves establish as a caste and a class system  Mistreatment of slaves was rare o Male slaves were given the same opportunity in earning money as other males in a household.  All the slaves possessions were given to the master once the slaves has died  Manumission is allowing the slaves to be free o This was built in the Nupe System  If a male can afford a marriage, then the female and their kids are free from slavery. The male however remains as a slave o Once a slave women produces a child, she and her child are free  Marriage and concubinage (a women living with a men with a lower status than his wife) were ways in which females were free of slavery  Slavery does not occur in developed or industrial economies o It either disappears or it was never present Racism and Inequality (pg. 88)  Racism is a belief that some “races” are inferior to others  Races with different skin tone are considered inferior. As a result, there will be a large portion of lower social classes  “Race” is a social concept that is important as a classify individuals in some societies Race as a Social Category (pg. 88)  Racial classifications are social categories that individuals are assigned to Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity 4  People tend to be Ethnocentric. That means, people views their culture more superior/better  As far as categories goes for races o Chinese = Asians o White + Black = Coloured  You were considered black if you had 1/8 of black descent Ethnicity and Inequality (pg. 89)  Ethnic groups and ethnic identities were created as part of a social and political process.  Ethnicity involve a group of people sharing a common: o Tradition o Origin o Culture  Having different a religion does not affect ethnicity. You would still be classified under the same ethnicity  Naming groups establishes a boundary between it and other ethnic group o Ex. Asian Americans, Native Americans  Ethnic identity may be manipulated by insiders and by outsiders in different situations  In many multiethnic societies, ethnicity and diversity are things to be proud of and celebrated  Ethnic differences in multiethnic societies are usually associated with inequities in wealth, power and prestige  Ethnicity is part od the system of stratification
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