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SOC 103 (124)
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Chapter 10

Chapter note from Sociology in Our Times 5th Canadian Edition: Chapter 10

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SOC 103
Sal Guzzo

Chapter 10: Ethnic Relations and Race Race and Ethnicity • Popular usages of race have been based on the assumption that a race is a grouping or classification based on genetic variations in physical appearance • Race has little meaning in biological sense because of the enormous amount of interbreeding that has taken place within the human population • Race is a socially constructed reality, not a biological one • Race: is a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin colour, hair texture, eye shape or other subjectively selected attribution • Nineteenth century distinctions made by biologists, 3 racial categories o Caucasian: people characterized as having relatively light skin and fine hair o Negroid: people with darker skin and coarser, curlier hair o Mongoloid: people with yellow or brown skin and distinctively shaped eyelids • Phenotypical differences does not correlate with genotypical differences • Phenotpical differences: such as facial characteristics or skin colour • Genotypical differences: differences in genetic makeup • Individuals from another race have more in common with each other than we have with the genetic average of people from our own race • Race refers only to physical characteristics, the concept of ethnicity refers to cultural features • Ethnic group: a collection of people distinguished by others or by themselves, primarily on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics • Share five main characteristics o Unique cultural traits (eg language) o Sense of community www.notesolution.com o A felling of ethnocentrism o Ascribed membership from birth o Territoriality: tendency to occupy a distinct geographic area The Social Significance of Race and Ethnicity • White privilege: being white and enjoying the benefits of being that • Vertical Mosaic: Canada is one, made up of different ethnic groups wielding varying degrees of social and economic power, status and prestige Majority and Minority Groups • Majority (or dominant) group: is one that is advantaged and has superior resources and rights in a society (Euro-Canadians, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants) • Minority (or subordinate) group: is one whose members, because of physical or cultural characteristics are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by the dominant group and who regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination ( visible minorities, white women) • Visible minority: an official gov’t category of nonwhite non-Caucasian individuals Prejudice • Prejudice: is a negative attitude based on preconceived notions about members of selected groups • Racial prejudice: involves beliefs that certain reacial groups are innately inferior to others or have a disproportionate number of negative traits Stereotypes • Ethnocentrism: the tendency to regard one’s own culture and group as the standard- and thus superior whereas all other groups are seen as inferior • Stereotypes: overgeneralizations about the appearance, behaviour, or other characteristics of members of particular groups • Media is a major source of racial and ethnic stereotypes, also ethnic jokes Theories of Prejudice www.notesolution.com • Frustration-aggression hypothesis: the people who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal will respond with a pattern of aggression toward others • Scapegoat: a person or group that is incapable of offering resistance to the hostility or aggression of others • Symbolic interatctionists, prejudice results from social learning, children don’t know any better when praised for racist jokes • Authoritarian personality: which is characterized by excessive conformity, submissiveness to authority, intolerance, insecurity, a high level of superstition and rigid, stereotypic thinking Measuring Prejudice • Social Distance: which refers to the extent to which people are willing to interact and establish relationships with members of racial and ethnic groups other than their own Discrimination • Discrimination: involves actions or practices of dominant group members (or their representatives) that have a harmful impact on members of a subordinate group • Discrimination takes two basic forms: o De jure: legal discrimination which is encoded in laws o De facto: informal discriminations, which is entrenched in social customs and institution • Unprejudiced nondiscriminators: not personally prejudiced and do not discriminate against others • Unprejudiced discrimators: may have no personal prejudices but still engage in discriminatory behaviour but still engage in discriminatory behaviour because of peer group pressure or economic, political, or social interests • Prejudiced nondiscriminators: hold personal prejudices but do not discriminate due to peer pressure, legal demands, or a desire for profits • Prejudiced discrinators: hold personal prejudices and actively discriminate against others www.notesolution.com Racism • Racism: is a set of ideas that implies the superiority of one social group over another on the basis of biological or cultural characteristics, together with the power to put these beliefs into practice in a way that denies or excludes minority women and men • Overt racism: may take the form of public statements about the inferiority of members of a racial or ethnic group • Polite racism: is an attempt to disguise a dislike of others through behaviour that outwardly is nonprejudicial • Subliminal racism: is a form of subconscious racism that occurs when there is a conflict of values • Institutionalized racism: made up of the rules procedures and practices which may directly or indirectly promote, sustain, or entrench differential advantage or privilege form dominant group members Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations • Symbolic interactionists examine how microlevel contacts between people may produce either greater racial tolerance or increased levels of hostility • Functionalists focus on the macrolevel intergroup processes that occur among members of majority and minority groups in society Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives • Contact hypothesis: symbolic interactionists point out that contact between people from divergent groups should lead to favourable attitudes and bahaviour when certain factors are present o Have equal status o Pursue the same goals o Cooperate with one another to achieve their goals o Receive positive feedback when they interact with one another in positive, nondiscriminatory ways www.notesolution.com • Make us aware of the importance of intergroup contact and the fact that it may either intensify or reduce racial and ethnic stereotyping and prejudice Functionalist Perspectives Assimilation • Assimilation: is a process by which members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become absorbed into the dominant culture • Contributes to the stability of society by minimizing group differences that other wise might result in hostility and violence • Cultural assimilation/ acculturation: occurs when members of an ethnic group adopt dominant group traits such as language, dress, values, religion, and food preferences • Structural assimilation or integration: occurs when members of subordinate racial or ethnic groups gain acceptance in everyday social interaction with members of the dominant gro
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