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Chapter 12

Chapter 12

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Ryerson University
SOC 104
Mustafa Koc

Week 9: Race and Ethnic Relations  Difference among human societies is normal and natural. Inequalities are social and often attributed to these differences. These differences present themselves in biological and cultural patterns. They are often the product of geographical proximity, historical, social and economic relations of conflict and cooperation.  Though it may be the products of normal processes of socialization, ethnocentrism and prejudice hinder human cooperation.  Race reflects a social rather than a biological reality.  Emile Durkheim suggested that the concept of collective consciousness is a primary source of identity formation.  Durkheim (The Division of Labour in Society): o In pre-modern societies the role of community or group sentiments over individual ones were important o Similarities/sameness within the group lead members to distinguish themselves from the “others”.  Max Weber argued that social group formation is associated with the social practices of inclusion/exclusion. o Social group formation is important for the distribution of scarce and valuable resources. o Ethnic identity is linked to „primordial attachment‟.  Hard primordialism: People are attached to one another and their communities due to 'blood ties„.  Soft primordialism: People's feelings of attachment, acceptance, and trust are not associated with 'blood ties„.  Ethnic group: refers to a group that is socially defined on the basis of its cultural characteristics.  Ethnicity: The social distinctions and relations among individuals and groups based on cultural characteristics. o the sense of belonging o common history, values, attitudes, and behaviours o differing in terms of food habits, family patterns, sexual behaviour, modes of dress, standards of beauty, political orientations, economic activities etc.  Ethnocentrism: refers to the tendency to view all the peoples and cultures of the world from the viewpoint of one's own ethnic group and consequently to evaluate and rank all outsiders in terms of  Ethnic chauvanism: hostility directed towards people on the basis of their membership in a particular ethnic group  A majority (or dominant) group is one that is advantaged and has superior resources & rights in a society.  --does not refer to numerical size  --subjective vs objective definitions of the situation  Middle-status minorities: racial or ethnic groups in the middle strata who are neither major owners of property nor providers of labour power. Their high visibility and economic vulnerability make them frequent targets for scapegoating in bad economic times.  Amalgamation: Melting pot the idea that the ethnic differences can be combined to create new patterns of behaviour drawing on diverse cultural resources. A+B+C=D  Pluralism: A model for ethnic relations by which all ethnic groups retain their independent and separate identities, yet share equally in the rights and powers of citizenship. A+B+C=A+B+C  Assimilation: the acceptance of a minority group by a majority population, in which the new group takes on the values and norms of the dominant culture. A+B+C=A  Oppression: involves the exploitation of a minority group by excluding it from equal participation in a society  Extermination: genocide, Holocaust  Expulsion: ethnic cleansing  Prejudice: refers to a set of rigidly held attitudes, beliefs and feelings towards members of another group.  it is based on unsubstantiated opinion  learned through the normal process of enculturation  remain unquestioned and untested  it has emotional or affective bases and even in the base of empirical evidence to the contrary it is very difficult to eradicate.  Stereotypes: over-generalized standardized group image that amplifies the selected physical, cultural, and/or behavioural characteristics and disregards others.  The frustration-aggression hypothesis states that people who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal will respond with a pattern of aggression toward a scapegoat--a person or group that is incapable of offering resistance to the hostility or aggression of others.  Highly prejudiced individuals may exhibit an authoritarian personality-- characterized by excessive conformity, submissiveness to authority, intolerance, insecurity, a high level of superstition, and rigid, stereotypic thinking.  Prejudice may be a cultural trait. Based on the work of Emory Bogardus, social distance-- the extent to which people are willing to interact and establish relationships with members of racial and ethnic groups other than their own--is used by some sociologists to measure prejudice. The Interactionist Perspective  examines how microlevel contacts between people produce either greater racial tolerance or increased levels of hostility.  Contact hypothesis - contact between groups is likely to produce favorable attitudes when members of each group  have equal status  pursue the same goals  cooperate to achieve goals  receive positive feedback while interacting. Conflict Perspective  focus on economic stratification and access to power. They view prejudice as the product of social conflict among competing groups. Prejudice is used to justify the oppression of minorities. Critical Race Theories:  fo
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