Harris Chapter 13 - Ethnicity, Race and Racism
Ethnic Group: is a group that has been incorporated into a state through conquest or migration, that
maintains distinctive cultural and/or linguistic traditions and that has a sense of a separate, shared and
Biological races: are etic populations in which several genes occur together with distinctive
frequencies over many generations.
Social races: are assumed to have a biological basis but are in fact culturally constructed. Social race
is an emic construct that can be used politically to justify prejudice and stratification.
Racism: is the belief that the cultural and intellectual characteristics of a population are linked to its
biological racial character, with the notion that some races inherently superior to others.
Racialism: is a relatively benign form of making racial distinctions, such as skin color and facial
characteristics, intended for reference purposes.
Members of ethnic groups often believe that they have distinctive appearance, that they are descended
from common ancestor, and that they share distinctive traditions and customs. Ethnicity is believed to
be associated with distinctive cuisines, holidays, religious beliefs, dances, dress and other traditions
such as language.
Only those who speak up are heard, and outsiders never achieve a secure power base. In terms of
ethnic politics, nondominant ethnic groups need to learn to speak loudly and rely on their own material
and ideological resources.
Each group tends to pay more attention to its own origins, history, heroism, suffering, and
achievements. In this context, ethnicity turns out to mean an especially aggressive and virulent form of
ethnocentrism, the sense that one’s own ethnic group is superior to others. Biological races versus social races versus ethnic groups
Popular conception of biological race is flawed because differences between populations are largely
superficial, resulting from adaptations to local climatic conditions during the most recent period of
• More variation occurs within racial groups than between them
• Lack of genetic continuity is caused by exchanges in genes by mating, creating ever-changing
patterns of genetic variations
• Although everyone is different, physical differences between populations are used to classify
The one-drop rule
According to the one-drop rule, a Black person was anyone who had the slightest amount of Black
“blood”, as attested to by having even one ancestor who was known to have been identified as Black.
Biological Race and Culture
A large-scale biological race does not have just one culture; it has hundreds of cultures. Therefore,
those who belong to different biological races may possess very similar or even identical cultures, and
people who possess very different cultures may belong to the same biological race.
The competitive Dynamics of Ethnics and Racial Groups
The most important point to bear in mind about ethnics groups and social races is that they are
invariably locked into more or less open and conscious forms of political, social and economic struggle
to protect or raise their positions in the stratification system.
Ethnic and racial groups rise or fall in the hierarchy depending on their:
• Their special cultural strengths/weaknesses
Although members of many ethnic groups in the world have moved toward assimilation, there is also
growing concern with preserving ethnicity identity. Even though ethnic groups may adopt the language
of the majority and become culturally similar to the dominant majority, they nevertheless maintain
cultural traditions of their common ancestry.
Defining Racism Racism as a cultural construct emerged out of historical circumstances. Many believe race is a recent
concept in human history. Today the term racism also refers to a social system in which certain groups
are oppressed and exploited with the realization that they are racially inferior.
Recognition that differences between people exist, but that one who is not superior to the others.
Race, Poverty, Crime, Drugs, Welfare
Within the United States, Blacks have become more concentrated within their ghettos. More benefits
exist through criminal behavior for those who cannot escape the ghetto. When survival is at stake,
crime in an opportunity not a cost.
Kane Chapter 19
• Kane has lost pages from her research notes
• She begins discussing with Cyril that she is worried that the notes will make their way into the
• She explains that she must leave because everyone will think she’s a spy
• No one will understand that she had to write so much detail about their lives in order to
understand their culture
• Will people want her to leave?
• Cyril wonders town and asks people if they have seen the missing notes
• No one even mentions Kane or her notes
• Kane heads over to the church where Delany and Reverend Parks are making rabbits nets.
• They begin discussing how women cannot go on rabbit hunts and Kane writes down the
different roles that sexes play.
• Thomasina state’s that Larry is in jail with the murder charge of Willie
• Everyone heads over to the jail where Delaney begins expressing great disappointment in Larry
• Claiming that there aren’t many people left who know the “old ways”
• Walker is also in the jail
• Delaney tells Kane it’s because he was an “informant” for her • Delaney says he arrested Walker to make a fool of both Kane and him. To get things “whipped
• Larry is upset because his mother will kick him out after she hears what he’s been charged with
• It turns out that Larry was charged with a murder the same night he left Rickett’s with Kane…
Kane gave him a lift home and wrote this down in her notes. These are the pages of notes
• Kane gives a brief description of when she went to school back in the day to Thomasina and
• Kane Thomasina and Charlene begin discussing math, geography and science lessons
• Wickham begins interrogating Kane about the night she gave Larry a lift home from Ricketts
• He is asking very detailed questions
• He says “don’t you take notes”? when Kane replies she lost them, he smirks as though he
knows their missing
Kane Chapter 20
• Francis calls Kane and she tells him all about Larry and his murder charges
• Kane goes to the courthouse and receives photocopies of the notes that were missing
• Everything that she told Wickham was in the notes
• Kane doesn’t understand how “if” Wickham has her notes, where he would have found them
• Kane heads to the courthouse to see if there is a court-record of the charges laid on Larry
• Eddie turns up at the courthouse and explains to Kane how her notes were found by Nancy and
passed between many people until they ended up in the hands of Wickham
• This is all a BIG JOKE
• Eddie then says, he dropped her book with notes and he was the one who picked her notes up
and no one has seen them but him, not even Wickham
• There are many witnesses who can state that Willie was still alive when Larry had already left
• Eddie claims that not even Wickham thinks Larry murder Willie, but Wickham wants to impress
• He wants to move in with her and show her that he can keep Larry in line
• Larry is released from jail when his mothers goes to the jail and tears Wickham a new one. She
said that he couldn’t hold her son if there was no official court records
Kane Chapter 21: The Killer (pages 208-214)
• Walker states that somebody new has joined the Reverends church: Charlene • Charlene says she will be safer with the reverend’s Mission than with the Catholics
• Had to pledge at church not to see immoral movies
• Discuss the differences between Catholics and Protestants: when they eat dinner, what they
eat, what they wear, etc.
• Asks walker: “why do you think some of the people are going to the Reverend’s church? Is it the
religion? Is it him? Is he anything like the leaders of the past?”
• Jack Wilson: attracted people with miracles
• The reverend: “nagging as a basis of a religious revitalization movement”
• “not three months into the project, and I’m nearly one of the people”
• Understands almost every issue, except why the Paiutes joined Reverend Parks in the
Assembly of God
• Meets with Delaney at Jennie’s to sort thing out, larry is there
• The Kah’ nii movement is catching on with the little kids in the frenzy leading up to the big
• Larry asks: tell me how do I become an anthropologist
• Charlene’s connordoreon is a traditional instrument to the local Indians