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Chapter 1

Fleras Ch. 1 summary

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2290
Cecil Foster

Chapter 1 Reading: Fleras, Chapter 1 KEY TERMS ANGLO-CONFORMITY an expectation that minorities under the British colonial rule must outwardly conform to the British cultural & societal mainstream ASSIMILIATION A complex and dynamic process in which minorities begin to lose their distinctiveness through absorption into dominant society. As policy or political framework, assimilation can refer to those formal government initiatives for absorbing minority populations into the mainstream COLLECTIVE DEFINITION a distinct if somewhat underused approach to the study of race & ethnicity, collective definition endorses a view of race, ethnic, & Aboriginal relations as dynamic & contested. Sectors (dualism) within both the dominant & subdominant groups compete with each other to define the situation differently & act accordingly, thereby creating complex & contested inter-group dynamics CONFLICT THEORY based on the idea that societies are sites of inequality that societies are sites of inequality, with the result that confrontation, competition, and change are inevitable when diverse groups compete for scarce resources in contexts that structurally favour some groups but not others DIFFERENCE in contrast to the empirical descriptor, diversity, difference is employed in the more politicized sense to convey the placement of different groups along a hierarchy of dominance and subdominance that is undergoing constant evaluation & adjustment within unequal contexts DOMINANT GROUP the collectivity of persons in society with the institutionalized authority to preserve the prevailing distribution of power, privilege, ad property. The dominant sector represents that part of society with the capacity to define itself as the standard and its culture as the norm by which others are judged and evaluated DUALISM a term at the core of collective definition perspective, it suggests a series of binary divisions (factions) within both the dominant and subdominant sectors of society ETHNIC CLEANSING as a variant of genocide, it involves a deliberate process to eliminate an ethnic group either through outright killing or the forced expulsion from a particular locale FEMINISIM A widely varied ideology and social movement that espouses the equality and worth of women. It ranges from those that reject the existing system as patriarchal, racist or classist to those that are willing to work within the system by removing discriminatory barriers to equality. It also vary depending on whether the differences between men and women are perceived as absolute or relative FUNCTIONALISM a sociological perspective (or theory) that sees society as a complex and integrated totality composed of interrelated parts that individually and collectively contribute to the stability and survival of a society GENOCIDE An orchestrated effort by the state or those acting on its behalf or approval to eradicate members from a devalued group within the same society. Although current debates revolve around the centrality of intent as crucial to any definition, genocide in a broader sense can also be indirect, unintended or unconscious, and not openly violent in processHUMAN RIGHTS the doctrine that all persons have certain inalienable (inherent) entitlements by virtue of their status as human beings INTERGRATION a model of race and ethnic relations as well as a policy framework for managing diversity that involves a set of policy ideals and practices in opposition to the principles of segregation and separation. As policy or model, it involves a commitment to incorporate minorities into the mainstream as equals without sacrificing their distinctive identities. It can also refer to a process in which different cultures fuse as paints in a bucket to create a distinct cultural amalgam INTERNAL COLONIALISM A fundamentally exploitative relationship in which indigenous peoples are forcibly incorporated into a system not of their own making with a corresponding loss of land, identity, & political voice MAXISM A philosophy or ideology based on interpreting the work of Karl Marx. According to Marxism, both the dynamics of history and the organization of society can be understood as an ongoing & evolving clash between the ruling (capitalist) class & the working class, including the divisions within the working class along racial & ethnic lines MELTING POT A metaphor that used to describe the preferred ideal in American race and ethnic relations. It is a concept that suggests the fusion of minority differences to create a new & improved national culture. The ideal, however, does not match the reality for many racial minorities who by choice or by circumstances remain unmeltable. MULTICULTURALISM A belief that a society of many cultures is possible as a basis for living together with differences under 4 ideal-typical scenarios: (1) differences are rejected, (2) dif
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