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Chapter 10

CH. 10 ETHINICITY SOCA02.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Shelly Ungar

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ETHINICITY DEFINING RACEAND ETHNICITY  The Great Brain Robbery  Dr. Samuel George Morton - most distinguished scientist in NorthAmerica a 150 yrs ago.  Morton collected skulls and set out to prove that those with bigger skulls were smarter being than those with smaller skull  found that races ranking highest in the social hierarchy had the biggest brains while those ranking lowest had the smallest brains  people with the biggest brains were whites of European origins, next wereAsians, then came Native North Americans  people at the bottom of the social hierarchy - and with the smallest brains were - blacks  Morton claimed to show that social inequality throughout the world had natural biological roots  Morton argued those who were rich vs. poor, educated vs. illiterate, powerful vs. powerless it was due to brain size and mental capacity  Since Morton's work showed that Native NorthAmerican and Blacks naturally rested at the bottom of the social hierarchy  Morton's ideas were used to justify colonization and slavery  Three issues compromising his findings  1. Morton claimed to be able to distinguish the skulls of white and black people by the shapes of the skulls. Since this is not possible, Morton's sorting of skulls is invalid  2. Morton's skulls formed a small, unrepresentative sample of 72 skulls  3. Morton's racial samples were incomparable with respect to gender. Females comprised 71 pct of the 'negro' group and only 48 pct of the 'Caucasian'. The findings are biased in favour of larger, white male skulls  Race, Biology and Society  in Medieval Europe, some aristocrats saw blue veins underneath the their pale skin but could not see the blue veins underneath the peasants' suntanned skin.  concluded the two groups must be racially distinct  aristocrats called themselves 'blue bloods'  80 years ago some scholars believed that racial differences in average IQ scores were genetically based  Canadian professor Peter Sandiford argued that Canada must institute selective immigration to ensure that only the best and the brightest arrived on our shores and we kept out 'misfits' and 'defectives'  Northern Europeans showed mental superiority compared to Eastern and Southern Europeans  Japanese and Chinese ancestry had the highest intelligence scores  Prejudice - is an attitude that judges a person on his or her groups real or imagined characteristics  Discrimination - is unfair treatment of people because of their group membership  racial intermarriage has been increasing in Canada  in modern times humanity has experienced so much intermixing that race as a biological category has lost nearly all meaning  Race - is a social construct used to distinguish people in terms of one or more physical markers, usually with profound effects on their lives  Scapegoat - is a disadvantaged person or category of people whom others blame for their own problem  race matters to the degree that it helps to create and maintain systems of social inequality  Ethnicity, Culture, and Social Structure  Ethnic Group - comprises people whose perceived cultural markers are deemed socially significant. Ethnic groups differ from one another in terms of language, religion, customs, values, ancestors, and the like  Figure 10.1  ethnic groups differ from one another in terms of language, religion, customs, values, ancestors and the like  culture, in and of itself, is unimportant in determining the economic success of racial or ethnic groups read 239-253again  Ethnic and Racial Stratification in Canada  read it  244-245  Canadian andAmerican Differences  Multiculturalism - policy emphasises tolerance of ethnic and racial differences (Canada)  Melting Pot - ideology of the US values the disappearance of ethnic and racial differences  Us receives afar higher percentage of immigrants from LatinAmerica (especially Mexico), while Canada receives a higher proportion fromAsian countries  Canadian immigration policies tend to focus on economic issues (preferring immigrants with capital to invest)  both Canada and Us fluency in nonofficial languages galls rapidly with succeeding generation in the receiving country  in both countries ethnic intermarriage rates are high\  in both countries substantial cultural blending takes place between immigrants and natives  in sum racial and ethnic inequality is more deeply rooted in social structure than in biology and culture  the biological and cultural aspects of race and ethnicity are secondary to their sociological character when it comes to explaining inequality  social definition, NOT, biology and NOT culture, determine whether a group is viewed as a race or an ethnic group  Race and Ethnic Relations: The symbolic integrationist approach  Labels and Identity  The Formation of Racial and Ethnic Identities  social contexts, and in particular the nature of the relation with members of other racial and ethnic groups, shape and continuously reshape a person's racial and ethnic identity  symbolic integrationists emphasize the development of racial and ethnic labels and ethnic and racial identities is typically a process of negotiations  if social contexts change again, the negotiation process beings anew  one such case involves the labelling of the indigenous people of NorthAmerica by Europeans settlers  more or less stable ethnic identities have thus been negotiated as the power struggle between indigenous people and more recent settlers continues  as social context changed, the negotiation of ethnic identities proceeded apace  Ethnic and Racial Labels: Imposition versus Choice  the idea that race and ethnicity are socially constructed does not mean that everyone can always choose their racial or ethnic identity freely  Symbolic Ethnicity - is
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