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Race and Ethnicity .docx

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Christian O.Caron

Lecture 8 – Race & Ethnicity November 6 Textbook Notes – Commit Sociology page 232 Race and Ethnicity  “Race” is a socially constructed reality, not a biological one o Races don’t really exist, but there are racially defined groups because the idea of race exists in people’s heads  Race shapes how we see people – both ourselves and others  Race also has social consequences, races can experience prejudice and discrimination  A Race is a group of people who have been singled out to be superior or inferior o Based on real or alleged physical characteristics (skin, hair, eyes)  An Ethnic Group is a collection of people distinguished based on cultural or nationality characteristics – Ethnic groups share 5 characteristics o 1. Unique cultural traits – language, clothes, holidays, religious practices o 2. A sense of community o 3. Feeling of ethnocentrism o 4. Ascribed membership from birth o 5. Territoriality – occupying a distinct geographic area Social Significance  Race and ethnicity give people advantages and disadvantages – shapes people’s lives  White privilege – No fear of being racially profiled or judged because of your race  Canada is a Vertical Mosaic o Different ethnic groups making up different levels of social power and status Majority and Minority Groups  Majority (dominant) group – one that is advantaged and has superior resources/rights  Minority (subordinate) group – because of physical characteristics, they are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by the dominant group  Visible minorities – non government category of non-white individuals  All women and visible minorities are minority group members in Canada Prejudice  Prejudice is a negative attitude based on preconceived notions about members of selected groups – in Latin it’s “before” + “judgment” – being biased towards a certain group before meeting members of that group  Prejudice can be positive or negative – usually refers to negative attitudes toward group  Racial prejudice – certain racial groups are inferior to others Stereotypes  Stereotype – overgeneralizations about certain groups based on appearance, behaviour  Media are major source of racial and ethnic stereotypes  Jokes that degrade certain races and ethnicities are also sources of stereotypes Theories of Prejudice – Are some people more prejudiced than others?  Theories focus on how individuals may transfer their internal psychological problems onto an external object or person, others look at social learning and personality types  Frustration-aggression hypothesis – people who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve highly desired goal will respond with aggression towards others (scapegoats)  Scapegoat – a person or group that is incapable of offering resistance to the hostility or aggression of others – substitutes to actual source of frustration  Symbolic Interactionists think prejudice results in problems of social learning o Learned from observing intimidating significant others o If a person tells racist jokes but gets laughs, prejudiced attitude is reinforced  Theodor W. Adorno – highly prejudiced individuals have an authoritarian personality characterized by excessive conformity, submissiveness to authority, insecurity o Develops in family environment in which dominating parents physically discipline and show little love to children Discrimination – Legal & Informal Discrimination  Discrimination involves actions or practices of dominant group members that have a harmful impact on members of a subordinate group  Legal – Discrimination encoded in laws  Informal – Discrimination entrenched in social customs and institutions  Robert Merton – 4 combinations of attitudes and responses  UNprejudiced NONdiscriminators – Not prejudiced/discriminatory – equality for all  UNprejudiced Discriminators – Not prejudiced but has discriminatory actions due to peer pressure, political, or social interests – Employee who is told not to hire minorities  Prejudiced NONdiscriminators – Prejudiced people who don’t discriminate – due to peer pressure, legal demands (called timid bigots because they hate but don’t carry out)  Prejudiced Discriminators – Are prejudiced and actively discriminate – landlord who doesn’t rent an apartment to minorities and justifies it with racist stereotypes Racism  Racism is a set of ideas implying superiority of one group over another based on biological or cultural characteristics with the power to put these ideas into practice to exclude minority women and men o Involves prejudice, ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and discrimination  Overt racism (redneck or hate racism) – deliberate and personal attacks  Polite racism – trying to disguise racism with nonprejudicial behavior (seem nice)  Subliminal racism – Subconscious racism that occurs when there is conflict of values  Institutionalized racism – when established rules, policies, or practices in a group or organization produce different treatment of various groups based on race What: Slogan Why: Degree of How: Expression Where: Scope Intent Overt Racism “X” get out Conscious Personal/Explicit Interpersonal Polite Sorry, job taken Moderate Discreet/subtle Personal Subliminal I'm not racist but Ambivalent Oblique Cultural Institutionalized We treat everyone the Unintentional Impersonal Institutional same or Intentional and Societal Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations  Symbolic Interactionist – Microlevel contacts produce racial tolerance/increase hostility o Contact hypothesis: contact should lead to favourable outcomes when members;  Have equal status  Pursue the same goals  Cooperate with one another to achieve their goals  Receive positive feedback when interacting positive & nondiscriminatory o When people don’t conform to stereotype – people often ignore this and interpret it in a way to support their prejudices  Functionalist – Macrolevel inte
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