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Chapter 7

SOC100 - Chapter 7 - Race and Ethnicity

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University of Toronto St. George
Arnd Jurgensen

Chapter 7 – Race and Ethnicity What is Race? Race and Intelligence - People used to believe that race was linked to intelligence, and that it was biologically linked, “white genes are smarter than black genes” - People also think abilities are linked to genes, “black DNA gives higher stamina than white DNA" - But the thing is… none of this is true Social setting is where an individual is raised and educated has the biggest impact of IQ, not biology. Race and Sports - We see many blacks in sports like basketball, football (NFL, NBA) and it appears that they do well As a result, many people think that they are better at these sports, it’s biological But it is social factors that affect these participation rates (we don’t see them in swimming classes, now do we?) - People who are victim to discrimination enter sports in large numbers to make up for their lack of other ways to improve socioeconomic standing (Wow, really…?) Sports is favoured because it’s something anyone can do, and anyone can participate in Prejudice is an attitude that judges a person of his or her group’s real/imagined characteristics Discrimination is unfair treatment of people, because of their group membership Racial Mixing - It’s difficult to distinguish races from one another based on stereotypical genetic differences, like black people having bigger lips… - It is believed that the origin of the human race was in Africa and I was argued that tons of migration, inbreeding, and mixing resulted in distinct races So many generations have been mixed, that sociologists and scientists want to remove the word “race” period Sociological Definition of Race - People still use the term, ‘race’ because it is used many times in society that affect the lives of many - Socioeconomic status can be derived from race from stereotypes, it has a profound effect on society - Perceptions of race are a social construct, it is social idea and could have different meanings, although in contemporary society it is more universal - Why does race matter? Because it is used to create social inequality, it prescribes a meaning to a certain person and implicates their class and status, colonialism plays a huge part here and led to stereotyping between the dominant and subordinate race Circle of Racism 1. Physical markers are used to classify people of race, which creates social inequality through colonialism, slavery and more.. 2. Different social conditions create different behaviours, those who are well-off are generally going to be more active and productive compared to those who are not 3. Perceptions of behavioral differences create racial stereotypes that become ingrained in culture Back to 1. Ethnicity, Culture, and Social Structure - Race is to biology as ethnicity is to culture - Ethnic group is comprised of a group of people with physical markers that are deemed significant - Ethnic values and culture have less of an effect on the behaviour of people than we believe, because of the social structural differences underlie cultural differences - Koreans and Jews who came into Canada were literate, urbanized and skilled Yes, there was prejudice, but not as much in comparison to Aboriginals These social structures proved to make the successful in our society While Aboriginals who are typically illiterate and unskilled experience more prejudice and discrimination because of their social structural disadvantages, not their culture - It is true that Aboriginals generally earn less than white Canadians, but this is clearly because Aboriginals have had less education… (refer to the beginning of the notes) Resources and Opportunities - The highest factor in determining racial economic success is the amount of resources they have Not only this, but economic opportunities as well - The mid-twentieth century of Canada was called a vertical mosaic, a highly ethnically and racially stratified society - Even if only highly trained immigrants are selected, their credentials are not and therefore impedes their success! (Happened to Mom… happened to that taxi driver who drove my dad…) Two problems: 1. Racial discrimination as it is already with limited economic opportunities because of social structure 2. Credentials are not being allowed, limited foreign power Racial and Ethnic inequality is more social that it is biological Symbolic Interactionism, Race, and Ethnic Relations Labels and Identity - We only think of ourselves in a way of labelling, for example… I am Canadian, but I am also Indian and part Persian.. Does it matter what I am, though? Before I didn’t even consider myself
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