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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Social Problems

8 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC102H1
Professor
Teppermann

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Chapter 3 Race and Ethnic Relations
Introduction
Most people view racial prejudice as unfair; and Canadians tend to look for remedies to injustice
Prejudice creates conflicts in our society minorities vs majority; people prejudiced vs those who are not
Prejudice and its outcomes (discrimination, conflict, exclusion, hatred, distrust) are politically and
economically wasteful because they neglect certain human resources and thus hinder our society’s potential
for prosperity
Race
People who have the most difficulty accepting other races believe that race is biological
Believe that race is an essential and permanent feature of any human being; that certain cultural or
personality dispositions are genetically based as well
Believe in at least 3 categories:
1.Negroid blacks
2.Caucasoid white
3.Mongoloid yellow
Scientists reject this view because there is more variability within arace” than betweenraces
The physical features associated with race are not genetically associated skin colour, hair texture, eye
colour
Race may be a social construction but as long as large numbers of people continue to think race does make a
difference, the idea of race will continue to influence the social order and social inequality significant in a
sociological perspective
Ethnicity
Cultural differences certainly exist between groups of people and when they are sharpened by clear
differences in skin colour, height, and other physical features, cultural differences seem more prominent and
somehow significant
Physical features are supposed results of collective evolutionary adaptation to specific environmental
conditions
Race and ethnicity are not necessarily connected: people who differ in appearance may share the same
cultural values
The cultural features people share, as members of an ethnic group, are usually a result of collective
experiences that are interpreted in a certain way given a particular historical and regional background
We form ethnic groups relationally, through processes of exclusion and inclusion around symbols of real or
imagined common descent common language, rituals and folklore
Ethnic boundaries may made and unmade over time
Culture: the way of life of a society that includes dress, language, norms of behaviours, foods, tools beliefs
and folklore; this framework of values and practices adapts to the changing socio-historical context
Multiculturalism in Canada
Immigrants are a large fraction of the population of Canadas cities
The multicultural policy was first set up in 1971; the factors that influences its introduction include:
oStormy relations between English and French speakers in the 1960s
oThe Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism did original research and held hearings in
1963
oIn 1969, the Official Languages Act was voted into law
Spokespersons for ethnic minorities argued that the old policy of cultural assimilation was unjust
othey had made great sacrifices just as other Canadians had done
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othey deserve the same respect and the same benefits of Canadian citizenship
ofavoured a cultural mosaic with distinct parts fitting together in a single society; not melting pot
(US)
Royal commission agreed, recommending that the government recognize the value of cultural pluralism and
encourage Canadian institutions to reflect the value of pluralism in their policies and programs supported
by PM, Pierre Elliot Trudeau
The policy proposed that multiculturalism operate within a bilingual framework English and French
Also declared ethnic pluralism a goal worth preserving and nurturing in Canadian society
Provinces followed the federal lead, introducing their own multiculturalism policies
1971 Multiculturalism Act
1982 the desire to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canadians was entrenches in the
Constitution
1988 a new Canadian Multiculturalism Act became law
Traditional multiculturalism concerned with protecting the rights of individuals
oProtects the rights of minorities through provincial human right codes
oProtects individual job-seekers against bias
Modern multiculturalism concerned with the survival of diverse cultural groups
oIndividual is treated as the member of an ethnic or racial group
oThe group is protected by the law
oSupports blanket preferences to promote the hiring of disadvantaged group members (employment
equity)
Employment equity give preference to members of the specifically protected groups (females, visible
minorities)
People begin to argue about whom to include under the label visible minority or disabled person
Some criticize the federal policy of multiculturalism for highlighting group differences, encouraging different
value systems, and building isolated communities rather than promoting common interests and objectives
oAs long as Canada preserves diverse cultures never build a national identity
For some, treating minority groups in a special way violated the former Canadian norm of equal treatment
The Vertical Mosaic
Repeatedly, the majority group has excluded and devalued immigrant groups, with minority newcomers
experiencing less-than-average access to better occupations and higher income
John Porter vertical mosaic: a socio-economic hierarchy in which French and English Canadians live at
the top and other ethnic minorities are positioned below
As Canada industrialized, a close relationship between ethnicity and social class developed
Ethnic groups took and held onto the best available roles in society, leaving the less desirable roles for other
ethnic groups especially, for more recent immigrants
New immigrants would arrive to find Canadas best jobs taken and they had to settle for those typically
lower in the social hierarchy
With few exceptions, their children and grandchildren were unable to move up the hierarchy because
mechanisms for upward mobility were largely inaccessible (higher education)
From generation to generation, particular ethnic groups remained stuck in their entrance status: the status
attained when their group first arrived in Canada
However, immigrants today do not permanently retain their entrance status thanks to educational
opportunities
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Discrimination and a lack of education opportunities have continued to make it difficult for the Canadian-
born children of some minority immigrants to climb the economic ladder left a stable base of labourers on
which the dominant English/French group could perch
Chain Migration
Process of migration to Canada has been gradual; push factors and pull factors
Chain migration: the successful migration of one family member creates a chain for the kin and
community network. Migration is not random but is increasingly about networks, rational choices,
and kinship relations
Many immigrants spend their first years in large old houses packed with family members who had
just arrived and were looking for a foothold
Institutional Completeness
With each arrival, the immigrant community becomes larger and more differentiated, containing a
wider variety of communal institutions
Institutional completeness: a measure of the degree to which an immigrant ethnic group gives its
own members the services they need through its own local institutions
By increasing the numbers of those who carry out most of their activities within the ethnic group
and preserve ethnic culture and ethnic social ties, community solidarity and cohesion is
strengthened
New immigrants are sometimes forced to use their ethnic membership and assert their ethnic pride
as a matter of economic and cultural survival; try to assimilate will not belong anywhere
Grandchildren will feel fully accepted; parents will feel partly accepted; grandparents are least
accepted
Therefore, members of the same extended family can have very different experiences of the same
society
Diasporas
Diaspora: the dispersal of any group of people throughout the world; originally applied to the tribes
of Israel. Almost any migrant community with some degree of international heritage is referred to as
diasporic
These diasporic communities have developed transnational identities that transcend the specific
geographic location of any single part of the community
Theoretical Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity
Structural Functionalism
May see exclusion, prejudice and discrimination as providing benefits for society as a whole
Maintaining distinct ethnic identities helps to socially integrate people into their own distinct
community
Ethnic identity provides people with roots and social connectedness in an otherwise individualistic,
fragmented society
Ethno-racial diversity allows for the discussion of a wider range of skills
Social conflict intensifies peoples sense of identity and belonging and gives groups more cohesion
and a heightened sense of purpose
Conflict Theory
Proposes that majority groups seek to dominate minorities to reinforce their superiority, especially
when they feel threatened by the minority
Feminist Theory
Believe that giving ethnic minorities special right ignores the rights of women and furthers female
subordination and oppression
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 3 Race and Ethnic Relations Introduction Most people view racial prejudice as unfair; and Canadians tend to look for remedies to injustice Prejudice creates conflicts in our society minorities vs majority; people prejudiced vs those who are not Prejudice and its outcomes (discrimination, conflict, exclusion, hatred, distrust) are politically and economically wasteful because they neglect certain human resources and thus hinder our societys potential for prosperity Race People who have the most difficulty accepting other races believe that race is biological Believe that race is an essential and permanent feature of any human being; that certain cultural or personality dispositions are genetically based as well Believe in at least 3 categories: 1. Negroid blacks 2. Caucasoid white 3. Mongoloid yellow Scientists reject this view because there is more variability within a race than between races The physical features associated with race are not genetically associated skin colour, hair texture, eye colour Race may be a social construction but as long as large numbers of people continue to think race does make a difference, the idea of race will continue to influence the social order and social inequality significant in a sociological perspective Ethnicity Cultural differences certainly exist between groups of people and when they are sharpened by clear differences in skin colour, height, and other physical features, cultural differences seem more prominent and somehow significant Physical features are supposed results of collective evolutionary adaptation to specific environmental conditions Race and ethnicity are not necessarily connected: people who differ in appearance may share the same cultural values The cultural features people share, as members of an ethnic group, are usually a result of collective experiences that are interpreted in a certain way given a particular historical and regional background We form ethnic groups relationally, through processes of exclusion and inclusion around symbols of real or imagined common descent common language, rituals and folklore Ethnic boundaries may made and unmade over time Culture: the way of life of a society that includes dress, language, norms of behaviours, foods, tools beliefs and folklore; this framework of values and practices adapts to the changing socio-historical context Multiculturalism in Canada Immigrants are a large fraction of the population of Canadas cities The multicultural policy was first set up in 1971; the factors that influences its introduction include: o Stormy relations between English and French speakers in the 1960s o The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism did original research and held hearings in 1963 o In 1969, the Official Languages Act was voted into law Spokespersons for ethnic minorities argued that the old policy of cultural assimilation was unjust o they had made great sacrifices just as other Canadians had done www.notesolution.com
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