SOC102H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Ethnic Group, Racialization, System On A Chip

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Published on 20 Jan 2015
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Chapter 3 – Racialization
A Mile in Another’s Moccasins
-Can change people’s behaviours (or thinking) by changing their social roles
oEx. psychological experiment by Philip Zimbardo split college students into prisoners
and jailers in mock prison  each group developed loyalty for each other and resented the
opposite group
-Mrs. Elliot conducted experiments on children based on discrimination of eye colour
oShowed that children’s measure intelligence changed depending on whether they were
treated like inferiors or superiors
oStarted treating each other poorly based on discrimintation
-Some ppl criticize her experiment as harsh and psychologically damaging
-Most participants say it taught them to treat fellow human beings properly
oOther participants say it was too harsh
-We don’t know the feeling of inferiority until we go through it
Drawing the Colour Line
-Mrs. Elliot’s experiment shows social construction of differences based on race and ethnicity
oNot very different from gender inequality
oA trivial physical difference used to laugh and justify large, consequential social
differences
Race – differences based on physical or genetic characteristics
Ethnicity – social and cultural characteristics people are believed to share
Ethnic group – set of people who consider themselves (or are considered by others) to share common
characteristics that distinguish them from other groups in society  develop distinct cultural behaviour
-Sociologists believe both race and ethnicity are socially constructed
-Ppl believe each race possesses unique physiological characteristics
oAlso believe cultural or personality dispositions are genetically based
-Scientists mapped genome  tiny % of genetic makeup varies by characteristics believed to be
associated with race
-85% of genetic variability that exists in human species can be found in a single population
oCould be more genetic difference btwn 2 chinese than btwn chinese and white
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-Physical attributes commonly associated with race are no genetically associated with each other
oEx. gene for skin colour is inherited separately of straight or curly hair
-Physical features that distinguish one race from another are from genetic adaptation to
specific environmental influences
oEx. exposure to sunlight  darker skin near equator
-Racial and ethnic inequalities are linked fundamentally
oIgnites bitter conflict even though race and ethnicity not necessarily linked
-Difficult to completely change ppl’s perceptions, prejudice, and stereotypes
oMaybe because it’s partially true
-Marxists thought class identities would replace ethnic distinctions
-Racial and ethnic identities have proved more resistant to change than once thought
-Emile Durkheim and Max Weber thought occupational and professional identities would replace
ethnic identities through organic solidarity
-Ethnic communities and identities persist because they are dynamicadapting and changing
with the times
-New ethnic groups always being formed as populations move btwn countries
oSome ethnic groups in particular cities or countries disappear because too small or
poorly organized to survive
oBlend into other similar language or racial groups
-Other ethnic communities survive for many generations (in Canada) by maintaining their ethnic
distinctiveness
oHelped by Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism
oPolicy was intended to insure that Canadian institutions would reflect values of cultural
pluralism that protect rights of ppl against prejudice and discrimination
-Present day multiculturalism more concerned with protecting survival of ethnic communities
oSome argue multiculturalism segregates and accentuates differences btwn Canadians
-High immigration also support survival of ethnic groups
Chain migration – process where one family member successfully migrates to an area and other family
members/acquaintances slowly immigrate to join them
-Chain migration tends to reproduce original communities in a new land
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oSlow down immigrant assimilation  explains why it takes several generations to before
an immigrant group is fully assimilated
-The more committed a group remains to its home community = harder to assimilate and more
slowly it gains acceptance by other Canadians
Ethnic group – set of people who share same ethnic origins
Ethnic community – ethnic group with boundaries, often living together in a defined geographic location
Imagined Communities
-Emile Durkheim recognized importance of social cohesion of groups
owondered what made small tribal societies so cohesive compared to modern/industrial
societies
ofound that collective consciousness was the primary source of cohesion and personal
identity in these societies
-people needed survival of their own community for their owns survival
oeveryone had similar identity, values, beliefs, desires
osimilarity led to group cohesion
-proposed that class consciousness is mobilized by rituals and ritual objects (totems)
ototems can be animals, plants, imaginary beings
ototems were objects of veneration(respect) for members of the group
ogiving totem a meaning and celebrating it meant celebrating social cohesion
-activities and objects are boundary markers  separate insiders from outsiders
-Benedict Anderson coined the term imagined communities
oDescribes ppl who group together around a common history and culture
oForces them to ignore obvious differences (ex. class or religious differences) and
search for hidden or trivial similarities
oCommon origins of an ethnic group must be believed to be real
-Max Weber looked at the way ethnic communities control their members
oPractices closure (exclusion) and usurpation (capture) to maintain themselves
oCreate and police their boundaries  reward insiders and punish outsiders
oCapture valued resources for their members’ use
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Document Summary

Mrs. elliot conducted experiments on children based on discrimination of eye colour: showed that children"s measure intelligence changed depending on whether they were treated like inferiors or superiors, started treating each other poorly based on discrimintation. Some ppl criticize her experiment as harsh and psychologically damaging. Most participants say it taught them to treat fellow human beings properly: other participants say it was too harsh. We don"t know the feeling of inferiority until we go through it. Mrs. elliot"s experiment shows social construction of differences based on race and ethnicity: not very different from gender inequality, a trivial physical difference used to laugh and justify large, consequential social differences. Race differences based on physical or genetic characteristics. Ethnicity social and cultural characteristics people are believed to share. Ethnic group set of people who consider themselves (or are considered by others) to share common characteristics that distinguish them from other groups in society develop distinct cultural behaviour.

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