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Chapter 3

SOC102H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Chain Migration, Symbolic Interactionism, Visible Minority

8 pages34 viewsWinter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC102H1
Professor
Teppermann
Chapter
3

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February 1st
SP3
Race and Ethnic Relations
Race
- for some people, race is a biological fact
othey see race as having unique physiological characteristics based in genetic differences
-however scientists increasingly rejecting this notion because of growing genetic evidence showing
the so-called human races are more alike than different
Ethnicity
-some believe that race and ethnicity are, if not the same, closely related
- race and ethnicity, however, are not necessarily related
oone cannot deduce a persons ethnic affiliations based on their physical features
-ethnic groups are created by social interaction
oethnic boundaries can be made and unmade over time
Multiculturalism in Canada
-immigrants constitute a large fraction of Canadas population
omulticulturalism is therefore an important political issue
-history of Canadas multicultural policy:
o1960s:
increasingly stormy French-English relations in Canada, especially Quebec
63: Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism established
69: Official Language Act voted into law
during these proceedings, the Commissioners heard from spokespersons for other
ethnic minorities that could not be ignored
argument that immigrants and their children had made great sacrifices
(during the Depression and the world wars) just as other Canadians had
done, and therefore deserved the same respect and benefits of Canadian
citizenship
promoted idea of a cultural mosaic, where distinct groups fit together in
a single society, over the melting pot of the United States
Royal Commission agreed recommended the government recognize
the value of cultural pluralism
o1970s
71: passage of Multiculturalism act (multiculturalism became official federal
policy)
o1980s
82: dedication to the preservation of Canadas multicultural heritage became
entrenched in the Constitution
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88: new Canadian Multiculturalism Act became law
-traditional multiculturalismor pluralism; concerned with protecting the rights of individuals
-modern multiculturalism concerned with the survival of diverse cultural groups
-this policy is closely tied to employment equity, which gives preference to member of the
specifically protected groups (ex. females, visible minorities)
oquestion who is the real disabled person
-criticisms of the federal policy of multiculturalism
ohighlights group differences
oencourages different value systems
obuilding isolated communities rather than one national identity
The Vertical Mosaic
-term coined by John Porter
-a socio-economic hierarchy in which French and English Canadians live at the top and other
ethnic minorities are postulated below
-Porter traced this stratification pattern to Canadas historical reliance on selective immigration
that fulfilled specific workforce needs
onew immigrants arrived to find the best jobs already taken, and had to settle for those
typically lower in the social hierarchy
otheir descendants, unable to access mechanisms for upward mobility (i.e. higher
education) became stuck in their entrance status the occupational status a group
enters when it first immigrated to Canada
- reasons why people immigrated over the past 25 years:
oother immigrants and refugees (tied in first)
oeconomic immigrants close 2nd
ofamily class (about half of the number of economic immigrants)
-however, many (but not all) immigrants today do not permanently retain their entrance status
olargely thanks to continued expansion of educational opportunities
Why VM Has Persisted
Chain Migration into the
Mosaic
-chain migration the successful migration of one family
member creates a chain fr the kin and community network.
Migration is not random but is increasingly about networks,
rational choices and kinship relations
-based on:
opull factorshope of finding better life (jobs,
education)
opush factorsto escape conditions such as war,
absence of human rights
- relies on information flow
Institutional Completeness -institutional completenessa measure of the degree to
which an immigrant ethnic group gives its own members the
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services they need through its own local institutions
ocreation of churches, schools, newspapers, etc.
-those who attempt to assimilate socially may find themselves
marginalized by their ethnic group
-members of the same family can have different experiences
of the same society
ograndparents = immigrants themselves, least
accepted
oparents = partly accepted
ochildren = fully accepted
Diasporas-diasporas - 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
oalso used to describe the dispersion of any
historically victimized minority (ex. Roma)
-almost any migrant community is now referred to as
diasporic
-with modern communication and travel, these communities
have developed transnational identities
Theoretical Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity
Theory Main Points
Structural
Functionalism
- functionalists stress that social inequality provides incentives that
prompt people to take on more important social roles
osee exclusion, prejudice, etc as positives
-point out value of maintains distinct ethnic identities
oethnic identity provides social connectedness in an
individualistic society
oethnocultural conflict enforces boundaries, which give
groups more cohesion and a sense of identity
-ethnocultural diversity provides a wide range of opinions,
perspectives and values that enrich society
Conflict Theory-majority groups benefit from excluding and marginalizing minority
groups
-corporate leaders benefit by hiring minorities at low wages to secure
shareholder profits
- racial tension divides workers by setting up competition among them,
diverting their anger from the exploitive capitalists
Symbolic Interactionism -ethnic differentiation is constructed by a labelling process
oracial slurs further conception of the inferior status of
minority groups
oracial labels and slurs can shape the way groups view
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