Chapter 9 Race and Ethnicity

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Transcript Chapter 9 Race and Ethnicity

Chapter 9
Race and Ethnicity
Melanie Hatfield
Soc 100
Prejudice and Discrimination
Prejudice is an attitude that judges a person on
his or her group’s real or imagined
Discrimination is unfair treatment of people
just because of their group membership.
Prejudice, Discrimination, and
People who face prejudice and discrimination
often enter sports in disproportionately large
numbers for lack of other ways to improve their
social and economic position.
The idea that people of African descent are
genetically superior to whites in athletic ability
complements the idea that they are genetically
inferior to whites in intellectual ability.
The Social Construction of Race
Many scholars believe we all belong to one human race,
which originated in Africa.
They argue that subsequent migration, geographical
separation, and inbreeding led to the form of more or
less distinct races.
Humanity has experienced so much intermixing that
race as a biological category has lost nearly all meaning.
Some biologists and social scientists suggest we drop
the term “race” because perceptions of race affect the
lives of most people profoundly.
Perceptions of racial difference are socially constructed
and often arbitrary.
Why Race Matters
If race is merely a social construct and not a
useful biological term, why are perceptions of
physical difference used to distinguish groups of
people in the first place?
Most sociologists believe race matters because it
allows social inequity to be created and
The Vicious Cycle of Racism
Ethnicity, Culture, and Social
A race is a category of people whose perceives
physical markers are deemed socially significant.
An ethnic group is composed of people whose
perceived cultural markers are deemed socially
The biological and cultural aspects of race and
ethnicity are secondary to their sociological
The Formation of Racial and Ethnic
Social contexts, and in particular the nature of
one’s relations with members of other racial and
ethnic groups, shape and continuously reshape
one’s racial and ethnic identity.
The Formation of Ethnic Enclaves
An ethnic enclave is a geographical
concentration of ethnic group members who
establish businesses that serve and employ
mainly members of the ethnic group and
reinvest profits in community businesses and
Hispanic Ethnicity Label
What unifies the Hispanic community is highly
It was created out of social necessity and is still
being socially constructed.
This is similar to all ethnic labels and identities,
even those that may seem most fixed and
Ethnic and Racial Labels: Choice
versus Imposition
The idea that race and ethnicity are socially
constructed does not mean that everyone can
always choose their racial or ethnic identity
Political and social processes structure the
degree to which people are able to choose their
racial and ethnic identities.
Ecological Theory
Five stages in the process by which conflict
between ethnic and racial emerges and is
Accommodations and Cooperation
Internal Colonialism and the Split
Labor Market
Attention should be paid to the social-structural
conditions that prevent some groups from
Internal Colonialism
 Split Labor Market
Native Americans
1830 Indian Removal Act - Called for relocation of all Native
Americans to land west of the Mississippi.
In the “Trail of Tears,” the U.S. Army rounded up all 16,000
Cherokees and marched them to Oklahoma.
Late 19th century - government adopted a policy of forced
1930’s and 40s - Roosevelt adopted a more liberal policy.
By the 1960s a full-fledged Red Power movement had emerged.
In recent decades, Native Americans have used the legal system
to fight for political self-determination and the protection of
their remaining lands.
The US went to war with Mexico in 1848 to win
Due mainly to discrimination, Chicanos are
socially, occupationally, and residentially
segregated from white European Americans,
which prevents them from assimilating.
Instead many Chicanos have taken part in a
movement to renew their culture and protect
and advance their rights.
African Americans
Many millions of Africans were brought here by force
and enslaved.
Even after slavery was banned in 1863, Jim Crow laws
kept blacks from voting, attending white schools, and
participating equally in social institutions.
After rapid industrialization some migrated from the
South and sought inexpensive housing and low-skill
Their situation improved, but in the mid-1960s, about a
third of African Americans lived in poverty, and the
proportion is virtually unchanged today.
Chinese Americans
In 1882, Congress passed an act prohibiting the
immigration of three classes of people into the
US for 10 years: lunatics, idiots, and Chinese.
Chinese Americans have experienced
considerable upward mobility in the past half
Advantages of Ethnicity
Three main factors enhance the value of ethnic
group membership for some Americans who
have lived in the country for many generations.
These factors are economic, political, and
The Future of Race and
African Americans continue to suffer high levels
of racial prejudice and discrimination.
But many believe that race is declining in
significance as a force shaping the lives of
African Americans.