One page question answering
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
Chapter 11: RACE AND ETHNICITY
Chapter # Chapter Title
PowerPoint Image Slideshow
Twin Brothers. Are they different races?
The groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belong to are an important source of pride and self-esteem. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world.
In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong. For example, England is the best country in the world! We can also increase our self-image by discriminating and holding prejudice views against the out group (the group we don’t belong to). For example, the Americans, French etc. are a bunch of losers!
Therefore, we divided the world into “them” and “us” based through a process of social categorization (i.e. we put people into social groups). This is known as in-group (us) and out-group (them).
Social identity theory states that the in-group will discriminate against the out-group to enhance their self-image.
The central hypothesis of social identity theory is that group members of an in-group will seek to find negative aspects of an out-group, thus enhancing their self-image.
Prejudiced views between cultures may result in racism; in its extreme forms, racism may result in genocide, such as occurred in Germany with the Jews, in Rwanda between the Hutus and Tutsis and, more recently, in the former Yugoslavia between the Bosnians and Serbs.
Henri Tajfel proposed that stereotyping (i.e. putting people into groups and categories) is based on a normal cognitive process: the tendency to group things together. In doing so we tend to exaggerate:
1. the differences between groups
2. the similarities of things in the same group.
We categorize people in the same way. We see the group to which we belong (the in-group) as being different from the others (the out-group), and members of the same group as being more similar than they are. Social categorization is one explanation for prejudice attitudes (i.e. “them” and “us” mentality) which leads to in-groups and out-groups.
Examples of In-groups – Out-groups
o Northern Ireland: Catholics – Protestants
o Rwanda: Hutus and Tutsis
o Yugoslavia: the Bosnians and Serbs
o Germany: Jews and the Nazis
o Politics: Labor and the Conservatives
o Football: Liverpool and Man Utd
o Gender: Males and Females
o Social Class: Middle and Working Classes
Social Identity Theory Outline
Tajfel and Turner (1979) proposed that there are three mental processes involved in evaluating others as “us” or “them” (i.e. “in-group” and “out-group”. These take place in a particular order. The first is categorization. We categorize objects in order to understand them and identify them. In a very similar way we categorize people (including ourselves) in order to understand the social environment. We use social categories like black, white, Australian, Christian, Muslim, student, and bus driver because they are useful.
If we can assign people to a category then that tells us things about those people, and as we saw with the bus driver example, we couldn’t function in a normal manner without using these categories; i.e. in the context of the bus.
Similarly, we find out things about ourselves by knowing what categories we belong to. We define appropriate behavior by reference to the norms of groups we belong to, but you can only do this if you can tell who belongs to your group. An individual can belong to many different groups.
In the second stage, social identification, we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized ourselves as belonging to. If for example you have categorized yourself as a student, the chances are you will adopt the identity of a student and begin to act in the ways you believe students act (and conform to the norms of the group). There will be an emotional significance to your identification with a group, and your self-esteem will become bound up with group membership.
The final stage is social comparison. Once we have categorized ourselves as part of a group and have identified with that group we then tend to compare that group with other groups. If our self-esteem is to be maintained our group needs to compare favorably with other groups. This is critical to understanding prejudice, because once two groups identify themselves as rivals, they are forced to compete in order for the members to maintain their self-esteem. Competition and hostility between groups is thus not only a matter of competing for resources like jobs but also the result of competing identities.
Just to reiterate, in social identity theory the group membership is not something foreign or artificial which is attached onto the person, it is a real, true and vital part of the person. Again, it is crucial to remember in-groups are groups you identify with, and out-groups are ones that we don’t identify with, and may discriminate against.
A system that is used to categorize people based on presumed biological differences
Racial Formation Theory:
Racism is a doctrine of racial supremacy that states one race is superior to another.
Race definitions are crystallized through what Michael Omi and Howard Winant called racial formation, a sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed.
No one escapes the extent and frequency to which we are subjected to racial formation.
To recap, for Omi and Winant, race is a “master category” of social organization, but nevertheless one that is unstable and politically contested. The continuity of racial classification is due to a historical, mutually reinforcing process that includes both social structures that control the distribution of resources and social meanings and identities that have been acquired by properties of people’s bodies. The fact that race is sustained through this historical and semiotically rich structuration, means that
“To identify an individual or group racially is to locate them within a socially and historically demarcated set of demographic and cultural boundaries, state activities, “life-chances”, and tropes of identity/difference/(in)equality.
“We cannot understand how racial representations set up patterns of residential segregation, for example, without considering how segregation reciprocally shapes and reinforces the meaning of race itself.”
This is totally plausible. Identifying the way that racial classification depends on a relationship between meaning and social structure opens the possibility of human political agency in the (re)definition of race.
Omi and Winant’s term for these racial acts is racial projects.
A racial project is simultaneously an interpretation, representation, or explanation of racial identities and meanings, and an effort to organize and distribute resources (economic, political, cultural) along particular racial lines.
… Racial projects connect the meaning of race in discourse and ideology with the way that social structures are racially organized.
“Racial project” is a broad category that can include both large state and institutional interventions and individual actions, “even the decision to wear dreadlocks”. What makes them racial projects is how they reflect and respond to broader patterns of race, whether to reproduce it or to subvert it.
Prevailing stereotypes are one of the main ways we can “read” the racial meanings of society, and so the perpetuation of subversion of stereotypes is a form of “racial project”. Racial projects are often in contest with each other; the racial formation process is the interaction and accumulation of these projects.
“Racial project” is a useful category partly because it is key to Omi and Winant’s definition of racism. They acknowledge that the term itself is subject to “enormous debate”, at times inflated to be meaningless and at other times deflated to be too narrow. They believe the definition of racism as “racial hate” is too narrow, though it has gain legal traction as a category, as in when “hate crimes” are considered an offense with enhanced sentencing, or universities institute codes against “hate speech”.
Omi and Winant define racism thus:
A racial project can be defined as racist if it creates or reproduces structures of domination based on racial significance and identities.
A key implication of their argument is that not all racial projects are racist. Recall that Omi and Winant are very critical of colorblindness as (they allege) a political hegemony. They want to make room for racial solidarity and agency despite the hierarchical nature of race as a social fact. This allows them to answer two important questions.
Are there anti-racist projects? Yes. “[W]e define anti-racist projects as those that undo or resist structures of domination based on racial significations and identities.”
Races in the US Census
ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY
Ethnicity: describes shared culture-values, beliefs, practices, traditions, language, etc.- of a group of people.
Nationality: refers to our citizenship—in other words, the nation of which we are a member.
Ethnicity is more closely related to ancestral country of origin and the sense of identification we attach to heritage.
Ethnicity is also dependent on social institutions or forces; census, affirmative action, personal day-to-day relations, laws, etc.
The Role of Ethnicity
A. Ethnicity usually refers to cultural differences, including in religion, tradition, language, ancestry, nation, geography, history, belief, and practice
1. For example, Blacks in the United States come from many different ethnic backgrounds, including African Americans, Ethiopians, Jamaicans, and others
B. Ancestry refers to point of origin, lineage, or descent
1. For example, one may be racially white, ethnically Jewish, and of Eastern European ancestry
C. The original inhabitants of the Americas – Native Americans and Alaska Natives – do not constitute one single race
1. A total of 630 separate American Indian and Alaska Native federally recognized American Indian reservations existed in 2012
a. There are 566 federally recognized Indian tribes
D. All racial categories can be described as pan-ethnic. This term was first coined in 1992 by Yen Espiritu to refer to Asian Americans (1994)
1. This term represents regional groups that are placed into a large category
a. Many groups such as Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese, have been lumped together and viewed as an artificial whole
E. Ethnicity among blacks is not often discussed
1. This further highlights racial designations, while marginalizing the differences among the various ethnic peoples
a. Some blacks can trace their roots back to slavery, while other are recent immigrants from Africa
1. People defined as Black may have African, Caribbean, Haitian, and other diverse ancestries
F. White ethnics derive mostly from European immigrants
1. Today, many simply refer to themselves as “American”
a. White ethnic groups often include British, Greek, Russian, German, Norwegian people, and more
G. If an individual identifies with an ethnic group that speaks Spanish, the U.S. Census labels that person as Hispanic
1. Hispanics may have families that came to the United States from Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, or one of many other Spanish-speaking countries
a. They may be white, black, or some other race
2. Hispanic is a category created by the government
a. Many people classified as Hispanic prefer to defined themselves as Latino/a, Chicano/a, or Mexican-American
3. Hispanic is not listed as a race, it is instead defined as an ethnic group
A subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group
Being superior in numbers does not guarantee a group has control over its destiny or ensure majority status
A minority group is…
What are the five characteristics that defines a minority/subordinate group?
1. Unequal treatment and less power over one’s life
2. Distinguishing physical or cultural traits that the dominant group holds in low regard
3. Involuntary membership or ascribed status
4. Group solidarity/awareness of subordinate status and oppression
5. Marital endogamy
A minority group is a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group.
In sociology, minority means the same as subordinate, and dominant is used interchangeably with majority.
A minority or subordinate group has five characteristics—unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination, and in-group marriage.
Although “minority” status is not about numbers, there is no denying that the White American majority is diminishing in size relative to the growing diversity of racial and ethnic groups.
sociological perspectives: intersectionality
Intersectionality is the idea that members of any minority group are affected by the nature of their position in other arrangements of social inequality.
“Matrix of Oppression” – the idea that the confluence of disadvantages are not simply additive, but that disadvantages multiply, as do their effects.
“Matrix of Power and Advantage”
Intersectionality is a term that was coined by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. The concept already existed but she put a name to it. The textbook definition states:
The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”
In other words, certain groups of women have multi-layered facets in life that they have to deal with. There is no one-size-fits-all type of feminism. For example, I am a black woman and as a result I face both racism and sexism as I navigate around everyday life.
Even though the concept of intersectionality in feminism has been around for decades, it only seems to have made it into mainstream debate in the past few years or so. And yet still so many people are confused by what it means, or what it stands for.
The racial and ethnic diversity in the United States is a product of immigration.
The “Great Immigration” extended from the end of the Civil War till the outbreak of World War I.
Migration is the general term used to describe any transfer of population.
Emigration (by emigrants) describes leaving a country to settle in another.
Immigration (by immigrants) denotes coming into the new country.
Although some people migrate because they want to, leaving one’s home country is not always voluntary.
Millions have been transported as slaves against their will.
Conflict and war have displaced people throughout human history.
In all types of movement, but especially regarding emigration, two sets of forces operate:
Push factors—discourage a person from remaining where he or she lives. Religious persecution and economic factors such as dissatisfaction with employment opportunities are possible push factors.
Pull factors—attract an immigrant to a particular country. Better standard of living, friends and relatives who have already emigrated, and a promised job are possible pull factors.
Migration has taken on new significance in the twenty-first century partly because of globalization, or the worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements, and financial markets through trade and the exchange of ideas.
The increased movement of people and money across borders has made the distinction between temporary and permanent migration less meaningful.
Although migration has always been fluid, people in today’s global economy are connected across societies culturally and economically as never before.
The Current Immigration Controversy
In 2012, 41 million people in the U.S. (13%) were foreign-born.
From a peak of 12.2 million in 2007, down to about 11 million in 2009
With improved economy, back up to about 11.7 million in 2012
Xenophobia (click for video)
Migrant Workers (click for video)
Please check the supplemental material page on Canvas for this chapter for an article on xenophobia (
Historical Thinking About Race
Evolutionary thinking about racial categories led to the Social Darwinist approach, which justified a “survival of the fittest” approach to racial inequality.
Eugenics is an approach that suggests that races should be distinguished from one another based on presumed genetic composition, leading to ideas that intelligence, criminal behavior, and disease are controlled by race.
“Eugenics” comes from the Greek roots for “good” and “origin,” or “good birth” and involves applying principles of genetics and heredity for the purpose of improving the human race. The term eugenics was first coined by Francis Galton in the late 1800’s . Galton (1822-1911) was an English intellectual whose body of work spanned many fields, including statistics, psychology, meteorology and genetics. Incidentally, he was also a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton’s first academic foray into eugenics analyzed the characteristics, such as superior intelligence, of England’s upper classes and concluded they were hereditary; therefore, desirable traits could be passed down through generations. Galton advocated a selective breeding program for humans in his book Hereditary Genius (1869): “Consequently, as it is easy, ….. to obtain by careful selection a permanent breed of dogs or horses gifted with peculiar powers of running, or of doing anything else, so it would be quite practicable to produce a highly-gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several consecutive generations.”
The eugenics movement took root in the United States in the early 1900‘s, led by Charles Davenport (1866-1944), a prominent biologist, and Harry Laughlin, a former teacher and principal interested in breeding. In 1910, Davenport founded the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island “to improve the natural, physical, mental, and temperamental qualities of the human family” (Norrgard 2008). Laughlin was the first director. Field workers for the ERO collected many different forms of “data”, including family pedigrees depicting the inheritance of physical, mental, and moral traits. They were particularly interested in the inheritance of “undesirable” traits, such as pauperism, mental disability, dwarfism, promiscuity, and criminality. The ERO remained active for three decades.
Eugenics was not only the purview of academics, and it became a popular social movement that peaked in the 1920s and 30s. During this period, the American Eugenics Society was founded, in addition to many local societies and groups around the country. Members competed in “fitter family” and “better baby” competitions at fairs and exhibitions . Movies and books promoting eugenic principles were popular. A film called The Black Stork (1917), based on a true story, depicted as heroic a doctor that allowed a syphilitic infant to die after convincing the child’s parents that it was better to spare society one more outcast.
The English eugenics movement, championed by Galton, promoted eugenics through selective breeding for positive traits. In contrast, the eugenics movement in the US quickly focused on eliminating negative traits. Not surprisingly, “undesirable” traits were concentrated in poor, uneducated, and minority populations. In an attempt to prevent these groups from propagating, eugenicists helped drive legislation for their forced sterilization (Norrgard 2008). The first state to enact a sterilization law was Indiana in 1907, quickly followed by California and 28 other states by 1931 (Lombardo n.d.). These laws resulted in the forced sterilization of over 64,000 people in the United States (Lombardo n.d.). At first, sterilization efforts focused on the disabled but later grew to include people whose only “crime” was poverty. These sterilization programs found legal support in the Supreme Court. In Buck v. Bell (1927), the state of Virginia sought to sterilize Carrie Buck for promiscuity as evidenced by her giving birth to a baby out of wedlock (some suggest she was raped). In ruling against Buck, Supreme Court Justice Wendell Holmes opined, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind….Three generations of imbeciles is enough” (Black 2003). This decision legitimized the various sterilization laws in the United States. In particular, California’s program was so robust that the Nazi’s turned to California for advice in perfecting their own efforts. Hitler proudly admitted to following the laws of several American states that allowed for the prevention of reproduction of the “unfit” (Black 2003).
You may ask yourself…
.. am I optimistic or fearful about race relations in the U.S.?
..have we become too sensitive about ‘race’?
..am I being ‘racist’ without even knowing it?
What are Stereotypes?
Unreliable generalizations about members of a group
Don’t take individual differences into account
Stereotypes are often exaggerated and negative images of a group
Stereotypes come from a variety of sources
Media and Stereotypes (click for video)
Consequences of Stereotyping (click for video)
Power of Stereotypes
Stereotyping In Action: Racial Profiling
Targeting of particular groups or individuals based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the person’s behavior
Can be an explicit use of stereotypes
Racial Profiling: Vine (click for video)
Iconography (Racialization): Soccer (click for video)
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Prejudice & Discrimination
Negative attitude that rejects an entire group
Depriving group of certain rights/opportunities
Ethnic slurs; derisive nicknames; speaking about/to a group condescendingly
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Three theories of prejudice
When an individual (or group) projects & blames their own inadequacies or problems onto another group
Ex: Donald Trump saying that Mexicans are drug-dealers, murderers and rapists.
Prejudice is rationally and economically motivated on the basis of self interests
The dominant group benefits from prejudice in that it is rooted within the exploitation of a group
Ex: An owner of an agricultural plantations justifies paying her workers less money because they are Mexicans and have aren’t intelligent enough to get better jobs.
Prejudice patterned into cultural norms & values of:
A group or society; a function of conforming to group norms of intolerance
Ex: Cartoons that perpetuate racial/ethnic stereotypes are used as comedy and ‘telling it how it really is’.
The Operation of Racism
Racism – A system of oppression by which groups with more social power subordinate members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power
Racism is systemic
It is inscribed in codes of conduct, legal sanctions, organizational rules and practices
A. Racism is a system of oppression by which those groups with relatively more social power subordinate members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power
1. White people do not experience racism, but they may face oppression based on sexual orientation, class, etc.
2. Racism in the United States is directed primarily against blacks, Asian Americans, Latino/as, and Native Americans
B. Formal or overt racism occurs when discriminatory practices and behaviors are sanctioned by official rules, codes, or laws of an organization, institution, or society
1. Many obvious forms of racism are no longer legally or openly accepted
a. For example, slavery
2. Other issues continue to be debated regarding whether or not they are racist in intent or impact
a. For example, the display of the confederate flag
C. Informal or covert racism is subtle in its application, and often ignored
1. It acts informally in that it is assumed to be the natural workings of society
a. For example, when we discuss learning outcomes, we may talk about poor motivation, inadequate schools, or broken homes. We ignore that these are also often associated with neighborhoods of color
Microaggressions are subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward individuals of oppressed social groups, sometimes made unconsciously
Fallacies of Racism:
Individualistic Fallacy: assumes racism belongs to the realm of ideas and prejudices
Racism is not always intentional; it exists in our habits and our social institutions.
Labeling someone a racist treats racism as something strange, whereas American racism is quite normal.
Legalistic Fallacy: assumes that abolishing racist laws effectively abolishes racism
But laws against car theft do not ensure that your car won’t get stolen.
Brown v. Board of Education abolished de jure segregation in schools but they remain segregated, with some indications of a resurgence in school segregation.
Tokenistic Fallacy: assumes that the presence of people of color in influential positions is evidence that racism no longer exists
How can the financial success of Oprah Winfrey coexist with the economic deprivation of millions of black women?
How can the political success of Barack Obama coexist with the continued stigmatization of African Americans as a group?
Race Is a Narrative
Colorblindness – The view that one does not see race or ethnicity but only humans
Informs many of our most prevalent stock stories today
According to this ideology, if we stop “seeing” race, racism will disappear
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva on ‘Racism without Racists’ (click for video)
Colorblindness is the view that one does not see race or ethnicity, only humans, and it informs many of our stock stories today
1. Pretending race does not exist is not the same as creating equality
a. This contributes to the ideology of color-blind racism, which has four components:
1. Abstract liberalism (discrimination is no longer a problem. If someone works hard then they can succeed)
2. Naturalization (Segregation is explained as only the result of people’s inclination to live near others of the same race
3. Cultural racism (Inherent cultural differences serve to separate racialized groups)
4. Minimization of racism (We now have a level playing field and racism is not a problem. Everyone has equal opportunities to succeed)
By ignoring the extent to which race still shapes people’s life chances and opportunities, this view reinforces and reproduces the subtle and institutional racial inequality that shapes our lives
Bonilla-Silva suggests that a “color-blind racism” ideology supports racism while avoiding any reference to race. Specifically, he outlines 3 frameworks of color-blind racism:
Abstract Liberalism – using liberal language divorced from context and history to deny racism exists (e.g., all Americans are free now so they can be whatever they want)
Minimization – arguing that discrimination is no longer prevalent in society (e.g., its not a big deal now like it was back then)
Naturalization – arguing that racial disparities, segregation patterns, and other racial phenomena are natural occurrences divorced from historical and structural socialization processes between races (e.g., whites just like to be around whites)
Cultural Racism – drawing on cultural based beliefs and arguments to explain racial inequalities in contemporary society (e.g., blacks have too many babies or Mexicans are just like that)
Privilege – The systematic favoring, valuing, validating, and inclusion of certain social identities over others
Like oppression, privilege is based on group membership
Recognizing the way privilege operates can lead people to contribute to social change
XI. Understanding Privilege
A. Privilege is the systemic favoring, valuing, validating, and including of certain social identities over others
1. Whiteness is a privileged status
B. To be white is to have greater access to rewards and valued resources simply based on group membership
1. Just like oppression, privilege is based on our group memberships, not individual factors
a. We cannot choose to be the recipients of oppression or privilege, and we cannot opt out
2. Privilege is usually invisible to the people who experience it until it is pointed out
a. For example, white privilege includes being able to assume most of the people you or your children study with in school will be of the same race; being able to go shopping without being followed; never being called a credit to your race; and being able to find flesh colored bandages to match one’s skin color
C. Research on white privilege, and an interdisciplinary subfield of whiteness studies, has grown over the last three decades
D. Most of us are the beneficiaries of at least one form of privilege
1. Recognizing this often leads people to feel guilt and shame
a. Privilege is derived from group membership; it is not the result of anything we have done as an individual
1. Once we become aware of our privilege, we should utilize it to help others and create social change
E. The enduring stock story of the United States as a meritocracy makes it difficult for us to see inequality as institutionalized (McNamee and Miller 2014)
1. An oppression-blind belief system ignores the reality of inequality based on social group memberships and sees the United States as the land of equal opportunity where anyone who works hard can succeed (Ferber 2012)
2. While our stock stories serve the interests of the dominant group, they are a part of our socialization and social fabric and become perceived as natural, normal, and the way of the world
a. It is only through a deliberate process of critical inquiry that these seemingly normal relationships can be deconstructed to revel the intentional and unintentional processes of construction and their underlying context
White is not “just another” racial category; it is the dominant category, that with which all other categories are compared and contrasted.
Whiteness is racial domination normalized.
White is presented as simply normal or neutral.
It produces and reproduces many cultural, political, economic, and social advantages and privileges for white people and withholds such advantages and privileges from nonwhite people.
White privilege: the collection of unearned cultural, political, economic, and social advantages and privileges possessed by people of Anglo-European descent or by those who pass as such.
There is the story told about the wise old fish who was swimming through the water. As he swam along he encountered two young fish coming by. He turned to them and asked “How is the water?” and the young fish replied – “What water?”
Being considered financially reliable when using checks, credit cards, or cash.
Taking a job without having coworkers suspect it came about because of race.
Never having to speak for all the people of your race.
Watching television/reading a newspaper & seeing people of your race widely represented
Speaking effectively in a large group without being called a credit to your race.
Assuming that if legal or medical help is needed, your race will not work against you
Many Native Americans (and others) believe sports teams with names like the Indians, Braves, Redskins and Blackhawks perpetuate unwelcome stereotypes.
2014 Blackface Popchips
White privilege; again; again and again
How many examples of white privilege can you think of? Buzzfeed
White privilege refers to the rights or immunities granted as a particular benefit or favor for being White.
This advantage exists unconsciously and is often invisible to the White people who enjoy it.
Scholar Peggy McIntosh of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women looked at the privilege that comes from being White and the added privilege of being male.
Being White or being successful in establishing a White identity carries with it distinct advantages. Among those that McIntosh identified were the following:
Being considered financially reliable when using checks, credit cards, or cash
Taking a job without having coworkers suspect it came about because of race
Never having to speak for all the people of one’s race
Watching television or reading a newspaper and seeing people of one’s own race widely represented
Speaking effectively in a large group without being called a credit to one’s race
Typically, White people do not see themselves as privileged in the way many African Americans and Latinos see themselves as disadvantaged.
White people most likely see themselves devoid of ethnicity (“no longer Irish,” for example), stigmatized as racist, and victims of reverse discrimination.
“A young [black] man walks through chest deep floodwater after looting a grocery store in New Orleans…”
“Two [white] residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans…”
Power and Privilege in the Workplace
In middle-class occupations, blacks are twice as likely to be laid off as whites.
Whites are twice as likely to hold positions of authority as blacks or Latinos.
All women are less likely to hold position of power, but women of color experience greater disadvantages.
Women and nonwhites experience glass ceilings.
There are unspoken obstacles.
The denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups
Results from normal operations of a society
Rules, policies and practices
Institutional forms of discrimination are committed collectively against a group
May be unconscious – it is not a function of awareness of discrimination
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The pattern of discrimination against people trying to buy homes in minority and racially changing neighborhoods
Applied to areas other than housing
Criminal Justice System
People of color are 30% of US pop; 60% of imprisoned
1/3 Black men can expect to go to prison in their life
Students of color face harsher punishments in school, are arrested at higher rates (public school to prison pipeline)
War on Drugs, Voter laws
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Indian Boarding Schools
Education was used to anglicize American Indians.
American Indian children were taught that their culture was evil and uncivilized.
If they resisted, children were
punished harshly; some were
During the Civil Rights Era,
American Indians regained
control of their children’s
History of Boarding Schools (click here)
Boarding Schools’ Initial Goals
Full immersion in European culture
Elimination of native culture (languages, clothing, religion, etc.)
Teaching of marketable
Institutional discrimination: Education
Educational gap between SOC and Whites
Always been present
Gap is narrowing in recent years
Many students would not drop out of school were it not for inadequacies noted:
Dilapidated school facilities (click for video)
Several measures document the inadequate education received by African Americans, starting with the quantity of formal education.
Blacks as a group have always attained less education than Whites as a group.
Despite programs such as Head Start, which are directed at all poor children, White children are still more likely to have formal prekindergarten education than are African American children.
Institutional discrimination: Higher Education
An increase in S.O.C going to college and graduating
Upward trend to higher education has declined and in part is a function of:
Decline in educational financial aid
Push for higher standards
Negative publicity and a decline in enforcement of affirmative action
Racial incidents on college campuses
Racism on College Campuses (click for video)
Again (click for video)
Pushing for higher standards in educational achievement without providing remedial courses has locked out many minority students.
Employment opportunities, though slight for African Americans without some college, have continued to lure young people who must contribute to their family’s income and who otherwise might have gone to college.
Negative publicity of affirmative action may have discouraged some African Americans from even considering college.
Attention to what appears to be a growing number of racial incidents on predominantly White campuses has also been a discouraging factor.
There is little question that special challenges face the African American student at a college with overwhelmingly White faculty, advisors, coaches, administrators, and student body.
The campus culture may be neutral at best, and it is often hostile to members of racial minorities.
The picture of education for Black Americans is uneven—marked progress in absolute terms (much better educated than a generation ago), but relative to Whites the gap in educational attainment remains at all levels.
Today, the concerns of African American parents and most educators are similar—quality education.
Institutional discrimination: Employment
Factors explaining official unemployment rate of young African American males
Many live in depressed economy of central cities
Immigrants and illegal aliens present increased competition
White middle-class women entered the labor force
Illegal activities youth find they can make more money have become more prevalent
© 2015, 2012, 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Higher unemployment rates for Blacks have persisted since the 1940s, when they were first documented.
The employment picture is especially grim for African American workers aged 16 to 24.
16-19: White: 16%, Asian 10%, Hispanic 20%, Black 27%
20-24: White 9%, Asian 7%, Hispanic 11%, Black 17%
25-34: White 5%, Asian 3%, Hispanic 7%, Black 13%
Social scientists have cited many factors to explain why official unemployment rates for young African Americans are so high:
Many African Americans live in the depressed economy of central cities.
Immigrants and illegal aliens present increasing competition.
Efforts to ensure that hazardous substances are controlled so that:
All communities receive protection regardless of race or socioeconomic circumstance
Issues of environmental justice not limited to metropolitan areas
Environmental Racism (click for video)
© 2015, 2012, 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Theories of Race and Ethnicity and Culture of Prejudice
Functionalism: functionalist argue that racism and discrimination contribute positively, but only to the dominant group.
Conflict Theory: concerned with inequalities based on gender, class, education, race, sexuality and ethnicity.
Interactionism: Race and ethnicity provide strong symbols as sources of identity.
Media representations of race, class, gender etc.
Culture of Prejudice: purports that prejudice is embedded in our culture.
occurs when the assumption of inferiority of one or more races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities etc. is built into the culture of a society.
3 functions that racially prejudiced beliefs have for the dominant group include:
Moral Justification for maintaining an unequal society
Discouraging subordinate groups from questioning their status
Encouraging support for the existing order
Contact Hypothesis: interracial contact between people of equal status in cooperative circumstances will cause them to become less prejudiced and to abandon old stereotypes
Genocide: the deliberate annihilation of a targeted group usually for purposes
European colonization of US, Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, Bosnia
Expulsion: when a subordinate group is forced to leave a certain area, region or country by a dominant group.
Segregation: the physical separation of two groups, particularly in residence, but also in workplace and social functions.
De Jure: by law and de facto : without laws
Pluralism: “salad bowl” a great mixture of different cultures where each culture retains its own identity and yet adds to the flavor of the whole thing. (Cinco de Mayo)
Assimilation: “Melting Pot” minority individuals or groups gives up its own identity by taking on the characteristics of the dominant culture.
Amalgamation: the process by which a minority group and majority group combine to form a new group.
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