Racial and ethnic minorities
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Racial and Ethnic Minorities. The Webberians. The Concept of Race. Race refers to a category of people who are defined as similar because of a number of physical characteristics. The Concept of Race.

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Racial and Ethnic Minorities

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Racial and ethnic minorities

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

The Webberians

The concept of race

The Concept of Race

  • Race refers to a category of people who are defined as similar because of a number of physical characteristics.

The concept of race1

The Concept of Race

Race has been defined along genetic, legal, and social lines, each presenting its own set of problems.

“I don’t even know who I am. My mind says I’m black. Then I look at my skin, and it says I’m white. I’ve come to the conclusion that color is just a state of mind.”

-Linda Fay McCord

The concept of race2

The Concept of Race

Genetic Definitions

Social Definitions

Race is determined by the race that a person chooses to present themselves as.

People are free to report more than one race.

  • Geneticists define race by noting differences in gene frequencies among selected groups.

  • Racial criteria appear to be independent of one another.

Facts about race

Facts about Race

  • About 8 to 9 million people identify themselves as belonging to two or more races.

  • Racial intermarriages represent 5.4 % of all married couples.

  • Most people with one white and one black parent, when given the opportunity to label themselves, have historically chosen one parent’s racial identity, and that most often has been and continues to be black.

  • Three million children are growing up in interracial families.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups

  • An ethnic group has a distinct cultural tradition that its own member identify with or might not be recognized with others.

  • Shared loyalty to customs

    -similarity in family patterns



    -patterns of recreation

  • Many ethnic groups are a part of larger political parties

    • For example: Arabs, French Canadians, Jews, Pennsylvania Dutch

The concept of minority

The Concept of Minority

  • The concept of minority should be thought of as a group of people who are singled out from others in society for differential and unequal treatment. They are excluded from social participation by a dominant group in society. – Louise Wirth

  • Today, women, gays and lesbians, adolescents, the handicapped and intellectuals can be thought of as minority groups.

Problems in race and ethnic relations

Problems in Race and Ethnic Relations

Prejudice: an irrationally based negative attitude toward certain groups and their members, regarded as a subjective feeling.

In 1945, 56% of the American public said they opposed a law that would require employees to work alongside people of any race or color (Gallup Poll, 1972).

The cause of prejudice :

A desire for unity within a particular group.

Competing : Eg: Hutu and Tutsi Fight for genetic superiority.

Projection: allows us to transmit onto others those parts of ourselves that we do not like and try to avoid facing

Racial and ethnic minorities

  • Discrimination: differential treatment given to individuals who are assumed to belong to a particular category or group.

    • Overt action

      • Intolerance against African Americans

  • According to Robert K. Merton there are the following four types of people based on the classification of racial prejudice/ discrimination:

    • Unprejudiced Non-discriminators: people that are neither prejudiced or discriminatory.

    • Unprejudiced Discriminator: people that will not speak out against discrimination or prejudices.

    • Prejudiced Non-discriminators: those who hesitate to express their prejudices . Ie: employers who hate certain minorities but hire them to avoid affirmative-action laws.

    • Prejudiced Discriminators: individuals who do not believe in equality and practice their prejudice through idealistic behaviors.

  • Institutional Prejudice and Discrimination: complex social arrangements that restrict the life chances/choices of a group in comparison to those of a dominant group.

    Eg: Gypsies in Europe

Patterns of racial and ethnic relations

Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Relations



Development and coexistence of separate racial and ethnic group identities within a society.

Theory developed by Horace Kallen

Reaction against assimilation and advocates rights of minorities.

Celebrates the differences between people.

Unity of a whole society depends on the harmony of various parts.

  • Process by which groups with different cultures come to have a common cultures.

  • One group usually has a larger role

  • Problem of Selection

  • Anglo-Conformity-the renunciation of ancestral cultures in favor of Anglo-American behavior and values.

Racial and ethnic minorities



Form of subjugation, refers to the act, process or state of being apart.

Done by formal sanctions or informal discriminations.

Ex: American blacks

Voluntary Segregation


  • The subordination of one group and the assumption of a position of authority, power, and domination by the other.

  • Differences in power lead to superior and inferior positions.

  • Gerhard Lenski (1996)

  • Ex: 1870’s Native Americans in the U.S.

Racial and ethnic minorities



Deliberate extermination of a racial or ethnic group.

Ex: The Holocaust

However, it can be unintentional

Ex: Discovery of the New World

December 11, 1946: the General Assembly of the United Nation voted to affirm that genocide was a crime under international law.

  • Process of forcing a group to leave the territory in which it lives.

  • Ex: 1933 Germany when Adolf Hitler made life unbearable for Jews.

  • Forced Migration

  • Ex: Native Americans in 19th century when U.S. expanded

Racial and ethnic immigration to the united states

Racial and Ethnic Immigration to the United States

  • Historical U.S immigration ( The Land of the Free)

  • Old immigration: northern Europe who came before 1880’s (English, Dutch, French)

    • Felt threatened by waves of unskilled and uneducated newcomers

  • New immigration: southern and eastern Europe between 1880 and 1920

    (Poles, Hungarians, Ukrainians)

  • Quotas 1921-1965: designed to limit the number of people arriving from foreign countries.

  • The U. S has had one of the most open immigration policies in the world and continues to take in more legal immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined.

Immigration today compared with the past

Immigration Today Compared with the Past

  • 1965 major change in U.S immigration policy: family ties to people living in the U.S became the key factor in determining whether a person was admitted into the country.

    • Effects: shift in immigrant coming to the U.S

    • By 2006, 61.1% of immigrants came from Latin America, 28.6% from Asia and 7.6% from Europe.

    • In 1890, only 1.4% of foreign born population was nonwhite. By 2000, 75% was nonwhite.

  • Of the 35 million foreign born people are recent arrivals .

  • All unique in skill, background, and origins

  • However: the education of immigrants today are at two extremes, some immigrants are less likely to have completed high school, while others are highly educated.

Illegal immigration

Illegal Immigration

  • Two types of illegal immigrants: those who enter t he U.S legally and those who enter illegally

  • These immigrants tend to settle in specific states: California in the lead with 25%, Texas 14%, Florida with 7%, and New York with 6%.

  • Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986 (IRCA): law that attempted to control flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.

    • Fines and penalties imposed to those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants

    • Law provided legal status to illegal immigrants who entered the U.S before 1982 and lived here continuously since then.

  • Between 1989 and 1993, 2.7 million people were granted legal residency under the IRCA

  • IRCA had little effect in stopping the flow if illegal immigrants to the U.S

Number 41 000 000 origin england scotland wales non catholic timespan dominant from 1830 to 1960

Number: 41,000,000

Origin: England, Scotland, Wales (Non-Catholic)

Timespan: Dominant from 1830 to 1960


African americans

African Americans

  • Number: 40.7 Million

  • Origins: Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Trinidad and Africa.

  • Africans have spread out considerably since the 1940s



  • 45.5 Million

  • Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

Asian americans

Asian Americans

  • 15.2 Million

  • China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan

  • 1850 on

Native americans

Native Americans

  • 4.5 Million (2.8 Million “Pure”)

  • Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota

  • Cherokee, Navajo, Sioux, Chippewa, and Choctaw

  • Reservations

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