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Race and Ethnic Relations Basic Definitions Race is a socially constructed category composed of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important. There are no biologically pure races.

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Race and Ethnic Relations

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Basic Definitions

  • Race is a socially constructed category composed of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important. There are no biologically pure races.

  • Race is a significant concept chiefly because most people consider it to be such. Biologically speaking, race has less and less meaning in the United States

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Basic Definitions

  • Ethnicity is a shared cultural heritage. Ethnicity involves even more variability and mixture than race because most people identify with more than one ethnic background.

  • A minority is a category of people, distinguished by physical or cultural traits, who are socially disadvantaged.

    • Minorities have two major characteristics:

      • They share a distinctive identity.

      • They occupy a subordinate status.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Racial and Ethnic Groups

  • Minority group: subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than members of the dominant group

  • Racial group: group set apart from others because of physical differences that have taken on social significance

  • Ethnic group: group set apart from others primarily because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Racial and Ethnic Groups in theUnited States, 2006

Note: Percentages do not total 100 and

subtotals do not add up to totals in major

categories because of overlap between

groups (for example, Polish American Jews

or people of mixed ancestry, such as Irish

and Italian). White ancestry is for the year

2000, and percentages are based on total

population in that year.

Source: Author estimates based on American

Community Survey 2006, Tables DP-1 and

R0203, in Bureau of the Census 2007d;

Sheskin and Dashefsky 2006.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Race

  • Race as a biological construct does not exist

  • Racial formation: sociohistorical process in which racial categories are created, inhibited, transformed, and destroyed

  • Social construction of race: process by which people come todefine a group as as a race based on physical characteristics as a race based on physical characteristics, but also on historical, cultural, and economic factors

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Race

  • The “one-drop” rule was a vivid example of the social construction of race

  • Race is often used to justify unequal access to economic, social, and cultural resources based on the assumption that such inequality is “natural”

  • Stereotypes: unreliable generalizations about all members of a group

    • Often used to justify inequality

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Race

  • Multiple Identities

    • 2000 census gave people option of identifying themselves with multiple racial categories for the first time

    • Half of those classified as multiracial were under age 18

    • Points toward growing awareness of population diversity

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U.S. Racial Categories 1790-2000

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National Map 14-1

Where the Minority-Majority Already Exists Source: Macionis , John J. Sociology, 10th Ed , Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005 Ch 14

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Ethnicity

  • An ethnic group is set apart from others explicitly because of its national origin or cultural patterns

  • Distinction between racial and ethnic minorities not always clear-cut

  • Distinction between racial and ethnic groups is socially significant

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Attitudes and their consequences

  • Prejudice is a rigid and irrational generalization about an entire category of people. Prejudices are prejudgments and they may be positive or negative.

  • Stereotypes are exaggerated descriptions applied to every person in some category.

    • One measure of prejudice is social distance, that is, how closely people are willing to interact with members of some category.

    • Almost eighty years ago, Emory Bogardus developed the seven-point social distance scale and determined that people felt much more social distance from some categories than from others.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Attitudes and their consequences

  • A recent study using the same scale reported three major findings:

    • A trend toward greater social acceptance has continued.

    • People see less difference in various minorities.

  • The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may have contributed to low social acceptance of Arabs and Muslims.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Attitudes and their consequences

  • Racism refers to the belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another.

    • Does Race Affect Intelligence?

  • Theories of prejudice:

    • Scapegoat theory holds that prejudice results from frustrations among people who are themselves disadvantaged.

    • A scapegoat is a person or category of people, typically with little power, whom unfairly blame for their own troubles

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Attitudes and their consequences

Authoritarian personality theory views prejudice as a personality trait in certain individuals.

  • The cultural theory of prejudiceargues that prejudice is embedded in culture.

  • The conflict theory of prejudiceproposes that powerful people use prejudice to justify oppressing others.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Attitudes and their consequences

Authoritarian personality theory views prejudice as a personality trait in certain individuals.

  • The cultural theory of prejudiceargues that prejudice is embedded in culture.

  • The conflict theory of prejudiceproposes that powerful people use prejudice to justify oppressing others.

    Discrimination is an action that involves treating various categories of people unequally.

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Patterns of Intergroup Relations

  • Pluralism: mutual respect for one another’s cultures among the various groups in a society, which allows minorities to express their own cultures without experiencing prejudice

  • In U.S., pluralism is more of an ideal than a reality

  • Switzerland exemplifies a modern pluralistic state

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Patterns of Intergroup Relations

  • The Melting Pot. Probably the most important theory stating that ethnic minorities would live together in harmony.

  • Multiculturalism is a society in which each group celebrates its own characteristics

    • Some people feel this harms the wider society, for example

    • http://www.faculty.ccc.edu/aberger/PerilsofMulticulturalism.pdf

© 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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Patterns of Interaction.

  • Segregation refers to the physical and social separation of categories of people. It may be voluntary, but is usually imposed.

  • Assimilation is the process by which minorities gradually adopt patterns of the dominant culture. Racial traits can diminish over time only through miscegenation, biological reproduction by partners of different racial categories.

  • Genocide is the systematic annihilation of one category of people by another.

  • Amalgamation: when a majority group and a minority group combine to form a new group

  • © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups: African Americans

    • Brought to this country as indentured servants or slaves.

      • Sociologist Gunnar Myrdal referred to as “the American dilemma.” In 1865

      • This denial of basic human rights was a sharp contradiction to the promise of the American republic

    • Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery

      • After Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws perpetuated the subordinate status of African Americans.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups: African Americans

    • In the first part of the twentieth century, a mass migration of African Americans to the cities of the North occurred

      • followed by the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

    • Even today African Americans continue to be economically disadvantaged as a group,

      • Problem exacerbated by the loss of factory jobs that has accompanied America’s move to a service economy.

    • The educational gap between whites and African Americans has narrowed substantially in recent years.

    • Political clout of African Americans has increased substantially in recentdecades.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Source: Macionis , John J. Sociology, 10th Ed , Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.4 (b) The Concentration African Americans by County, 2000

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups: Native Americans Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.4 (b) The Concentration African Americans by County, 2000

    Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the Americas.

    • Before European contact, they lived in hundreds of distinct societies.

    • Between 1871 and 1924, they were subjected to a policy of forced assimilation.

    • Now they are being encouraged to migrate from reservations to the cities in search of economic opportunity, but they remain far behind whites in educational and economic standing.

    • Many tribes and individuals have recently come together to assert pride in their culture.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Source: Macionis , John J. Sociology, 10th Ed , Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998 Groups: Asian Americans

    • Asian Americans make up about 4 percent of the United States population. They have a “model minority” image.

      • Chinese immigration started with the Gold Rush.

        • When the economy soured, discrimination increased and harsh laws were enacted limiting further immigration.

        • In response, most Chinese Americans clustered in closed ghettoes called Chinatowns. Assimilation and upward mobility marked the era that began with World War II.

        • Chinese Americans currently outpace the national average economically and educationally, although many living in Chinatowns continue to experience poverty

        • Currently, about 3.1 million Chinese Americans live in U.S.

    © 2009 Alan S. Berger


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    Racial Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998 Groups: Asian Americans

    • Japanese Americans also came to this country in the last century to work, and soon experienced legal and social discrimination. During the Second World War many were confined in relocation camps. After the war, many made a dramatic economic recovery, and today this group is above the national average in financial standing. Their upward social mobility has also strongly encouraged cultural assimilation and interracial marriage.

    • More recent Asian immigrants include Koreans and Filipinos.

      • Large-scale Korean immigration followed the Korean War. Korean Americans often own and operate small businesses.

      • Filipinos enjoy relatively high incomes.

    © 2009 Alan S. Berger


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    Racial Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998 Groups: Asian Americans

    • Vietnamese Americans

      • Came to U.S. during and after Vietnam War and, over time, gravitated toward larger urban areas

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Major Asian American Groups Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998in the United States, 2006

    Source: Author’s analysis of American Community Survey 2006

    in Bureau of the Census 2007d.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998Groups: WASPS

    • White Anglo-Saxon-Protestants (WASPs), mostly of English origin, have dominated the U.S. since colonial days.

      • Most came to this country highly skilled and motivated to achieve. Especially in the last century, many WASPs strongly opposed subsequent waves of non-Anglo immigrants. Their power is gradually declining in the twenty-first century.

        Ancestry Across the United States. The highest concentrations of WASPs are in Utah, Appalachia, and northern New England.

    © 2009 Alan S. Berger


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    Racial Groups: WASPS Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.2 Land Controlled by Native Americans, 1790-1998

    • White ethnic Americans come from European nations other than Britain.

      • Most experienced substantial prejudice and discrimination when they arrived here in the nineteenth century. Many have now fully assimilated and achieved substantial success.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Source: Macionis , John J. Sociology, 10th Ed , Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14-3 The Concentration of People of WASP

    Ancestry across the United States

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups: Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14-3 The Concentration of People of WASP Hispanic Americans

    • Most Mexican Americans (or Chicanos) are recent immigrants, though some lived in Mexican territory annexed by the U.S. in the last century. They are well below the national average in economic and educational attainment.

    • Puerto Ricans are American citizens and travel freely between the island and the mainland, especially New York City. They are the most socially disadvantaged Hispanic minority.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups: Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14-3 The Concentration of People of WASP Hispanic Americans

    • Many Cubans fled the 1959 Marxist revolution and settled in Miami and other U.S. cities. Most were well-educated business and professional people and have done relatively well in this country.

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Source: Macionis , John J. Sociology, 10th Ed , Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.4 (a) The Concentration of Hispanics/Latinos by County, 2000

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Racial Groups Prentice Hall , 2005 National Map 14.4 (a) The Concentration of Hispanics/Latinos by County, 2000

    • Arab Americans

    • About 3 million live in U.S.

    • Arabic language is single most unifying force

    • Most are not Muslim

    • For years, and especially after 9/11, have been subject to profiling and surveillance by law enforcement

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies


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    Source: Curry et al Sociology For The Twenty-First Century, Fifth Edition, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River,2008

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    Residential Segregation Fifth Edition, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River,2008in the United States, 2005

    © 2009 he McGraw Hill Companies

    Source: Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

    Gallup Organization July 12,2005.


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