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BEYOND THE UNITED STATES: THE COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE. CHAPTER 16. The comparative Perspective. Phenomenon of subordination based on race, nationality, or religion not unique to US; occurs throughout the world Mexico Women and Mayans given second-class status Canada

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the comparative perspective
The comparative Perspective
  • Phenomenon of subordination based on race, nationality, or religion not unique to US; occurs throughout the world
    • Mexico
      • Women and Mayans given second-class status
    • Canada
      • Faces racial, linguistic, and tribal issues
    • Brazil
      • Recognizing long history of racial inequality
    • Israel
      • Struggle of territory and autonomy between Jews and Palestinians
    • Republic of South Africa
      • Legacy of apartheid dominates present and future
World Systems Theory
    • Considers the global economic system as divided between nations that control wealth and those that provide natural resources and labor
  • Ethnonational Conflict
    • Refers to conflicts between ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic groups within nations
  • Sociological perspective on relations between dominant and subordinate groups treats race and ethnicity as social categories
    • Can be understood only in the context of shared meanings attached by societies and their members
  • A nation of 108 million people
  • The Mexican Indian people and the Color Gradient
    • Color Gradient
      • The placement of people on a continuum from light to dark skin color rather than in distinct racial groupings by skin color
        • Another example of the social construction of race in which social class in linked to the social reality (or at least the appearance) of social purity
The Status of Women
    • Gender stratification is an issue US shares with almost all other countries
    • 1975, Mexico City site of first UN conference on the status of women
      • Focused on the situation of women in developing countries
    • Mexican women
      • Often viewed as the “ideal workers”
      • Have begun to address economic, political, and health issues
    • Mexico beginning to realize issues social inequity extends beyond poverty
  • Multiculturalism adopted as a state policy for more than two decades
  • The First Nation
    • Aboriginal minorities largely consists of four groups
      • 1. Status Indians members of 604 tribes officially recognized by the government.
      • 2. Inuit living in Northern Canada
      • 3. Métis of mixed ancestry
      • 4. Non-status Indians
1982 Canadian Federal Constitution
    • Recognized and affirmed existing aboriginal and treaty rights of Canadian Native American, Inuit, and Métis people
  • Defeat of the Charlottetown Agreement of 1992
    • Embraced number of issues including greater recognition of Aboriginal people
  • Social and economical fate of Aboriginal People
    • Only 40% graduate from high school compared to 70% of nation as a whole
    • Unemployment twice as high and average income one-third lower
The Québécois
    • French speaking people of the province of Quebec
    • Quebec accounts for 1/4th of nation’s population and wealth
    • Meech Lake Accords (1987)
      • Failed constitutional amendments that would recognize Quebec as a distinct society
      • 50.5% prefer to remain with Canada rather than become a separate nation
    • Inter ethnic and linguistic conflict between the Anglophones and Francophones.
Immigration and Race
    • Proportionate to its population, Canada receives consistently the most immigrants of any nation
      • Over 18% of population foreign born
    • Visible Minorities
      • Persons other than Aboriginal or First Nation people who are non-White in racial background
      • Accounts for 13.4% of the population
    • Canadian immigration policy has alternated between being open and restrictive
    • Growth in Asian, Black, and West Indian immigrants
brazil not a racial paradise
Brazil: Not A Racial Paradise
  • Brazil and US familiar in number of ways
    • Colonized by Europeans who overwhelmed natives
    • Imported Black Africans as slaves
    • Treatment of indigenous people
  • Legacy of Slavery
    • Depended on slave trade more than US
    • Easier to recognize African culture among Brazil Blacks than African Americans
      • Contributions of African people kept alive in schools
      • Surviving African culture overwhelmed by dominant European traditions, like US
    • Freeing of slaves
    • For every 1,000 slaves, 100 freed annually compared to 4 per year in US
    • Most significant difference between slavery in Southern US and Brazil
    • Needed as crafts workers, shopkeepers, and boatmen, not just agricultural workers like in the US
  • In Brazil, race not seen as measure of inferiority like US
    • In Brazil, you were inferior if you were a slave
    • In US, you were inferior if you were Black
The “Racial Democracy” Illusion
    • Historian Carl Degler (1971)
      • Mulatto Escape Hatch
        • The key to differences in Brazilian and American race relations
    • Mulatto or moreno (brown) recognized as group separate from either brancos (Whites) or pretos (Blacks)
      • In US, mulattos classed with Blacks
    • Escape hatch is an illusion
      • Economically, fare marginally better than Black Brazilians or Afro-Brazilians
    • Blacks with highest level of education and occupation experience most discrimination in terms of jobs, mobility, and income
1/4th of all marriages between people of different color groupings
  • Marriage between opposite ends of color gradient are uncommon
  • Absence of direct racial confrontation and mixed marriages led to conclusion of Brazil as “racial paradise”
    • Lack of racial tension does not mean prejudice does not exist
    • Light skin color enhances status but impact is exaggerated
    • People of mixed ancestry earn 12% more than Blacks but Whites earn another 26% more than moreno
Brazilian Dilemma
    • Gradual recognition racial prejudice and discrimination exist
    • 20th century, changed from nation prided on freedom from racial intolerance to country legally attacking discrimination
    • Alfonso Arinos Law (1951)
      • Prohibiting racial discrimination in public place
      • No use overturning subtle forms of discrimination
    • Women of color fare poorly in Brazil
    • Geledes/SOS Racism
      • Black rights group
    • Challenge in organizing is that Afro-Brazilians fail to recognize discrimination
israel and the palestinians
Israel and the Palestinians
  • Diaspora
    • Exile of Jews from Palestine over 2,000 years ago
  • British colonialism during World War I and the Middle East
  • British endorsement of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine
  • Spirit of Zionism
    • Yearning to establish a Jewish state in the biblical homeland
    • To Arabs, meant subjugation and elimination of Palestinians
Arab-Israeli Conflicts
    • No sooner had Israel recognized, Arab nations announced intention to restore control to Palestine
      • Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon
      • By force if necessary
    • Six-Day War (1967)
      • Syria’s response to Israel’s military actions to take surrounding territory
    • Yom Kippur War (October 1973)
      • Launched against Israel by Egypt and Syria
      • Lead to huge oil price increases as retaliation
    • President Carter’s mediation and Egypt’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist
The Intifada
    • Began in December 1987
    • Uprising against Israel by Palestinians in occupied territories through attacks, boycott, strikes, resistance, and noncooperation
    • Grassroots movement of students, workers, unions, professionals, and business leaders
    • Used television to transform world opinion, especially US
      • Palestinians came to be viewed as people struggling for self-determination rather than terrorists
    • Diaspora of Jews led to displacement of Palestinian Arabs
The Search for Solutions Amid Violence
    • Oslo Accords (1993)
      • Agreements between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat for creation of first self-governing Palestinian territory in Gaza Strip and West Bank
    • Issues of lasting peace
      • Future of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories
      • Future of Arabs with Israeli citizenship
      • Creation of independent Palestinian national state
      • Israel-Palestinian Authority relations with government under control of Hamas, sworn to Israel’s destruction
      • Future of Palestinian refugees elsewher
republic of south africa
Republic of South Africa
  • Different from rest of Africa because original African people of area no longer present
  • Largest group are Black Africans
  • Coloured (Cape Coloureds) and Asians make up remaining non-Whites
  • Small White community
    • English
    • Afrikaners
      • Descended from Dutch and other European settlers
The Legacy of Colonialism
    • Settlement of South Africa by Europeans began in 1652
    • Dutch East Indian Company colony in Cape Town
    • Dutch slave owners and trek inwards
    • Acquisition of parts of South Africa by Britain in 1814
    • British and Indian immigration
    • British and Boer wars
      • British freed Blacks and gave them almost all political and civil rights
    • Pass Laws
      • Curfews placed on Bantus (Blacks) limiting geographic movement and enforced through 1986
    • Means separation or apartness in Afrikans
    • British colonial rule ended with independence in 1948
    • Afrikaners assumed control of government
      • White supremacy became formalized into law
    • Apartheid was 20th century effort to reestablish master-slave relationship
      • Blacks could not vote
      • Could not move through country freely
      • Unable to hold jobs without government approval
      • To work at approved jobs, forced to live in temporary quarters far from real homes
      • Access to health care, education, and social services severely limited
1990, South African Prime Minister F. W. DeKlerk
    • Legalized 60 banned Black organizations
    • Freed Nelson Mandela, Leader of African National Congress after 27 years of imprisonment
  • National Peace Accord
    • Signed by DeKlerk and Black leaders pledging establishment of multiparity democracy to end violence
  • 1992 referendum allowing Whites to vote on ending apartheid
    • 68.6% in favor of continued dismantling of legal apartheid and creation of new constitution
  • DeKlerk and Mandela jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993
The Era of Reconciliation and Moving On
    • April 1994, Mandela’s ANC received 62% of vote giving him 5 year term as president
    • Truth and Reconciliation Commission
      • People allowed to come forward and confess horrors committed under apartheid
      • If judged remorseful (most were), not subject to prosecution; if failed to confess, were prosecuted
    • Controversial issues facing ANC led government are familiar to US citizens
      • Desperate poverty
      • Affirmative Action and reverse apartheid
      • Medical care (AIDS, 10% of population; less than 3% receiving medication
      • Crime
      • School integration
Most difficult is land reform
    • Black South Africans forced from their land between 1960 and 1990
    • 1994
      • Government took steps to transfer 30% of agriculture land to Black South Africans
      • Plans to restore original inhabitants to their land where feasible (“just and equitable compensation”)
      • Issue more critical in view of South Africa hosting 2010 Football (Soccer) World Cup
Identify who the native people are and what their role has been in each of the societies discussed in this chapter.
In what ways are South Africa’s policy of apartheid similar to the Jim Crow laws of the American South?
Social construction of race emphasizes how we create arbitrary definitions of skin color that then have social consequences. Drawing on the societies discussed, select one nation and identify how social definitions work in other ways to define group boundaries.