Race and Ethnic Relations Sociology Chapter 10
10.1 Race, Ethnicity and Social Structure Questions to think about: • How do sociologists determine the terms race, ethnicity, and minority group? • What characteristics distinguish minority groups from one another?
Race as Myth and Reality • Race as a Myth • Many people think that humankind can be sorted into biologically distinct groups called races. This idea suggests that there are “pure” examples of different races and that any person can belong to only one race. • Biologists, geneticists, and social scientists reject this view of race. • All people belong to the human species. • There are greater differences within racial groups than between racial groups.
Race • Historically scholars have placed people into three groups: • Caucasoids-fair skin and straight or wavy hair (whites) • Mongoloids-yellowish or brownish skin with distinctive folds on the eyelids (Asians) • Negroids-dark skin and tightly curled hair (blacks) However, this well known classification system has difficulty describing the complexity of race.
It is difficult to classify people into clear-cut categories because people often possess the traits of more than one race. Examples: • Southern India-Caucasoid facial features and dark skin, and straight hair. • Australia-Aborigines-dark skin and blond tightly curled hair.
Race defined: • There are no biologically “pure” races. • RACE-a category of people who share inherited physical characteristics and whom others see as being a distinctive group. • Sociologists are concerned with how people react to these characteristics and how these reactions affect individuals in society.
Ethnicity • Ethnicity-set of cultural characteristics that distinguishes one group from another. • Ethnic Group-people who share a common cultural background and a common sense of identity. • Ethnicity is generally based on cultural characteristics such as national origin, religion, language, custom, and values.
Ethnic Group Survival • If an ethnic group is to survive over time, its cultural beliefs and practices must be passed down from generation to generation. Examples: • Asian and Hispanic Americans tend to have strong ethnic roots. • Unlike German Americans who are raised in the US who no longer feel deep ties to their homeland.
What’s the difference between race and ethnicity? • Ethnicity is based on cultural considerations • Race is based on physical considerations • Some ethnic groups are racially distinct: • African Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans can be classified ethnically and racially.
Minority Groups • No particular skin color, physical feature, or ethnic background is superior or inferior by nature. • Those who hold power in society may place an arbitrary value on specific characteristics. • By establishing values and norms of society, dominant-group members consciously and unconsciously create a social structure that acts in their favor.
Minority Groups – Conflict Theory • Speaking the language most common in a society is one position of power held by the dominant group. • Using the conflict theory, many sociologists have concluded that a dominant group’s position of power allows them to enjoy privileges, such as better housing, better schools, and higher incomes. • The privileged position of the dominant group is often gained at the expense of the minority groups within society.
Minority Group defined: • Minority group is identified as a group of people who –because of their physical characteristics or cultural practices-are singled out and unequally treated. • Does not have to do with group SIZE.
Characteristics that distinguish minority groups from other groups in society: • Identifiable physical or cultural characteristics that differ from the dominant group. • Group members are victims of unequal treatment at the hands of the dominant group. • Membership in the group is ascribed. • Members share strong sense of group loyalty. • Members practice endogamy-marriage within the group.
Case Study: A Class Divided In 1968 third-grade teacher Jane Elliot divided her students into groups of brown-eyed and blue-eyed children. She told the class that the brown-eyed children were superior to the blue-eyed children, and that they would receive special treatment. The two groups of children internalized these rules, and the blue-eyed children appeared to be miserable and defeated. This experiment was one way to help children understand the effects of discrimination.
Jane Elliot’s Experiment “A Class Divided” CLIP on Jane Elliot’s class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hqp6GnYqIjQ Clip 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QyqxkM_Z94&feature=related Clip 2 Wednesday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7JneNPZltU&feature=related Clip 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no1F-AMTnGg&feature=related
Patterns of Intergroup Relations (Ch 10.2) How do prejudice and discrimination differ? What are patterns of minority group treatment?
Discrimination and Prejudice • Words are commonly used mistakenly interchangeably. • Discrimination-the denial of equal treatment to individuals based on group membership based on group membership. • INVOLVES BEHAVIORS • Prejudice-an unsupported generalization about a group of people. • Refers to ATTITUDES
Discrimination • Found at the individual or societal level • Range from name-calling and rudeness to acts of violence. • Most extreme form can lead to physical harm or even death.
Societal Discrimination:Legal and Institutionalized • Legaldiscrimination-upheld by the law. • Apartheid system in South Africa-system of elaborate laws that defined the rights of whites and non-whites. • Voting rights women in US • Jim Crow laws in the US • Plessy v. Ferguson • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Institutionalized discrimination-is an outgrowth of society. • More resistant to change • Over time, unequal access to resources pushes some minority groups into less powerful positions. • Dominant group consciously discriminates in order to maintain a system of inequality • Can occur even after legal steps have been taken to end discrimination http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyL5EcAwB9c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOS3BBmUxvs&feature=related
Example-Institutionalized Discrimination • Minority group denied access to jobs and housing. • Over time group members become concentrated in one area. • Community schools are poorly funded, members do not acquire the skills to compete in the labor market. • Without being able to qualify for higher paying jobs, their children will have few opportunities for advancement, and the cycle of inequality is maintained.
Prejudice • Often includes stereotypes- • Stereotypes-oversimplified, exaggerated, or unfavorable generalization about a group of people. • EX-All Irish are hot tempered. • If people are told often and long enough that other people are socially, mentally or physically inferior, they come to believe it.
Prejudice cont. • Self-fulfilling prophecy (Merton) a prediction that results in behavior that makes the prediction come true. • If members of a minority group are considered incapable of understanding technical information, they will not be given technical training.
Racism • Prejudice often serves as justification for discriminatory actions. • Individuals come to believe negative claims against a minority group, which makes it easier for them to discriminate. • Racism-the belief that one’s race or ethnic group is naturally superior to other races or ethnic groups.
Active bigot-prejudiced and openly discriminates Timid bigot-prejudiced, but does not discriminate because of societal issues Fair-weather liberal-not prejudiced, but discriminates because of societal pressure All-weather liberal-not prejudiced, and does not discriminate Prejudice and Discrimination: Are they always related?
Discussion point: • Can anyone explain (or give an example) to the class of how someone could be a fair-weather liberal? • Or a timid bigot?
Sources of Discrimination and Prejudice Sociological Explanations • Focus on the social environment • Socialization-process by which norms are internalized (learned) • Prejudices are imbedded in social norms (norms describe ways in which members are “expected” to behave towards certain out-groups) • People become prejudice to maintain group membership-through identification with a reference group who support the behavior.
Sources of Discrimination and Prejudice Psychological Explanations • Focus the behavior of individuals • People are prejudice because of personality • Adorno found that prejudice people shared authoritarian personality trait • Authoritarian=strong conformist, respect for authority, likely to follow orders • Prejudice is also a product of frustration and anger • External locus of control • Scapegoating-placing the blame for one’s trouble on an innocent individual (or minority group)
Sources of Discrimination and Prejudice Economic Explanations • Discrimination and prejudice arise out of competition for scarce resources. • EX-Chinese in the 1800 were welcomed for cheap labor, but were later viewed as competition to whites for jobs • Laws restricted immigration of Chinese (Exclusion Act) • Conflict perspective-the dominant group, in order to protect their position, puts minorities against one another in competition for resources, which causes minority groups to fear, distrust and hate one another.
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Cultural Pluralism • Allows each group within society to keep its unique identity. • Practiced in Switzerland • Three official languages: French, German and Italian (3 major ethnic groups) • None of the groups has taken a dominant role in Swiss society.
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Assimilation • The blending of culturally distinct features into a single group with a common culture and identity. • Racial and ethnic minorities attempt to hold onto their cultural features. • Assimilation occurs naturally overtime through daily interaction. • Forcing assimilation often leads to conflict. • Bulgaria 1980s tried to assimilate large Turkish population.
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Legal Protection • Countries take legal steps (make laws) to ensure that the rights of minority groups are protected. • Civil Rights Act 1964 and Voting Rights Act 1965 in the US. • Affirmative action programs in the US-designed to correct past imbalances in the educational and employment opportunities given to minority groups.
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Segregation • Policies that physically separate the minority group from the dominant group. • De juresegregation-laws that separate. • De factosegregation-segregation based on informal norms • Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages were forced to live in walled-off communities called ghettos. • Practiced in the US until the 1960s
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Subjugation • Maintaining of control over a group by force. • Slavery-the ownership of one person by another (most extreme form) • EX=South Africa’s apartheid system: • Apartheid literally means “apartness” • Called for segregation of all groups in society • Political and economic power rested solely in the hands of the white few and rigidly maintained by force.
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Population transfer • Dominant group separates itself from the minority group by transferring the minority population to a new territory. • Indirect transfer-the dominant group makes life so miserable for the minority that they leave. • Direct transfer-involves the use of force. • Resettlement of Native Americans on reservations during the 1800s
Patterns of Minority Group Treatment Extermination • Genocide-the intentional destruction of an entire targeted population • Attempted (and sometimes achieved) many times throughout history • Jews in Russia in the 1800s • Jews in Europe during WW II-the Holocaust • British extermination of Tasmanians in South Africa • 1.5 Armenians by Turks and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus in the first half of the 1900s • Genocides also in Rwanda and Cambodia • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__kf7TljgGs
Ethnic Cleansing • Combined population transfer and extermination. • Involves removing group from a protected area through terror, expulsion, and mass murder. • 1998 the Serbian government began a campaign that sought to drive out or kill about 1.7 ethnic Albanians. • In one year 1.5 million had been expelled from their homes and 10,000 killed. • NATO stopped the Serbs of achieving their goal using armed intervention.
African Americans • 12 Percent of Population • Experiences historically shaped by slavery, discrimination, and segregation • Civil Rights Movement brought significant gains towards equality • Some negative trends in education, employment, and income that reveal continuing inequality • Since 1965 legislation, the number of black representatives in government has grown quickly • Organizations such as the National Urban League work to empower African Americans • Group faces environmental racism, or racial bias in environmental policies and practices
Hispanic Americans • Largest minority group • Trace their heritage to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin American countries • Population of Hispanics growing faster than general population • During 1960s Hispanics in the United States were mostly from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico • Central and South American immigrants now common • Came to the United States to seek political freedom and economic opportunity • Estimate in 2006 of more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States; vast majority are Hispanic • Hispanics now hold more than 6,000 appointed and elected positions • Poverty rate is double that of white Americans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru1F29vuVKI&feature=related ABC What would you do? Latino Hate Crime Episode
Native Americans • 2.9 Million Individuals • Original inhabitants of the United States • Disease, warfare, and destruction of traditional ways of life reduced numbers dramatically • U.S. government took traditional lands and forced Native Americans onto reservations • Policies encouraged assimilation into white culture • Today 55 percent on reservations • Statistics reveal dire challenges for Native American populations • Pan-Indianism: a social and political movement that united culturally distinct Native American nations to work together on issues that affect all Native Americans
Asian Americans • 5 Percent of Population • Earliest to arrive were Chinese and Japanese • Immigrants from most Asian countries now here, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan • Projected to be 8 percent of population by 2050 • Have used education to move up economic ladder • Median income is higher for Asian Americans than for other groups • Some call Asian Americans “the model minority” because of their quick assimilation; many resent this label because it ignores the struggles historically faced • Asian Americans face higher rates of stress, depression, mental illness, and suicide attempts
Other Minorities • White Ethnics • White ethnics were immigrants from the mainly Catholic countries of Ireland, Italy, France, Poland, and Greece • Faced discrimination by the white Protestant majority • Jewish Americans • Focus their ethnic identity on their religion • Faced anti-Semitism, discrimination and prejudice against Jews • Arab Americans • 3.5 million Arab Americans • Arab Americans face new discrimination after the Arab-led terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001