Chapter 3 Racial and Ethnic Inequality - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 3 Racial and Ethnic Inequality

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  1. Chapter 3Racial and Ethnic Inequality

  2. Race and Ethnicity • Race: • a socially constructed category of people who share biologically transmitted traits that a society defines as important • Sociologists view racial categories at best as crude and misleading and at worst as a harmful way to divide humanity • Ethnicity refers to a shared cultural heritage

  3. Race and Ethnicity • While race and ethnicity are different, the two may go together when groups share not only certain physical traits but ethnic traits as well • examples: Korean Americans and Native Americans

  4. Race and Ethnicity • 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 (1865) until the outbreak of World War I (1914) • “Nativists” opposed immigration as they feared that immigrants might overwhelm neighborhoods and schools and threaten the country’s mostly English culture

  5. Recent Immigration • The next great immigration began in 1965 when Congress ended the quota system. • Immigrants came mainly from Mexico and other Latin American nations, as well as the Philippines, South Korea, and other Asian nations

  6. Minorities • Minority: any category of people, distinguished by physical or cultural traits, that a society subjects to disadvantages • Characteristics: • They share a distinctive identity • They tend to be disadvantaged • About one-fourth of the people in the U.S. fall into a minority racial or ethnic category

  7. Patterns of Minority – Majority Interaction • Pluralism – a state in which people of all racial and ethnic categories have roughly equal social standing • Assimilation – the process by which minorities gradually adopt the cultural patterns of the majority population

  8. Patterns of Minority – Majority Interaction • Segregation – is the physical and social separation of categories of people • Genocide – the systematic killing of one category of people by another

  9. Native Americans • Conflict has marked the relationship between Native Americans and explorers/colonizers since the late fifteenth century • At first the U.S. government saw Native peoples as independent nations and tried to gain land from them through treaties • It soon used military power against those unwilling to bargain

  10. Native Americans • In 1871, the U.S. declared Native Americans wards of the federal government, granting them various forms of “assistance” • These attempts to encourage assimilation resulted in many Native Americans becoming dependent on the government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs

  11. Native Americans • Native Americans gained full citizenship in 1924. • During the 1990s, Native American organizations reported gains in new membership applications • One-fifth of all legal gambling in the country takes place in casinos on reservations • Most Native Americans continue to struggle and share a profound sense of injustice endured at the hands of whites

  12. People of African Descent • People of African ancestry arrived in the Americas along with the early European explorers • While slave traders brought 500,000 Africans to the U.S. as slaves, not all people of African descent were slaves • The Civil War brought slavery to an end • “Jim Crow” laws barred black people from voting, sitting on juries, and institutionalized segregation policies

  13. People of African Descent • By the early 1950s, opposition to segregation was building • the landmark Supreme Court decision in the 1954 case, Brown v. the Board of Education, eliminated “separate but equal” schooling • Rosa Parks sparked the bus boycott that desegregated public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama

  14. People of African Descent • In the 1960s the federal government • passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 • passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 • passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. • Together, these laws brought an end to most legal discrimination in public life

  15. People of African Descent • Today, the struggle isn’t over • below-average incomes • rate of poverty is twice the national average • college completion rate is well below the national average

  16. People of Asian Descent • Asian Americans include people with historical ties to dozens of Asian nations. • The largest number have roots in China, the Philippines, India, South Korea, and Japan • The first Asians to migrate to North America in the modern era came from China and Japan because of the Gold Rush of 1849 • Once the demand for cheap labor lessened, whites pressured legislatures and courts to bar Asians from certain work

  17. People of Asian Descent • World War II brought important change to Japanese and Chinese Americans • President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 forcibly relocated all Japanese Americans to internment camps where they stayed until 1944 • Chinese Americans fared better • In 1943, the federal government ended the 1882 ban on Chinese immigration and extended citizenship to Chinese Americans born abroad

  18. People of Asian Descent • Many Asian Americans prospered as the postwar economy grew • By the 1980s, Asian Americans were called the “model minority” based on their cultural commitment to study and hard work and their outstanding record of achievement • Many Asian Americans have assimilated into the larger cultural mix

  19. Hispanic People • Hispanics came to the United States from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain • Since few think of themselves as “Hispanics” or “Latinos”, there is no single Latino culture • A high birth rate and heavy immigration have resulted in Hispanics surpassing African Americans as the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority

  20. Hispanic People • While the social standing of Hispanics is below the U.S. average, various categories of Latinos have very different rankings • The most well off are Cuban Americans, who have greater education and enjoy higher incomes • Puerto Ricans have the lowest relative ranking - median family income is barely half the national average

  21. Prejudice • Prejudice is any rigid and irrational generalization about an entire category of people • Stereotypes -exaggerated descriptions that are applied to everyone in the same category - greatly contribute to the perpetuation of prejudice

  22. Prejudice • The most serious kind of prejudice is racism -the assertion that people of one race are innately superior or inferior to others • In today’s society, racism is less blatant than it once was • subtle forms of racism are still very much part of our national life

  23. Prejudice • Three causes of prejudice • personality factors • societal factors • multiculturalism

  24. Discrimination • While prejudice is an attitude, discrimination is a matter of actions • Discrimination can be positive or negative • Institutional discrimination is built into the operation of social institutions, including the economy, schools, and the legal system

  25. Discrimination • Because prejudice and discrimination reinforce each other, societies can subject minorities to a vicious cycle of subordination • One strategy designed to break the vicious cycle of prejudice and discrimination is affirmative action • creates policies intended to improve the social standings of minorities subject to historical prejudice and discrimination

  26. Structural-Functional Analysis: The Importance of Culture • The Culture of Poverty • Values and Disadvantage • Critics contend that this perspective focuses on the result, not the cause, of low social standing

  27. Symbolic-Interaction Analysis: The Personal Significance of Race • When race becomes a master status, it becomes a personal trait that overwhelms all others and defines any person of color • Critics contend that race involves more than individual behavior

  28. Social-Conflict Analysis: The Structure of Society • The Importance of Class • Multiculturalism • Critics contend that social-conflict theory: • understates what people in the U.S. have in common • takes away people’s responsibility for their own lives • tends to minimize the significant strides that have been made in dealing with social diversity

  29. Conservatives: Culture and Effort Matter • Conservatives claim that differences in culture set some parts of the population apart from others • People in various racial and ethnic categories have different values and priorities • A free society must be an unequal society

  30. Liberals: Society and Government Matter • Liberals contend that cultural differences are not the main reason for inequality • they view racial and ethnic inequality as resulting mostly from prejudice and discrimination built into society’s institutions • they urge people to avoid thinking that minorities are themselves the “social problem”

  31. Radicals: Basic Changes Are Needed • Radicals suggest two ways to solve the problem of racial and ethnic inequality: • overhaul the whole capitalist economic system • eliminate the concept of race because it provides an ideological basis for dividing people