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Chapter 9. Race and Ethnicity. The Burden (or Privilege) of Race. PAGE 276 : Excerpt from “DAYS OF GRACE” by A. Ashe. Race as a social construction. Biologically speaking, because of the blending of people from different parts of the world, there is no such thing as a “pure” race.

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Chapter 9

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chapter 9

Chapter 9

Race and Ethnicity

the burden or privilege of race
The Burden (or Privilege) of Race

PAGE 276: Excerpt from“DAYS OF GRACE” by A. Ashe.

race as a social construction
Race as a social construction
  • Biologically speaking, because of the blending of people from different parts of the world, there is no such thing as a “pure” race.
  • Race = a social category distinguished by socially-selected biological traits.
  • What are examples of “socially selected” biological traits?
race as a social psychological construction
Race as a social & psychological construction
  • More recently, people have selected/ influenced which race they belong to by which one he/she identifies with the most.
  • In U. S. examples of racialcategories:
  • Native Americans
  • Latin or Hispanic Americans
  • African-Americans
  • Asian-Americans
  • Middle-Eastern Americans
  • Anglo-Americans

Ethnicity= A social category distinguished (by others or by themselves) by subcultural and/or nationality traits.

5 Main Features of Ethnicity (Ethnic Categories)

  • Unique cultural traits
  • Sense of community
  • A feeling of ethnocentrism
  • Ascribed membership from birth (in adulthood can be achieved)
  • Territoriality


ethnicity ethnic categories
Ethnicity/Ethnic Categories

* Note an ethnic category is a minority-status category by definition; it denotes attachment to a culture that is different or unique from the dominant U. S. culture. Thus, there is no such ethnicity as “English -American,” even though England is a different country.

Examples of Ethnic Categories?

Note: There is a SPECIFC COUNTRY attached to American, NOT a whole continent like Africa or Europe.

race ethnicity
Race & Ethnicity

Consider: Whydo we discuss such concepts as “Race” and “Ethnicity?”


Even as your author states, race and ethnicity affect how long people live -- in the United States.

race ethnicity1
Race & Ethnicity

For the first time, Census 2000 made it possible for people to indicate that they belonged to more than one race.

what do we mean by minority and majority
What do we mean by “minority” and “majority?”
  • Minority-status = A social position that is relatively disadvantaged in terms of life chances,e.g., blocked opportunities to political influence, economic participation, rights.
  • Majority status = a social position that is relatively advantaged in terms of life chances, e.g., influence politically, economic participation, rights.
minority and majority statuses
Minority and Majority Statuses
  • Examples of majority status in the

U. S. social structure of society?

  • Examples of minority status in the

U. S. social structure of society?

related concepts
Related concepts:

Prejudice = a negative attitude based on faulty generalizations about members of selected social categories, e.g., race, ethnicity, age, ability.

Stereotypes = Overgeneralizations about appearance, behavior, or other traits of members of social categories.

related concepts1
Related concepts…

Discrimination = The practice of treating people unequally.

See Figure 9.1 on page 285. Examples of each category?

2 categories of discrimination

  • Individual: one-on-one unequal treatment.
  • Institutional: When unequal treatment of people is embedded into social organizations and institutions

(e.g., residentially by real estate industry, auto industry, dating, workplace, military).

related concepts2
Related concepts…
  • Racism = Prejudice and discrimination based on race.
  • Segregation = the spatial and social separation of social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, ability-level, social class, gender, religion).
  • Assimilation = the process by which members of minority races and ethnicities become absorbed into the dominant culture.
4 levels of assimilation
4 Levels of Assimilation

a.) Cultural assimilation (a.k.a., acculturation) = when members of a racial or ethnic minority adopt aspects of dominant culture,e.g., language, dress, values, religion, and food.

b.) Structural assimilation (a.k.a. integration) = when members of a racial or ethnic minority gain acceptance into everyday social interaction with members of the majority race or ethnicity (e.g., in the workplace, in friendship, social clubs).

4 levels of assimilation1
4 Levels of Assimilation…

c). Biological assimilation (a.k.a. amalgamation) = when members of one race or ethnicity marry members of another race or ethnicity.

* Note: Biological assimilation (or amalgamation) is more complete in countries such as Mexico and Brazil than in the U. S.)

d.) Psychological Assimilation = An individual person’s change in racial or ethnic self-identification.

 Focus > Native-Americans. Have been here the longest. At which level are Native Americans?

review all racial minority categories in ch 9 of text
Review ALL racial minority categories in Ch. 9 of Text
  • Asian-Americans 
  • African-Americans
  • Hispanic-Americans
  • Native-Americans
  • Middle-Eastern Americans


  • History? Life Chances Today??
  • How does ethnicity affect both factors (history and life chances) for some races?
southern poverty law center
Southern Poverty Law Center
  • View http:///