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Chapter 10: Race and Ethnicity

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on 5 November 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 10: Race and Ethnicity

Chapter 10: Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity
How are race and ethnicity important dimensions of social interaction, inequality, and social structure?

beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Can be conscious or unconscious.

refers to inherent bias in society's operation of institutions (government, business, schools). More subtle today than in the past.
Race is a social construction.
- We often think of race as biological, but it's socially constructed.

- Humans vary in many physical ways but race comes into being when members the dominant members of a society decide that a physical trait actually matters.

- Why don't we differentiate based on hair or eye color, then?

a socially constructed category of
people who share biologically transmitted traits that dominant members of a society consider important
shared cultural heritage, often from common ancestry

Racial and ethnic classifications change over time.
- Race and ethnic groups are social creations, reflecting cultural norms, social inequality and political power

- The categories change over time
(Italians and Irish considered "non-white")
Racial Ideology in History
- Racial classification systems developed as white Europeans explored and colonized the globe and found physical differences between people.

- These systems were used to justify colonization, conversion, and even slavery and genocide

- White-ish skin was the standard, and brown/tan skin was associated with intellectual inferiority and slowed development

idea that supposedly natural and immutable differences separated the races

Who is the majority and/or minority?
How should we conceive of racial diversity?
the "new racism" the promotion of race neutrality to actually maintain the status quo (i.e. "I don't see race")

Alternatives to color blindness:
- Recognizing difference.
- Valuing diversity
Does this ever happen?
a rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people.
- prejudices are prejudgments and can be positive or negative.
- Prejudice often takes the form of stereotypes.

which are a simplified description applied to every person in some category.

unequal treatment that gives advantages to one group of people over another without justifiable cause

How does prejudice relate to discrimination?

What element must be present to discriminate?

beliefs that one race is superior to another. Often results in discrimination.

Prejudice and Stereotypes
Results of Prejudice
Majority and Minority are NOT based on numbers!
people who enjoy privileges and have more access to power because of identifiable physical or cultural characteristics

people who suffer disadvantages and have less power because of identifiable physical or cultural characteristics

- The opposite of minority is DOMINANT!


Blacks and Hispanics are three times more likely to be poor than non-Hispanic whites. Could it be due to employment?
Infant Mortality
Non-Hispanic Blacks are twice as likely to die than non-Hispanic whites from infant mortality (CDC)
Education and Income
Racial Privilege
Studying whiteness means studying institutional racism, especially practices that create “white privilege.”

Since white privilege is systemic and not personal, this approach can combat the tendency to get stuck in the “white blame” syndrome (we are all born into a system that privileges / disadvantages / depending upon context).

Race today
In 2010 Census, 9 million people (2.9%) self identified as multi-racial

Does race (still) matter?



Privilege Continued
Race is a social construction, but the effects of race are real.
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