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Race and Ethnicity

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Phillip S

on 27 September 2018

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Transcript of Race and Ethnicity

What is Race? What is Ethnicity?
How are they Sociologically significant?
What are the different Sociological Perspectives on Race Relations?

Race & Ethnicity
What is Ethnicity?
Do you feel like a part of a particular ethnic group?
What is Race?
"Race" gets used in many different context: skin color, religion, nationality, species
Most Social Scientists dispute biological race as a meaningful concept

Race is predominantly a socially constructed reality that is given a large amount of social significance
Ethnic group-set apart primarily on the basis of distinctive cultural patterns
Some common examples include:
Distinct dialects, clothing, food, holidays, etc.

What aspects of your life tie you to that group?
Why do you feel as though you don't belong to an ethnic group?
How are Race/Ethnicity Sociologically significant?
The concepts take on significance due to how individuals act in terms of them
Theories of Prejudice
frustration-aggression hypothesis
"-people who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal will respond with a pattern of aggression toward others (creates

Symbolic Interactionist approach-
prejudice results from social learning, it is learned from observing and imitating significant others, such as parents and peers
Historically, stratification has been tied closely to racial and ethnic categories
Types of Discrimination
Feagin has identified 4 major types

Isolate discrimination
-harmful action intentionally taken by a dominant group member against a member of a subordinate group
This occurs without the support of other members of the dominant group

Small Group discrimination
-harmful action intentionally taken by a limited number of dominant-group members against members of subordinate groups
Direct Institutionalized
-Organizationally prescribed or community prescribed action that intentionally has a differential and negative impact on members of subordinate groups

Indirect Institutionalized
-practices that have a harmful effect on subordinate group members even though the initial regulations were not established with intent to harm
Types of Discrimination
Sociological Perspectives on Race/Ethnic Relations
"Contact Hypothesis" states that there will be favorable attitudes after contact between different groups when 4 factors are present
1)the members have equal status
2)the members are pursuing the same goals
3)the members cooperate with one another to achieve their goals
4)the members receive positive feedback when they interact with one another in positive ways
Sociological Perspectives on Race/Ethnic Relations
Functionalist Perspective
Most Functionalist Social Science studies are interested in the question:

"How do members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become a part of the dominant group?"
"Ethnic Pluralism"
a process by which members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become absorbed into the dominant culture
This can take on several forms:
-Conforming to the dominant group
-Gaining "mainstream" access for unique traits

p. 232

Ethnic Pluralism
The coexistence of a variety of distinct racial and ethnic groups within one society
Switzerland is an example of this phenomenon
"Ethnic Pluralism" Can take on negative aspects
the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race, ethnicity, class, gender or religion
"de facto" vs. "de jure"
Sociological Perspectives on Race/Ethnic Relations
Conflict Perspective
these theories focus on economic stratification and access to power in ethnic relations
"Caste Perspective"-
our race relations with minorities in the low "castes" is permanent at the moment due to structural issues like school systems, implicit bias, etc.
What do you see as barriers to assimilation or equality? What would be an idea or effort that could improve this?
Racial Group-a group that is set apart because of physical differences that have taken on social significance
Goals of Minority Groups
Minority groups differ on what they want to accomplish in regard to the dominant group.
Wirth broadly categorized four objectives (p. 229)

One major area of institutional discrimination historically has been in housing

"Redlining"-denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas
Individual Discrimination vs. Institutional Discrimination
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