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The Sociology of Race
Transcript of The Sociology of Race
Go to the board
Write the first thing that pops into your mind for the terms listed What is race? A category of people who share physical characteristics and who are perceived by others as being a distinct group Sociology is concerned with how people react to these differences and how these reactions effect individuals in society Race Caucasoid Characteried by fair skin and straight or wavy hair Mongoloids Identified by yellowish or brownish skin and by distinctive epicanthic folds on the eyelids Negroids Distinguished by dark skin and coarse hair 6 min 5 min Ethnicity A set of cultural characteristics that distinguishes one group from another Ethnic Group Generally based on national origin, religion, language, customs, and values Common Cultural Background Common Sense of Identity Cultural beliefs must be passed on generationally in order to survive Asian & Hispanic
German & Irish Minority Group A category of people who share physical or cultural characteristics that result in the group being denied equal treatment or being subordinated Group possesses characteristics that are different from the dominant group
Membership is an ascribed status
Members practice endogamy (marriage within the group)
Members share a strong bond & sense of loyality Is Race Real? Race Is A Modern Idea Ancient societies did not divide people according to physical differences, but according to religion, status, class, even language Slavery Predates Race Throughout history, societies have enslaved others often as a result of conquest or war Race & Freedom Were Born Together When the U.S. was founded, equality was a radical new idea. But our early economy was based largely on slavery. The concept of race helped explain why some people could be denied the rights and freedoms that others took for granted. Race Justified Social Inequalities As Natural As the race concept evolved, it justified extermination of Native Americans, exclusion of Asian immigrants, and taking of Mexican lands. Racial practices were institutionalized within government, laws, and society. Human Subspecies Don't Exist Unlike many animals, modern humans have not been around long enough, nor have populations been isolated enough, to evolve into separate subspecies or races. Despite surface differences, we are among the most similar of all species. Most variation is within, no between Races Of the small amount of total human genetic variation, 85% exists within ay local population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans, or Cherokees. Two random Koreans are likely to be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian. PATTERNS OF INTERGROUP RELATIONS Discrimination Legal Discrimination Institutionalized Discrimination Women & the 19th Amendment Brown vs. Board of Education More resistant to change Access to resources and reward of society push minority groups into less powerful positions No necessary to discriminate openly or consciously in order to maintain inequality Denial of equal treatment of individuals based on their group membership Discrimination that is held up by the law "Jim Crow" laws Discrimination that is an outgrowth of the structure of society Prejudice Stereotype vs. Greek for "stereos" = solid or firm
An oversimplified, exaggerated, or unfavorable generalization about a category of people
EX: Jane is a woman therefore she probably is .... Attitude
An unsupported, rigid, and unfair generalization about an entire category of people
Positive or negative "If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences" W.I. Thomas Begins as an expression of ethnocentrism or an attempt to justify economic exploitation Minority is disadvantaged thus occupying a low position in the system of social stratification Disadvantage is interpreted not as discrimination but as evidence that the minority is innately inferior thus renewing the cycle Self-fulfilling Prophecy A prediction that results in the behavior that makes the prediction come true Robert K. Merton Racism The belief that one's own race or ethnic group is naturally superior to other races or ethnic groups Active Bigot Timid Bigot Fair-Weather Liberal All-Weather Liberal Prejudiced & openly discriminatory Prejudiced but is afraid to discriminate because of societal pressures Not prejudiced but discriminates due to societal pressures Not prejudiced & does not discriminate Sources of
Discrimination & Prejudice Scapegoat The practice of placing blame for one's troubles on an innocent individual or group Assimilation The blending of culturally distinct groups into single group with a common culture and identity Cultural Pluralism Allowing each group within society to keep its unique cultural identity Maintaining control over a group through force Subjugation De Jure Segregation Based on the actual laws of the land Based on the informal norms De Facto Segregation Genocide The intentional destruction of an entire population Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race?
Which racial group do you think deals with the most negative racial stereotypes?
Are you close friends with anyone who is of a different race?
Have you ever told a racist joke?
Have you ever witnessed a negative racial situation? WAGON WHEEL Do you feel you have biases towards any race?
If you had to be a different race, which would it be and why?
Is your neighborhood fairly segregated and why do you think that is?
Do you notice that your parents or grandparents hold prejudiced racial views?
Do you know anyone who has faced racial discrimination or hatred? HOW DID THE IDEA OF RACE BEGIN IN AMERICA? 9 Min http://www.understandingrace.org/history/index.html Race Webquest Taboo Review Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
De Jure Cultural Pluralism
Minority Group CNN: Kids & Race 7 min A Class Divided http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/crusade.html General Reactions What did you learn?
What scene(s) do you think you'll still remember a month from now & why?
Did any part of the film surprise you? Do you think someone of a different race, ethnicity, or religion would also find it surprising? Following Up How was the exercise that Elliot designed a response to the children's question, "Why would anyone want to murder Martin Luther King?" Did the film provide an answer to the question? Can you answer the question?
How do the following groups experience race?
bi or multi racial
People "of color" who are not black Impact of Discrimination What did the children's body language indicate about the impact of discrimination?
How did the negative and positive labels placed on a group become self-fulfilling prophecies? In the prison seminar, one of the white women asserts that all people face some kind of discrimination. Another women challenges her, claiming that whites can't really know what it's like to face discriination every minute of every day. What do you think?
Both Elliott and her former students talk about whether or not this exercise should be done with all children. What do you think? Looking at the Structure that Nurture Bias What features did Elliot ascribe to the superior and inferior groups and how did those characteristics reflect stereotypes about blacks and whites?
How did Elliot's discrimination create no-win situations for those placed in the inferior group? How did she selectively interpret behavior to confirm the stereotypes she had assigned?
It's easy to understand why third graders might not refuse to obey their teacher, but when the exercise is done with the prison guards, why don't any of the adults object? Looking For Answers At recess, two of the boys from different groups get in a fight. Elliot asks the one who was teased if responding with violence made him feel better or made the teasing stop. What does te answer suggest about the use of violence as a political strategy? At the time, who was using violence for political purposes and why?
How id the blue/brown eyes exercise related to the Sioux prayer, "Help me not judge a person until I have walked in his shoes"? Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack yes = +1 point
no = -1 point