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Understanding Race and Ethnicity

Because of permissions issues, some material (e.g., photographs) has been removed from this chapter, though reference to it may occur in the text. The omitted content was intentionally deleted and is not needed to meet the University's requirements for this course.


What Is a Subordinate Group? Types of Subordinate Groups

Problem of the Color Line
by W. E. B. Du Bois

Race Sociology and the Study of Race and Ethnicity The Creation of Subordinate-Group Status The Consequences of Subordinate-Group Status Who am I? ■RESEARCH FOCUS

Measuring Multiculturalism

Resistance and Change Conclusion
Key Terms/Review Questions/Critical Thinking/Internet Connections—Research Navigator™ ISBN: 0-536-12071-4

Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Edition, by Richard T. Schaefer. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


and privilege to the majority, or dominant, group. A minority is defined not by being outnumbered but by five characteristics: unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination and in-group marriage. Subordinate groups are classified in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. The social importance of race is derived from a process of racial formation; its biological significance is uncertain. The theoretical perspectives of functionalism, conflict theory, and labeling offer insights into the sociology of intergroup relations. Immigration, annexation, and colonialism are processes that may create subordinate groups. Other processes such as expulsion may remove the presence of a subordinate group. Significant for racial and ethnic oppression in the United States today is the distinction between assimilation and pluralism. Assimilation demands subordinate-group conformity to the dominant group, and pluralism implies mutual respect between diverse groups.



ISBN: 0-536-12071-4

Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Edition, by Richard T. Schaefer. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

CD-ROM Activity 1.0

n the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, Alexandr Manin, a citizen of Kazakhstan, joined the military in October 2001. He was not joining some far-flung military effort of his country of birth: The 25-yearold from Brooklyn was joining the U.S. Marine Corps. A legal permanent resident, Alexandr can join the U.S. military even though he is not a citizen. His decision is not that unusual. Thousands of immigrants join each year; indeed, recently in cities such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles immigrant enlistees have been joining in higher proportions than their peers in the general population. Some do it for the training or employment possibilities, but others are motivated by allegiance to their new country. As Alexandr said, “It doesn’t matter that America is not my country; New York is my city, and what happened shook my life. I feel patriotic, and I have this itch now to go sooner” (Chen and Sengupta 2001:A1). So the United States, with its diverse racial and ethnic heritage and new immigrants, is a country that respects its multiculturalism. Or does it? In July 2004, Jefferson County in Texas tried to bring to a close a century of debate. Over the objections of many residents, the County Board decided to rename a stretch of road known as “Jap Road.” Named for the Japanese rice farmers who had settled there in the 19TH century, the name had stuck despite generations of objections by Asian Americans and others. Finally change came (T. Marshall 2004). Lewiston, Maine, is also adjusting. In this old New England town, hundreds of Somalis have arrived seeking work and affordable housing thousands of miles from their African hometowns, which were torn apart by civil strife and famine....
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