Race and Ethnic Relations

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Worsening Racial Inequality through Recession

Racial inequality has indeed become less common than in the past, but it is still very much present in our current everyday society. It may be true that the overt practices such as slavery, beatings, or blatant segregation are rare, but our American culture is progressing towards more covert racism, discrimination and segregation. This form is just as painful to subordinate groups, although increasingly discrete. There are many reasons to which we can attribute inequality. The article “Worsening Wealth Inequality by Race,” written by Taylor Luhby, specifically exemplifies the attribution theory and cultural and structural explanations. These explanations are very common and often times hold to be true facts. In this article four main racial groups are categorized; White, Asian, Hispanic and Black. Generally White and Asian are grouped together, while Black and Hispanic remain in a subordinate group together. Racial groups are often separated and formed based on an original belief, value, or norm in society by the dominant group. Not only is there just a different physical characteristic present, the color of one’s skin, but the subordinate groups experience a pattern of disadvantage or inequality due to ethnocentric beliefs by the dominant group. These beliefs, values, or norms lead to stratification in the United States and a very unequal culture for our citizens. Here specifically, the topics of wealth and attainment of assets such as education, housing, and employment are prominent. These are common topics when talking about race, and are often seen to be related to one another.

The first explanation that can be assigned to this situation is the attribution theory or attribution error. This explanation states that we explain inequality based on group membership in a dominant or subordinate group. If the subordinate group fails, it is automatically assumed that it is because of the lack of belonging to...
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