The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

Topics: United States, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology Pages: 1 (303 words) Published: October 30, 2010
The most common definition of this term is a social ranking by social wealth. An example would be a family whose income level categorizes them below the poverty line, versus a family whose income level categorizes them far above the poverty line. This is when an oppressor uses race to determine who is and is not privileged. These determinations are made by assigning characteristics to races and dividing them into groups. At minimum, characteristics include physical or cultural traits. This is a broad generalization about groups which does not account for individual differences. An example would be if a person were to generalize that all people from New York City are pushy. Among many others, Chinese Americans, African American, Native Americans and Caucasians are examples of this group. Members of such a group can be identified by obvious physical differences. This occurs when a dominant group forces a minority group to live, work, or socialize separately. The high index of Blacks and Whites living separately in Detroit, Michigan is an example. Another way of describing a minority group, this type of group comprises people of certain race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability. Members of such a group exhibit five distinct characteristics. This occurs when a person, or the group to which that person belongs, assumes the characteristics of a dominant group. An example would be a Native American choosing to abandon his or her cultural norms in favor of United States norms. This group is associated with a faith other than that of the dominant group. For example, individuals who practice Buddhism in the United States belong to this type of group. This perspective maintains that groups in society may express their cultures without facing prejudice or hostility. In part, it can be seen in some of the larger United States cities.
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