Social Significance of Race and Ethnicity
- Race: people who share physical characteristics, such as skin color and facial features that are passed on through reproduction - social construction: a societal invention that labels people based on physical appearance. - Skin color, hair texture, and eye shape are examples of unequal treatment - Ethnic Group: a group of people who identify with a common national origin or cultural heritage that includes language, geographic roots, food, customs, traditions, and/or religion. - Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Serbs, Arabs, Swedes, Hungarians, Jews - Racial-Ethnic Group: people who have distinctive physical and cultural characteristics. Immigrants
- Illegal immigrants do the jobs that most Americans don’t want like clean homes and offices, nannies and busboys, nurses’ aides, and pick fruit for low wage Dominant and Minority Groups:
- Dominant Group: any physically or culturally distinctive group that has most economic and political power, the greatest privileges, and the highest social status. - Men are dominant group because they have more status, resources, and power than women. - Apartheid: a formal system of racial segregation
- Minority: a group of people who may be subject to differential and unequal treatment because of their physical, cultural, and other characteristics such as sex, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or skin color. - American minorities have fewer choices than dominant group members in finding homes and apartments because they are less likely to get help from a bank to help with mortgage. - Patterns of Dominant-Minority Group Relations:
- Genocide: the systematic effort to kill all members of a particular ethnic, religious, political, racial, or national group. - Holocaust in Germany
- Segregation: the physical and social separation of dominant and minority groups.
- De Facto: informal; may be voluntary as when members of racial or ethnic groups prefer to live among their own group. Due to discrimination
-De Jure: Legal; replaced by de facto
- Assimilation: the process of conforming to the culture of the dominant group, adopting its language and values, and intermarrying with that group.
- Mexicans are less likely to assimilate in the US than immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam or South Korea because they are more likely to have entered the country illegally which cuts them from getting a good job, most public assistance programs, and eventual citizenship - Pluralism: minority groups retain their culture but have equal social standing in a society.
- The US is pluralistic because it is multicultural, multicolored, and multilingual. Also, the US has most racial and ethnic communities (“Little Italy”, “Greek Town”, “Little Korea”, “Spanish Harlem”) live peacefully side by side Some Sources of Racial-Ethnic Friction
- Racism: a set of beliefs that one’s own racial group is naturally superior to other groups. - Prejudice: an attitude, positive or negative, toward people because of their membership.
- Different from us in race, ethnicity, or religion. Asians are really hard workers; White people can’t be trusted - Stereotype: an oversimplified exaggerated generalization about a category of people.
- Can be positive; All African Americans are athletic
- Can be negative; All African Americans are lazy
- Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own culture, society, or group is inherently superior to others.
- Reject those outside of our group
- Scapegoats: individuals or groups whom people blame for their own problems or shortcomings.
- They didn’t hire me because the company wants blacks; I didn’t get into that college because Asian Americans are at the top of the list
Minorities are scapegoating targets because they differ in physical appearance and too powerless to strike back. - Stereotypes, ethnocentrism, and scapegoating are attitudes, but lead to discrimination. - Discrimination: any act that treats people...
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