Intro to Sociology: Ch. 11.1 - 11.3
Intro to Sociology: Ch. 11.1 - 11.3 Introduction to Sociology
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Date Created: 03/28/16
Introduction to Sociology SOC 101 (Section 002C) *** Notes from the Textbook: OpenStax. 2013. Introduction to Sociology Race I Chapter 11: Race and Ethnicity (11.1 – 11.3 ONLY) 11.1: Racial, Ethic, and Minority Groups o What is race? Concerned with superficial physical characteristics Social Construction of Race: the school of thought that race is not biologically identifiable System of labeling that provides a source of identity o What is ethnicity? Ethnicity: shared culture, which may include heritage, language, religion, traditions, etc. Individuals may be identified/self-identify to ethnicities in complex ways o What are minority groups? Minority Groups: any group of people who are singled out from the others for differential and unequal treatment o Sociologist Louis Wirth (1945) o “Any group of people who, because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from the others in the society in which they live for differential and unequal treatment, is who therefore regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination.” o Minority connotes discrimination o Subordinate Group: a group of people who have less power than the dominant group o Dominant Group: a group of people who have more power in a society than any of the subordinate groups o Lack of power is the predominant characteristic of a minority/subordinate group Charles Wagley and Marvin Harris (1958) o Minority group is distinguished by five characteristics 1) Unequal treatment and less power over their lives 2) Distinguishing physical/cultural traits like skin color/language 3) Involuntary membership in the group 4) Awareness of subordination 5) High rate of in-group marriage Scapegoat Theory (Dollard’s (1939) Frustration – Aggression Theory): suggests that the dominant group will displace its unfocused aggression onto a subordinate group o Ex. Adolf Hitler o Multiple Identities Now common for the children of racially mixed parents to acknowledge and celebrate their various ethic identities o Ex. Tiger Woods – “Cablinasian” (Chinese, Thai, African American, Native American, and Dutch heritage) 11.2: Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination o Stereotypes Stereotypes: oversimplified ideas about groups of people Based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation Positive/negative Generalization that doesn’t take individual differences into account Rarely created – recycled from subordinate groups that have assimilated into society and are reused to describe newly subordinate groups o Prejudice and Racism Prejudice: biased thought based on flawed assumptions about a group of people o Beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that someone holds about a group Not based on experiences; it is a prejudgment, originating outside of actual experience Racism: a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices that are used to justify the belief that one racial category is somehow superior/inferior to others o Ex. Ku Klux Klan o Discrimination Discrimination: prejudiced action against a group of people Based on age, religion, health, etc. Cannot be erased from culture by enacting laws to abolish it Sociologist Emile Durkheim – racism = social fact o Does not require the action of individuals to continue Racial Steering: when real estate agents direct prospective homeowners toward/away from a certain neighborhoods based on their race Racist attitudes and beliefs are often more insidious and hard to pin down than specific racist practices Prejudice and discrimination overlaps o Unprejudiced nondiscriminators – openminded, tolerant, and accepting individuals o Unprejudiced discriminators – practice sexism in their workplace by not considering females for certain positions that have traditionally been held by men o Prejudiced nondiscriminators – hold racist beliefs but don’t act on them o Prejudiced discriminators – make disparaging remarks about others/who penetrate hate crimes Institutional Discrimination is when a societal system has developed with an embedded disenfranchisement of a group o Involve the promotion of a group’s status o White Privilege: the benefits people receive simply by being part of the dominant group o The fact that dominant groups often accept their experience as the normative (superior) experience 11.3: Theories of Race and Ethnicity o Theoretical Perspectives Functionalism o Racism and discrimination do contribute positively, but only to dominant group o Ex. Slavery – beneficial to slaveholders o Holding racist views can benefit those who want to deny rights and privileges to people they view as inferior to them – racism harms society Conflict Theory o Applied to inequalities of gender, social class, education, race, and ethnicity o Examine the numerous past and current struggles between the white ruling class and racial and ethnic minorities o Feminist Sociologist Patricia Hill Collings (1990) o Intersection Theory: theory that suggests we cannot separate the effects of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes o Important to acknowledge that the way we experience race is shaped Interactionism o Race and ethnicity provide strong symbols as sources of identity o Symbols of race are what lead to racism o Interactionist Herbert Blumer (1958) o Racial prejudice is formed through interactions between members of the dominant group Without these interactions, individuals in the dominant group would not hold racist views o These interactions contribute to an abstract picture of the subordinate group that allows the dominant group to support its view of the subordinate group o Culture of Prejudice Culture of Prejudice: the theory that prejudice is embedded in our culture Grow up surrounded by images of stereotypes and casual expressions of racism and prejudice Exposed to images and thoughts – impossible to know to what extent they have influenced our thought process
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