Chapter 1 Study Guide - Diversity in the US
Demographic composition – Social economic characteristics that include: race, sex, gender, education, marital status, income, occupation, religion and heritage.
Changing demographics – The rate of diversity in the U.S. is growing as we speak. Each year numbers have tripled and have started to include groups literally from all over the world. By the year 2050, non-Hispanic whites will become a numerical minority. Hispanic Americans will surpass African
Americans and will grow to more than 30% of the population in the year 2060. Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders will go from 2% - 10%. (Page 6-7).
Majority-Minority (states, cities, counties) – This occurs when the majority of the citizens that reside there don’t belong to the dominant group. Ulysses, KS is an example. They have 85% Hispanics. Texas, Cali, Hawaii and New Mexico are all majority-minority states. The population is typically composed of less than 50% non-Hispanic whites. (Page 7).
Minority group – A group that is not dominant and can be small but also can be quite large as well. They experience disadvantages and have a visible identifying trait. Also, the group is self-conscious, they tend to form intimate relations within the group and membership is usually determined at birth - ascribed. (Ex: Women). (Page 9).
Racial group – An individual or group who is distinguished by their physical traits. (Page 10).
Ethnic group – An individual or group who is distinguished by their cultural characteristics. (Ex: Irish & Jewish Americans) (Page 10).
Miscegenation laws – Set in place so that interracial marriages could not occur. Appealed and declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the late 1960’s. (Page 11).
Prejudice – Negative ATTITUDE against an individual or group. (Page 21). If you want to learn more check out What led to the emergence of products linked to patriosm?
Discrimination – ACTION. Unequal treatment of a person based on his or her group membership. (Page 21).
Ideological Racism – Describes the “thinking/feeling” dimension. Refers to the societal belief systems that label certain groups as inferior. (Form of prejudice) (Page 21).
Institutional Discrimination – Is the “doing” dimension – Form of discrimination. The pattern of unequal treatment of a group that is built into day to day work of society. (Page 21).
Social Construction of Race and Gender – Discussing race, we still as a country tend to judge others based on their skin color alone. We don’t bother
to dig deeper and connect to realize their ethnic heritage. Discussing gender, traits commonly in men are aggressive and tough. Women are seen as emotional and expressive. These are not entirely true and are not discrete categories. (Pages 18-20).
Social Stratification – How we rank members of society. Stratification is the system of unequal distribution of valued goods and services in society. From top to bottom we classify, The Capitalist Class, The Upper Middle Class, The Middle Class, The Working Class, The Working Poor, and lastly The Under Class. (Page 12). If you want to learn more check out What is the focus of anthropometry?
Theoretical perspectives on social stratification and inequality:
Karl Marx – “Father of Modern Communism.” He believed that the most important source of inequality in society was the system of economic production. The means of production – the materials, tools, resources and social relationships by which the society produces and distributes goods & services. Author of Communist Manifesto. He claimed that all societies obtain two main social classes: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. (Pages 12-13).
Max Weber – Expanded on Marx’s ideas. He thought of three stratification systems. First, wealth/income and the control of property. Second, prestige – the amount of honor, esteem or respect given by others. Third, power – the ability to affect the decision making process of a social system. The Protestant and the Spirit of Capitalism. (Page 13).
Gerhard Lenski – Agrees and follows Weber. Property, Power and Prestige. He expands on Weber’s ideas by creating the level of development in the society (the stage of evolution of an era: agricultural or industrial). He says that the nature of inequality is closely related to subsistence technology (the system by which a society satisfies basic needs). As the sources of wealth, success and power change, so do the relationships between minority and dominant groups. (Page 14). We also discuss several other topics like What makes entropy a state function?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the structure of the middles section of external membrane?
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Patricia Hill Collins – She stresses intersectionality – multiple group memberships that crisscross (ex. male/educated are higher up; bisexual/Mexican heritage are lower down). This approach analyzes how these statuses are linked together and can form a “matrix of domination.” This approach can be applied to many other dimensions of power and inequality including disability, sexual preference and religion.