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Ethnic Studies Week 2 Lecture Notes

by: Nancy Notetaker

Ethnic Studies Week 2 Lecture Notes ETST 001

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Nancy Notetaker

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Lecture Notes
Intro to Ethnic Studies
Jennifer Najera
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nancy Notetaker on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ETST 001 at University of California Riverside taught by Jennifer Najera in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethnic Studies in Culture at University of California Riverside.

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Date Created: 04/20/16
Lecture (Race and Racial Formation Pre-Modern US History) : Week 2 (T) 04/05 Review: • Early forms of ethnic studies • Critiques from academia • Student mobilization to be included in the curriculum What is Ethnic Studies? • What its not: superficial representations, stereotypes, • “Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of difference- chiefly race, ethnicity, and nation, but also sexuality, gender, and other such markings- and power, as expressed by the state, civil society, and by individuals.” interdisciplinary: to go across fields of study • Ethnic Studies will NOT typically represent the dominant perspective o May provide information and arguments that are incongruent with what you have previously known o Might affirm what you have known but never formally learned Race and Racial Formation Two Understandings of Race • As phenotype (related to biological understanding of race) o understanding race based on how a person (looks) o mistaken identities • As a social construct (“illusion”) o does not take into account the impact that race has on peoples’ lives A Working Definition of Race • “Race is a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies.” (Omi and Winant, 1994: 55) Significance? o This definition encourages us to think of race as a concept with genuine implications on peoples’ lives o It is a concept that is not fixed, but rather shaped by its historical moment as well as social, economic, and political interest • “white-wash”, “coconut”: lost sense of your ethnicity/culture, “you don’t act how you look” An Important Footnote • Modern conceptions of “race” did not exist prior to colonization, prior conflicts and power differentiations organized around religion What is the relationship between race and colonization? § slavery: “are black people and indigenous people equal to whites” § § ways that people are perceived as “different” Take away: • Race is a social construct but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a real impact on people’s lives • Ideas about race have changed over time Lecture: Week 2 ® 04/07 Racial Formation: violence, subjugation, and forging a social order Racial Formation • Key to understanding the fluid nature of race and racial hierarchies • Omi & Winant define racial formation as “the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed and destroyed” (55) • the way that race is manifested in a society • a process, on going (not stagnant) the way that race is formulated in a society changes • one way that racial categories are created are through racial projects o racial project: ex) civil rights movement (pushed against the stereotype) ex) Donald Trump “México is sending rapists…” – the moment where he introduced his bid to run for president, it was HIS PLATFORM the fact that he used that speech to announce this about Mexicans WAS A BIG DEAL (macro racial project) Racial Ideology Racial Representation Racialized Social Structures Experiences of Race • “what we’re in know ideology, racial structures, etc. is changing” The manifestation of society’s racial formation can be seen in two ways: 1) Through its social structure 2) Through its cultural representation o Social Structure and Cultural Representation work together Two 19 Century Historical Case Studies: Post-Reconstruction & the California Gold Rush • CA Gold Rush o it wasn’t just Africans that were being lynched, it was also Hispanics, Chinese, and Native Americans in California/the West o sexual violence was so bad for Indian women that they no longer wanted to be considered Native Americans • Post-Reconstruction o Civil War occurred and black people were free but there was still segregation BUT between the emancipation and the segregation there was the reconstruction: § The Reconstruction the North began to help the South because the South lost the War & their economy was distraught (their economy was based on slave labor/cotton farming and no longer could be) § “40 Acres and a mule” § There was a small period of “hope” for the Black community and then came the Jim Crow Segregation § Lynching: Method of social control that emerged AFTER Reconstruction because white men did not want to kill their slaves because they worked for them § idea that black men were raping black women emerged after the Reconstruction while white men were raping black women since they were slaves as a method of sexual control o white men raping black women (slaves) o white men whipping black slaves Social Structure: the institutions in society where people interact with each other • NOT neutral places, they are inflicted by class, race, and gender ex) schools, churches, workplace • Characteristics of the “Social” Structure o Post Reconstruction (1877) § Economic Opportunity § Social and Political Reorganization § Racial Dominance: White people (men) established racial dominance by racial violence (lynching- serves to frighten the inferior community, humiliate, a public violent spectacle), racial ideology (non-white is inferior), social control (sexual violence/rape), o California Gold Rush (1849) § Economic Opportunity § Social and Political Reorganization § Racial Dominance: White people (men) established racial dominance by • Racial Violence to establish particular racial formations: o White Supremacy o Economic Subjugation § Asian American, particularly Chinese, achieve economic success in the US but not political success o Political Dominance Cultural (Racial) Representation: the manner in which racial minorities are represented in the popular imaginary • Joaquin Murrieta: high profile, California bandit (went against white society), robin hood figure, took from the white and gave to the poor • Clymer & Geary • How are black men being represented? • How are Hispanic men being represented? • images, popular imagination, stereotypes Contemporary Parallels • Societal Institutions Today: school, church, politics, business, family, social media, government • How much do social institutions impact you? • How does the cultural representation of your culture affect you? Harmful aspects of racial formation: • how/what are you learning of other people based of cultural representation


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