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Week 5 Notes

by: andrea lott

Week 5 Notes HDF 110

andrea lott
GPA 2.83

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Basic Concepts of Race & Ethnicity
Opression : Roots & Impact
Kristy Shih
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by andrea lott on Thursday October 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDF 110 at Central Michigan University taught by Kristy Shih in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Opression : Roots & Impact in Human Development at Central Michigan University.


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Date Created: 10/06/16
WEEK 5 NOTES Race & Ethnicity: Introduction  Defining Basic Concepts o Race & Ethnicity are used interchangeable in cultural o Race: Socially defined categories based upon shared physical (phenotypic) characteristics  Ex: Skin color, hair texture o Externally imposed category  Categories of people based on a hierarchical worldview that associates ancestry, descent & phenotype with cultural & moral o Two components: physical & social  Physical: every race is regarded as being somehow different in appearance from others  Social: group identity must in some way recognized by its members or by other as a distinct group ( having some characteristics in common) o Continuum, not dichotomous o Scientists believe that there is very little biological different among individual from different racial categories o Race as a “social construction”  Defined by people living in particular social & historical contexts  Policies tend to exaggerate biological differences  Created more social differences among “racial” groups than actually existed  Defining Basic Concepts o Ethnicity:  A person’s cultural heritage  Representing culture ( not biological) elements  Language, dress, music  Values, beliefs, traditions  Place of origins, religion, holidays o Ethnic Groups  Share specific social or cultural characters  Irish Americans  Physical Traits:  Not necessarily characteristics of an ethnic group  Impossible to reliably tell on appearance alone who belongs and who doesn’t belong in the group o Race & Ethnicity are fluid concepts  Government continuously adjusted racial & ethnic categories  New immigrant groups  New ways of thinking about race & ethnicity  Growth of interracial & interethnic mixings  Recent Census:  Allowed respondents to self-identify their racial and ethnic categories (1960)  Able to choose multiple racial categories (2000)  Case of Rachel Dolezal  White? Black? Mixed? Transracial? o Is Race Biological?  Race: meaningless as a purely biological concept  Race has no genetic basis…  Race is a social/ cultural construction  An idea we endow with meaning through daily interactions  Societal choices about what physical characteristics to pay attention to  How to classify people based on those characteristics  Race is also historical construction  Formulated at particular historical moments & places


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