Race and Ethnicity: Race as Social Construct; History of Race; Race as Group Position; Racial Prejudice and Discrimination
Race and Ethnicity: Race as Social Construct; History of Race; Race as Group Position; Racial Prejudice and Discrimination Soci 343
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Date Created: 07/10/15
1 Two Questions About Race Alan Goodman 2006 a Is race useful categorization to describe human biological variation b Is race useful to track sociopolitical injustice c Race is no longer right way to describe biological vatiation race is not only social construct but lived experience 1 Race reified as human diversity this is false i Human variation cannot be explained statistically by race 854 variation at local level not between races but within them 6 Race not a good term for describing human variationdiversity i Race definitionsboundaries change over time amp place inherently unstable amp unreliable ii Race is erroneously used in medicine to categorize genetics amp lived experiences the two are often blurred together or not separated at all iii Location location location 1 Best single explanation for genetic variation 2 Human diversity is end result of evolution history f In short race not biologically real but very real in its effects race is a lived experience 11 American Sociological Association Statement on Race 2003 a Answering question if collecting and analyzing statistics about raceethnic groups should be allowed address that some people believe by collecting this data promotes the idea that race is biological amp promotes social division b ASA states that by stopping the collectionanalysis of racial data andor ignore racial classification would preserve the status quo and prevent recognitionunderstanding of inequities c Socialeconomic life is organized around race as a social construct i When concept is central to society examining howwhenwhy people in the society use said concept is important in understanding organization amp consequences of social relationships ii Racial boundaries amp relationships of sociological interest bc of their form changes amp consequences 1 Social Concept of Race i Individuals amp social institutions evaluate rank amp ascribe behaviors to individuals based on their presumed race ii Concept of race changes w historical political amp economic forces iii Changes in racial categories in US are polarized between black and white other groups are racialized and ranked somewhere between these categories iv Just because you stop collecting data on race does not mean it goes away ex France data re race seldom officially collected and yet systematic racial discrimination remains 6 Consequences of Race amp Race Relations in Social Institutions III 1 Works as sorting mechanism for mating marriage amp adoption ii Works as stratifying practice for providingdenying access to resources iii Works as organizing device maintain or challenge systems of racial stratification iv Works as foundation for scienti c investigation of proximate causes 1 Data on race is key to discovering fundamental causes of racially different outcomes different levels of prostate cancer in different races hypertension higher in blacks etc proximate causes appear to be biological environmental and socioeconomic factors places different groups at different risklevelsexposed to different riskfactors v In social institutions 1 Job market race related to chances of hirefirepromotion 2 Neighborhood segregation hypersegregation distribution to resources 3 Health affected by interaction of socialeconomic factors uneven treatment public health policy health amp coping behaviors all of these factors have direct correlation w race Selections from The Race Mythz Joseph Graves 2004 a Myths about Race i Races exist ii Each race has genetically determined characteristics iii Social hierarchy results from these differences b It is not possible to distinguish people who are ethnically Af Am Chinese Hispanic or white at the genome level race cannot be identified by DNA c Races are subspecies ie intermediary steps between new species and these do not exist in the human species i To be a race 1 Subspeciesrace must have its own genetic lineage that is it evolved in isolation without mating outside of a prescribed area 2 Genetic distance between one population and another must be significantly greater than genetic variability that exists within the population its self d Greater genetic variability between two members of the same race in the same community that two people of different races in different countries e Race is meaningless as a distinctive qualifier There is less than 1 genetic variation between different races if that classifies each group as a distinctive race then you would end up with over 1000 different human races then since families are more genetically similar than neighbors they would be a race if a cultural group keeps itself separate then they would be a race too ie Amish f No evidence that any group of humans has evolutionary or genetic line that is distinct from other groups g Physical traits and physical diversity i Vary by geographical populations but not unique to any particular group ex Sri Lankans amp native Australians have similarsame features but far apart ii Develop in response to climate or other environmental factors 1 No matter how far apart tropical populations will have traits that match tropical conditions IV Racial Formations Omi and Winant 1994 a Racial Formation the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created inhabited transformed amp destroyed b What is race i Race consciousness is modern phenomenon way to distinguish Europeans children of god from others supported slavery why some had land rights amp others did not ii Race was thought of as biological construct or that race lies in innate characteristics of which skin color only the most obvious super cial indicator iii Race is Social Concept 1 Early refutation of race as scientific 1 related to culture 2 Assumption of higherlower culture groups 3 Is variable shaped by societal forces 2 Sociohistorical concept a In US blackwhite color line white pure anything else is nonwhite b Hypodescent affiliation with the subordinate rather that the superordinate group ie you are the race of the parent with the lower social classed race c Wide range of black shows how racial categories are shaped politically iv Racial Ideology amp Racial Identity 1 You notice someone s race immediately someone who is racially mixed or of ethnicracial group of which you are unfamiliar can cause discomfort or crisis of racial meaning 2 Compass to navigate is based on preconceived notions of what each specific race group looks like 3 Racial etiquette set of interpretative codes and racial meaning which operate in the interactions of daily life this is ideological everyone learns some conmbination of the rules of racial classification amp their own racial identity often wo obvious teaching a Race becomes common sense c Racialization The Historical Development of Race i Black evolved w consolidation of racial slavery speci c identity may have been Ibo Yoruba Eulani but all rendered black by ideology of exploitation based on racial logic the establishment amp maintenance of a color line ii Racialization signify the extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationship social practice or group 1 Ideological process Historically specific 2 During 1800s white subject to challenges by in ux of Southern Europeans Irish Jews a Immigrants from Europe not racialized and allowed to assimilate this consolicated the American social order b Political organization of the working class is a racial project segregated unions dual labor markets etc all shaped the definition of interests and led to consolidation of institutional patterns 3 Recent change in racial identity Automation of southern agriculture amp mass migration of blacks to urban centers created impoverished labor force majority of blacks came to be seen as underclass or state dependents d Racial Formation can only be de ned and understood by knowing race supersedes skin color superexploitation social strati cation discrimination prejudice culture domination state policy race is present in some degree in every identity institution amp social practice in US e Race is an unstable and decentered complete of social meanings constantly being transformed by political struggle f Class notes 1 ii iii iv Racial formation is all politics Polygenesis as reaction to different races couldn t consolidate that different races came from same origin adam and eve as start of all people would have been monogenesis Those ranking of human races biologically were top of their fields Boaz Weber amp EB Dubois stated that race was social formation Race as integral part of capitalism l Marxist theory all value based on labor class primarily is driver of history Dubois built on this class is racial distinction amp race is driver of history V Selections from Who is Black One Nation s De nition James Davis 1991 a To understand race must grasp both change amp continuation 1 ii iii iv If there are racial categories then there will be hierarchy it is a hierarchical system Continuity Suppression amp repression boundary maintenance through taboos rituals racial etiquette Change Features that matter self gov identification It is an arbitrary system amp therefore anything can change Onedrop rule 1 Heavily applied to blacks 2 is unique to United States 3 paradoxical that many people with more European ancestry than African are defined as black 4 public usage of black re ects onedrop rule b The change of what it means to be black and the development of the onedrop rule i ii Early colonial experience slaves amp free blacks mixed race mulattoes usually from white indentured servants and free blacks 1 Previous European rule child had social class of father so for about 50 years social class of mulattoes uncertain 2 By early 1700s one drop rule had become social definition of who is black in upper south pressure grew to make legal definition same as social definition mainly to prevent intermarriage South Carolina amp Louisiana 1 Free mulattoes a third class somewhere between blacks amp whites 2 Idea was that they would be buffer class help control large number of black slaves 3 After 1717 blacks outnumbered whites strict punishments for interracial pregnancies made 4 For short while could be declared white in S Carolina because his acceptance by whites is more relevant than the proportions of white amp black blood 5 Keeping of mulatto concubines became luxury of many wealthy white men in Southern cities like Charleston amp New Orleans 6 Lower Louisiana accepted the inbtwn status of mulattoes amp rejected onedrop rule c Miscegenation on black belt plantations i White boys socialized to associate physical and emotional pleasure w black women who rasied them but deny any deep feelings for them ii Use of sexual relationship by black women to gain favor or special jobs iii Mulatto slaves on plantations permitted to mate among other mulattoes or among other unmixed Africans diffused white genes into slave populations iv 1850s south under heavy pressure to defend slavery slave system white hostility towards free mulattoes grew during this time 1 Fear of insurrection and abolition of slavery turned whites against mulattoes even in S Carolina amp Louisiana where onedrop rule had previously been ignore 2 1860s freeing of mulatto slaves increasingly unpopular vigilante activity spawned KKK v One drop rule received more solid support throughout the south for simple reason that it helped defend slavery d Reconstruction amp the onedrop rule i Civil War ended 1865 Reconstruction began w 13th amendment freed slaves white amp all blacks including mulattoes all lumped more and more together compete for jobs land political power ii Alliance of mulattoes and unmixed blacks iii Mulatto elite leaders began to speak for all blacks amp black culture e Status of Free Mulattoes North amp South i Although 1St free blacks had full rights amp citizenship S states began to impose legal restirctions 1 Denied education right to vote freedom of movement denied certain jobs 2 Most freedpersons remained poorinsecure ii Status of free blacks in N little better f Summary of OneDrop Rule i Miscegenation related to white domination amp way of defining who is black 1 1St large scale mixing took place is Chesapeake area between white indentured servants amp free blacks a Mixed children generally treated as blacks but some were white by virtue 2 Miscegenation in lower South in smaller scale white males amp black females Mulattoes uncertain inbetween status 4 Late plantation era masterslave etiquette white maleblack female okay but never okay for white femaleblack male this child would threated slave system but a mulatto child born into a E slave house was an economic asset not a threat 5 Special treatment often granted to mixed child mulattoes remained free and mied w African blacks thus whitening lave population 6 Discrepancy between social amp legal status of mulattoes preCiv War tensions strong support of onedrop rule 7 Growing rejection of whites w mulattoes produced shift in mulatto identity began to associate w blacks 8 During reconstructions mulattoes emerged as leaders of black in south 9 Mulattoes having no real choice became increasingly accepting of onedrop rule where previously would have fought it because of the social legal standing of being a middle class VI Video Race The Power of an Illusion VII Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position Herbert Blumer 1958 a Race prejudice not based upon feelings but on relationships between race groups i How does one group define or change another race group b Race prejudice is a matter of relationship between groups if you re prejudiced against a group then you ve assigned yourself to one group and others to another i Collective process both how you assign yourself amp others public media spokesperson characterizes or describes another race group and thereby also defines his own group groups are defined visavis another group 9 sense of social position c 4 Feelings of Dominant Race Group i Superiority ii Subordinate race is di erent iii Claim to privilege amp advantage iv Fear amp suspicion of lesser race that they will threated superior race v These feelings are all based on positional arrangement of the racial groups 1 Dominant group not concerned w a particular race alone but instead is very concerned about its own position in relation to the lesser group vi Group position transcends feelings about individual members d The sense of group position i general feeling general understanding not comprised of any speci c feelingsunderstandings ii Sense of social status iii what ought to be ie that this is where the races belong iv If you identify w a speci c group this automatically means you identify w that group s sense of position e Race prejudice is a protective device preserve the integrity amp position of dominant group f How group position became i Historical product 1 Set originally by point of initial contact then defined by experiences the two groups have in relation to each other g Process of de ning sense of group position GP i Interactioncommunication btwn members of dominant group 1 Talksermonsmedia etc If enough of these same ideas meet they growredefine eachother collective image of subordinate group amp sense of GP become set ii Subordinate racial group is defined as a general whole an abstract image 1 Ex the Jew the Japanese the blacks 2 The idea that the collective group s image transcends experience of individuals iii Maj or in uence in public discussion 1 Intellectuals social elitespublic figures iv Strong interest groups direct lines of discussion 1 Selfinterest of dominant grp huge implications for subordinate ex genocide internment camps slavery economical or capitalistic interest ideological perspectives h Contact hypothesisz put people together of different groups amp it will reduce animosity Blumer disagrees in this article Since raceracism is not based on individual perceptionsinteraction the interaction cannot will not reduce animosity VIII The Continuing Significance of Race Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places Joe Feagin 1991 a Do middleclass black Americans still face hostile treatment in public accomodations If so what form Who perpetrates What is the impact i Discrimination actionspractices carried out by members of dominant racial or ethnic groups that have differential or negative impact on members of subordinate racialethnic groups ii Focused on 3 aspects of discrimination 1 Variation in sites of discrimination 2 Range of discriminatory actions 3 Range of responses by blacks to discrimination b Spatial dimension to discrimination i Change from homefriends9 Work Place 9 Large storesRestaurants 9 City streets c Range of discriminatory actions i Continuum of actions from avoidance to exclusion rejection to attack d Black responses to discrimination i Deference ritual race relation in which subordinate group expected to deferrespond appropriately to discriminating superiors 1 Expected in terms of race relations interactions patterned in a way racial etiquette that allows hierarchy supports social stratification ii Middleclass strategies for coping w discrimination range from careful assessment to withdrawal resigned acceptance verbal confrontation or physical confrontation iii Middleclass blacks often evaluate situation very carefully before deciding it is discriminatory and taking other actions re ect hope that white behavior is not based on race e The Research Study i Interviews ii Black interviewers used iii Open ended questions designed around barriers encountered in employment education amp housing iv Middle class broadly defined white collar job or business owners f Most common black response to racial hostility is withdrawal or verbal reply i Ex poor restaurant service ignoring black news anchorwoman amp her male partner response verbal counterattack amp suggested withdrawal ii Rejection in the form of poor service and the aggressive black response followed by white backtracking 9 blackwhite interaction today is being renegotiated iii New resources available to many middleclass black Am use to bring public attention and pressure major change in behavior new blackwhite bargaining process g Cumulative aspect of public discrimination lifelong experience of incidents like over surveillance in stores this again highlights omnipresence of careful assessment of behavior if discriminatory or not h There is variation in discrimination dependent on site change in discrimination from store to work sphere to home to city streets during commute etc i Cross discriminationz black person may suffer from discrimination aimed at other people of color that whites are unable to distinguish Ascribed characteristic of blackness takes precedence over achieved middleclass characteristics k Class notes a i Civil Rights Mvmt rid blatant discrimination but discrimination still exists in a different form ii Focus on middleclass blacks to isolate the significance of race 1 Avoid the idea that it s not race it s poverty 2 Wider range in which interviewees respond iii Discrimination not only discrete individual events but a continuum of events w continuum of responses iv When blacks respond to discrimination considered paranoid or over reactive but actually careful consideration before response v Assumed discrimination and Actual discrimination have the same health effects vi Indepth interviews these were not prompted responses organically said anecdotes wo direct questioning vii Geographical differentiation of discrimination viii Use of epithets against minorities is worse than using against whites because of emotionalhistorical significance IX New Approaches to Understanding Racial Prejudice and Discrimination Lincoln Quillian 2006 a Before Civil Rights most whites supported racial discrimination and legalized segregation on principled grounds During amp post CR Era blatant discriminatory practices prohibited expressions of prejudice amp discrimination sharply declined but progress in reducing racial inequality uneven racial gaps in employment housing wealth health amp criminal justice b 3 lines of research on prejudice discrimination racism amp continuing of discrimination despite de jure change i Measurement of discrimination especially audit methods ii Theories of new prejudice amp racism postCR Era iii Research on prejudicial attitudes c Discrimination antipathy based on faulty or in exible generalizationstereotypes present in behavior i Racial discrimination 1 different treatment bc of race negative consequences 2 behavior or practice not causedbased upon race but still has negative impact on members of a specific racial group ii Almost always discrimination is from prejudice but can be cause from nonprejudicial factors d Measuring Discrimination i Difficult bc discrimination is often hidden ii Racial discrimination is the difference btween the treatment that a target group actually receives and the treatment they would receive if they were not members of the target group iii Data collected from 1 Statistical analyses of observational data a Must always then be interpreted w caveats for adequacy of control 2 Reports from perpetrators dominant group and subordinate group victims a Dominant group respondents risk legal action in admitting discrimination subordinate group respondents capture perceptions rather than reality 3 Field audit studies a Quasiexperimental methods to detect discrimination i Audit conducted using pairs of racially different testers who are matched to be similar on all characteristics except race ii Test pairs are then sent into one or more situations in which discrimination is suspected ex rent an apartment or apply for a job iii Outcomes of audit are observed racial difference in results provides a measure of discrimination iv Audit studies are best method for assessing causality ability to control potentially confounding in uences through experimental control amp randomized assignments v Audits are only method that can reliably document discrimination in a fashion that is difficult to debate b Criticisms of audit studies i Are not doubleblind auditors know purpose of audit ii May exaggerate apparent race effect bc race becomes only differentiating factor among the pair unlike situations in real labor markets e Audits used to study housing market i Revealed different types of discrimination 1 Availability renter is told of specific open units but not others 2 Inspection whether or not renter is able to inspect units 3 Cost cost which unit is offered 4 Encouragement is the renter encouraged or discouraged from buying ii Maj or finding continuing significant housing market discrimination against blacks amp Hispanics f Audits used to study blackwhite employment discrimination i Racial discrimination in labor markets is pervasive amp strongly favors white applicants ii White applicants had over 50 more positive resposnes g Audits show numerical data amp statistical trends but don t answer why also revealed huge discrepancy btwn of those who support concept of equal treatment in employment amp te actual discrepancy in hiring practices h Theoretical Interpretation of Changing Prejudice in the PostCivil Rights Era amp Measuring Prejudice through Survey Question i j ii iii After WWII steady decline in those who believe jobs should be given preference in jobs Decline in acceptability of expressing discriminatory opinions but more likely a combined amp complex support of equality coexisting w negative views amp stereotypes The increased support for BW nation of equality does not equal what is actually happening amp therefore means prejudice has not ended but changed The New Prejudice i ii iii iv Prejudice continues to be mjr social force in US in uences thoughtsactions of whites amp nonwhites New prejudice a combination of racial amp nonracial attitudes New forms 1 Symbolic racism antiblack animus learned in childhood idea that black Am Are violating American ideals of individualism amp selfreliance 2 Modern Racism combined belief that racism lies in the past and that blacks are pushing too hard for equality 3 Ideological Racism discrepancy between support of equal treatment principles and low support for active government intervention to reduce racial inequality 4 Laissezfaire Racism belief in antiblack stereotypes blaming blacks for BW inequality resistance to policies that would reduce racial inequality Change from preCR Era where racism was overt not focus on blocking policies that could reduce racial inequality prejudice results from group interests and threats to group dominance Implicit Racial Prejudice amp Priming 1 ii iii iv vi Implicit attitude is an attitude that can be activated wo conscious awareness and when so triggered in uences judgments amp actions Central idea in implicit prejudice research past associations toward racial group members exist in the mind amp in uence future judgments amp actions Individuals may not be aware of implicit biases Priming Method subjects are shown a word or image brie y before beginning a task this display constitutes a prime 1 Prime is usually subliminal speed which is shown is too brief for the word to be consciously recognized 2 Subjects then asked to render an opinion or judgment their behavior is observed 3 Racially primed subjects have been shown more often to render racially stereotypical judgmentsbehaviors than those given neutral primes Implicit racial stereotypes amp prejudices are held by everyone bc they are part of how the human mind works roughly 8085 of whites hold negative implicit stereotypes about blacks Subordinate groups sometimes hold negative views about their own group X Interpretation Eduardo BonillaSilva 1997 Rethinking Racism Towards a Structural Asserts that racism is not selfevident and is not a purely ideological phenomenon Racism any set of beliefs that organic genetically transmitted differences whether real or imagined between human groups are intrinsically associated with the presenceabsence of certain socially relevant a b abilitiescharateristics i This defines racism as set of beliefs those beliefs are regarded as having potential for individuals to develop attitudes Various definitions of racism 1 ii iii iv Orthodox Marxists race is an idea used by bourgeoisie to divide proletariat Institutionalist Perspective racism is combined prejudice amp power to allow dominant race to institutionalize its dominance at all levels Social amp systematic structured nature of white advantage Racial formation perspective race is formed by sociohistorical process 1 Undue attention to ideologicalcultural processes does not view races as social collectives Limitations of Mainstream Views Used to Analyze RaceRacism ii iii iv Race is viewed as psychological phenomenon to be viewed at individual level 1 This discounts structural or institutional racism Race is treated as static phenomenon 1 This ignores the changing definition of race and visavis racism Racism described in idealist terms as incorrect or irrational and therefore label racists the same 1 If racism is only a belief that has been labeled wrong then those people who hold those beliefs are stupid This is fallacy bc it ignore the social structuralism of racism and that contemporary racism has a rational foundation Racism is understood as overt behavior 1 False bc racism is often subtle does not have to have hostility Contemporary racism viewed as original sin that it is left over from past racial situations 1 If only viewed as relic from the past as only historical then modern racism its nuances and structure is completely discounted e Racialized Social Systems i ii iii iv vi Societies in which economic political social amp ideological levels are partially structured by placement of actors in racial categories Involves some sort of hierarchy that produces social relations between levels Although hierarchical particular character of hierarchy is variable 1 Racial practices that kept blacks subordinated changed from overt to covert 2 The more dissimilar the races life changes the more racialized the social system Allocate differential economic political social and even psychological rewards to groups along racial lines that are socially created After society is racialized et of social relations amp practices develop all societal levels Races are historically constituted according to process of racialization on this basis racial ideology develops racism 1 Not just ideas or superstructural but also maps actions of racial actors in society f The narrowing of class differences between different racial actors causes more racial con ict at least in the short term because increase of competition for resources g By creating racial classi cations meaning is assigned to these groups i ii iii iv Race groups are socially constructed therefore analogous to class and gender similar application of symbolic meaning applied Socialpoliticaleconomicideological struggle can change the racial classifications and their implied meanings 9 Race is always evolving Social relations between races become institutionalized amp affect social life whether or not individual members want it After a social formation is racialized normal dynamics always include a racial component 1 EX struggles w class amp gender are also racializedconstructed along racial lines h Racism acquires autonomy is social system i ii What is Racial Domination Matthew Desmond amp Mustafa Emirbayer 2009 XI Crystallizes dogma in which actors in social system operate Provides rules for perceivingdealing with the other
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