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Sociology 101

by: Madison Pamfilis

Sociology 101 Sociology 101

Madison Pamfilis
GPA 3.148

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These notes cover the information discussed in lecture during the week of February 23rd, as well as the relevant information covered in chapter eleven of the textbook. Hope they help!
Intro to Sociology
William Tsitsos
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Pamfilis on Monday February 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 101 at Towson University taught by William Tsitsos in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 51 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Towson University.


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Date Created: 02/29/16
Textbook Notes Chapter 11: Race and Ethnicity 11.1: Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups  Social construction of race: race is not biologically identifiable, and therefore is not ‘real’  Ethnicity: a term describing shared cultural practices, beliefs, and values  Minority group: and group of people who, because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from others in the society in which they live for differential or unequal treatment, and who therefore regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination  Subordinate: has the same meaning as minority  Dominant: the group that is in the majority  Scapegoat theory: suggests that the dominant group will displace their unfocused aggression onto a minority group 11.2: Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination  Stereotypes: oversimplified ideas about a group of people that can be positive or negative, based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.  Prejudice: thoughts and feelings about those groups originating outside of actual experience  Discrimination: actions towards those groups  Racism: a type of prejudice that involves a set of beliefs about a certain racial group  Racial steering: racist practices in which real-estate agents direct prospective homeowners toward or away from certain neighborhoods depending on their race (ex: redlining)  Unprejudiced non discriminators: open-minded, tolerant, and accepting individuals  Unprejudiced discriminators: those who unthinkingly practice a certain kind of prejudice in daily life  Prejudiced non discriminators: those who hold racist beliefs but do not act on them  Prejudiced discriminators: those who actively make disparaging remarks about a certain group of people or who partake in hate crimes  White privilege: refers to the fact that dominant groups often accept their experience as the normative (and superior) experience 11.3: Theories of Race and Ethnicity  Functionalism: o Racial and ethnic inequalities must have served an important function in order to exist as long as they have o Argument: racial/ethnic inequalities serve a positive social function, but only to the dominant group (ex: slavery)  Conflict Theory: o Past and present struggles (in US history) between the white ruling class and subordinate ethnic minorities arise when the dominant class perceives a threat from the minority group (ex: Jim Crow Laws) o Intersection theory: suggests that we cannot separate the effects of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes; multiple layers of disadvantage intersect to create the way we experience race  Interactionism: o Race and ethnicity provide strong symbols as sources of identity o Herbert Blumer: proposed that racist views would not exist in the dominant group without interactions between members of the dominant group (basically saying that racism is taught)  Culture of prejudice: the theory that prejudice is embedded in our culture 11.4: Intergroup Relationships  Intergroup relationships: encompass a broad spectrum of interactions between tolerance and intolerance (ex: pluralism vs. genocide)  Genocide: deliberate annihilation of a targeted, generally subordinate, group (ex: the Holocaust was a genocide of the Jewish people; genocide of Native Americans by English colonists, genocide of the people of Darfur by the Sudanese)  Expulsion: a subordinate group being forced, by a dominant group, to leave a certain area or country  Segregation: they physical separation of two groups (particularly in residence, but also in work and social functions)  Pluralism: a great mixture of different cultures where each culture retains its own identity yet adds to the whole; the US as a “salad bowl”  Assimilation: the process by which a minority gives up its own identity by taking on the characteristics of the dominant culture  Amalgamation: the process by which a minority group and a majority group combine to form a new group; the US as a “melting pot” 11.5: Race and Ethnicity in the United States  History of: o Native Americans o African Americans o Hispanic Americans o Asian Americans o Arab Americans o White Ethnic Americans Lecture (2/23/16) Race and Ethnicity  Race: category of people treated as similar due to common  Ethnicity: category of people labeled treated as similar due to shared cultural heritage and ancestry  Racial/ethnic pluralism: “US as a giant salad bowl”: a great mixture of different cultures where each culture has its own identity and yet adds to the “flavor” of the whole  Assimilation: the process by which a minority individual or group gives up its identity by taking on the characteristics of the dominant culture; US as a “melting pot” (the opposite of pluralism)  Measuring assimilation: four benchmarks 1. Socioeconomic status 2. Spatial concentration 3. Language assimilation 4. Intermarriage  Social construction of race: two ways 1. No significant biological or genetic differences between people classified in different racial groups (If there were ‘real’ differences there would be biological or factual evidence backing it up) 2. Racial categories have changed over time, suggesting that they do not reflect real differences o Socially constructed categories (by US census) o Who is white? (white ethnic european immigrants and white English protestants (WASPs)) → historical resistance to counting Irish people as white (Catholicism)  Institutional racism: established laws, customs, practices and customs that systematically reflect and produce racial inequalities in society o Example: placement of hazardous waste in areas of low property values o Concentration of minorities to cities susceptible to industry shifts o Schools in poor communities lack financial and educational resources  How can institutional racism be overcome? o Affirmative action programs (misunderstood as quota systems) o MLK on affirmative action→ “content of character”, fix longstanding institutional racism, strong supporter of affirmative action  Does diversity affect worldview? Lecture (2/25/16) Race and Ethnicity (continued)  Institutional Racism in Law Enforcement o Department of Justice report on Ferguson highlights  The city’s practices are shaped by revenue (versus public safety needs) → If a city is overly concerned with raising money, police have more of an incentive to write tickets and therefore officers may seem to be racist)  Report cites plenty of evidence of racial discrimination  67% of African Americans in Ferguson but they make up 93% of arrests  Every time a person was arrested for ‘resisting arrest’ the person was black  In every reported dog bite incident (by police dogs) the person that was bitten was black  Income versus Wealth o Racial wealth gap or racial wealth divide o Income: the money received over time for things such as: work, retirement, welfare, etc. o Wealth: assets owned and accumulated over lifetimes/generations o Household wealth: sum of a family’s assets minus the sum of their debts (mortgage, loans, credit cards)  the average African American family holds 6% of the household wealth of the average white family)  Racial Disparities o Black people have been legally prevented from wealth building activities (owning a business or owning property) o Post Civil-War Jim Crowe limitations (South) o Redlining in the North → outlawed in 1968 (still practiced) o Coates vs. Steele debate  School Racial and Economic Segregation o In the northeast, 51.4% of black students attend schools where 90-100% of their classmates are racial minorities o In the country’s 100 largest school districts, economic segregation rose roughly 30% from 1991-2010 o US’ public schools are more segregated than they have been in decades o Individualistic explanations emphasize parental choice in where a family will live o Structural explanations emphasize the role of enrollment policies and governmental/parental resistance to changing said policies  Benefits of School Diversity o Higher test scores o More likely to enroll in college o Less likely to drop out o Achievement of low income students improves  Why are White Death Rates Rising? o Increase in drug overdose/alcohol abuse/suicides o Reference to group theory (Andrew Cherlin): to comprehend how people think and behave, it is important to understand what or who they compare themselves to o Probably comparing themselves to the previous generation which was given more opportunities than they have been given o Post WW2 era→ hourly wages of male high school graduates declined by 14% (1973-2012) due to de-industrialization  African American’s didn’t get a fair share of the postwar blue collar prosperity, so they feel more successful than the generation that came before them  Hispanics look toward the lower standards of living in their countries of origin and feel ‘lucky’ at their opportunities  William Julius Wilson o Conducted research and taught in Chicago o Argued that racial prejudice is not as important to understanding urban poverty as structural changes are, specifically de-industrialization


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