Intro to Sociology
Intro to Sociology SOC 100
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amely Sawayn on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 100 at University of Michigan taught by Luis Sfeir-Younis in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 50 views. For similar materials see /class/231473/soc-100-university-of-michigan in Sociology at University of Michigan.
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Date Created: 10/29/15
Race and Ethnicity Readings Chapter 8 Text 0 Race an assumption of biological distinction skin color or physical traits 0 Ethnicity depends on an assumption of cultural distinction 0 Race and ethnicity are the single most predictive factors in determining an person s eventual social position how you vote whom you will marry your future job attitudes on birth control your musical tastes and religion 0 Race as a biological distinction has no basis in any empirical fact 0 Genetic makeup blood type facial type skin color and every other physical attribute vary more within the groups we call races than between them 0 You can get district races only if a group is isolated for many generations which prevents any forms of crossbreeding 0 Race is not socially real but things that are perceived as real are real in their consequences 0 Mixed breeding in America was looked down upon and illegal until 1967 mixedbloods were looked down upon and considered morally and intellectually inferior to members of both races 0 Perhaps biracial will become a new ethnicity as more and more multiracial people are coming into existence 0 Minority group has four characteristics 0 Differential power I Significant differences in access to economical social and political resources 0 ldentifiablility I Minority group members share or are assumed to share physical or cultural traits that distinguish them from the dominant group o Ascribed Status I Membership is something you are born with is not voluntary and cannot be changed 0 Solidarity and group awareness I There must be awareness of membership The minority becomes an ingrou p and tend to dislike the dominant outgroup 0 Some groups like the Irish and Jews deliberately made themselves become White 0 The Irish visibly participated in massive antiBlack violence in the 1840s 0 Jews began to speak and participate in a llmythical whiteness o Prejudice a set of beliefs and attitudes that cause us to negatively quotprejudgequot people based upon their social location 0 Stereotypes generalizations about a group that are oversimplified and exaggerated and fail to acknowledge individual differences 0 People tend to believe stereotypes regardless of the utter lack of supporting evidence and in spite of evidence to the contrary 0 Racism prejudice that is systematically applied to members of a group o Overt racism in speech manifest in behaviors such as discrimination or a refusal to associate with members of that group o Subtle racism mental categories that we possess about the quototherquot based upon stereotypes Tokenism a single representative minority group member is present in an institution Discrimination a set of actions based upon prejudice and stereotypes Robert Merton s prejudice and discrimination categories 0 Allweather bigot prejudiced against some minority groups and also discriminate against group members 0 Fairweather bigot prejudiced against some minority groups but do not discriminate when there may be negative consequences 0 Fairweather liberals are not prejudiced but will discriminate when it is profitable for them to do so 0 Allweather liberals not prejudiced and do not discriminate Institutional Discrimination the most subtle and pervasive type of discrimination deeply embedded in such institutions as the educational system the business world health care criminal justice and the mass media Segregation physical separation between the white majority and minority groups Apartheid inferiority was institutionalized and legal Integration physical intermingling of the races which presumably would lead to cultural intermingling and racial equality Affirmative action ensured that minorities get fair treatment in employment applications Primordial theory suggests that a conflict exists between ingroups and outgroups but doesn t explain how some groups come to be classified as outgroups Frustrationaggression theory people are goal orientated and when they can t reach their goals they become angry and frustrated Scapegoat a weak convenient and socially approved target to vent aggression toward Some may even be convinced that the scapegoat is actually the cause of their frustration Conflict theory suggests that prejudice is a tool used by the elites people at the top of the social hierarchy to lldivide and conquer those at the bottom making them easier to control and manipulate Feminist theory considers how the category of race overlaps with other social categories like gender sexual orientation social class religion age and ability status Primordial theory theory of prejudice that suggests that we innately prefer people like us Matrix of domination an interlocking system of control in which each type of inequality reinforces the others so that the impact of each type of inequality reinforces the others so that the impact of one cannot be fully understood without also considering the others Discrimination cannot be ended on the sole basis of seeing and living around members of the other race Gordon Allport called prejudice a llself fulfilling prophecy we see what we expect to see and don t see what we don t expect to see Therefore what we see fulfills our expectations and the stereotypes are confirmed Mere contact is not enough but when people of different groups must work together toward a common goal most measures of prejudice decrease Ethnicity a group emerges historically and tends to set the group apart from other groups both physically and culturally Ethic groups share a common ancestry history or culture Native Americans at the time of the first European settlers were a wealth of different and unique cultures Panindianism emphasizes common elements that run through Native American cultures creating an identity that goes beyond the individual nations Hispanic Americans are not only the fastest growing minority in the United States but they also have the fast growing affluence Blacks still have a very tough time in society getting paid less having less of their population graduate high school and college having a higher murder rate and the continuity of segregation in mass media With quota limits in the before the 1960s most Asians are recent immigrants which makes the umbrella term Asian American problematic Even within a nationality there are many ethnic differences Asians are often depicted as the llmodel minority Asian Americans score the same as Whites or surpass them and have the highest college graduation rate of any ethnic group Prejudice and discrimination against Middle Easterners Arabs and Muslims have significantly increased in the last decade especially after the 911 terrorist attacks Genocide brutal ethnic conflict the planned systematic destruction of a racial political or cultural group Assimilation abandoning their cultural traditions altogether and embracing the dominant culture Only white Europeans were invited to melt down Asians native Americans and blacks weren t even given the option Pluralism maintains that a stable society need not contain just one ethnic cultural or religious group At its most stable pluralism becomes multiculturalism in which cultural groups exist not only side by side but equally Conflicts within a country are more prevalent when only two or three ethnic minority groups exist We love when race and ethnicity gives us a sense of belonging and community but we hate it when our race and ethnicity are used against us to deny us opportunities In 2050 White Europeans will constitute 50 percent of the population Latinos 24 percent African Americans 15 percent and Asian Americans 8 percent US Commission on Civil Rights the Problem Discrimination US Commission on Civil Rights is a temporary independent bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957 0 Investigates complaints of citizens being deprived of their right to vote 0 Studies and collects information concerning the constitution of discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws 0 Appraise federal laws and policies with respect to discrimination 0 Submit reports findings and recommendations to the President and the Congress Certain elements of affirmative action seem to want to make America a llcolor blind society but how can means that constantly use race sex and national origin be reconciled with ends that preclude any consciousness of race sex and national origin Some argue that affirmative measures are just like quotas used in the past and may actually result in more discrimination We need to find out the problems of discrimination by affirmative action and then use a quotproblemremedy approach to find out what the most effective way to combat discrimination Prejudice exists in many institutional processes discrimination is more complicated than individual acts of prejudiced based on irrational ideas of racial and gender superiority Discrimination has become a process that builds the discriminatory attitudes and actions of individuals into the operations of organizations and social structures Antidiscrimination efforts to eliminate prejudice by insisting on quotcolorblindness and llgender neutrality are insufficient remedies they prove ineffective against a process that transforms quotneutralityquot into discrimination Affirmative action is a term that in encompasses any measure beyond simple termination of a discriminatory practice adopted to correct or compensate for part or present discrimination or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future Blatant racial and sexual discrimination that originated in our conveniently forgotten past continues to manifest itself today in a complex interaction of attitudes and actions of individuals organizations and the network of social structures that make up or society Individual discrimination is often hidden and sometimes unintentional but in the end they build on and support prejudicial stereotypes deny their victims opportunities provided to others and perpetuate discrimination regardless of intent Organizational discrimination is practiced by individuals but often reinforced by the well established rules and policies and practices of organizations Structural discrimination is produced by social structures that impacts many groups significantly Discrimination against minorities and women must now be vied as an interlocking process involving the attitudes and actions of individuals and the organizations and social structures that guide individual behavior This process bestows privileges favors and advantages on white males and imposes disadvantages and penalties on minorities and women 0 Sometimes it is necessary to permit affirmative classifications which may affect the interests of white workers negatively in order to secure opportunities for those locked out of traditionally segregated job categories 0 Although affirmative action plans may adversely affect individual white males they do not unfairly burden white males as a class 0 Their share as a class is reduced to only what it would be without discrimination against minorities and women 0 Properly designed and administered affirmative action plans can create a climate of equality that supports all efforts to break down the structural organizational and personal barriers that perpetuate injustice o In such a climate differences between groups become simply differences not badges that connote domination or subordination superiority or inferiority Beverly Tatum quotDefining Racism 0 We are all affected by racism 0 Sources of prejudice quotA preconceived judgment or notion usually based on limited information o Stereotypes o Omissions assumptions that people of color contributed little 0 Distortions social segregation often makes us receive secondhand information about others which are inaccurate due to the fact that it has been shaped by cultural stereotypes 0 Cultural racism we live in a racist society that reinforces the idea of white superiority and assumed inferiority of people of color 0 lllnternalized oppression a member of the stereotyped group comes to believe in the truth of the stereotype to some degree 0 Even when racism is not an individual s fault everyone bears a responsibility to do something about it 0 Note whether someone is perpetuating and reinforcing negative messages 0 Seek out knowledge and positive images of groups 0 Examine your own prejudices Peggy McIntosh llWhite Privilege and Male Privilege o Whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege as males are taught not to recognize male privilege o Sees white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that can be cashed in each day but was meant to remain unnoticed 0 White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions maps passports codebooks visas clothes tools and blank checks 0 Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral normative and average and also ideal so that when we work to benefit others this is seen as work that will allow them to be more like llus o If these white privileges are true this is not such a free country one s life is not what one makes it many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own A white skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us Individual acts can palliate but cannot end these problems Pem Davidzon Buck quotConstructing Race Creating White Privilege o 3 The elite taught Whites the value of whiteness in order to divide and rule their labor force of Native Americans and Africans Part of this process was to keep blacks mulattos and native Americans from voting They were identified not of European ancestry Toward the end of the 1600s white women could be whipped or enslaved for marrying a Black Any black children of white women or white children of black women were labeled as slaves At the same time black men were denied the rights to property ownership guns and access to white women Children were made to inherit their mother s status These legal shifts created a profound effect on the distribution of wealth in the United States ever since slaveholding fathers were some of the richest men in the country At the same time a changing of specific laws molded European behaviors into patters that made slave revolt and crossrace unity more and more difficult These laws limited the European right to teach slaves to read and the use of slaves in skilled jobs Fear kept many whites from challenging or even questioning the system Privilege encouraged whites to identify with the big slaveholding planters as members of the same llrace They were led to act on the believe that all whites had an equal interest in the maintenance of whiteness and white privilege and that it was the elite those controlling the economic political and judicial systems who were ultimately protect the benefits of being white As more and more whites became poor white intellectuals provided fodder for newspaper discussions speeches scientific analysis novels sermons songs and blackface minstrel shows in which white superiority was phased as if whiteness in and of itself was naturally a benefit despite its lack of material advantage This allowed struggling Whites to look down their noses at free Blacks and at recent immigrants This version of whiteness was supposed to make up for their difficult situation providing them with a sort of llpsychological wage instead of money Native working class white men gained the leverage to force employers to pay them enough to afford a nonearning wife If a native white woman worked for wages particularly in a factory the family lost status Michael amp Winant Howard quotRacial Formations In the United States race has been a matter of political contention Scientifically speaking most have abandoned the search for a scientific way to determine racial categories The social sciences see race as a social concept instead of biological quotpassingquot means when a partially black person tries to pass for white Racial formation the process by which social economic and political forces determine the content and importance of racial categories and by which they are in turn shaped by racial meanings One of the first things we notice about people when we meet them is race It provides clues about who a person is and when we are not sure of what race someone is the encounter
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