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Race and Ethnicity

by: Carina Sauter

Race and Ethnicity ANTH 1102

Carina Sauter
GPA 3.79

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About this Document

These notes discuss the lecture in which she notes the differences between race and ethnicity and how they are more often than not socially constructed.
Introduction to Anthropology
Dr. Birch
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Tuesday April 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1102 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Birch in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 04/05/16
Race and Ethnicity • Biology and culture • Adaptation and variation • Socially constructed categories • Ethnicity in Anthropology o Ethnicity § Based on perceived cultural similarities and differences in a society or nation § Markers include name, belief, sense of solidarity, geographic territory, religion, language § Groups of people whoa re considered to share common national, territorial, religious, linguistic, or cultural backgrounds § Constructed by people as they identify more with one group and less with another § Define their ethnicity in different ways: • Historical • Cultural • Dress • Symbols, etc. • Fredrik Barth o Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (1969) o Ethnicity can only be said to exist when people claim a certain ethnic identity for themselves and are defined by others as having that identity o Ethnic groups are defined by on-going negotiations of cultural boundaries between groups of people o Discrete categories are maintained despite changing participation and membership of individuals o Dual process of inclusion and exclusion o More than a sum of parts o You can move through ethnicities as an individual, yet you keep all of them § Ex. You are born Muslim in Pakistan and move to Italy as a child • Race in Anthropology o It has been the case that when an ethnic group is assumed to have a biological basis it is called a race o Race: like ethnicity, is a cultural category rather than a biological reality o Perceived on phenotypic categories o Racial differences § “white, black, Native American, Asian” § some are based on color, other on geographical § Asian is a continent, not a color o Traditionally § Race is determined by stable genetic skin color o Today § We know that color changes § More complicated than light and dark • Race is… o 1) a social construct that is 2) poorly descriptive of the phenomenon it seeks to describe and 3) has a long history of devastating consequences for individuals o Discrimination on the basis of race is racism • Race, ethnicity, and the Wage Gap • Race and the lifetime likelihood of imprisonment • Race, ethnicity and health o Infant mortality rate § Hormone systems warn down more in African American women • African American: 10.2 infant deaths per thousand • White: 3.8 infant deaths per thousand § Stresses of everyday racism § Need to care for these women from their own birth o Native Americans and diabetes § Come to the conclusion that they will get it eventually § Self-esteem lowered § Behavioral and mental health o NOT biological • Race and the US Census o Many unable to identify themselves o Ex. If you’re of Indian descent, you are considered “white” • Ethnic Groups and Nationalities o Nationalities are ethnic groups that once had, or wish to have or regain, autonomous political status o “imagined communities” o Basque people § Possible oldest language in Europe 30,000 BP § Active separatist movement to make autonomous Basque state o Kurdish People § Kurdish nationality, but no state of their own § Victims of ethnic violence by states they inhabit • Ethnic Diversity o Multiculturalism: the celebration of cultural diversity in a country § Encourages the practice of ethnic traditions § Cities/nations with multiple cultures § Cultural diversity, demographic makeup (schools, communication, business) § Ideologies/policies that promote diversity § Ex. NYC • China town, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Greek Town • Many neighborhoods • Immigrant cities o Assimilationist model: minorities are expected to abandon their cultural traditions and values and be absorbed into the dominant culture • Prejudice and Discrimination o Prejudice refers to devaluing or looking down upon a group of people because of assumed behavior, values, or capabilities § Judging on negative stereotypes § Leads to… o Discrimination consists of policies and practices that actively harm a group and its members § Written into law § Ex. segregation and Jim Crow laws • Ethnic Conflict o Religious, political, economic, racial, etc. o Resource distribution o Reactions to discrimination o Genocide (at its worst) is the deliberate elimination of an ethnic group o Ethnocide the deliberate destruction of the culture of an ethnic group § Ex. Native Americans – 1950’s • Take the child away, change them entirely, allow them to return to families – who they don’t know – when they are adults


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