Strangers to these Shores: Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States Culture and Social Structure by Vincent N. Parrillo, Allyn & Bacon, 2000 Powerpoint Presentation by Ron L. Shamwell, Social Sciences Department, Community College of Philadelphia, 2000 2.1 Social Structure: (Roles/Groups/Institutions/Status) -organized patterns of behavior among the basic components of a social system-predictable social relationships among the different peoples in a society. Orientations shape expectations about how groups fit into the society. 2.2 The Concept of Culture: (Patterns) -Consist of the physical or material objects and values, attitudes, customs, beliefs, and habits shared by members of a society and transmitted to the next generation, this can either be material or non-material. -Cultural attributes provide a sense of peoplehood and common bonds, so people can relate to each other--most sociologist emphasize the impact of culture shaping behavior. 2.3 Basic Values Achievement & Success Activity & Work Moral orientation Humanitarian Mores Efficiency& Practicality Progress Material Comfort Equality Freedom External Conformity Science & Rationality Nationalism Democracy Individualism Racism & Group Superiority Themes Page 2. -Norms are a culture’s rules of conduct, which are internalized and embodied for fundamental expectations. 2.4 Reality Construct: Our perception of reality is related to our culture, this helps us interpret the sensory stimuli from our environment and tell us how to respond. Therefore, culture intervenes between the human organism and its environment to produce actions. “It is the screen through which we see.” Figure#2.2 Culture Reality Individual Culture Environment Each INDIVIDUAL observes the world through SENSE PERCEPTIONS, which are evaluated in terms of CULTURE--values, attitudes, customs, and beliefs. Page 3. 2.5 Language and Other Symbols: (System of Communication) -Culture is learned behavior, acquired chiefly through verbal communication, or language. -A word is nothing more than a symbol--something that stands for something else. TANGIBLE (CHAIR) INTANGIBLE (HONESTY) -The word represents a mental concept that is based on empirical reality. Verbal Communication Empirical Reality -Family -Class -Education -Race -Social Location -Gender -Environment -Income -Words reflect culture, however, one word may have different meanings in different cultures. Page 4. -Because words symbolically interpret the world to us, the Linguistic Relativity of language may connote both intended and unintended prejudicial meanings. For example, black is the symbol for darkness or evil, but this idea can be transferred to mean a persons of the Black race, or the word white, which symbolizes cleanliness or goodness can be transferred to mean a person of the White race. -Nonverbal communication, or body language, is highly important too. Body movements, gestures, physical proximity, facial expressions (100-136), each of which conveys a distinct meaning, and paralinguistic signals (sounds, but not words, such as a sigh, a kiss-puckering sound, or the m-m-m sound of tasting something good) all convey information to the observer-listener. -Body language is important in inter-group relations, too, whether in conversation, interaction, or perception. Body language may support or belie one’s words; it may suggest friendliness, aloofness, or deference. -Although some forms of body language are fairly universal (e.g., most facial  expressions), many cultural variations exist in body langPage 5. uage itself and in the interpretation of its meanings. THOMAS THEOREM: -Human beings respond to their definitions of stimuli rather than to the stimuli themselves. For example, when Whites define Blacks as inferior and then offer them fewer opportunities because of that alleged inferiority, Blacks are disadvantaged, which in turn supports the initial definition, this may also apply to gender or male/female employment opportunities. 2.6 Culture establishes the framework through which an individual perceives others, classifies them into groups, and assigns certain general characteristics to them, which is based on prestige, power and influence. -Vicious-Circle Phenomenon=as groups attitudes and actions to ward others groups continue, in such instances, people create a culturally determined world of reality, and their actions reinforce their beliefs. (Social interaction or social change may counteract such situations, however, leading to their redefinition). Page 6. Cultural Transmission, each generation transmits its culture to the next generation, which learns those cultural definitions at an early age. See the topic about the South Pacific story on page 34. Cultural Change, indicates discoveries, inventions, technological advances, innovations, and natural disasters alter the customs, values, attitudes, and beliefs of a society. Cultural Diffusion, these are ideas, inventions, and practices spread from one culture to another, albeit at different rates of diffusion, negative attitudes and a large distance between groups can pose formidable barriers, and sometime cultural diffusion occurs only under temporarily favorable conditions. Note: Anthropologist Ralph Linton calculated that any given culture contains about 90 percent borrowed elements. Read the “100 percent American” male on page 35 of text. Cultural Contact, culture can also undergo change through people of different cultures coming into contact with on another, sometimes Page 7. but not always this can lead to Cultural Shock, which is characterized by feelings of disorientation and anxiety and a sense of being threatened. 2.7 Subcultures: Chain Migration, settling in an area already containing family, friends, or compatriots who located there earlier. Parallel Social Institutions, their own clubs, organizations, newspapers, stores, churches, and schools duplicating those of the host society---appear, creating cohesiveness within the minority subculture, whether it is an immigrant or native-born grouping. Ethnic Subcultures, evolve in response to conditions within the host society, the immigrants sometimes develop a group consciousness, many first-generation Americans possess a village orientation toward their homeland rather than a national identity, may speak different dialects, feud with others, and have different values. Ethnogenesis, shaped partly by the core culture in selectively Page 8. absorbing some elements and modifying others, the group also retains, modifies, or drops elements from its cultural heritage as it adapts to its new country. Marginality, the subculture is undergoing change, its members may experience problems--living under stress in two cultures simultaneously. Refer here to the Dubios article on Double Consciousness. -Older Generation wants to maintain -Young Generation wants to achieve full acceptance by the dominate society. Persistent Subcultures, not all subcultures assimilate, some do not even desire to do so; and others, particularly nonwhite groups, face difficulties in assimilation. Structural Conditions, the nature of the social structure influences not only the distribution of power resources (economic, political, and social), but also the accessibility of those resources to groups who seek upward mobility. Page 9. 2.8 Structural Conditions: -The nature of social structure influences not only the distribution of power resource economic, political, and social) but also the accessibility of those resources to groups who seek upward mobility. -Factors:Economy, Degree of Change, and Industrialization 2.9 Stratification: -Is the hierarchical classification of the members of society based on the unequal distribution of resources, power, and prestige? Resources: Power: Prestige: income stratified layers status property ability to influence ascribed -The form of stratification affects how groups within the various strata of society view one another. For example, people believe that a group’s low socioeconomic status is due to its values and attitudes rather than to such structural conditions racism, economic stagnation, and high urban unemployment. Page 10. 2.10 Social Class: -Categorization sociologists use to designate people’s place in the stratification hierarchy; people in a particular social class have a similar level of income, amount of property, degree of power, and type of lifestyle. Other influences are race, religion, and status group. Review the reputational method on page 42 of class text. 2.11 Class Consciousness: -John Leggett found that class consciousness depends on the ethnic factor: the lower a group’s ethnic status in the society, the higher the level of class consciousness. Other studies have shown that working-class ethnic groups tend to view their class as hostile to, and under the political control of, the higher-status classes. 2.12 Ethnic and Social Class:Differences in stratification among various groups cannot be explained by a single cause, although many observers have tried to do so. For example, Stephen Steinberg, Thomas Sowell, and Colin Greer. Review page 43 of class text. Page 11. 2.l3 Blaming the Poor or Society -Culture of Poverty view that emerged in the 1960’s. Daniel P. Moynihan and Oscar Lewis sparked the intense debate that continues to resonate today. This government report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action--pg.44 of class text. 2.14 Inter-group Conflict -Robert Parks argued that a universal, irreversible, possibly slowlyevolving cycle of events made conflict and subsequent resolution by assimilation inevitable. He saw four stages in the “race relations cycle” A. contact between the groups B.competition C. adjustment or accommodation and D. assimilation and amalgamation. 2.15 Cultural Differentiation -The greater the differentiation is the greater the conflict will occur 2.16 Structural Differentiation -Functionalist see the need for adjustments in the social system, but conflict theorists emphasize purposeful actions of the dominant groups to maintain systems of inequality. Page 12.