Sociology Research Paper

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Janine Charles
February 28, 2005
Sociology Research Paper
African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Women are low status groups in the United
States. These three groups have been called minorities in a society which claims to offer equal
opportunity for everybody. These three groups receive less of the economic, social, cultural and
political benefits of the society and receive less justice in the courts.
Documentation Of Low Status Group
African American
African American has more single parent families then European American. 42 percent
of all white children and 86 percent of all African American children will spend part of their
childhood living in a household headed by single mother who is divorced, separated, never
married or widowed (Garfinkel and McLanahan 1986).
41 percent of central-city residents are people of color(Kendall2004 page 504). People
living in central cities, where there high levels of poverty and crime or in remote rural areas
generally have greater difficulty in getting health care because most doctors prefer to locate their
practice in a safe area, particularly one with a patient base that will produce a high
income(Kendall 2004 page 450).
African American receive less medical care because they are consider poor. People of
color are more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, and the poorest typically receive
less preventive care and less optimal management of chronic diseases than do other people
(Leary, 1996).
African American have a large percentage of prison population. According to official
statistics, African American are overrepresented in arrest data (Harris, 1991). In 2001, African
Americans made up about 12 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for almost 30 percent
of all arrests. According to a recent report by the Justice Department, the incarcetion rate for
African American Americans men in 1996 was 3,096 per 100,000, which was eight times the
rate for white men(370 per 100,000)(Butterfield, 1998).
African Americans have low status job. They have a high percentage in low status jobs
then high status jobs. For example in health service assistants, aides, nurses, attendants they have
30.1, but when compared to executive, administrative, and managerial they have 7.2. Another
example is cleaning and building service workers they have 22.8 compared to professional
specialty they have 7.9.(U.S. Census Bureau, 2000c)
African American receive less education and less then white people. African Americans
have the 2nd highest drop out rate. Black people have 17.1 percent and whit people have 13.7
percent (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001g).
Hispanic Americans
Hispanic Americans receive less education and less then white people. Hispanics have
the highest dropout rate. Hispanics people have 34.4 percent and whit people have 13.7 percent
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2001g).
Hispanic Americans have a large percentage of prison population. Latinos/as made up
about 12 percent of the US population and accounted for about 13 percent of all arrests.
According to a recent report by the Justice Department, the incarcetion rate for Latinos in 1996
was 1,276 per 100,000 which was more than double the rate the rate for white men( 370 per
100,000) (Butterfield, 1998).
Hispanic Americans have low status job. They have a high percentage in low status jobs
then high status jobs. For example in private household workers they have 30.9, but when
compared to executive, administrative, and managerial they have 5.4. Another example is
cleaning and building service workers they have 20.5 compared to professional specialty they
have 4.6 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000c).
Hispanic Americans receive less medical care because they are consider poor.
People of color are more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, and the poorest typically
receive less preventive care and less optimal management of chronic diseases than do other
people (Leary, 1996).
Hispanic Americans are living primarily in ghetto areas. People living in central cities,
where there high levels of poverty and crime or in remote rural areas generally have greater
difficulty in getting health care because most doctors prefer to locate their practice in a safe area,
particularly one with a patient base that will produce a high income.
Women
Women has low status job then men do. Women constitute more than 90 percent of all
receptionists, child-care workers, bank tellers, nurses, secretaries, book keepers, private
household workers and typists. In 2000, 98 percent of all secretaries in the United States were
women; 90 percent of all engineers were men (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001g).
Men receive a higher education then women. Although most females in the United States
have a greater opportunity for education than those living in developing nations, their
educational opportunities are not equal to those of males in their social class (AAUW 1995;
Orenstein, 1995).
Women get unequal pay for work when it’s being compared to men in the same work
field. For every dollar earned by men, women in the same occupation earned 73 cents as
bookkeepers, 80 cents as computer programmers, 76 cents as cooks, 75 cents as lawyers and 61
cents as office manager (Colatosi, 1992).
Women are excessive physical sexual abuse by men. One study of college males have
found that 10 percent admit to having had sex with a woman against her will although most of
them do not regard the act as rape. Another study found that over 50 percent of male high school
students believed that it is acceptable “for a guy to hold a girl down and force her to have sexual
intercourse”.
Women are underrepresented in official office. Only about 10 percent of the executive
jobs at fortune 500 companies are held by women and only six women are the CEO (Fortune
2001).
Scientific Explanations
Functionalist perspectives is the sociological approach that views society as a stable.
Conflict perspectives is the sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged in a
continuous power struggle for control of scarce resource. Conflict theorists focus on economic
stratifration and access to power in their analyes race ethnic relations.
African American Inequality
Conflict Explanation
The caste perspective views racial and ethnic inequality as a permanent feature of U.S.
society. African Americans were the only group to subjected to slavery; when slavery was
abolished, a caste system was instituted to maintain economic and social inequality between
whites and African Americans (Dollard, 1957/1937). The caste system was a system of social
inequality in which people’s status is permanently determined at birth based on their parents’
ascribed characteristics.
The class perspective emphasize the roles of the capitalist class in racial exploitation.
Most recently, sociologists have debated the relative importance of class and race in explaining
the unequal life chances of African Americans. Sociologist William Julius Wilson (1996) has
suggested that race, cultural factors, social psychological variables, and social class must be taken
into account in examining the life chances of “inner-city residents.” The class system is a type of
stratification based on the ownership and control of resources and on the type of work that people
do.
Functionalist Explanation
Assimilation is a process by which members of subordinate racial and ethic groups
become absorbed into the dominant culture. To some analysts, assimilation is functional because
it contributes to the stability of society by minimizing group difference that might otherwise result
in hostility and violence.
Ethnic pluralism is the coexistence of a variety of distinct racial and ethic groups within
one society. Equalitarian pluralism or accommodation is situation in which ethnic groups coexist
in equality with another. Inequalitarian pluralism or segregation exists when specific ethnic
groups are set apart from the dominant group and have unequal access to power and privilege
(Marger, 2000).
Although functionalist explanations provide explanations provide a description of how
some early white ethnic immigrants assimilated into the cultural mainstream, they do not
adequately account for the persistent racial segregation and economic inequality experienced by
people of color.
Hispanics American Inequality
Conflict Explanation
Internal colonialism according to conflict theorists, a practice that occurs when members
of a racial or ethnic group are conquered or colonized and forcibly placed under the economic and
political control of the dominant group. According to the socioligist Robert Blauner (1972),
groups that have been subjected to internal colonialism remain in subordinate positions longer
than groups that voluntarily migrated to the United States.
Women Inequality
Functionalist Explanation
According to functional analysts such as Talcott Parsons (1955), women’s roles as
nurturers and caregivers are even more pronounced in contemporary industrialized societies.
While the husband performs the instrumental tasks of providing economic support and making
decisions, the wife assumes the expressive tasks of providing affection and emotional support for
the family. This division of family labor ensures that important societial tasks will be fulfilled; it
also provides stability for family members.
Conflict Explanation
According to many conflict analysts, the gendered division of labor within families and in
the work place results from male control of and dominance over women and resources.
Differentials between men and women may exist in terms of economic, political, physical and/or
interpersonal power. The importance of a male monopoly in any of those arenas depends on the
significance of that type of power in a society (Richardson, 1993)
False Folk Explanations
Racism is the world made up of different race and one is superior then the other. It’s the
role of inferior to serve the superior. In today society the reason why they say African American
are inequality is because black people is still being discriminating on. For example a white person
may feel that a black person is a lazy, mean, violate person who wants to rob them so when they
see them they move 10 feet away or to the other side of the area. Another reason is because black
people live in the ghetto with low paying jobs, low medical coverage, and a lot of kids dropping
out doing crimes.
Ethnicism is the world divided in ethnic group (cultural group) one is superior then the
other. It’s the role of inferior to serve the superior. The reason why today in this society the say
Hispanic Americans are inequality is because the can’t speak English. Another reason for society
saying Hispanic Americans aren’t equal is because the have to many kids to rise and support that
they can’t take care on their own without the government help.
Sexism is the world made up of different sex (gender) one is superior then the other. It’s
the role of inferior to serve the superior. In today society women are inequality because women
are consider less when it come to men. For example a women assistant come up with all the ideas
for her boss but he gets the credit for the idea. Another reason is that people feel that women
should not be in the work field. The feel that the women should be at home taking care of the
children, cleaning, cooking and being the wife, while the men bring home the money.
This is my conclusion on African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Women on how
they are low status groups here in the United States, where they say everybody is equal not on the
color of your skin.
Reference
Sociology In Our Times
Diana Kendall
Society: A Brief Introduction
Society: The Basics
Statistical Handbook of Women in America
Ian Robertson
John Macionis
Cynthia Ta Cuber
Documentation
AA
1.
Kendall 2004 page331, US Census Bureau, 2000 c
2.
Kendall 2004 page 387, US Census Bureau, 2001g
3.
Kendall 2004 page504 & 450 Robertson page 207
4.
Kendall 2004 page 200-201, Butterfield, 1998
5.
Kendall 2004 page 450, Leary 1996
6.
Kendall 2004 page 363, Garfinkel and McLanahan 1986
HA
7.
Kendall 2004 page331, US Census Bureau, 2000 c
8.
Kendall 2004 page387, US Census Bureau, 2001g
9.
Robertson page 209
10.
Kendall 2004 page 200-201, Butterfield, 1998
11.
Kendall 2004 page 450, Leary 1996
W
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
Kendall 2004 page 330 US Census Bureau, 2001g
Kendall 2004 page 384, AAUW,1195;Orenstein 1995
Kendall 2004 page333, Colatosi,1992
Robertson 2004 page155
Macionis 2004 page 257
Scientific Explanations
African American
Inequality
Hispanics American
Inequality
Women Inequality
Functionalist
Kendall 284
Robertson198-99
Conflict
Kendall 286
Robertson207-209
Functionalist
Kendall284,290
Robertson198-199
Conflict
Conflict
Conflict
Conflict
Kendall286,290
Robertson208-210
Functionalist
Kendall335
Conflict
Kendall336,317
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