Uploaded by Aristotelis Telly Mantziouras

1. Race and Society

• Identify ethnicity and race.
• Understand that both race and ethnicity are socially
constructed ideas.
• Analyze the social standing of various racial and ethnic
categories of the U.S. population.
• Evaluate recent trends involving prejudice and
• Majority of Americans describe Obama as our first Black
• What does this tell us about our understanding of race in
• People sharing physical (biological) inherited traits that
members of a society consider important.
• People may classify one another racially based on physical
characteristics such as skin color, facial features, hair texture,
and body shape.
• Race is socially constructed.
• Concept used to distinguish people according to their
cultural characteristics.
• language, religion, values, customs, norms and group
• a group of people who
share a common
historical and cultural
heritage and sense of
group identity and
• Characteristics of ethnic groups include (to varying
Shared history
Religion and culture
Kin or ancestry
Sense of shared destiny
• Minorities – a group of people with physical or cultural
traits different from those of the dominant group.
• A minority group is a group whose members
• share distinct physical or cultural characteristics,
• Denied access to power and resources available to other
groups, and
• Are accorded fewer rights, privileges, and opportunities.
• Numbers alone do not make you a minority
• Ex. Women in the U.S.
• Members minority groups have a common sense of
identity with strong group loyalty.
• The attitude involving prejudgment on the basis of race
and ethnicity.
• Judging a person on his or her group’s real or imagined
• Unfair treatment of people just because of their group
• An exaggerated description applied to every person in
some category.
• Both the majority group and minorities hold stereotypical
• Reinforce prejudices and cause them to persist in society.
• Racial and gender stereotypes receive ongoing support in
the media.
• Justify the oppression of groups based on race, ethnicity
and gender.
• Racism is the view that certain racial or ethnic groups are
biologically inferior
• Therefore the practices involving their domination and
exploitation are justified.
• The idea that people of African descent are genetically
superior to whites in athletic ability complements the
idea that they are genetically inferior to whites in
intellectual ability.
• Many people think that humankind can be sorted into biologically
distinct groups called races. This idea suggests that there are “pure”
examples of different races and that any person can belong to only
one race.
• Biologists, geneticists, and social scientists reject this view of race.
• All people belong to the human species.
• There are greater differences within racial groups than between
racial groups.
• In 1968 third-grade teacher Jane Elliot divided her
students into groups of brown-eyed and blue-eyed
children. She told the class that the brown-eyed children
were superior to the blue-eyed children, and that they
would receive special treatment. The two groups of
children internalized these rules, and the blue-eyed
children appeared to be miserable and defeated. This
experiment was one way to help children understand the
effects of discrimination.
• Racism is a form of prejudice and/or discrimination
based on physical differences.
• There are many layers of racism
• Individual consciousness and behavior
• Ideologies of supremacy
• Institutional racism
• The belief that a visible characteristic of a group, such as
skin color, indicates group inferiority and justifies
• Racism and discrimination disadvantages some but
benefits others in the form of an invisible unseen
• Individual discrimination (or racism) is discrimination
carried out by one person against another.
• Institutional discrimination (or racism) is discrimination
carried out systematically by social institutions (political,
economic, educational, and others) that affect all
members of a group who come into contact with it.
• Institutional racism is bias that is inherent in social
institutions and is often not noticed by members of the
majority group.
• Examples:
• When police single out African Americans for car searches.
• When department stores tell floorwalkers to watch for African
American shoplifters.
• Institutionalized discrimination is the inequitable
treatment of a group resulting from practices or policies
that are incorporated into social, political or economic
institutions and that operate independently from the
prejudices of individuals.
1. Minority group denied access to jobs and housing.
2. Over time group members become concentrated in one
3. Community schools are poorly funded, members do not
acquire the skills to compete in the labor market.
4. Without being able to qualify
for higher paying jobs, their
children will have few
opportunities for
advancement, and the cycle
of inequality is maintained.
• Frustration–aggression hypothesis
• People who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly
desired goal will look for someone to blame and respond with a
pattern of aggression toward others.
• Scapegoating occurs when an innocent person or group
is blamed for one’s troubles.
• Authoritarian Personality
• Characterized by excessive conformity, submissiveness to
authority, intolerance, insecurity, a high level of superstition, and
rigid, stereotypic thinking.
• Socialization and lack of contact
• Ideology of the American dream - encourages prejudice
toward the socially disadvantaged.
• Functionalist theorists
• Focus on the ways that race creates social ties and strengthens
group bonds
• Acknowledge that such ties can lead to violence and social conflict
between groups
• Symbolic ethnicity is an ethnic identity that is only
relevant on specific occasions and does not significantly
impact everyday life.
• Conflict theory focuses on the struggle for power and
control over scarce resources.
• Split Labor Market Theory
• The labor market has two levels:
• Primary market – “good” jobs
• Secondary market – “bad” jobs
• Minorities are more likely to work in secondary jobs
• Competition for secondary jobs sets minorities against each other
and against low-income Whites
• Employers enjoy reduced threats to their dominance and profit
from cheaper labor
• Involves denigrating a person or group to justify
maltreatment of them.
• In this case, self-justification leads to prejudice and
discrimination against members of another group
• We require reassurance that the things we do and the
lives we live are proper
• If we can convince ourselves that another group is
inferior, immoral, or dangerous, we may feel justified in
discriminating against its members.
• Interactions will reduce prejudice if 3 conditions are met:
Contact is between individuals of equal status.
Contact is sustained.
Participants agree upon social norms favoring equality.
• Race and ethnicity influence all aspects of our lives,
Interactions with the criminal justice system.
• Health care is an area in which we find widespread
disparity between racial and ethnic groups.
• Disparities in access to health care may help explain the
life expectancy rates for men and women of different
• In U.S. education, the highest high school dropout rates
are associated with those from economically
disadvantaged and non-English-speaking backgrounds.
• Inequality can also be seen in the workplace and in
income distribution.
• People of color, who are less likely to achieve high levels
of education, are more likely to have lower-paying jobs.
• Individual Effects
• Poverty, ill-health, lack of property, enslavement, war
• Low self-esteem, poor self-concept
• Organizations and communities
• Loss of talents of excluded individuals
• Cost of government subsidies necessitated by lack of
• Cultural costs
• Loss of contributions to cultural production
• Sociological Explanations
• Prejudices are embedded in social norms.
• Psychological Explanation.
• Prejudiced people have an authoritarian personality type.
• Prejudice may be the result of frustration and anger.
• Scapegoating occurs when an innocent person or group is
blamed for one’s troubles.
• Economic Explanations:
• Prejudice arises out of competition for resources.
• Dominant group may encourage competition between minority
groups in order to maintain its dominant status.
• Individual reactions
Assimilation and Passing
Aggression (indirect, displaced)
• Affirmative Action legislation: require employers to
hire a certain percentage of minorities.
• What is the largest minority group in the U.S.?
• What is the poorest?
• Humanity has experienced so much intermixing that race
as a biological category has lost meaning.
• Sociologists and Anthropologists use the term “race”
because perceptions of race affect the lives of most people
• Racial diversity appeared among our human ancestors as
the result of living in different geographic regions of the
• In regions of intense heat, for example, humans developed
darker skin (from the natural pigment melanin) as protection
from the sun.
• In regions with moderate climates, people have lighter skin.
• Although socially constructed, people are not always free to choose
their identity
• Ethnic minorities are freer to choose their identity than racial
• White Americans whose ancestors came from Europe more than two
generation ago have the most freedom to choose their racial or ethnic
• Minority groups in the United States have achieved
varying levels of social and economic success.
• The major minority groups in the United States include
African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and
Native Americans.
• Other minority groups in the United States include
white ethnics and Arab Americans.
• Historically scholars have placed people into three
1. Caucasoids-fair skin and straight or wavy hair (whites)
2. Mongoloids-yellowish or brownish skin with distinctive folds
on the eyelids (Asians)
3. Negroids-dark skin and tightly curled hair (blacks)
• However, this well known classification system has
difficulty describing the complexity of race.
• It is difficult to classify people into clear-cut categories
because people often possess the traits of more than one
• Examples:
• Southern India-Caucasoid facial features and dark skin, and
straight hair.
• Australia-Aborigines-dark skin and blond tightly curled hair.
• In 1944 a Swedish sociologist described the conflict
between races in the United States. He noted a gap
between what Americans claim to believe and how they
actually behave.
• Americans have not always lived up to the ideals of
freedom and equality when dealing with minority groups.
• The conflict dates back to colonial times.
• Minority groups have prospered in relation to how closely
they adapt to the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)
2.9 Million Individuals (0.9% of U.S. population)
Original inhabitants of the United States.
Diversity in Tribes.
When the Europeans arrived in the fifteenth century, the Native
Americans numbered in the millions. By 1900, they numbered
a mere 250,000.
• The Census Bureau defines native as having origins in
any of the original peoples of North, South, and Central
America and who maintain tribal affiliation or
community attachment.
• Disease, warfare, and destruction of traditional ways of
life reduced numbers dramatically.
• From Treaties to Genocide and Population Transfer
• U.S. government took traditional lands and forced Native
Americans onto reservations
• Policies encouraged assimilation into white culture
• Many are moving to the cities.
• Today 55% of Native Americans live on or near a
• Highest poverty rate of all minorities and 50%
unemployment among males.
• Highest rate of alcoholism and suicide among the major races.
• Statistics reveal dire challenges for Native American
• Pan-Indianism: a social and political movement that
united culturally distinct Native American nations to
work together on issues that affect all Native Americans
• 12 % of the population.
• Between 20 and 100 million Africans were transported to
the Americas.
• The majority went to Brazil and the Caribbean, 6% went
to the U.S.
• Experiences historically shaped by slavery,
discrimination, and segregation.
• After slavery was abolished, the Southern states passed
legislation to segregate blacks and whites
• Civil Rights Movement brought significant gains towards
• 1964- Civil Rights Act (eliminated discrimination based on
• Some negative trends in education, employment, and
income that reveal continuing
• The Census Bureau defines “black” as people who have
origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
• Since 1965 legislation, the number of black
representatives in government has grown quickly
• Remarkable gains have been made in politics, education, and
• Half of all African American families make more than $35,000
per year
• Organizations such as the National Urban League work to
empower African Americans group faces environmental
racism, or racial bias in environmental policies and
• 14% of U.S. population (48 millions). Largest minority group in the
• The Census Bureau defines Hispanics as people who indicate that
they were born in a Hispanic country or area, or have a heritage
tracing back to a Hispanic country or area. Hispanic countries or
areas include Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central America, and South
• Trace their heritage to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin
American countries.
• During 1960s Hispanics in the United States were mostly
from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Three groups that
all have very different histories.
• Central and South American immigrants now common.
• It used to be that Latinos were relatively confined to the
Southwest and to California and Florida, but today, states
like North Carolina and Illinois also have large and
growing Hispanic populations.
• The terms Hispanic and Latino mask the great diversity
among the groups.
• It was estimate in 2006 that more than 11 million illegal
immigrants in the United States; vast majority are
• Came to the United States to seek political freedom and
economic opportunity
• Hispanics now hold more than 6,000 appointed and
elected positions still underrepresented in politics.
• Poverty rate is double that of white Americans. Compared
with whites and Asian Americans, Latinos have less income,
higher unemployment and poverty.
• Population of Hispanics growing faster than general
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru1F29vuVKI&featur
• ABC What would you do? Latino Hate Crime Episode
• 3.6% of U.S. population.
• The Census Bureau defines “Asian” to people having
origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East,
Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.
• Earliest to arrive were Chinese and Japanese.
• As with Latinos, Asians are lumped together into one group. In
reality, Asian Americans are from more than 15 countries with
different cultures and languages.
• The largest groups in the United States are Chinese, Filipinos,
Indians, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
• Asians have a history of extreme discrimination in U.S.
• The two best-known examples are
• The treatment of Chinese workers in the mining and railroad industries at
the end of the nineteenth century
• The forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
• Have used education to move up economic ladder
• Median income is higher for Asian Americans than for other groups
• Some call Asian Americans “the model minority” because of their
quick assimilation; many resent this label because it ignores the
struggles historically faced
• Asian Americans face higher rates of stress, depression, mental
illness, and suicide attempts
• 3.5 million Arab Americans
• Immigrants from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria,
Lebanon, Egypt, and Iran began arriving in the mid1970s.
• Like other immigrants, many experienced downward
mobility and formed their own ethnic enclaves.
• Arab Americans face new discrimination after the Arabled terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
• Focus their ethnic identity on their religion
• 40% of the world’s Jewish population lives in the U.S
• Faced anti-Semitism, discrimination and prejudice
against Jews.
• 75.1 percent of U.S. population
• The Census Bureau defines “white” as people who have
origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the
Middle East or North Africa.
• Immigrants from mainly Catholic countries such as
Ireland, Italy and Greece faced discrimination by the
white Protestant majority
• 2.4 percent of U.S. population
• The Census Bureau defines multiracial as people who
identify with more than one race.
• Other terms include: biracial and mixed-race
• Waves of immigrants came to the U.S. in the 1800’s and early
1900’s. Today, more immigrants live in the U.S. than at any
other time in the country’s history.
• In California, racial-ethnic minorities have become the
• There is concern that “too many” immigrants will change the
character of the United States.
Give me your tired, poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
• Emma Lazarus (Base of Statue of Liberty)
• Cultural pluralism is a policy that allows each group within
society to maintain its unique cultural identity and
institutions, but has recognized equality in society and equal
access to social resources.
• In Switzerland, four ethnic groups—French, Italians, Germans,
and Swiss Germans—maintain their distinct cultural heritage
and group identity in an atmosphere of mutual respect and
social equality.
• Although segregation persists, American society is now based more
on assimilation and pluralism—the retention of racial and ethnic
culture combined with equal access to basic social resources.
• Intermarriage and immigration has led to a growth of tolerance in
the United States.
• Assimilation is the blending of culturally distinct
groups into a single group with a common culture and
• Minorities gradually adopt patterns of the dominant
• American idea of “melting pot”
• Can happen informally or by force
• By blending in, the minority eventually disappears or lose
their original identity as a distinct group.
• Melting Pot – all ethnic and racial minorities
voluntarily blend together
• Tossed salad – traditions and cultures exist side
by side – many Sociologist and Anthropologists
prefer this idea.
• One conflict theory explaining why assimilation is more difficult for
certain minority groups is the Split Labor Market.
• In split labor markets, low-wage workers of one race and high-wage
workers of another race compete for the same jobs.
• High-wage workers resent the low-wage competitors, resulting in
conflict and the development of racist attitudes
• Refers to adopting the culture of a group different from
the one in which a person was originally raised.
• Acculturation may involve learning the dominant
language and adopting new values and behaviors.
• When different ethnic or racial groups become married or
pair-bonded and produce children.
• 19 states had laws banning interracial marriage until
1967, when they were declared unconstitutional.
• Since 1960:
• Number of black-white married couples has increased fivefold
• Number of Asian-white married couples has increased tenfold
• Number of Hispanics married to non-Hispanics has tripled
• Segregation is a policy that physically and socially separates
a minority group from the dominant group, this includes
residence, workplace, and social functions.
• “De jure” segregation is based on laws.
• “De facto” segregation is based on custom and informal norms.
• Between 1890 and 1910, Jim Crow laws prohibited blacks from using
“white” buses, hotels, restaurants, and drinking fountains.
• In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court supported de jure segregation by
declaring that “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional.
• Beginning in the 1950s various rulings overturned the Jim Crow
laws, making it illegal to enforce racial segregation.
• A racial or ethnic group from one society
dominates the racial or ethnic group(s) of
another society.
• Examples: The thirteen colonies, Puerto Rico.
• Separation of groups by transferring or removal of minority
population from a region or a country to a new territory often
by force.
• The 1830 Indian Removal Act called for the relocation of eastern
tribes to land west of the Mississippi River.
• “Indirect” transfer occurs when the dominant groups
makes life for minorities so miserable that they leave.
• “Direct” transfer involves using force to move people to
new locations.
• Subjugation is a practice whereby dominance is maintained by
• Most extreme form is slavery.
• South Africa’s system of apartheid is an example.
• Deliberate and systematic extermination of racial ethnic,
national or cultural group.
• Common throughout history
Native Americas by Europeans
Jews by Nazis
Armenians by Turks
Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda
The killing of black Sudanese
population by the government.
• Ethnic cleansing is the combination of extermination and
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_oEOdIBOpU
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewb0ZspDtvs
• Media stereotypes began to improve as a result of civil
rights activity in the 1960s.