Geographies of Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Sexuality & Gender

Geographies of Identity:
Race, Ethnicity, Sexuality & Gender
Chapter 6
• Defining Race
– Common ancestor?
– Linnaeus
– Physical typology
– Social construction
• Ideology of racism and its evolution
– What is racism?
– 1676 Bacon’s Rebellion—institutionalization:
segregation & slavery
– European Enlightenment
– Naturalizing difference, inequality and whiteness
The Great Chain of Being: a way to understand the world, through the lens of race.
A “god-given” hierarchy
Difference linked to intellectual ability and inferiority, thus inequality
Standard of whiteness
The White Man’s Burden
“The Reconstruction Policy of
Congress, as illustrated in
Political smear from 1867, against
George C. Gorham’s gubernatorial
bid in California.
Atlantic Ocean became a highway as a result of the slave trade, 16th-19th Centuries.
Brazil & the Caribbean leading destinations for African slaves.
Racist ideology reinforced on the landscape: slavery and highly segregated colonial towns.
Racist ideology necessary to create a labor force in the colonies.
• Geographies of Race and Racism: How Does
Race Make Place?
– Institutional Racism—policies, practices, laws that
disadvantage groups because of their cultural
– Cultural differences become racialized.
– Chinatown & South Africa: the spatial expression of
institutionalized racism
Chinese arrive in late 1800s.
Ideas of racial difference
reinforced through
Strong negative association
with place (Chinatown) as a
place of vice.
These associations influence
municipal laws and policies.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco’s Chinatown in the
1890s, photograph by Arnold
Vancouver, BC
Race and Racism on the
landscape of South Africa
*Evolution of Apartheid
Dutch Boers, Afrikaners
British 1700
South Asians mid-1800s
1910 independence
Loose system of racial
1948, Afrikaner Nationalist
Apartheid’s goal: to
produce a society
segregated on a racial
and territorial basis.
Segregation will
protect the racial
purity of the white
South Africans.
Allow for separate
cultural and economic
development of each
racial group.
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Apartheid’s Scales: Grand (national), Petty (individual) and Township (neighborhood)
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976
Soweto, former Black Township of
Johannesburg, South Africa
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Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
First democratic elections in South Africa are held in 1994,
three years after the repeal of Apartheid laws.
Nelson Mandela was elected president.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
• What is Ethnicity?
Territory and identity.
Shared cultural practices.
Choice, flexible, contingent.
Mutually reinforcing. Engaging in the
behavioral components of ethnicity
reinforces the identification.
Evo Morales, first indigenous president in Latin America. Elected
President of Bolivia in 2006.
This map shows the ancestral “roots” of the U.S. population based on census data. Note
how widespread German ancestry is. Identification of an “American” ancestry may stem
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Wiley &a person’s forebears have been in the country for several generations,
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
or that making a selection is impractical or not suitable.
U.S. census form questions on race.
The U.S. Census form is sent to all
households every 10 years. Note that
Hispanic origin is represented as
something other than race.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
U.S. population composition from two perspectives. The pie chart on the left shows
Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin for the population. The pie chart on the right shows the
count and percentage of those who selected just one racial category.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Leading minority group, by county. White, non-Hispanic is the majority population group.
Excluding that data enables us to map and see the distribution of minority groups.
California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are majorityminority, meaning that more than half of the population is minority.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ethnic Interaction:
Some 40,000 Vietnamese live in and around Washington D.C., but at the level of the
Census tract nowhere do they make up more than 18% of the population. By contrast, they
accounted for less than 1% of the population in most census tracts.
Ethnic Islands
Location quotients
The Hopi and Navajo Reservations (population approximately 7000 and 174,000 respectively)
are ethnic islands and enclaves in the US. When mapped, we can see that they also form
enclaves of each other.
Ethnic Conflict
Darfur, Sudan
Ethnic Cleansing
Environmental Justice: San Francisco Bay Area
Population by
race/ethnicity and
proximity to a toxic
release facility. Notice
how the composition
of population groups
changes with
increasing distance
from the toxic release
Households within one
mile of a toxic release
facility by income,