LSU SOCL 2002 - Racial and Ethnic Stratification

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OverviewKey ConceptsRacial/Ethnic Composition of the U.S.Key ConceptsRacial group – groupings based on social significant physical characteristics and beliefs about common ancestry.Ethnic groups – groupings based on common geographic origin and distinctive cultural characteristics (language, religion, dress, and other customs)Social Construction of Race/EthnicitySocial factors (history, culture, politics, economics, etc.) have a major role in shaping the meaning of race.These characterizations have a profound social significance.Example: The “one drop rule” (if you had one drop of a different race, you were considered to be that race)Race and ethnicity are ascribed statuses.Race and ethnicity are often seen as master statuses.Racial and ethnic statuses can have profound impacts on life chances.Reflect differences in group power and other dimensions of social inequality.Minority groups – group whose members are somehow distinct or separate from the dominant (majority) group.Not necessarily a numerical question.Question of the social significance of group membership and what that implies for stratification; question of power.Race and Ethnicity in the United StatesDefinitions used by the U.S. Census reflect social construction of race and ethnicity.Racial and ethnic definitions used by the Census have changed over time.“Mulatto” last appeared in 1920.“Hispanic” added in 1970.Option to claim multiracial heritage added in 2000.2011White, non-Hispanic: 63%African American: 13%Hispanic: 17%Asian: 5%Native American: 1%2100 (projected)White, non-Hispanic: 40%African American: 13%Hispanic: 33%Asian: 14%Native American: 1%White AmericansRefers to people with origins in Europe, Middle East, or North Africa.Traditionally the racial/ethnic majority group in the United States (numerically and otherwise).African AmericansTraditionally the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States.Contemporary inequality rooted in the historical legacy of slavery, Jim Crowe, and other forms of discrimination.Native AmericansNative Americans represent a diverse array of tribal cultures.Increasing numbers are claiming Native American identity, though shrinking as a share of national population.Historical legacy of forced migration and the reservation system.Asian AmericansOne of the fastest growing race/ethnic groups in the United States.Growth being fueled by immigration.Encompass a wide array of nationalities.Hispanic/Latino AmericansRecently became the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States (half of all population growth since 2000).Mexican Americans are the largest Latino group.Approximately half of the Hispanic population resides in just two states, but this is changing rapidly.ImmigrantsGreater numbers immigrating to the United States today than in any previous period in history.Approximately 10% of the U.S. population is foreign-born; immigrants and their kids are approximately 20%.Primarily from Latin America and Asia.Mostly legal, but illegal immigration is a growing concern (approximately 12 million here illegally).In SumThe United States is an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse society.This really has major implications for how race/ethnic group contours are defined and negotiated, including questions of social stratification.Racial and Ethnic Stratification 04/01/2014Overview- Key Concepts- Racial/Ethnic Composition of the U.S.Key Concepts- Racial group – groupings based on social significant physical characteristics and beliefs about common ancestry.- Ethnic groups – groupings based on common geographic origin and distinctive cultural characteristics (language, religion, dress, and other customs)Social Construction of Race/Ethnicity- Social factors (history, culture, politics, economics, etc.) have a major role in shaping the meaning of race.- These characterizations have a profound social significance.o Example: The “one drop rule” (if you had one drop of a different race, you were considered to be that race)- Race and ethnicity are ascribed statuses.- Race and ethnicity are often seen as master statuses.- Racial and ethnic statuses can have profound impacts on life chances.o Reflect differences in group power and other dimensions of social inequality.- Minority groups – group whose members are somehow distinct or separate from the dominant (majority) group.o Not necessarily a numerical question.o Question of the social significance of group membership and what that implies for stratification; question of power.Race and Ethnicity in the United States- Definitions used by the U.S. Census reflect social construction of race and ethnicity.- Racial and ethnic definitions used by the Census have changed overtime.o “Mulatto” last appeared in 1920.o “Hispanic” added in 1970.o Option to claim multiracial heritage added in 2000.2011- White, non-Hispanic: 63%- African American: 13%- Hispanic: 17%- Asian: 5%- Native American: 1%2100 (projected)- White, non-Hispanic: 40%- African American: 13%- Hispanic: 33%- Asian: 14%- Native American: 1%White Americans- Refers to people with origins in Europe, Middle East, or North Africa.- Traditionally the racial/ethnic majority group in the United States (numerically and otherwise).African Americans- Traditionally the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States.- Contemporary inequality rooted in the historical legacy of slavery, Jim Crowe, and other forms of discrimination.Native Americans- Native Americans represent a diverse array of tribal cultures.- Increasing numbers are claiming Native American identity, though shrinking as a share of national population.- Historical legacy of forced migration and the reservation system.Asian Americans- One of the fastest growing race/ethnic groups in the United States.- Growth being fueled by immigration.- Encompass a wide array of nationalities.Hispanic/Latino Americans- Recently became the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States (half of all population growth since 2000).- Mexican Americans are the largest Latino group.- Approximately half of the Hispanic population resides in just two states, but this is changing rapidly.Immigrants- Greater numbers immigrating to the United States today than in any previous period in history.o Approximately 10% of the U.S. population is foreign-born; immigrants and their kids are approximately 20%.o Primarily from Latin America and Asia.o Mostly legal, but illegal immigration is a


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