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FSU SYG 1000 - CHAPTER NINE – RACE AND ETHNICITY AS LIVED EXPERIENCE

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CHAPTER NINE – RACE AND ETHNICITY AS LIVED EXPERIENCEDefining Race and Ethnicity- 19th century schema by biologists – Negroid, Mongoloid, and Caucasoid (black, Asian, and white) - believed each race was characterized by its own biological makeup- modern science – there are no “pure” races with all lines between races being blurry rather than fixed, and there’s no such thing as a superior race – also greater genetic diversity within racial populations than between - all humans are 99.9 percent genetically identical; 15 percent of the remaining .1 percent of variation occurs between geographically distinct groups - race: a socially defined category based on real or perceived biological differences between groups of people – it’s more meaningful to us on a social rather than biological level - ethnicity: a socially defined category based on common language, religion, nationality, history,or another cultural factor “Ethnic Options”: Symbolic and Situational Ethnicity- display group membership through dress, language, food, religious practices, preferences in music, art, or literature, projects we find interesting, and topics pursued at school - two specific ways to show group membership - symbolic ethnicity: an ethnic identity that is only relevant on specific occasions and does not significantly impact everyday life - St. Patrick’s Day, Irish people proud to display their ethnicity - situational ethnicity: an ethnic identity that can be either displayed or concealed depending on its usefulness in a given situation - involves a cost-benefit analysis – need to appraise each situation to determine whether it favors our ethnicity- important to note that neither symbolic nor situational ethnicity is available to those who are visibly nonmainstream What is A Minority?- minority status is not definitive by numbers – it’s about social inequalities - minority group: members of a social group that is systematically denied the same access to power and resources available to society’s dominant groups but who are not necessarily fewer in number than the dominant groups - denied the access to power and resources generally accorded to others in the dominant groups – likely to perceive selves as targets of collective discrimination- membership of a minority can serve as a “master status” over others such as gender and age- unequal/unfair treatment and lack of access to power and resources generates a strong sense of common identity among members of minority groups - because of this, minorities tend to practice high rates of in-group marriage (endogamy)Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination- racism: a set of beliefs about the superiority of one racial or ethnic group; used to justify inequality and often rooted in the assumption that differences between groups are genetic; canalso arise from negative view of groups cultural characteristics- prejudice: an idea about the characteristics of a group that is applied to all members of that group and is unlikely to change regardless of the evidence against it - rooted in generalizations and/or stereotypes- discrimination: unequal treatment of individuals based on their membership in a social group; usually motivated by prejudice - is possible that a person can be prejudiced and not discriminate against others; also possible to discriminate against others without being prejudiced - discrimination takes different forms - individual discrimination: discrimination carried out by one person against another because of their race or ethnicity - institutional discrimination: discrimination carried out systematically by institutions (political, economic, educational, and others) that affect all members of a group who come into contact with itTheoretical Approaches to Understanding Race in the United States- sociologists study why race continues to be such a critical role in society- functionalist theory has been less successful in explaining persistence of racial divisions and why other races and ethnicities have continued to maintain distinct identities along with white majority culture today - offers best explanation of how prejudice and discrimination develop by focusing on social solidarity and group cohesion - groups have tendency toward ethnocentrism or belief that own culture and way of life are right and normal; this cohesiveness can lead members to see others unfavorably - conflict theory focuses on struggle for power and control - 1960s sociologists looked for source of racism in capitalist hierarchies – Bonacich argues racism is partly driven by economic competition and struggle over scarce resources - split labor market, where one group of workers is paid less than other groups, keeps wages low for racial and ethnic minorities, compounding effects of racism with those of poverty - Wilson believes that racist government policies and individual racist attitudes are thedriving forces in the creation of a black underclass, perpetuated by economic factors, not racial ones- conflict theorists have developed new approaches to understanding race - “Facial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California” by Almaguer looks at history of race relations in California during late nineteenth century - examines how white supremacist ideology became institutionalized, and racist beliefs became part of political/economic life during that period - “manifest destiny” and notion that Native Americans were uncivilized helped justify killing them - Omi and Winant argue race isn’t a secondary phenomenon resulting from the class system, permeating lived experience and large-scale activity (I.e., economy/government) - Collings, Hooks, and Anzaldua argue race must be explained in terms in which it’s experienced, not as overarching general theories - other writers feel that race is created symbolically in everyday interactionsRace as an Interactional Accomplishment – Passing- passing: presenting yourself as a member of a different racial or ethnic group than the one youwere born into - during and after slavery, light-skinned African Americans passing as white- passing involves manufacturing/maintaining a new identity that’s more beneficial than one’s real identity - W.E.B. DuBois concept of “double-consciousness” – can one be black and claim one’s rights as an American?- situational context is important in examining cases of passing Race as an Interactional


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