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OTTAWA HSS 1100 - CHAPTER 10

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CHAPTER 10Defining Race and EthnicityThe Great Brain Robbery• Dr. Samuel George Morton collected and measured human skulls• He thought the bigger your brain the smarter you were• He saw race that ranked highest in the social hierarch had the biggest braino White European – Asian – Indigenous North American – blacks• 3 main issues with his findingso He was able to distinguish between skulls of white and black people by the shapeso Morton’s skulls formed a small, unrepresentative sample of 72 skullso His racial samples were incomparable with respect to genderRace, Biology and Society• In medieval Europe, some aristocrats concluded that they were racially different from peasants because they could see blue veins under their pale skino They referred themselves as “blue bloods”• Sandiford only wanted people with a good IQ to immigrate o He said people from North Europe are smart but not eastern and southerno He was surprised when Asians were smart and then he brushed it off and said only a few smart Asians came • Much research indicates that the social setting in which a person is raised and educated influences IQ• Blacks perform well basketball and runningo Scientists failed to identify gene linked to general athletic superiorityo Black athletes do not perform well in swimming, tennis, sailing etc.• Prejudice and discrimination often block their opportunity for upward movement o Prejudice – is an attitude that judged a person on his or her groups real or imagined characteristics o Discrimination – is unfair treatment of people because of their group membership • Social circumstances have a big impact on athletic and other forms of behaviouro In Japan, Koreans are subjected to much prejudice and often choose to pursue a career in sports or entertainmento In Canada there is less prejudice, so they go for engineering • It is impossible to neatly distinguish races based on genetic differences cause of mix race• Race is only used in the sociological aspect where it refers to the social significance people attach to perceived physical differences, not biological differences that shape behaviour pattern• Race is a social construct used to differentiate between people in terms of one or more physical indicators, usually with profound effects on their lives• Most sociologists believe that race matters because it enables the creation and perpetuation of social inequality• Scapegoat is a disadvantaged person or category of people whom others blame for theirown problems o Germans used Jews as scapegoat for their deep economic and political troubles after WWI• This is when stereotypes were createsEthnicity, Culture, and Social Structure• A race is a socially defined category of people whose apparent physical markers are considered significant• An Ethnic group is made up of people whose apparent culture markers are considered to be significanto Cultural markers -language, religion, values, customs- are often not the main source of differences in the behaviour of various ethnic groupso Instead, social structural differences frequently underlie frequent cultural differences between ethnic groups • Culture is unimportant in determining the economic success of racial or ethnic groups Ethnic and Racial Stratification in Canada• Economic success also depends on economic opportunities open to people• John Porter, one of the founders of modern Canadian sociology, referred to the mid-20thcent Canada as an ethnically and racially stratified “vertical mosaic” o Canadian “value system” encouraged retention of ethnic culture, making Canadaa low-mobility society• After WWII the Canadian economy grew and many racial minority groups became economically successful• Visible minority status had less baring then it once had on educational, occupational andincome attainment in Canadao Children of immigrants actually achieved above-average success in obtaining education• Beginning of 1990, recent immigrants were less successful economically Canadian Multiculturalism• Canada’s multiculturalism policy emphasizes tolerance of ethnic and racial differences o The policy in 1971 promoted cultural diversity and equity and inclusion • The emphasis on cultural diversity generated considerable criticism • The policy in Canada focuses more on inclusion and less on cultural pluralism• The policies purpose is to enable members of cultural minorities to continue identifying with their heritage while eliminating barriers to their full participation in Canadian societyRace and Ethnic Relations: The Symbolic Interactionist ApproachLabels and IdentityThe Formation of Racial and Ethnic Identities• Change in social context often leads to change in racial and ethnic self-conception• According to symbolic interactionists, racial and ethnic labels and identities typically develop through a process of negotiationo A kind of informal unstated negotiation between outsiders and insiders eventually leads to the crystallization of a new, relatively stable ethnic identityo If social context changes the negotiation begins once again• Case of labelling of indigenous people as IndiansEthnic and Racial Labels: Imposition vs. Choice• In Canada, the people with the most freedom to choose race and ethnicity are white Canadians o Because of this, Irish Canadians have experienced an upward mobility • Symbolic Interactiono Nostalgic allegiance to the culture of the immigrant generation, or that of the oldcountry, that is not usually incorporated into everyday behaviour • Racism is the belief that a visible characteristic of a group, such as skin colour, indicates group inferiority and justifies discriminationo Over half the reported hate crimes center on race o Racism is often embedded in the policies and practices of organizations. Where this occurs it is called institutional racismConflict Theories of Race and EthnicityInternal Colonialism• The theory of internal colonialism is on type of conflict theoryo Internal Colonialism involves one race or ethnic group subjugating another in the same country. It prevents assimilation by segregating the subordinate group in terms of jobs, housing, and social contact• Colonialism refers to people from one country invading another country and, in the process, changing or destroying the native cultureo The native culture would have to work under the invaders Indigenous People in Canada• Expulsion is the forcible removal


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