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Chapter 9 Race and Ethnicity Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity • Denying that racism, xenophobia, and ethnocentrism exist serves only to perpetuate them. • The problems of racial and ethnic difference arise when those differences are defined in such a way that certain groups confront prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory conduct. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. The Concepts of Race and Ethnicity • Race is a social definition based on some real or presumed physical, biological characteristic, such as skin color or hair texture, as well as a shared lineage. • Ethnic groups, in contrast, are socially defined on the basis of some real or presumed difference in cultural characteristics, such as language, religion, tradition, and cultural practices. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Historical Thinking About Race • Race is not only a social construction, but is also a social phenomenon that serves to both differentiate groups of people and to create hierarchical power structures that serve to empower some at the expense of others. • Historically, race has been a tool to aid in imperial conquests, to realign power structures, and to exploit those with little to no power. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Historical Thinking About Race • Evolutionary thinking about racial categories led to the Social Darwinist approach, which justified a “survival of the fittest” approach to racial inequality. • Eugenics is an approach that suggests that races should be distinguished from one another based on presumed genetic composition, leading to ideas that intelligence, criminal behavior, and disease are controlled by race. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Historical Thinking About Race • “Scientific” Explanations • In the 19th and 20th centuries there were scientific justifications for treating people of other races differently. • This led to “scientific” justifications for unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige. • Gregor Mendel’s work on genetics and heredity led to the development of Eugenics. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Historical Thinking About Race • Cultural Explanations • Though “scientific” explanations of race continue to exist, a newer explanation based on social and cultural factors is more prevalent today. • In the second half of the 20th century, ideas of cultural superiority replaced those associated with biological superiority. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. The Fluidity of Racial Categories • Race is a dynamic and fluid social concept. • There is nothing intrinsic about any racial group that makes it distinct from any other. • The hypodescent rule (also known as the one drop rule) suggests that a person with the slightest traceable amount of African ancestry is legally and socially defined as Black or African American. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Racial and Ethnic Identities • Many members from oppressed racial groups go to some lengths to identify with the dominant group. • Some assigned to a subordinate race physically resemble the dominant race. • Others straighten, curl, or color their hair • Others lighten their skin • Some undergo rhinoplasty Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Those in the dominant (majority) group are prone to exploit and marginalize members of subordinate (minority) groups. • Sociologically the definition of majorityminority is not numerical but based on access to power, property, and prestige. • The social construction of difference says that all majority and minority statuses are products of social definitions. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Stereotypes, Prejudices, and Discrimination • A stereotype is a generalization about an entire category of people that frequently appears in daily interaction. • Prejudice involves attitudes, beliefs, and feelings toward minorities (usually negative). • Discrimination is the unfavorable treatment arising from negative stereotypes associated with prejudice. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Intersectionality is the idea that members of any minority group are affected by the nature of their position in other arrangements of social inequality. • “Matrix of Oppression” – the idea that the confluence of disadvantages are not simply additive, but that disadvantages multiply, as do their effects. • “Matrix of Power and Advantage” - The converse is also true in that a person who holds a number of statuses that are highly valued in society is likely to be advantaged. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Patterns of interaction • Pluralism exists in societies where many groups are able to coexist without any of them losing their individual qualities. • Assimilation occurs when a minority group takes on the characteristics of the dominant group. • Segregation is the physical separation of majority and minority groups. • Genocide is the systematic attempt at eliminating an entire group of people. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Race, Ethnicity, and Education: Economic success is in large part predicted by educational opportunity and achievement. • Racial and ethnic inequality in learning outcomes is a critical dimension of inequality: • The black-white achievement gap in public schooling • Hispanic students and cultural issues Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Race, Ethnicity, and Consumption: • Consumption tends to be race- and ethnicityspecific, meaning there a limits to and opportunities for consumption associated with those differences. • Marketing to Minorities: corporations and businesses practice racialized marketing, targeting minority populations with specific products – menthol cigarettes and malt liquor have been historically marketed to Blacks Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Majority-Minority Relations • Race, Ethnicity, and Consumption • White Consumption of Black Culture: whites have a long-standing interest in consuming particular aspects of black culture; however, this is a highly selective process: whites often want to “be black” in limited ways while still avoiding interaction with black people and criticizing black culture and glorifying the negative aspects. • Commercialization of Ethnicity: The selling of lifestyle and unique cultural offerings by minority groups to a larger culture has become common, particularly through tourism. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Racism • Racism involves defining a minority group as a race, attributing negative characteristics to that group, and then creating the circumstances that keep that group at a disadvantage relative to the majority. It is the negative treatment of racial and ethnic groups. • Racism is a subtype of xenophobia and a form of ethnocentrism - the belief that one’s own group is superior to other groups. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Racism • Foundations of Racism • Social Structure and Racism • Racial advantage is structured into the ways that social systems function, particularly in allocating resources, opportunities, and rewards. • Culture and Racism: • The “white racial frame” • Racism is a matter of hegemony – it occurs when one racial group subordinates another on the basis of dominant ideas about difference, rather than strictly through material constraints. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Racism • Racist Motives: racism is difficult to eradicate because it serves a number of functions for individuals: • • • • • • • Ideological motive Bigotry motive Emotional motive Criminal-materialist motive Political-territorial motive Group norm motive Structural motive Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Racism • Institutional Racism • Race-based discrimination that results from the dayto-day operation of social institutions and social structures and their rules, policies, and practices. • It is racism that is systemic within a society. • The Role of Individuals in Institutional Racism: individual racism is rooted in and supported by racism in larger structures. • The “Invisibility” of Institutional Racism: far subtler than individual acts and thus far more difficult to eradicate. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Social Movements and Race • Hate Groups • Most hate groups in the United States are white supremacist groups who believe that minorities of all kinds are a threat to national identity. • Examples include the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazi skinheads. • In 2012 the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1,007 active hate groups in the US. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Social Movements and Race • The Civil Rights Movement • A significant example of resistance to the oppression of blacks and other minority groups • Started in the South in the mid-1950s • Honed a variety of techniques including boycotts, mass marches, freedom rides, and lawsuits • As a result, Jim Crow laws in the South were dismantled using non-violence as an ideological position. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Social Movements and Race • Collective Identity and “Power” Movements • Social movements that arose in the late 1960s and early 1970s that sought to energize racial minorities to advocate for social change by deconstructing a shared sense of inferiority. • Examples: • The Black Power Movement • Brown Power and La Raza • The American Indian Movement (AIM) Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity in Global Context • Historically, ethnic identities have been closely tied to nation-states. • With the increase in globalization and the corresponding decline of the nation-state, national identities have been diluted. • Many ethnic and racial groups live in diaspora – the dispersal, typically involuntarily, of a population from the traditional homeland over a wide geographic area. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity in Global Context • Ethnic Identity and Globalization: Some sociologists argue that globalization is not a threat to ethnic identity. • Ethnic identities are not as fragile as some believe because they are part of the core identity. • Globalization can be a force for the creation and proliferation of ethnic identity. • Ethnic identity and globalization are part of the same processes. • Transnationalism – the separation of ethnic or national identity from any specific geographic territory. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity in Global Context • Global Prejudice and Discrimination • The North-South distinction is a key factor. • The Global North is shorthand for the developed nations that are mostly in the northern hemisphere. • The Global South refers to those nations concentrated I the southern hemisphere with are less developed or undeveloped. • Historically, imperialism, colonialism, economic development, Westernization and Americanization have worked to the advantage of the Global North. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity in Global Context • Global Flows Based on Race and Ethnicity: both race and ethnicity flow around the globe as social constructions. • Positive and Negative Flows • Positive flows that enhance life, safety, and security are likely located in majority areas and in the Global North. • Structures that expedite negative flows are more likely to dump into, and to be found in areas dominated by minority groups. • Racial and Ethnic Barriers: minorities may be unable to move from an area that defines them as subordinate populations. Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc. Race and Ethnicity in Global Context • Ethnic Conflict Within Nation-States • Expulsion is the removal of a group (direct or voluntary) from a territory. • Ethnic Cleansing is the establishment by the dominant group of policies that allow for the forcible removal of another ethnic group. • Genocide is defined as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.” Copyright 2014, SAGE Publications, Inc.