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The Study of Minorities Chapter 1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003. This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following.

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Presentation on theme: "The Study of Minorities Chapter 1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003. This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Study of Minorities Chapter 1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003. This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: - Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; - Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; - Any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

2 Questions We Will Explore Social Thinking : o How do we explain people’s behavior? How do we form our beliefs and attitudes? How does what we think affect what we do? Studies of social cognition and understanding minority groups provide some answers? Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

3 Social Psychology Especially when the unexpected occurs, we analyze why people act as they do. Social Psychology is the scientific study of ho we think about, influence, and relate to one another.

4 Social Psychology Attribution theory is that we tend to give a causal explanation for someone’s behavior, often by crediting either the situation or the person’s disposition. Dispositional attribution/a situational attribution = a fundamental attribution error. The tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.

5 Social Psychology Attribution theory  Dose our attitudes guide our actions?  Dos Our actions affect our attitudes?  Why do our actions affect our attitudes? Is your attitude showing?

6 Social Psychology Group Influence Individual behavior in the presence of others, social facilitation, deindividuation, group polarization ( like-minded strengthens its prevailing opinion ), groupthink( mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.

7 More Questions to Explore What are the three sociological theories used to study minorities? How does a minority group differ from an ethnic group? How do we define race and ethnic group? Why is objective study of minorities difficult?

8 Sociology & Theory Sociology is the study of human relationships and patterns of behavior. A theory is an organized set of ideas about a topic that predicts relationships. In sociological investigation, three major perspectives (theories) shape analysis of the study of minorities: functional theory, conflict theory, and interactionist theory. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

9 Functional Theory Society seen as a stable, cooperative social system in which everything has a function and provides the basis for harmony. Societal elements function together to maintain order, stability, and equilibrium. Social problems, or dysfunctions, result from temporary disorganization or maladjustment. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

10 Functional Theory (continued) Rapid social change is the most frequent cause of loss of societal equilibrium. Necessary adjustments will restore the social system to a state of equilibrium. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

11 Conflict Theory Society is viewed as continually engaged in a series of disagreements, tensions, and clashes. Conflict is inevitable because new elites form, even after the previously oppressed group “wins.” Disequilibrium and change are the norm because of societal inequalities. If we know who benefits from exploitation, we understand why discrimination persists. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

12 Conflict Theory (continued) False consciousness (holding attitudes not accurately reflecting the objective facts of the situation) is a technique by which a ruling elite maintains power and control of resources. Group cohesiveness and struggle against oppression are necessary to affect social change. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

13 Interactionist Theory This theory focuses on the microsocial world of personal interaction patterns in everyday life. Shared symbols and definitions provide the basis for interpreting life experiences. A social construction of reality becomes internalized, making it seem to those who adopt it as if it were objective fact. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

14 Interactionist Theory (continued) Shared expectations and understandings, or the absence of these, explain intergroup relations. Better communication and intercultural awareness improve majority-minority interaction patterns. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

15 Minority Group and Dominant Group Defined Dominant group - any culturally or physically distinctive social grouping possessing economic, political and social power, and discriminating against a subordinate minority group. Minority group - a culturally and physically distinctive group receiving unequal treatment, an ascribed status, a sense of shared identity, and practicing endogamy, marriage within their group, either by choice or by necessity because of their social isolation. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

16 Race and Ethnic Group Defined Race is a categorization in which a large number of people sharing visible physical characteristics regard themselves or are regarded by others as a single group on that basis. Ethnic group is a group of people who share a common religion, nationality, culture, and/or language. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

17 The Difficulty in the Study of Minorities The study of minorities presents a difficult challenge because our value orientations and life experiences can impair our objectivity. Even trained sociologists, being human, encounter difficulty in maintaining value neutrality. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

18 Difficulty (continued) Indeed, some people argue that sociologists should take sides and not attempt a sterile approach to the subject. The Dillingham Flaw (using an inaccurate comparison based on simplistic categorizations and antiquated judgments) seriously undermines the scientific worth of supposedly objective evaluations. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

19 Difficulty (continued) Both ethnocentrism (a tendency to judge other cultures or subcultures by the standards of one’s own culture) and subjectivity are commonplace in problems involving intergroup relations. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

20 Summary In sociological investigation of minorities, three perspectives shape analysis: functional theory, conflict theory, and interactionist theory. The study of minorities presents a difficult challenge. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003

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