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Unit 3- Social Stratification: Racism and Prejudice in America “RACISM IS MAN'S GRAVEST THREAT TO MAN - THE MAXIMUM OF HATRED FOR A MINIMUM OF REASON.”

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 3- Social Stratification: Racism and Prejudice in America “RACISM IS MAN'S GRAVEST THREAT TO MAN - THE MAXIMUM OF HATRED FOR A MINIMUM OF REASON.”"— Presentation transcript:


2 WHITENESS White Tanning vs. Umbrellas and Scarves Asian Eye Surgery- Creating the Epicanthic Fold Ethnic “Whiteness” Beyonce Ashwariya Rai Obama

3 When you go to the beach, how much sunscreen do you use?

4 What does this accomplish? Do you see any rain?










14 MINORITY, RACIAL AND ETHNIC GROUPS Racial Group-a group set apart from others because of obvious physical differences Examples-Whites, African- Americans, Asian Americans Ethnic Groups-set apart from others primarily because of national origin or distinctive cultural patterns Examples-Puerto Ricans, Jews, Polish Americans

15 ETHNICITY Set apart by national origins or distinctive cultural patterns Spanish-speaking-Hispanics or Latinos others: Jewish, Irish, Italian, Norwegian distinction between racial and ethnic minorities is not always clear distinction is socially significant- less physical differences in ethnicity-therefore stratification is less difficult

16 MINORITY GROUPS Numerical Minority-any group that makes up less than half of some larger population Examples-television actors, green-eyed people, tax lawyers, descendants of the Mayflower Not considered to be minorities in the Sociological sense Sociologists define minorities by economic or political power, or powerlessness, of that group Subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than the members of the dominant group

17 FIVE BASIC PROPERTIES OF A MINORITY GROUP 1.Share physical or cultural characteristics - Each society arbitrarily decides which characteristics are important 2.Unequal treatment - Social inequity may be created or maintained by social prejudice, discrimination, segregation, extermination 3.Membership is not voluntary - Race and ethnicity are ascribed statuses 4.Strong sense of solidarity - Group is the object of long term prejudice and discrimination- “us versus them” mentality 5.Generally marry others from the same group - Members of dominant group is unwilling- minorities encourage solidarity

18 STEREOTYPING Unreliable generalization about all members of a group TV-almost all leading dramatic roles are cast by whites-even urban portrayals such as Friends are whites-blacks are heavily represented in crime-based dramas  German Stereotype


20 SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY In response to stereotypes, false definitions end up being accurate A person or group that is described as having particular characteristics begins to display those very traits Examples-bright child from working class family is told he would make a good carpenter Labeling theory-how a person comes to be labeled Especially devastating to minority groups

21 SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY Dominant group believes that the subordinate group lack the ability to perform in lucrative and important positions Denies them the training for these positions Minority group may see the entertainment or sports world as the only way to fame and fortune These same minority groups may help to convince the dominant group that their stereotypes are valid- Harry Edwards-studied the damaging effects of “innate Black athletic superiority” self fulfilling prophecy Only 2,500 blacks are making a living as professional athletes Black community needs to abandon its “blind belief in sport as an extraordinary route to social and economic salvation”

22 SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY African-Americans and other minority groups do not always accept stereotypes and self- fulfilling prophecies “Black is Beautiful” and “Red Power” rejecting traditional definitions and replaced them However, the use of the n-word is still a controversial topic today.

23 PREJUDICE Prejudice-negative attitude toward an entire category of people, often an ethnic or racial minority Can result from ethnocentrism- the tendency to assume that one’s culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others Form of prejudice is racism- the belief that one’s race is supreme and all others are innately inferior

24 PREJUDICE 1998-9,235 hate crimes -58% racial bias-16% on sexual orientation-16% on religious bias-10% on ethnic bias Jasper, Texas-1998-3 white men, possibly tied to race-hate groups, tied up a black man, beat him with chains, and then dragged him on the back of their truck-until his body became dismembered Organized hate group activity is increasing-both reality and virtual reality 2,000 racial hatred websites on the internet in 1999  Emmitt Till

25 DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR Discrimination-the process of denying opportunities and equal rights to individuals or groups because of prejudice or other arbitrary reasons Singling out of a certain group or person due to their minority characteristics. Affirmative Action… DISCRIMINATION? NECESSARY? Meant to counter discrimination, but also highlights it.

26 RACISM Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief; hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. Prejudice and discrimination CREATE racism. Often visible, whereas prejudice is not always seen. Usually involves seeing oneself as the superior race. Holy Smokes, Batman!

27 INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION Denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that result from the normal operations of a society US Commission on Civil Rights identified various forms: 1.Rules requiring that only English be spoken at a place of work, even when it is not a business necessity to restrict the use of other languages 2.Preferences shown by law and medical schools in the admission of children of wealthy and influential alumni, nearly all of whom are white 3.Restrictive employment-leave policies, coupled with prohibitions on part time work, that make it difficult for heads of single-parent families to obtain and keep jobs


29 FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE OF RACE AND ETHNICITY Functions of racial prejudiced beliefs have for the dominant group 1. Moral justification for maintaining a unequal society- southern whites maintaining slavery- Africans were physically and spiritually were subhuman devoid of souls 2. Racist beliefs discourage the subordinate minority from questioning its lowly status would question the foundation of society 3. Racial myth encourages support for the existing order prejudice grows when a society’s value system is being threatened

30 FUNCTIONALISTS Dysfunction associated with racism 1. Society that practices racism fails to use the resources of all its individuals- limits the search for talent 2. Discrimination aggravates social problems such as poverty, delinquency, crime-financial burden falls on the dominant group 3. Society must invest a good deal of time and money to defend its barriers 4. Racial prejudice and discrimination often undercut goodwill and friendly diplomatic relations between nations

31 CONFLICT THEORISTS Exploitation Theory- exploitation of the lower class is a basic part of a capitalist system Marx-racism keeps minorities in lower paying jobs, giving capitalist rulers with cheap labor too limited to explain prejudice Correctly “points a sure finger at one of the factors involved in prejudice, …rationalized self-interest of the upper class”

32 INTERACTIONALIST THEORY Contact Hypothesis- interracial contact between people of equal status in cooperative circumstances will cause them to become less prejudiced and to abandon previous stereotypes begin to see one another as individuals factors-equal status, cooperative circumstances

33 PATTERNS OF INTERGROUP RELATIONS Macro-level relations racial and ethnic vary-from friendship to genocide-from behaviors of mutual approval to behaviors imposed by the dominant group genocide- the deliberate, systematic killing of an entire people or nation one million Armenian in Turkey in 1915-6 million Jews, gays, Gypsies in Germany during WWII US-Native Americans-1800- population 600,000, by 1850 was 250,000 Expulsion -1979-Vietnam expelled 1 million ethnic Chinese-Serbian Forces- program of Ethnic Cleansing in 1991

34 PATTERNS OF INTERGROUP RELATIONS 1. Amalgamation-the end result when a majority group ad a minority group combine to form a new group-A+B+C=D 2. Assimilation-a person forsakes his/her own cultural tradition to become part of different culture-A+B+C=A Alphonso D’Abuzzo to Alan Alda, Joyce Frankenberg to Jane Seymour 3. Segregation-physical separation of two groups of people in terms of residence, workplace and social function, imposed by the dominant group- Apartheid in South Africa 4. Pluralism-mutual respect between various groups in a society for one another’s culture-A+B+C=A+B+C

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