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Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Chapter 7. The Continuing Struggle for Minority Civil Rights Despite the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka U.S.

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Presentation on theme: "Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Chapter 7. The Continuing Struggle for Minority Civil Rights Despite the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka U.S."— Presentation transcript:

1 Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Chapter 7

2 The Continuing Struggle for Minority Civil Rights Despite the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Civil Rights Act, and subsequent legislations, the discrepancy between legal equality and actual inequality has remained in American society The terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001 showed how national and world events can quickly change the fortunes of particular minority groups The situations of immigrant groups highlights the problems of minority status in the United States

3 The Social Construction of Minorities Racial minorities are groups that are set apart on the basis of physical characteristics Ethnic minorities are groups that are set apart on the basis of nationality and culture Assimilation is the process by which a minority group takes on the culture of the dominant group

4 The Social Construction of Minorities Five characteristics that determine minority status in society 1. Minority groups are subordinate segments of a complex society 2. Minority groups have traits that set them apart and are devalued by dominant segment of the society 3. Subordinate groups develop a sense of group consciousness “we feeling”

5 The Social Construction of Minorities 4. Involuntary status; one is born into it 5. Subordinate and dominant group patterns of interaction lead to patterns of endogamy

6 Defining Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Racism - is behavior that is motivated by the belief that one’s own group is superior to other groups that are set apart on the basis of physical characteristics Discrimination - unequal treatment because of group membership Prejudice - prejudged negative attitude or opinion about a group without bothering to verify the merits of the opinion or judgment

7 Defining Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination The relationship between prejudice and discrimination is complex Robert Merton’s study and typology of the relationship between prejudice and discrimination Four patterns 1. Unprejudiced nondiscriminatory – integration 2. Unprejudiced and discriminatory – institutional discrimination

8 Defining Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Four patterns 3. Prejudiced and nondiscriminatory – latent bigotry 4. Prejudiced and discriminatory – outright bigotry

9 Origins of Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice and Bigotry in the Individual Frustration-Aggression – when one feels or experiences frustration due to blocked needs, it is common to displace that frustration onto a scapegoat »Anger and frustration is often taken out on subordinate groups Projection- the tendency to project one’s own undesirable traits onto a subordinate group

10 Origins of Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice and Bigotry in Social Structures Exploitation theory - prejudice is rationally and economically motivated on the basis of self interest » The dominant group benefits from prejudice in that it is rooted within the subordination and exploitation of a group

11 Origins of Prejudice and Discrimination Cultural Factors: Norms and Stereotypes Normative approach - prejudice is patterned into the cultural norms and values of a group or society Prejudice is learned and is a function of conforming to the norms of a group »Homogamy - the norm that one must marry within one’s own group Stereotyping - generalizing a trait to a group is another source of prejudice

12 Institutional Discrimination Institutional discrimination stems from the ongoing routines of societies’ social institutions - such as work or education Institutional discrimination is different from other types of discrimination since it is not always a conscious intent to discriminate

13 Institutional Discrimination Racial Profiling refers to the practice by which law enforcement officers select people for investigation on the basis of race Racial profiling is a form of institutional discrimination in that law enforcement agencies use race as policy for selecting someone out for further scrutiny

14 Institutional Discrimination Education Minority educational achievement lags behind the dominant group In 2004, about 15 percent of whites age 25 and over had not completed high school Forty three percent of Hispanics aged 25 and over had not completed high school Twenty percent of African Americans age 25 and over had not completed high school

15 Institutional Discrimination Education Family income is related to educational achievement and attainment A higher rate of poverty among minorities is related to less education

16 Institutional Discrimination Unequal Access to High-Quality Schooling Minority segregation in poor schools Brown v. Board of Education and patterns of de jure segregation »Segregation by law or policy was ruled unconstitutional

17 Institutional Discrimination Unequal Access to High-Quality Schooling De facto patterns of segregation of today »Housing patterns »Economic inequalities »Gerrymandered school districts »Middle-class flight from communities Busing has been the primary policy over the years to achieve desegregation »Primarily of minority students

18 Institutional Discrimination Harvard Project on School Desegregation has found a pattern of resegregation of schools Harvard Project Findings: 1. Enrollment of Hispanic students have increased by 218 percent with 75 percent attending predominantly minority schools 2. Majority of white students are attending schools that are 80 percent white

19 Institutional Discrimination Harvard Project Findings: 3. Enrollment for African American students has increased but they are likely to attend predominantly minority schools 4. Schools with large minority populations are concentrated in poor areas 5. Poverty compounds school segregation

20 Institutional Discrimination Housing Housing segregation is related »Poverty »Prejudice »Racial steering by real estate brokers Ways to reduce housing segregation »Conduct audit research on practices that cause segregation »More enforcement of anti-bias legislation

21 Institutional Discrimination Employment and Income Employment discrimination in part is related to past educational discrimination Labor unions have also been a source of employment discrimination »Restricted minority membership in the past »Insensitive to minority members

22 Institutional Discrimination Employment and Income Income gap has been narrowing Asset gap has been widening William J. Wilson - the growing gap between the middle-class and poor is widening »Decline in manufacturing jobs for inner city residents »Inadequate schools »Racist employers

23 Institutional Discrimination Justice Two premises of the American justice system 1. Justice is blind 2. Innocent until proven guilty These two premises fall short: 1. Higher arrest rates of minorities »Function in part of the higher arrest rate among the poor 2. Bail system and inequality in accessing the system

24 Institutional Discrimination Justice These two premises fall short: 3. Inequality in administering justice »Sentencing and employment discrimination »Death penalty and the race of the victim

25 Institutional Discrimination Political Discrimination Members of minority groups are systematically courted by politicians, but political discrimination is found throughout the United States Felony Disenfranchisement In many states, people convicted of a felony may lose the right to vote.

26 Institutional Discrimination Anti-Voter Fraud Campaigns Civil rights groups note that recent state and federal efforts to investigate voter fraud and institute new systems of voter identification can be seen as attempts to block higher minority voter turnouts.

27 Some Consequences of Prejudice and Discrimination 1. Prejudice and discrimination have harmful effects on the personality of its victims 2. Prejudice and discrimination are sources of strife and conflict between groups 3. Prejudice and discrimination and subtle racism are directed toward upper-class minorities 4. Hate crimes

28 Social Policy Job Training Government budget concerns, corporate downsizing will make job training programs a issue Affirmative Action Originated out of the 1964 civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race and sex

29 Social Policy Affirmative Action Affirmative action requires educational and economic organizations to have programs to increase the hiring of minority applicants and promotion policies California (1996) and Proposition 209 it eliminated Affirmative action in higher education and government jobs »Decline in minority enrollment in higher education

30 Social Policy Affirmative Action Critics argue affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination Affirmative action will continue to be an area of controversy Education for Equality Enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation in education

31 Social Policy Education for Equality Head Start – federally-funded preschool program and nutrition program for children from poor families Flaws in the Head Start program 1.What should be taught 2. Does too little, too late

32 Social Policy Future Prospects Continued struggles to maintain the gains over the years »Job market »Affirmative action »Educational equality


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