Presentation on theme: "Race and ethnic relations: structured inequality Racial stratification."— Presentation transcript:
Race and ethnic relations: structured inequality Racial stratification
Race and poverty Majority of poor are “white” Poverty rates among minorities higher Rates increasing faster for whites 2003 rates : –Blacks: 24.3% –Hispanics: 22.5% –Asian Americans: 11.8% –Non-Hispanic white: 8.2% 2001 chart:
Why are minorities disproportionately poor?
Culture of poverty theory Originated by Lewis & Banfield in 1960s Social disorganizationist perspective
Culture of poverty theory Ryan’s critique: –From sociological imagination approach –Culture of poverty theory “blaming the victim” –Source of poverty: structural contradictions
“Race,” racism Concepts are key Race and ethnic relations: racial stratification
Concepts: “race” “physical variations singled out by the members of a community or society as socially significant.” (Giddens & Duneier: 211) “not a biological concept, but an ideological one used to oppress …” (Simon & Henderson, 1997: 340)
“race” A century of failed attempts to designate races as biological categories (scientific racism) So does this mean race doesn’t exist? Was W. E. B. DuBois wrong to say the “color line” was the problem of the twentieth century?
W. I. Thomas on the definition of the situation: “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” (1928)
So “race” as a concept is a social construction. Differences in skin color have been singled out as significant, and have been made significant in consequences.
Concepts: ethnicity “cultural practices and outlooks of a given community that have emerged historically” (Giddens & Duneier: 211) Since they are cultural, ethnicities are learned, and socially constructed.
Concepts: prejudice Preconceived opinions or attitudes about a group Attitudes are learned (and socially constructed
Concepts: discrimination Acts that deny members of a group or category access to valued resources or opportunities Discrimination is behavior May or may not be based on prejudice
Concepts: racism racism is an ideology supporting stratification based on the social construction of race
Concepts: racism Review: ideology is a system of ideas which are used to justify a system of power Racism developed historically –Along with the very concept of race –To justify slavery, conquest, racial prejudice and discrimination
Concepts: institutional racism Patterns of racial stratification woven into the social structure and everyday practices of individuals and groups For example, segregation in KC metro (Gotham, 2002)
Education and race/ethnicity
William Julius Wilson: the significance of class and race 1940s: more social organization (145) Conditions of the urban underclass have deteriorated Primarily because of political policies and economic processes –New Federalism –economic shifts –loss of job opportunities –New urban poverty
Anderson: the salad bowl Old melting pot prediction not holding true Middle class/ professional blacks in a bind: –Succeed in white-dominated sphere –Hold on to African-American ethnicity
Affirmative action When were affirmative action policies put in place? Why? Why is there a “frequently bitter” reaction to these policies? What would work better?