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Chapter 8 Racial–Ethnic Relations

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1 Chapter 8 Racial–Ethnic Relations

2 The Problem in Sociological Perspective
Prejudice is an attitude. Discrimination is action, differential treatment. Minority group: People who are discriminated against because they belong to a particular group. Dominant group: those who discriminate

3 Characteristics of Minority Groups
Membership is not voluntary (achieved status) but comes through birth (ascribed status). Physical or cultural traits are held in low esteem by the dominant group (prejudice). Members are treated unequally by the dominant group (discrimination). Minorities feel group solidarity because of physical or cultural traits and disadvantages of these traits.

4 Policies of Dominant Groups: Patterns of Intergroup Relations
Pluralism Assimilation: forced or permissible Segregation Internal colonialism Population transfer: direct or indirect Genocide


6 Ideas of Racial Superiority
Race The inherited physical characteristics that identify a group of people Eugenics Attempts to improve the human “race” through selective breeding Race is an arbitrary social category. Sociologists use the term racial–ethnic group. Racial–ethnic group: people who identify with one another on basis of ancestry and cultural heritage Ethnicity – Culture


8 The Scope of the Problem
The melting pot Anglo-conformity Stereotypes: unrealistic generalizations of what people are like Effects of discrimination reach beyond statistics



11 Institutional Discrimination
Individual Discrimination Institutional Discrimination National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAR): organization that used to support racial discrimination as a moral act


13 Unintended Institutional Discrimination
Institutional Discrimination: can occur even when those doing the discriminating are unaware of it The Achievement Predictor (TAP) Institutional discrimination is built into our social system. Operates throughout society High school exit exams, SATs, IQ tests

14 Symbolic Interactionism
Ethnophaulisms: derogatory labels that are applied to racial– ethnic groups Socialization into prejudice Labels affect prejudice by causing selective perception Self-fulfilling Prophecy: labels so powerful they justify prejudice and discrimination Compartmentalize: separate negative acts from other aspects of their lives

15 Functionalism Functions and dysfunctions of discrimination
Racial–ethnic stratification Ensures that society’s dirty work gets done Society needs a division of labor Ethnocentrism Helps dominant group justify higher social position and greater share of society’s resources Dysfunctions Interfere with people’s welfare and the functioning of society

16 Conflict Theory Surplus value of labor Split-labor Market
Weakens the bargaining power of workers by splitting them along racial– ethnic lines Reserve Labor Force Minority workers are ideal for the reserve labor force False class consciousness Consequences of a split-labor market Leads minorities and whites to view one another as enemies Riots

17 Research Findings Native Americans
2 million Native Americans representing more than 500 tribes Exogamy: intermarriage Treaties: broken for land and resources Stereotypes: justify inhumane acts Education and culture conflict: Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Pan-Indianism: moving beyond identification with a particular tribe and emphasizing common elements that run through all of their cultures


19 Latinos (Hispanics) African Americans Largest ethnic group in the U.S.
Unauthorized immigrants Factor that clearly distinguishes Latinos from other U.S. minorities is the Spanish language African Americans Civil Disobedience: deliberately but peacefully disobeying laws considered unjust Rising Expectations Militancy: after M.L. King’s death


21 Race or Social Class? A Sociological Debate
Any group of people who have more or less similar goods, services, or skills to offer for income in a given economic order and who therefore receive similar financial remuneration in the market-place Life Chances Quality of life and experiences

22 Asian Americans Detention Camps
Discrimination against Chinese and Japanese Development stages of Chinatowns Involuntary segregation Defensive insulation Voluntary segregation Gradual assimilation General economic success of Asian Americans seems to be rooted in three factors: family life, education, and assimilation


24 Social Policy Centers on goals of encouraging cultural pluralism and preventing discrimination Appreciating different backgrounds Establish national, state, and local “cultural centers” Teach history in ways that recognize the contributions of many groups Teach foreign languages in public schools

25 Preventing Discrimination
Use the legal system Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination by race, color, creed, national origin, and sex, must be enforced Education vouchers Parents could choose any school they wanted their children to attend, private or public

26 The Dilemma of Affirmative Action
The Bakke Case Proposition 209 The University of Michigan Case Absent constitutional amendments like those in Michigan and California; states that want to use race–ethnicity in college admissions must follow the Supreme Court’s decision

27 Principles for Improving Relations
People of different racial–ethnic backgrounds should have equal status. People in interethnic contact should work together. To achieve equality, groups must demonstrate cooperative dependence. Authority, law, and custom should support interaction among groups.

28 The Future of the Problem
Progress Inconsistent and backwards at times An ongoing struggle Disparities in education Education is the key in improving racial–ethnic relations Disturbing possibility is permanent underclass Militants, from minority or dominant group, are an unpredictable factor in future racial–ethnic relations The American Dilemma


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