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Chapter One Diversity in the United States: Questions and Concepts© Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
A Land of Immigrants Over the past three decades, the number of immigrants arriving in the U.S. has more than tripled, changing the racial and ethnic makeup of U.S. society © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
What is a minority group?The members of the group experience a pattern of disadvantage or inequality. The members of the group share a visible trait or characteristic that differentiates them from other groups. The minority group is a self-conscious social unit. Membership in the group is usually determined at birth. Members tend to marry within the group. Instructors Note: Minority status has more to do with the distribution of resources and power than with simple numbers. The definition of minority group used in this book is based on Wagley and Harris (1958). According to this definition, a minority group has five characteristics that are listed above. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Inequality Most important defining characteristic of minority groups.Variable patterns of inequality-exploitation, slavery, genocide Minority, or subordinate groups, have less of what society values Pattern is a result of actions by the core or dominant group Instructors Note: Whatever its scope or severity, whether it extends to wealth, jobs, housing, political power, police protection, or health care, the pattern of disadvantage is the key defining characteristic of a minority group. Have left-handed individuals been systematically excluded from acquiring education. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Inequality Stratification, or the unequal distribution of valued goods and services, is a basic feature of society. Societies are divided into horizontal layers (or strata), often called social classes, which differ from one another by the amount of resources they command. Minority group status affects access to property, prestige, and power Instructors Note: Revisit the six American stories at the beginning of the chapter and specifically discuss social class standing. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Theoretical PerspectivesInstructors Note: Discuss the highlights of each theory. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Minority Group Status and StratificationMinority group status affects access to wealth and income, prestige, and power. Although social classes and minority groups are correlated, they are separate social realities. Struggles over property, wealth, prestige, and power lie at the heart of every dominant-minority relationship. Instructors Note: Useful to discuss the concept of the “deserving poor” (Will, 1993). © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Visible Distinguishing TraitsVisible traits or characteristics that set members of the group apart and that the dominant group holds in low esteem. Racial minority groups differentiated by physical characteristics. Ethnic minority groups differentiated by cultural characteristics. Categories can overlap. Creations of historical and social processes not biological processes. Instructors Note: Ask students that have visibly distinguishable racial and/or ethnic characteristics to stand up. Then ask volunteers and the rest of the class to point out differences between physical and ethnic characteristics. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Race Even though race is not regarded as an important biological characteristic, it is still an important social concept. It continues to be seen as a significant way of differentiating among people. Instructors Note: Discuss the social construction of race with additional material presented in textbook and following slide. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
For more on Census 2000 race and ethnicity see below:Instructors Note: Giménez (1989) provides a good discussion on the political construction of “Hispanic” ethnicity. Also, this is the first time in the history of the census that individuals could identify with one or more races. For more on Census 2000 race and ethnicity see below: © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Gender Like race, gender has both a biological and a social component and can be a highly visible and convenient way of judging and sorting people. Rather than discussing women as a separate group, we need to focus on the divergent experiences of men and women within each minority group. This approach permits us to analyze the ways in which race, ethnicity, gender, and class combine, overlap, and crosscut each other to form a “matrix of domination” (Hill-Collins, 1991, pp ). Instructors Note: Discuss your position in the “matrix of domination” with students. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
© Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Key Concepts in Dominant-Minority Relations© Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Prejudice The tendency to think (cognitive) about other groups in a particular manner and to attach usually negative emotions (affective) to other groups. Stereotypes are generalizations that are thought to apply to all members of the group. Generally the two dimensions of prejudice are highly correlated but distinct and separate and can vary independently. Instructors Note: Discuss how you can be viewed in a stereotypical manner. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Causes of Prejudice Theories that focus on personality needs as a cause of prejudice Theories that view prejudice as primarily a result of being raised in a racist society and interacting in many social situations in which discrimination is approved Theories that view prejudice as arising out of intergroup conflict © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Competition Between Groups and the Origins of PrejudiceThe one common factor that seems to account for the origin of all prejudices is competition between groups Typically, prejudice is more a result of the competition than a cause Muzafer Sherif’s experiment at Robber’s Cave © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Limitations: Individuals who have no material stake in minority group subordination can still be extremely prejudiced. The sources of prejudice can be found in culture, socialization, family structure, and personality development as well as in politics and economics. Prejudice can have important psychological and social functions independent of group power relationships. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Culture, Socialization, and the Persistence of PrejudicePrejudice originates in group competition of some sort but often outlives the conditions of its creation Gunnar Myrdal proposed the idea that prejudice is perpetuated through time by a self-fulfilling prophecy or a vicious cycle © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
The Vicious Cycle Instructors Note:(1). Partly to motivate the construction of a system of racial stratification and partly to justify its existence, individual prejudice and ideologies of racism are invented and accepted by the dominant group (2). Individual prejudices are reinforced by the everyday observation of the inferior status of the minority group. The fact that the minority group is in fact impoverished, enslaved, or otherwise exploited confirms and strengthens the attribution of inferiority. The belief in inferiority motivates further discrimination and unequal treatment (3), which reinforces the inferior status, which validates the prejudice and racism, which justifies further discrimination, and so on. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
The idea that prejudice is learned during socialization is reinforced by studies of the development of prejudice in children. Children acquire prejudice even when parents and other caregivers do not teach it overtly. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Research using social distance scales demonstrates that prejudice exists apart from individuals and that it is passed from generation to generation. The importance of the social situation in which attitudes are expressed and behavior occurs is also important as what people think and what they do is not always the same. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Limitations: No two people have the same socialization experiences or develop exactly the same prejudices. Socialization is not a passive process; we are not neutral recipients of a culture that is simply forced down our throats. We also learn egalitarian norms and values as we are socialized. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
The Sociology of Individual PrejudicePrejudice has its origins in intergroup competition and is more the result of competition rather than the cause. Prejudice is used to justify and rationalize societal inequality that becomes part of a cultural heritage. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Discrimination Refers to behavior and may be defined as the unequal treatment of a person or persons based on group membership Discrimination and prejudice do not necessarily occur together Instructors Note: Discuss example of how discrimination and prejudice do not necessarily occur together. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Ideological Racism A belief system or a set of ideas that assert that a particular group is inferior and used to legitimize or rationalize the inferior status of the group. Incorporated into the culture of society and can be passed on from generation to generation. Do not necessarily need prejudice to have ideological racism--socialization processes. The term ideological sexism, analogous to ideological racism but focused on sexual differences, will be used when we analyze patterns of inequality between males and females. Instructors Note: Discuss if and how the concept of Manifest Destiny can be construed as ideological racism. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Institutionalized DiscriminationPatterns of unequal treatment based on group membership and built into the institutions and daily operations of society. Can be obvious and overt, but usually operate in more hidden and unintended ways. Instructors Note: Discuss examples of institutionalized discrimination—redlining, poll taxes, English Only. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
Individual level prejudice and discrimination, and group level racism and institutional discrimination reinforce each other. These relationships are socially negotiated and sustain the respective positions of dominant and minority groups in the stratification system. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2010
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