2 Race, Ethnicity & Families How do we define race? How do we define ethnicity?
3 Racial-Ethnic Groups Racial groups are those with a common set of physical features that distinguishes them from other groups Race is defined as a category composed of people who share real or alleged physical traits that members of a society deem to be socially significant
4 Race, Ethnicity & Families But race is also a social concept Race is socially constructed The characteristics associated with each racial group are subjective Definitions of race: vary over time from one society to another have emerged from interaction of various populations over long periods of human history
5 Race, Ethnicity & Families Why do sociologists argue that race is socially constructed? 1) While racial characteristics may have been biological in origin, the interpretation of those characteristics varies Societies each decide which racial differences are meaningful
6 Race, Ethnicity & Families Why do sociologists argue that race is socially constructed? 2)Choice of racial characteristics is subjective People differ in many ways, but only some of those differences are emphasized For example, in defining differences in racial characteristics, why have we focused on skin color or the shape of a person’s eyes? Why isn’t race based on different blood types or eye color?
7 Race, Ethnicity & Families Why do sociologists argue that race is socially constructed? 3) The characteristics used to distinguish racial differences and stereotypes change over time 4) And the last reason to argue that race is socially constructed is that definitions of race differences vary from one society to the next
8 Race, Ethnicity & Families How do we define ethnicity? A population that shares a cultural heritage Ethnic Groups have a sense of group identity based on a distinctive cultural pattern or heritage They often share a place of common ancestry, language, or religion that is the basis of their collective identity
9 Race, Ethnicity & Families How do we define ethnicity? ? Ethnic groups often have a sense of brotherhood or sisterhood that is maintained within a larger society. Members of ethnic groups have usually migrated to a new nation or have been conquered by an invading population.
10 U.S. Population by Race, 2005 http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-mt_name=ACS_2005_EST_G2000_B02001
11 U.S. Population by Hispanic Origin:2005 http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-mt_name=ACS_2005_EST_G2000_B02001
12 Race, Ethnicity & Families Need to recognize diversity in families How do families vary by race/ethnicity? How does family structure vary? How does the teen pregnancy rate vary by race/ethnicity How do families’ ties to other social institutions, like education system, the economy, or health care system, vary by race/ethnicity?
13 Race, Ethnicity & Families Different racial groups make their homes in different neighborhoods, and have different access to a different set of social institutions Social institutions create paths in which families are assigned to a different set of opportunities
14 Race, Ethnicity & Families Minority families are: more likely to live in disadvantaged neighborhoods go to under-funded schools have less access to high level colleges have poorer health care options Have higher rates of teen pregnancy less access to better, higher paying jobs
15 Social Institutions Family sociologists examine interactions among social institutions and how they influence behaviors, attitudes, and opportunities in families All of these interactions take place in the context of racial/ethnic relations in the U.S. Economy Families GovernmentEducation Religion Healthcare Race/ Ethnicity
16 Great differences among individual and families outcomes by racial/ethnic groups Let’s consider the rate of teen pregnancy: Source: http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/Massachusetts.htm Race/Ethnic differences
17 For example: In 2006 4,724 mothers age 15-19 gave in Massachusetts, This is a birth rate of 21 per 1,000 females in that age group Significant disparities exist in birth rates for Massachusetts youth by race and Hispanic origin. In 2006, the non-Hispanic black teen birth rate was nearly three times higher than the white teen birth rate Hispanic teen birth rate was nearly six times higher Teen Pregnancy by Race/Ethnicity in Massachusetts
18 Sociologist Howard Taylor asks… Why are African-American families different from other racial-ethnic groups? Why is the teen pregnancy rate so much higher for African American women? Cultural argument – African American families rely more on extended family ties, rely less on nuclear family Economic argument – As we changed from emphasis on industrial occupations to service ones – A.A. men were displaced from their jobs more than white men
19 Sociologist Howard Taylor asks: Why are African-American families different from other racial-ethnic groups? Economic argument – African American men, it is argues, “bring less to the table” in terms of economic stability – so African American women are less likely to marry them
20 Union formation - first unions formed are twice as likely to be cohabitations compared to whites Family incomes for black families well below averages for white families Median Family income: African American families is $32,584 White families: $51861 Economic gains to marriage have declined for black women African-American Families
21 Race, Ethnicity & Families How are the race categories used in Census 2000 defined? “White” refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe,the Middle East,or North Africa.It includes people who indicated their race or races as “White ”or wrote in entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish. “Black or African American” refers to people having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.It includes people who indicated their race or races as “Black,African Am.,or Negro,”or wrote in entries such as African American, Afro American, Nigerian, or Haitian.
22 Race, Ethnicity & Families “American Indian and Alaska Native” refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. It includes people who indicated their race or races by marking this category or writing in their principal or enrolled tribe, such as Rosebud Sioux Chippewa or Navajo. Asian refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia,or the Indian subcontinent. It includes people who indicated their race or races as Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Other Asian, or wrote in entries such as Burmese, Hmong, Pakistani, or Thai.
23 Hispanic Families As much variation within the group as between Hispanics and other groups Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans = 31.3 million people Mexicans and Mexican Americans = 65% Central and South Americans = 14% Puerto Rican = 10% Cuban Americans = 4%
24 Asian-American Families Again Asian is an “umbrella” term that includes diverse groups Less research on Asian-American families as prior to 1965 numbers wee lower than Hispanics But for Example, in 1970 there were 69,000 Korean Americans By 1998 there were 980,000
25 Asian-American Families In general Asian-Americans emphasize interdependence among family members over individualism favored by western cultures Asian families place more emphasis on children’s loyalty and service to parents Asian-American adults are more likely to live in a household with an adult child who provide most of the income
26 Summary Race is socially constructed Family patterns vary greatly by race/ethnicity Rates of marriage and fertility rate varies across racial and ethnic groups Make sure you know percentages of major racial/ethnic groups