Chapter 10: Race and Ethnicity

ETHNIC GROUP
a social category of people who share a common culture, for ex common language or dialect, nationality, religion; and common norms, practices, customs, and history

ex: Italian Americans, Japanese Americans

RACE
a group treated as distinct in society based on certain characteristics, some of which are biological, that have been assigned social importance. it is not the biological characteristics that define it but HOW GROUPS HAVE BEEN TREATED HISTORICALLY AND SOCIALLY. it is SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED
RACIALIZATION
a process whereby some social category, such as social class or nationality, takes on what society perceives to be racial characteristics.

ex: when jews in Germany were defined as a race.

RACIAL FORMATION
the process by which a group comes to be defined as a race.

the process of defining slaves as 3/5ths of a person linked the definition of slaves as a race to the political and economic needs of the most powerful group in society.

OUT GROUP HOMOGENEITY EFFECT
the tendency for an in group member to perceive members of any out group as similar or identical to each other.
MINORITY GROUP
any distinct group in soiciety that shares common group characteristics and is forced to occupy low status in society b/c of prejudice and discrimination. a group that hold low status in relation to other groups in society, regardless of the size of their group.
DOMINANT GROUP
the group that assigns a racial or ethnic group to subordinate status in society.
RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP CHARACTERISTICS
1. they possess characteristics that are popularly regarded as different from those of the dominant group.
2. they suffer prejudice and discrimination by the dominant group.
3. membership in the group is frequently ascribed rather than achieved, although either form of status can be the basis for being identified as a minority.
4. they feel a strong sense of group solidarity. there is a “consciousness of kind” or “we” feeling. this bond grows from common cultural heritage and the shared experience of being a recipient of prejudice and discrimination.
STEREOTYPE
an oversimplified set of beliefs about members of a social group or social stratum. it is based on the tendency of humans to categorize a person based on a narrow range of perceived characteristics. they are presumed, usually incorrectly, to describe the “typical” member of some social group.
SALIENCE PRINCIPLE
categorizing people on the basis of what initially appears prominent about them. ex: skin color; it is one of the first things that one notices about one another.
STEREOTYPE INTERCHANGEABILITY
the principle that negative stereotypes are often interchangeable from one racial group to another, social class to another, from a racial group to a social class, or from a social class to a gender.
PREJUDICE
the evaluation of a social group and the individuals w/in it based on conceptions about the social group held despite facts that disprove them; the beliefs involve both prejudement and misjudgment.
AN ATTITUDE.
ETHNOCENTRISM
the belief that one’s group is superior to all other groups.
DISCRIMINATION
the overt negative and unequal treatment of the members of some social group or stratum solely b/c of their membership in that group or stratum.
AN OVERT BEHAVIOR.
REDLINING
an illegal practice in which an entire minority neighborhood is designated to “no loan.”
GERRYMANDERING
the calculated redrawing of election districts, school districts, and similar political boundaries in order to maintain racial segregation.
RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION
the spatial separation of racial and ethnic groups into different residential areas called “American apartheid”.
RACISM
the perception and treatment of a racial or ethnic group, or member of that group, as intellectually, socially, and culturally inferior to one’s own group. it is more than an attitude; it is institutionalized in society. involves negative attitudes that are sometimes linked with negative behavior.
FORMS OF RACISM
types or versions of racism, such as traditional racism, aversive racism, institutional racism.
OLD FASHIONED RACISM
obvious overt racism, such as physical assaults, from beatings to lynchings.
AVERSIVE RACISM
subtle, covert, and non obvious. consistently avoiding interaction. common.
LAISSEZ- FAIRE RACISM
1. the subtle but persistent negative stereotyping of minorities, particularly black Americans, especially in the media.
2. a tendency to blame blacks themselves for the gap btw blacks and whites in socioeconomic standing, occupational achievement, and educational achievement.
3. clear resistance to meaningful policy efforts designed to ameliorate America’s racially oppressive social conditions and practices.
COLORBLIND RACISM
the individual affected by this type of racism prefers to ignore legitmate racial-ethnic, cultural, and other differences and insists that the cultural, and other differences and insists that the race problems in America will go away in only race is ignored all together.
WHITE PRIVILEGE
allows whites to define themselves as politically and racially tolerant as they proclaim adherence to a belief system that does not see or judge individuals by the “color of their skin” they think of their skin as irrelevant.
INSTITUTIONAL RACISM
racism involving notions of racial or ethnic inferiority that have become ingrained into society’s institutions.
RACIAL PROFILING
the use of race alone as the criterion for deciding whether to stop and detain someone on suspicion of their having committed a crime.
SCAPEGOAT THEORY
members of the dominant group in the U.S. have harbored various frustrations in their desire to achieve social and economic success. as a result of their frustration, they vent their anger in a form of aggression. this aggression is directed toward some substitute(members of minority groups) that takes the place of the original perception of the frustration.
AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY
a personality characterized by a tendency to rigidly categorize people and to submit to authority, rigidly conform, and be tolerant of ambiguity. the authoritarian person is more likely to to stereotype or categorize another and thus readily places members of minority groups into convenient and oversimplified categories or stereotypes. more likely to be prejudiced than non authoritarian personalities.
FUNCTIONALIST THEORY
in order for race and ethnic relations to be functional and thus contribute to the harmonious conduct and stability of society, racial and ethnic minorities must assimilate into that society.
ASSIMILATION
a process in which a minority becomes socially economically, and culturally absorbed w/in the dominant society. minority groups must adopt as much of the dominant society’s culture as possible, particularly its language, mannerisms, and goals for success, and thus give up its own culture.
PLURALISM
the maintenance and persistence of one’s culture, language, mannerisms, practices, art an so on.
SYMBOLIC INTERACTION THEORY
1. reducing racial and ethnic hostility
2. how race and ethnicity are socially constructed.
asks what happens when 2 people of different racial or ethnic origins come into contact with each other, and how can such interracial or interenthic contact reduce hostility and conflict?
CONTACT THEORY
originated with Gordon Allport. argues that interaction btw whites and minorities will reduce prejudice w/in both groups, but only if 3 conditions are met:
1. the contact must be btw individuals of equal status; the parties must interact o equal ground.
2. the contact btw equals must be sustained;short term contact will not decrease prejudice.
3. social norms favoring equality must be agreed upon by the participants.
CONFLICT THEORY
class based conflict is an inherent and fundamental part of social interaction.

those focusing primarily upon class conflict as more important in explaining inequality and its consequences have argued that class and changes in the economic structure are sometimes more important than race shaping the life chances of different groups.

other say race.

INTERSECTION PERSPECTIVE
the interactive or combined effects of racism, classism, and gender in the oppression of people. it assumes that any person is socially located in a position that involves race, class, gender, and thus looking at one of them to explain their status is incomplete. this perspective notes not only are the effects of gender and race intertwined, bit are also both intertwined with the effects of class.
ANTI SEMITISM
the hatred of Jewish people
NATIONAL ORIGINS QUOTA ACT
immigrants were permitted to enter the country only in proportion to their numbers already existing in the U.S. the act discriminated against southern and eastern Europeans in favor of western and northern Europeans.
PROBLEMS WITH ASSIMILATION MODEL
1. fails to consider the time that it takes certain groups to assimilate.
2. the histories of black and white arrivals are very different, with lasting consequences. whites came voluntarily and blacks arrived in chains.
3. although white ethnic groups did face prejudice and discrimination, many entered at a time of rapid growth in the economy.
4. assimilation is more difficult for people of color b/c skin color is an especially salient characteristic. white ethnic members can change their name.
SEGREGATION
the spatial and social separation of racial and ethnic groups.
HYPERSEGREGATION
referring to a pattern of extreme segregation.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
a heavily contested program for change, is a race-specific policy for reducing job and educational inequality that has some limited access.
1. recruiting minorities from a wide base in order to ensure consideration of groups that have been traditionally overlooked, while not using quotas based on race or ethnicity.
2. using admission slots (in education) or set aside contracts or jobs (in job hiring) to assure minority representation.