Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Discrimination and Ethnicity

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With more than six billion people in this world, with a huge variety of human shapes, colors and sizes can race really be defined? As people spread across the world. Mixing among each other creating new kinds of faces there is no true race. But people such as Hitler believed that the Aryans where the superior race responsible got the cultural achievements in Europe and that they has to stop “racial contamination” that would come from breeding with inferior races by destroying them. Which caused the slaughtering of those deemed inferior: Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, slaves, and people with disabilities.

It didn’t stop here, you’d think the world would try to make a difference but as Hitler era was fading, the “ethnic cleansing” by Serbs in Bosnia, the mass killings of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 were and are stilling taking place years after Hitler. What these people failed to see is that there is no “pure race”. People show such a mixture of physical characteristics – in skin color, hair textures, body shapes, eye color, height, weight and so on that there can not be a “pure race”. Our characteristics follow endlessly together, the mapping of genome system shows that were strikingly homogenous.

Although large groups of people can be classified by blood type and gene frequencies they still cannot be classified as a race. The idea of a race in far from a myth, its embedded in our culture, it is part of our everyday lives. Sociologist D. S. Thomas observed that if people define situations as real, they’re real in their consequences in other words, people define situations as real, they’re real in their consequences in other words, people act on beliefs, not facts (Beckwith and Jones, 1997). As a result to that we will always have people like Hitler who feel that killing people that they believe is inferior is perfectly fine.

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Incidents such as the above still happen in today’s world but they are hidden from the public eye, what isn’t hidden and does continue toady seems as if no one is trying to make a difference is prejudice and discrimination, a war that will never stop. Prejudice can be defined as a prejudging of some sort, discrimination on the other hand can be defined as an action, and unfair treatment directed against someone on basis of their age, sex, height, origin, marital status, education, income, religion, etc, but when its due to race we usually call it racism.

Why are people prejudices? The common sense answer is that people may have had a negative experience with a member of the other group. But Psychologists such as Eugene Hartley (1946) made studies showing that its more than just an old incident, his studies showed that prejudice against all other groups as well. Social scientists have developed several theories to explain prejudice; there are two types of theories, Scapegoat, and the Authoritarian Personality.

People who are unable to release there stress to the source usually tend to release it on other people and they tend to find someone to blame their mishaps on and this usually becomes their scapegoat, often a racial, ethnic, or religious minority that they unfairly blame for their troubles. The other theory is The Authoritarian Personality Theodor Adorno’s term for people who are prejudice and rank high on scales of conformity, intolerance, insecurity, respect for authority, and submissive to superiors. Sociologists find these theories to be inadequate, they stress that the key to find prejudice is from the outside not form within.

Sociologists focus on how some environments foster prejudice, while other discourages it. Sociologists have a few theories; Hitler used Functionalism, he hired Fritz Hippler, a Nazi intellectual was put in charge of the entire German film industry and he was told to create anti-Semitist, and he did by producing movies that compared Jews to rates, that their breeding would contaminate their “pure breed”. You can see that prejudice is functional and it creates in-group solidarity, and destroys human relationships. Conflict Theory- a theoretical framework in which society is viewed as composed of groups competing for scarce resource.

Symbolic interactionism examines how people’s labels affect perception and create prejudice. When we apply a label to a group we tend to see its members as all alike, this leads to stereotyping and discrimination and may even create a depicted behavior. Symbolic interaction shows that were not born to a “race”, and ethic group where we lean beliefs, values; we learn to perceive them negatively or positively. If discrimination is common in our groups, we learn to practice it commonly. Discrimination is like a learned skill if you practice it enough you won’t even realize you using it.

William Julius Wilson, a sociologist, argues that social class has become important that race is determine the life chances of African Americans. Prior to the Civil War African Americans were excluded from everything that could help you advance in life and become wealthy. As African Americans moved out of the inner cities, as legislators began opening doors for African Americans, as a result they were able to get better paying jobs, live a middle-class life, but those who were left behind in the inner cities they were trapped in poverty (Wilson, 2001).

I believe that people choose their way of life, yes it is true that things may be harder for an African American or a Latino person, but things are hard for everyone in their own individual ways. I do believe that in today’s world things aren’t based on race in some places yes but as from what I see I believe its based on your social class, who you are, who you know, where you work, and how much money you have, that’s what I believe matters in today’s society.

Although sociologists like Charles Willie, states that even African Americans do the same work as whites, whites average higher pay than African American, he argues that it racial discrimination not social discrimination. He states that we need to provide more jobs for the people in the inner cities; with more jobs there’s more hope in inner cities and an anchor to a responsible life. But being richer for an African American is still a problem because certain people start assuming things for example an African American person driving a new car a cop tends to find reason to pull them over, just to make sure the car isn’t stolen.

Both sociologists have a strong point of view, but I also do have my own view in prejudice and discrimination. In today’s society minority groups have a better chance to achieve their goals, for example everyone can attend the same college, travel the country, eat in the same place and even be best friends with someone of a different ethnicity, while this is taken for granted I honestly think it’s a beautiful thing. Prejudice and discrimination is a war that will be fought through out ones life regardless, of their race, color, size, height or social status.

As we flash back we see that discrimination has always been around in all different forms. We, as the human race need to focus on not judging people before we know them for who they are. Today, there are so many type of people in the world that stereotyping are always incorrect. If everyone in the world had respect for one another we would live in peace and be able to let others believe in what they wish and except everyone’s differences. If we teach our children and change our ways, sometime in our future we will be closer to accepting that a man’s character is based upon content of his soul, not his color, ethnicity, or their religion.

Discrimination and Ethnicity essay

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