WEEK 10 FINAL2_StudyGuide - Soc 2208/DSoc 2090 (Weeden)...

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Soc 2208/DSoc 2090 (Weeden) Study Questions Week 10 Unit 3, Lectures 13 & 14: Racial and Ethnic Inequality 1. What does it mean to say that race is “socially constructed?” Why is this important for the study of racial and ethnic inequality? In answering this question, be sure to give concrete examples of ways in which race is, or has historically been, “socially constructed.” Two basic approaches historically to understanding race o As a biological construct o As a social construct “Race is a complex but empirically demonstrably stratifying practice that creates identity and hierarchy through social interaction ” (Duster 2005) Race is real although it is not genetically based Racial categories socially defined Omi and Winant o Race is an unstable and decentered complex of social meanings constantly being transformed by political struggle Social structure and cultural formation Signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies Very imprecise We use race to provide us with clues about who a person is, preconceived notions o Racialization: extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationships, social practice, or group o Americans are shaped and haunted by race o By defining race, we impose it, and make it real in its consequences o There is no biological basis for distinguishing among human groups along the lines of race o Think of race as an element of social structure o “Race is not a morally valid basis upon which to treat people differently from one another” o “We expect differences in skin color, or other racially coded characteristics, to explain social differences” Examples of Ways in Which Race has been Socially Constructed: The Irish Experience o Irish equated with blacks a “Celtic tribe of African origin” o Similar position in society as free Northern blacks: they weren’t slaves but often had access to only the worst jobs, discriminated in housing markets, not allowed to join unions
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o Waters: “were seen as a race apart from other European groups, stereotyped for high crime, lack of education, poor family values, etc” o Late 1800s/early 1900s “Racial project” of dissociation Political alignment with slave-holding Southern democrats Participation in exclusionary labor movements Cultural practices emphasized whiteness Intentional project to diversify themselves from the blacks o Intentional project to create a new social identity and to in turn redefine their race Mixed-race experience o Mulatto: choice on census post civil war until 1930s o Jim Crow era: Rule of hypodescent, aka, the “one-drop rule” (if you have any African-American in you, even one drop, than you are African- American) o 1960s anti-miscegeneration laws challenged 1967 Loving v. Virginia: appealed to get rid of the anti- miscegenation in irginia and were successful 2000: Alabama last state to repeal anti-miscegeneration laws
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WEEK 10 FINAL2_StudyGuide - Soc 2208/DSoc 2090 (Weeden)...

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