Chapter 4 Outline - Chapter Outline I Ethnic Groups and...

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Chapter Outline I. Ethnic Groups and Ethnicity A. Members of ethnic groups share certain beliefs, values, customs, and norms because of their common  background. 1. Ethnic groups may define themselves as different because of language, religion, historical  experience, geographic isolation, kinship, or "race." 2. Markers of an ethnic group may include a collective name, belief in common descent, a sense of  solidarity, and as association with a specific territory which the group may or may not hold. B. Ethnicity means identification with, and feeling part of, an ethnic group and exclusion from certain other  groups because of this affiliation. C. Status encompasses the various positions that people in society. 1. All people occupy multiple statuses, with particular ones dominating in particular settings. 2. Ascribed statuses are those that people have little or no choice about occupying (e.g., age, "race,"  gender). 3. Achieved statuses—those that people acquire through their own choices, actions, efforts, talents, or  accomplishments—may be positive or negative. D. Status Shifting 1. Some statuses, particularly ascribed ones, are mutually exclusive, while others are contextual. 2. Adjusting or switching one's status in different social contexts is called the situational negotiation of  social identity. 3. In many societies ascribed statuses are associated with positions in the social-political hierarchy. a. So-called minority groups have less power and less secure access to resources than do  majority groups. b. Ethnic groups often are minorities. 4. When an ethnic group is assumed to have a biological basis, it is called a race. 5. Discrimination against a race is called racism. II. Race A. Race, like ethnicity, is a cultural category rather than a biological reality.
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1. Ethnic groups, including "races," derive from contrasts perceived and perpetuated in particular  societies, rather than from scientific classifications based on common genes. 2. Only cultural constructions of race are possible, even though the average person conceptualizes  "race" in biological terms. B. Most Americans fail to distinguish between ethnicity and race. C. Given the lack of a precise distinction between race and ethnicity, it is probably better to use the term  "ethnic group" instead of "race" to describe any such social group. III. Social Race A. Charles Wagley defined social races as groups assumed to have a biological basis but actually defined  in a culturally arbitrary, rather than scientific, manner.
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