Summary Notes on Institutionalized Racism

Summary Notes on Institutionalized Racism - Notes on...

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Notes on Institutionalized Racism (in the form of bias, prejudice and discrimination) 1. Institutionalized Racism – the course’s definition of institutionalized racism is that it is the sum total of policies, laws, customs and traditions that tend to favor one group over another. In this particular course, we are talking about institutionalized racism in terms of the major five racial and ethnic groups, whose wages, salaries, customs, traditions and other characteristics have been recorded regularly by the U.S. Census Bureau. In other words, we are using public information and knowledge to assess the degree of interrelationships among and between different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. 2. The major social institutions that we have been discussing include family, education, the economy (including jobs and occupations), government (policies which have decreased racism and/or encouraged it, intentionally or not), the legal and judicial systems education, and sports and entertainment. 3. Specifically, within the social institutions listed above, we have read, watched videos, and heard lectures about how institutionalized racism continues to affect the lives of U.S. residents. We have seen how housing is very segregated, for example, which leads to segregated school systems, which leads to segregated economic opportunities, which leads to overall disparities between the well being of some groups as compared to others. Our laws have often enforced the segregation that has led to the disparities we are still observing, though it is also through the legal system that we are able to begin making changes (such as the Fair Housing Act, Brown vs. Board of Education, and many others). Specifically regarding families, anti-miscegenation laws were clearly intended to prevent the “mixing” of races. As those laws have been taken off the books, the percentage of mixed racial/ethnic marriages has continued to increase over the years, but the pressure of social norms (in this case, the U.S. people’s support of endogamous marriages) is still strong enough to ensure that huge numbers of interracial or interethnic marriages do not take place in the U.S. currently. The current percentage of interracial or interethnic marriages, as a percentage of all marriages recorded, is about 3-5%, depending on how ethnic or racial groups are categorized. 4. It is the interconnections among our different social institutions, listed above (education, economy, family, and so on), that I want you to be able to use as information to explain the continuing disparities by race and ethnicity that we have discussed and read about and watched on videos in the class. As many of you have noted, we are so familiar with our social norms, especially if we are the majority group, that we often don’t “see” 1
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2009 for the course SOCI 122 taught by Professor Hastings during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Summary Notes on Institutionalized Racism - Notes on...

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