socy1021 - Assimilation demands subordinate group...

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pluralism implies mutual respect between diverse groups. Minorities- Blacks, Native Americans, and other non blacks non native Americans. A minority group is a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant of majority group. In sociology, minority means the same as subordinate and dominant is used interchangeably with majority. 1. Members of a minority experience unequal treatment and have less power over their lives than members of a dominant group have over theirs. Prejudice, discrimination, segregation, and even extermination create this social inequality. 2. Members of a minority group share physical or cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant group, such as skin color or language. Each society has its own arbitrary standard for determining which characteristics are most important in defining dominant and minority groups. 3. Membership in a dominant or minority group is not voluntary: People are born into the group. A person does not choose to be African American or White. 4. Minority-group members have a strong sense of group solidarity. William Graham Summer, writing in 1906, noted that people make distinctions between members of their own group (the in-group) and ever else (the out-group). When a group is the object of long-term prejudice and discrimination, the feeling of “us versus them” often becomes intense. 5. Members of a minority generally marry others from the same group. A member of a dominant group often is unwilling to join a supposedly inferior minority by marrying one of its members. In addition, the minority group’s sense of solidarity encourages marriage within the group and discourages marriage to outsiders. There are four types of minority or subordinate groups. Al four, except where noted have the five properties previously outlines. The four criteria for classifying minority groups are race, ethnicity, religion and gender. The term racial group is reserved for minorities and the corresponding majorities that are socially set apart because of obvious physical differences. Notice the two crucial words in the definition: obvious and physical. What are obvious? Hair color? Shape of an earlobe? Presence of body hair? In the US skin color is one obvious difference. On a cold winter day when one has clothing covering all but one’s head, however, skin color may be less obvious than hair color. Yet people in the US have learned informally that skin color is important, and hair color is unimportant. We need to say more than that. In the US, people have traditionally classified and classify themselves as either Black or White. There is no in- between state except for people readily identified as Native Americans or Asian Americans. Later in this chapter we will explore this issue more deeply and see how such assumptions have very complex implications. The designation of a racial group emphasizes physical differences as opposed to cultural
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socy1021 - Assimilation demands subordinate group...

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