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Society Ch11 - 130 Ch 11 Race and Ethnicity Chapter 11 Race...

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_____________________________________________________________________________ _ 130 Ch. 11 · Race and Ethnicity Chapter 11 Race and Ethnicity ______________________________________________ Detailed Outline I. The Social Meaning of Race and Ethnicity People frequently confuse the terms race and ethnicity. A. Race A race is a socially constructed category composed of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important. Race is a significant concept because most people regard it as very important. 1. Racial Types Race came into being as a social category when nineteenth-century biologists tried to construct racial types. Sociologists consider terms like Caucasoid, Negroid , and Mongoloid as misleading at best because there are no biologically pure races. 2. A Trend Toward Mixture The number of officially recorded interracial births has tripled in the last three decades. Although members of American society attach considerable importance to race, biologically speaking, race has less and less meaning in the United States. B. Ethnicity Ethnicity is a shared cultural heritage. Ethnicity involves even more variability and mixture than race because most people identify with more than one ethnic background. C. Minorities A minority is a category of people, distinguished by physical or cultural traits, who are socially disadvantaged. They have two important characteristics: a distinct identity and subordination . Not all members of a minority category are disadvantaged. II. Prejudice and Stereotypes Prejudice is a rigid and irrational generalization about an entire category of people. Prejudices are prejudgments and they can be positive or negative. Prejudice often takes the form of stereotypes , which are exaggerated descriptions applied to every person in some category. A. Measuring Prejudice: The Social Distance Scale One measure of prejudice is social distance , which refers to how closely people are willing in interact with members of some category. Emory Bogardus developed the social distance scale and he found that people feel much more
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_____________________________________________________________________________ _ 131 Ch. 11 · Race and Ethnicity social distance toward some categories than others. A recent study using the same social distance scale reported three major findings: 1. The trend toward greater acceptance has continued. 2. People see less difference among various minorities. 3. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, may have reduced social acceptance of Arabs and Muslims.
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