SOC Notes 2.8.docx - SOC Notes 2.8 The Myth of Race Race A...

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SOC Notes 2.8 The Myth of Race Race: A socially constructed category of people who share physical characteristics that members of a society consider important - Not biologically identified - Imposed/ascribed, hierarchical, exclusive, and unequal Ethnicity Ethnicity: Shared cultural practices and attitude that set people apart - Voluntary, self-defined, cultural Race is a Social Construction Race changes over time Race varies by place Race does not map onto biological differences Race and Ideology Ideologies often used to justify behaviors and social interactions Ideologies become institutionalized over time and disappear in our consciousness may seem “natural” Become internalized and maintained overtime Race in the U.S. Race constructed in particular ways in U.S. – odd combination of slavery and a belief in the inalienable right to freedom Slaves could be denied freedom because they were not white Indigenous people were labeled” savages” and” uncivilized” to justify their land Minority Group Any group of people who, because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from the others in the society in which they live for differential and unequal treatment - Subordinated; discriminated against - Not a statistical/ numerical term Conflict Theory & the Economy Enables the economic elite to maintain their position at the top of society - And to keep those at the bottom in their place Workplace is a site for power differentials - Exploited labor, dangerous work environments, sexual harassment, etc. - Marx Karl Marx: Capitalism Is Exploitative
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Capitalists use their power to exploit workers’ labor, paying them very little, to maximize their profit Employees accept this because without productive resources of their own, they must work to survive - Capitalists need workers to use capital - Workers must sell their labor to survive - But separated from the good they produce Karl Marx: Capitalism Creates Class Conflict Capitalists and workers: - Are interdependent - But have opposing interest - Both have power (to exploit/ to resist) Argued Capitalism will destroy itself because it - Grows the working class that will revolt
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