Chapter Nine Lecture Outline
I. Why Focus on the Global Story of Race and Ethnicity in the United States?
A. The peopling of the U.S. is a global story.
It involved the European conquest of Native American peoples, the
annexation of Mexican territory, along with many of its inhabitants
(who lived in territories that are now New Mexico, Utah, Nevada,
Arizona, California, and Texas), and an influx of voluntary and
involuntary immigrants from practically every part of the world.
The U.S. government established a racial and ethnic classification
scheme that applied to all who lived in and immigrated to the United
For example, the 2,000 distinct Native American groups that
spoke seven different families of languages were placed in a single
II. Race and Ethnicity
Core Concept 1: The concepts of race and ethnicity cannot be understood
apart from systems of racial and ethnic classification.
a biological fact.
Parents from different racial categories can produce offspring.
The offspring are mixtures of the two categories and, therefore,
cannot be placed in just one category.
In the U.S., children of mixed parentage are almost always
classified as belonging to the race of just one parent, in effect
treating the other parent’s race as irrelevant.
a vast collectivity of people more or less bound together by shared and
selected history, ancestors, and physical features
These people are socialized to think of themselves as a distinct group.
They are regarded by others as a distinct group.
It is the social significance assigned to sharing certain “selected”
physical features, such as coarse or straight hair; dark or light skin; and
oval, round, or almond-shaped eyes, which are believed to belong to
certain broad categories of ancestors, such as Africans, Europeans,
Asians, and Native Americans.
The social significance of race is also a product of emphasizing or
feeling connected to a history shared by a certain broad category of
ancestors who were commonly forced by laws and other social
practices to become socially distinct from other broad categories of
- people who share, believe they share, or are believed by others to
share a national origin, a common ancestry, a place of birth, distinctive
concrete social traits (such as religious practices, style of dress, body
adornments, or written language), or socially important physical
characteristics (such as skin color, hair texture, or body structure)
Systems of racial and ethnic classification
- processes that divide people
into racial or ethnic categories that are implicitly or explicitly ranked on a
scale of social worth