Unformatted text preview: C) 1 Lt L1 1) Who Am I?
1 RESEARCH FOCUS Measuring Multiculturalism
it‘istance and Change Conclusion
Key Terms/Review Questions/Critical Thinking/ Internet Connections—Research Navigator TM • HIGHLIGHTS
INORITY GROUPS ARE SUBORDINATE) IN TERMS OF POWER and privilege to the majority, or dominant, group. A minority is defined not by being outnumbered but by five characteristics: unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination, and in-group marriage. Subordinate groups are rlassified in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. The social importance of race is derived from a process of racial formation; its biological significance is uncertain. The theoretical perspectives of functionalism, conflict theory, and labeling offer insights into the sociology of intergroup relations. Immigration, annexation, and colonialism are processes that may create subordinate groups. Other processes such as expulsion may remove the presence of a subordinate group. Significant for racial and ethnic oppression in the United States today is the distinction between assimilation and pluralism. Assimilation demands subordinate-group conformity to the dominant group, and pluralism implies mutual respect between diverse groups. nly a few years into the twenty-first century two events shook the country in different ways—the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, Alexandr Manin, a citizen of Kazakhstan, joined the military in October 2001. He was not joining some far-flung military effort of his country of birth: The 25-yearold from Brooklyn was joining the U.S. Marine Corps. A legal permanent resident, Alexandr can join the U.S. military even though he is not a citizen. His decision is not that unusual. Thousands of immigrants join each year. Some do it for the training or employment possibilities, but others are motivated by allegiance to their new country. As Alexandr said, "It doesn't matter that America is not my country; New York is my city, and what happened shook my life. I feel patriotic, and I have this itch now to go sooner" (Chen and Sengupta 2001, Al). Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than an enormous part of the Gulf Coast. In its wake people were asking the president if the slow response of the government to provide disaster relief was because large numbers of residents left homeless were poor and Black. Rap star Kanye West weighed in and said that "George Bush doesn't care about Black people." The president denounced such criticism, declaring, "When those Coast Guard choppers ... were pulling people off roofs, they didn't check the color of a person's skin." Yet the nation was split on this view with 66 percent of African Americans feeling the response would have been faster if the victims had been White compared to only 26 percent of Whites holding that view. Yet Katrina proved to be more than a Black–White issue. The Asian American community expressed concern over the neglect it saw in assisting Vietnamese Americans who lived in the rural Gulf Coast—themselves only a generation removed from having experienced upheaval during the Vietnam War. Native Americans nationwide reached out to help Gulf Coast reservations whose rebuilding, they felt, was being ignored by the government. And finally, the mayor of New Orleans expressec•concern that many of the people arriving to help rebuild the city were Latino and that the first housing likely to be created would be for White residents. The mayor declared that the Almighty wanted the metropolis rebuilt to become a "chocolate" city (Bush 2005; Bustillo 2006; Pew Research Center 2005). So, in the United States, with its diverse racial and ethnic heritage and new immigrants, is it only major events that bring out social concerns? In October 2005, an Elgin high school that is over one-third Hispanic had an assembly in celebration of Mexican Independence Day. A senior refused to stand, fearing that since he was in the process of enlisting in the armed services that honoring another nation's anthem might jeopardize his military status. a Earlier that same year, residents of Danbury, Connecticut, were seeking to ban volleyball in their parks. Actually, it was "ecuavolley," a form of the game beloved by Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Ii Ecuadorian Americans. Played in their backyards, it attracts families and friends and often brings a hundred people together. The Latino community became enraged when the local government, unable to figure out how to ban the sport, tried to convince the federal government to "raid" the backyards looking for illegal immigrants.
ca What about trying to stop the sale of methamphetamines? Sounds reasonable, but when in Georgia agents found they now had arrested their forty-ninth convenience store clerk—all of whom were recent Indian immigrants—they realized their "trap" was poorly planned. Undercover agents had gone to the stores asking for cold medicine containing the chemicals, matches, and camping fuel to "finish up a cook." The arrested clerks all stated later that they had merely felt the customer was doing some kind of barbecue and denied that they were assisting in the setting up a meth lab. tion. In the old New England town of Lewiston, Maine, hundreds of Somalis have arrived from Africa seeking work and affordable housing thousands of miles from their African hometowns, which had been torn apart by civil strife and famine. Residents expressed alarm over this influx, prompting the mayor to send a letter to all the Somalis already in Lewiston to discourage friends and relatives from relocating there. The pace of Somalis, many of them U.S. citizens, resettling to Lewiston slowed significantly amidst the furor (C. Jones 2003; Malone 2005; Thornburgh 2005; Zernike 2005). r Further north, it was a different immigrant group that attracted unwanted atten- ASK Yourself
What do you think the Somali Immigrants think about this situation? Relations between racial and ethnic groups are not like relations between family members. The history of the United States is one of racial oppression. It goes well beyond the actions of a mayor in Maine or the plight of people made homeless by a natural disaster in the Gulf Coast. Episodes of a new social identity developing, as in the case of Alexandr Manin, are not unusual, but that does not change the fact that the society is structured to keep some groups of people down and extend privileges automatically to other groups on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender. People in the United States and elsewhere are beginning to consider that the same principles that guarantee equality based on race or gender can apply to other groups that are discriminated against. There have been growing efforts to ensure that the same rights and privileges are available to all people, regardless of age, disability, or sexual orientation. These concerns are emerging even as the old divisions over race, ethnicity, and religion continue to fester and occasionally explode into violence that envelops entire nations. The United States is a very diverse nation, as shown in Table 1.1. According to the 2000 census, about 17 percent of the population are members of racial minorities, and about another 13 percent are Hispanic. These percentages represent almost one out of three people in the United States, without counting White ethnic groups. As shown in Figure 1.1, between 2000 and 2100 the population in the United States is expected to increase from 30 percent Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American to 60 percent. Although the composition of the population is changing, the problems of prejudice, discrimination, and mistrust remain. Li
.P. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity FABLE acial and Ethnic Groups in the United States, 2000 Number
Classification in Thousands Percentage of
Total Population RACIAL GROUPS Whites (includes 16.9 million White Hispanic) Blacks/African Americans Native Americans, Alaskan Native Asian Americans Chinese Filipinos Asian Indians Vietnamese Koreans Japanese Other ETHNIC GROUPS White ancestry (single or mixed) Germans Irish English Italians Poles French Jews Hispanics (or Latinos) Mexican Americans Central and South Americans Puerto Ricans Cubans Other TOTAL (ALL GROUPS) 211,461 34,658 2,476 10,243 2,433 1,850 1,679 1,123 1,077 797 1,285 75.1 12.3 0.9 3.6 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.5 42,842 30,525 24,509 15,638 8,977 8,310 5,200 35,306 23,337 5,119 3,178 1,412 2,260 281,422 15.2 10.8 8.7 5.6 3.2 3.0 1.8 12.5 8.3 1.8 1.1 0.5 0.8 Note: Percentages do not total 100 percent, and subheads do not add up to figures in major heads because of overlap between groups (e.g., Polish American Jews or people of mixed ancestry, such as Irish and Italian). Source: Brittingham and de la Cruz 2004; Bureau of the Census 2003a; Grieco and Cassidy 2001; Therrien and Ramirez 2001; United Jewish Communities 2003. FIGURE 1.1 Population of the United States by Race and Ethnicity, 2005 and 2100 (Projected) According to projections by the Census Bureau, the proportion of residents of the United States who are White and non-Hispanic will decrease significantly by the year 2050. By contrast, there will be a striking rise in the proportion of both Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans.
Source: Author's analysis based on American Community Survey 2006 and Bureau of the Census 2004b. 2005 2100 (projected)
African Americans 13% Hispanic
14% Asian and other 5% White non-Hispanic
66% American Indian 2% White non-Hispanic 40% .k Hispanic
33% Africari Y. Asian Americans
and other 13% 14% Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity 11 /7 1 What Is a Sub ordinate Gro ?
Identifying a subordinate group or a minority in a society seems to be a simple enough task. In the United States, the groups readily identified as minorities—Blacks and Native Americans, for example—are outnumbered by non-Blacks and non–Native Americans. However, minority status is not necessarily the result of being outnumbered. A social minority need not be a mathematical one. 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 or majority group. In sociology, minority means the same as subordinate, and dominant is used interchangeably with majority. Confronted with evidence that a particular minority in the United States is subordinate to the majority, some people respond, "Why not? After all, this is a democracy, so the majority rules." However, the subordination of a minority involves more than its inability to rule over society A member of a subordinate or minority group experiences a narrowing of life's opportunities—for success, education, wealth, the pursuit of happiness—that goes beyond any personal shortcoming he or she may have. A minority group does not share in proportion to its numbers what a given society, such as the United States, defines as valuable. Being superior in numbers does not guarantee a group control over its destiny and ensure majority status. In 1920, the majority of people in Mississippi and South Carolina were African Americans. Yet African Americans did not have as much control over their lives as Whites, let alone control of the states of Mississippi and South Carolina. Throughout the United States today are counties or neighborhoods in which the majority of people are African American, Native American, or Hispanic, but White Americans are the dominant force. Nationally, 50.8 percent of the population is female, but males still dominate positions of authority and wealth well beyond their numbers. A minority or subordinate group has five characteristics: unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination, and in-group marriage (Wagley and Harris 1958): 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. 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. 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. Minority-group members have a strong sense of group solidarity. William Graham Sumner, writing in 1906, noted that people make distinctions between members of their own group (the in-group) and everyone 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. Although "minority" is not about numbers, there is no denying that the majority is diminishing in size relative to the growing diversity of racial and ethnic groups. In Figure 1.2 we see that more and more states have close to a majority of non-Whites or Latinos and that several states have already reached that point today. minority group A subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. 11 Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity INN OIMMIII MN IMMONOMM ,: - WNW, , "MI r 11•1 ∎ r 1.111111111=1•111 n11111 r VIIIMINIIIIM n11 711n1001 TN Proportion "minority" Under 15% 15-29% 30-49% Over 50% 1110011=1•11111•1•1 r 1101112- 311 r moss ,..17=ssarattet m canweseisaft3 FIGURE 1.2 Race and Ethnic Presence by State (Projected) According to projections by the Census Bureau, the proportion of residents of the United States who are White and non-Hispanic will decrease significantly by the year 2050. By contrast, there will be a striking rise in the proportion of both Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans.
Source: 2004 data released in 2005 by Bureau of the Census 2005b. Types of Subordinate Groups
There are four types of minority or subordinate groups. All four, except where noted, have the five properties previously outlined. The four criteria for classifying minority groups are race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. liacial Groups
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 is obvious? Hair color? Shape of an earlobe? Presence of body hair? To whom are these differences obvious, and why? Each society defines what it finds obvious. In the United States, 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 United States have learned informally that skin color is important and hair color is unimportant. We need to say more than that. In the United States, people have traditionally classified and classify themselves as either Black or White. There is no in-between state except for people readily identified as racial group A group that is socially set apart because of obvious physical differences. -_,,,MINIUM.Mar0,411.11 nM.PINf 77 • Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity 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. Other societies use skin color as a standard but may have a more elaborate system of classification. In Brazil, where hostility between races is less than in the United States, numerous categories identify people on the basis of skin color. In the United States, a person is Black or White. In Brazil, a variety of terms, such as cafuso, mazombo, Preto, and escuro, are applied to describe various combinations of skin color, facial features, and hair texture. In Chapter 16, we will be exploring how the people of Brazil consider racial issues there What makes differences obvious is subject to a society's definition. The designation of a racial group emphasizes physical differences as opposed to cultural distinctions. In the United States, minority races include Blacks, Native Americans (or American Indians), Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Arab Americans, Filipinos, Hawaiians, and other Asian peoples. The issue of race and racial differences has been an important one, not only in the United States but also throughout the entire sphere of European influence. Later in this chapter we will examine race and its significance more closely. We should not forget that Whites are a race, too. As we will consider in Chapter 5, who is White has been subject to change over time as certain European groups were felt historically not to deserve being considered White, but over time, partly to compete against a growing Black population, the "Whiting" of some European Americans has occurred. Some racial groups may also have unique cultural traditions, as we can readily see in the many Chinatowns throughout the United States For racial groups, however, the physical distinctiveness and not the cultural differences generally proves to be the barrier to acceptance by the host society. For example, Chinese Americans who are faithful Protestants and know the names of all the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame may be bearers of American culture. Yet these Chinese Americans are still part of a minority because they are seen as physically different. Ethnic (fifittzti Ethnic minority groups are differentiated from the dominant group on the basis of cultural differences, such as language, attitudes toward marriage and parenting, and food habits. Ethnic groups are groups set apart from others because of their national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. Ethnic groups in the United States include a grouping that we call Hispanics or Latinos, which includes Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latin Americans in the United States. Hispanics can be either Black or White, as in the case of a dark-skinned Puerto Rican who may be taken as Black in central Texas but be viewed as a Puerto Rican in New York City. The ethnic group category also includes White ethnics, such as Irish Americans, Polish Americans, and Norwegian Americans. The cultural traits that make groups distinctive usually originate from their homelands or, for Jews, from a long history of being segregated and prohibited from becoming a part of the host society. Once in the United States, an immigrant group may maintain distinctive cultural practices through associations, clubs, and worship. Ethnic enclaves such as a Little Haiti or a Greektown in urban areas also perpetuate cultural distinctiveness. Ethnicity continues to be important, as recent events in Bosnia and other parts of Eastern Europe have demonstrated. Almost a century ago, African American sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, addressing in 1900 an audience at a world antislavery convention in London, called attention to the overwhelming importance of the color line throughout the world. In "Listen to Our Voices," we read the remarks of Du Bois, the first Black person to receive a doctorate from Harvard, who later helped to organize ethnic group A group set apart from others because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Listen to Our Voices
PROBLEM OF THE COLOR LINE
of culture bends itself towards modem world, in this the giving Negroes and other dark I closing year of the ninemen the largest and broadest teenth century, there has been opportunity for education and assembled a congress of men self-development, then this conand women of African blood, to tact and influence is bound to deliberate solemnly upon the have a beneficial effect upon present situation and outlook of the world and hasten human the darker races of mankind. progress. But if, by reason of The problem of the twentieth carelessness, prejudice, greed W. E. B. Du Bois century is the problem of the and injustice, the black world is color line, the question as to how far differto be exploited and ravished and degraded, ences of race—which show themselves chiefly the results must be deplorable, if not fatal— in the color of the skin and the texture of the not simply to them, but to the high ideals of hair—will hereafter be made the basis of justice, freedom and culture which a thoudenying to over half the world the right of sand years of Christian civilization have held sharing to their utmost ability the opportunibefore Europe.... ties and privileges of modern civilization.... Let the world take no backward step in To be sure, the darker races are today the that slow but sure progress which has succesleast advanced in culture according to Eurosively refused to let the spirit of class, of pean standards. This has not, however, alcaste, of privilege, or of birth, debar from ways been the case in the past, and certainly life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness a the world's history, both ancient and modstriving human soul. em, has given many instances of no despicaLet not color or race be a feature of disble ability and capacity among the blackest tinction between white and black men, reraces of men. gardless of worth or ability.... In any case, the modern world must reThus we appeal with boldness and confimember that in this age when the ends of dence to the Great Powers of the civilized the world are being brought so near togethworld, trusting in the wide spirit of humanier, the millions of black men in Africa, Amerty, and the deep sense of justice of our age, ica, and Islands of the Sea, not to speak of for a generous recognition of the righteousthe brown and yellow myriads elsewhere, are ness of our cause. I bound to have a great influence upon the Source Du Bois 1900 [196951. ROM pp. 20-21, 23, in M ABC of world in the future, by reason of sheer numColor, by W. E. B. Du Bois. COPYright 1969 by International bers and physical contact. If now the world Publishers.
tM•111111rANINM n the metropolis of the - ^AIMEM a^aaal' the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Du Bois's observances give us a historic perspective on the struggle for equality. We can look ahead, knowing how far we have come and speculating on how much further we have to go. P ricy: Fos Association with a religion other than the dominant faith is the third basis for minoritygroup status. In the United States, Protestants, as a group, outnumber members of all Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity other religions. Roman Catholics form the largest minority religion. Chapter 5 focuses on the increasing Judeo-Christian-Islamic diversity of the United States. For people who are not a part of the Christian tradition, such as followers of Islam, allegiance to the faith often is misunderstood and stigmatizes people. This stigmatization became especially widespread and legitimated by government action in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Religious minorities include such groups as the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, Amish, Muslims, and Buddhists. Cults or sects associated with such practices as animal sacrifice, doomsday prophecy, demon worship, or the use of snakes in a ritualistic fashion would also constitute minorities. Jews are excluded from this category and placed among ethnic groups. Culture is a more important defining trait for Jewish people worldwide than is religious dogma. Jewish Americans share a cultural tradition that goes beyond theology. In this sense, it is appropriate to view them as an ethnic group rather than as members of a religious faith. RI Gender (ffliON,
Gender is another attribute that creates dominant and subordinate groups. Males are the social majority; females, although more numerous, are relegated to the position of the social minority, a subordinate status to be explored in detail in Chapter 15. Women are considered a minority even though they do not exhibit all the characteristics outlined earlier (e.g., there is little in-group marriage). Women encounter prejudice and discrimination and are physically distinguishable. Group membership is involuntary, and many women have developed a sense of sisterhood. Women who are members of racial and ethnic minorities face a special challenge to achieving equality. They suffer from greater inequality because they belong to two separate minority groups: a racial or ethnic group plus a subordinate gender group. Given the diversity in the nation, the workplace Is increasingly a place where intergroup tensions may develop.
Source: 0 Tdbune Media services, Inc. AR rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. gri Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Olopt StfbCnitkerk Groups
This book focuses on groups that meet a set of criteria for subordinate status. People encounter prejudice or are excluded from full participation in society for many reasons. Racial, ethnic, religious, and gender barriers are the main ones, but there are others. Age, disabilities, and sexual orientation are among the factors that are used to subordinate groups of people. As a result, in Chapter 16 we will go beyond the tide of the book and consider other groups of people who have been excluded from all that society values and witness their fight against prejudice and discrimination. Does Race Matter?
We see people around us—some of whom may look quite different from us. Do these differences matter? The simple answer is no, but because so many people have for so long acted as if difference in physical characteristics as well as geographic origin and shared culture do matter, distinct groups have been created in people's minds. Race has many meanings for many people. Often these meanings are inaccurate and based on theories discarded by scientists generations ago. As we will see, race is a socially constructed concept (Young 2003).
sleik„gkia JVto, 'Oh? biological race The mistaken notion of a genetically isolated human group. The way the term race has been used by some people to apply to human beings lacks any scientific meaning. We cannot identify distinctive physical characteristics for groups of human beings the same way that scientists distinguish one animal species from another. The idea of biological race is based on the mistaken notion of a genetically isolated human group. Even among past proponents who believed that sharp, scientific divisions exist among humans, there were endless debates over what the races of the world were. Given people's frequent migration, exploration, and invasions, pure genetic types have not existed for some time, if they ever did. There are no mutually exclusive races. Skin color among African Americans varies tremendously, as it does among White Americans. There is even an overlapping of dark-skinned Whites and light-skinned African Americans. If we grouped people by genetic resistance to malaria and by fingerprint patterns, Norwegians and many African groups would be of the same race. If we grouped people by some digestive capacities, some Africans, Asians, and southern Europeans would be of one group and West Africans and northern Europeans of another (Leehotz 1995; Shanklin 1994). Biologically there are no pure, distinct races For example, blood type cannot distinguish racial groups with any accuracy. Furthermore, applying pure racial types to humans is problematic because of interbreeding. Contemporary studies of DNA on a global basis have determined that 85 percent of human genetic variation is within "local populations" such as within the French or within Afghan people. Another 5 to 89 percent is between local populations thought to be similar in public opinion like the Koreans and Chinese. The remaining 6 to 9 percent of total human variation is what we think of today as constituting races and accounts for skin color, hair form, nose shape, and so forth (Lewontin 2005). Even the latest research as a part of the Human Genome Project mapping human DNA has only served to confirm genetic diversity with differences within traditionally regarded racial groups (e.g., Black Africans) much greater than that between groups (e.g., between Black Africans and Europeans). Research has also been conducted to determine whether personality characteristics such as temperament and nervous Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity habits are inherited among minority groups. Not surprisingly, the question of whether races have different innate levels of intelligence has led to the most explosive controversy (Bamshad and Olson 2003). Typically, intelligence is measured as an intelligence quotient (IQ), the ratio of a person's mental age to his or her chronological age, multiplied by 100, where 100 represents average intelligence and higher scores represent greater intelligence. It should be noted that there is little consensus over just what intelligence is, other than as defined by such IQ tests. Intelligence tests are adjusted for a person's age, so that 10-yearolds take a very different test from someone 20 years old. Although research shows that certain learning strategies can improve a person's IQ generally IQ remains stable as one ages. A great deal of debate continues over the accuracy of these tests. Are they biased toward people who come to the tests with knowledge similar to that of the test writers? Consider the following two questions used on standard tests. Runner: marathon (A) envoy: embassy, (B) oarsman: regatta, (C) martyr: massacre, (D) referee: tournament. Your mother sends you to a store to get a loaf of bread. The store is closed. What should you do? (A) return home, (B) go to the next store, (C) wait until it opens, (D) ask a stranger for advice. Both correct answers are B. But is a lower-class youth likely to know, in the first question, what a regatta is? Skeptics argue that such test questions do not truly measure intellectual potential. Inner-city youths often have been shown to respond with A to the second question because that may be the only store with which the family has credit. Youths in rural areas, where the next store may be miles away, are also unlikely to respond with the designated correct answer. The issue of culture bias in tests remains an unresolved concern. The most recent research shows that differences in intelligence scores between Blacks and Whites are almost eliminated when adjustments are made for social and economic characteristics (Brooks-Gunn, Klebanov, and Duncan 1996; Herrnstein and Murray 1994, 30; Kagan 1971; Young 2003). The second issue, trying to associate these results with certain subpopulations such as races, also has a long history. In the past, a few have contended that Whites have more intelligence on average than Blacks. All researchers agree that within-group differences are greater than any speculated differences between groups. The range of intelligence among, for example, Korean Americans is much greater than any average difference between them as a group and Japanese Americans. The third issue relates to the subpopulations themselves. If Blacks or Whites are not mutually exclusive biologically, how can there be measurable differences? Many Whites and most Blacks have mixed ancestry that complicates any supposed inheritance of intelligence issue. Both groups reflect a rich heritage of very dissimilar populations, from Swedes to Slovaks and Zulus to Tutus. In 1994, an 845-page book unleashed a new national debate on the issue of IQ. The latest research effort of psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and social scientist Charles Murray (1994), published in The Bell Curve, concluded that 60 percent of IQ is inheritable and that racial groups offer a convenient means to generalize about any differences in intelligence. Unlike most other proponents of the race—IQ link, the authors offered policy suggestions that include ending welfare to discourage births among lowIQ poor women and changing immigration laws so that the IQ pool in the United States is not diminished. Herrnstein and Murray even made generalizations about IQ levels among Asians and Hispanics in the United States, groups subject to even more intermarriage. It is not possible to generalize about absolute differences between groups, such as Latinos versus Whites, when almost half of Latinos in the United States marry non-Hispanics. fl intelligence quotient (IQ)
The ratio of a person's mental age (as computed by an IQ test) to his or her chronological age, multiplied by 100. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Years later, the mere mention of "the bell curve" signals to many the belief in a racial hierarchy with Whites toward the top and Blacks near the bottom. The research present then and repeated today points to the difficulty in definitions: What is intelligence, and what constitutes a racial group, given generations, if not centuries, of intermarriage? How can we speak of definitive inherited racial differences if there has been intermarriage between people of every color? Furthermore, as people on both sides of the debate have noted, regardless of the findings, we would still want to strive to maximize the talents of each individual. All research shows that the differences within a group are much greater than any alleged differences between group avenges. All these issues and controversial research have led to the basic question of what difference it would make if there were significant differences. No researcher believes that race can be used to predict one's intelligence. Also, there is a general agreement that certain intervention strategies can improve scholastic achievement and even intelligence as defined by standard tests. Should we mount efforts to upgrade the abilities of those alleged to be below average? These debates tend to contribute to a sense of hopelessness among some policy makers who think that biology is destiny, rather than causing them to rethink the issue or expand positive intervention efforts. Why does such IQ research reemerge if the data are subject to different interpretations? The argument that "we" are superior to "them" is very appealing to the dominant group. It justifies receiving opportunities that are denied to others. For example, the authors of The Bell Curve argue that intelligence significantly determines the poverty problem in the United States. We can anticipate that the debate over IQ and the allegations of significant group differences will continue. Policy makers need to acknowledge the difficulty in treating race as a biologically significant characteristic.
srtnid •t, fr i ctirttetiou of ttrea- Why are schoolyard massacres national news but school drive-by killings go largely unnoticed? • ASK Yourself racism A doctrine that one race is superior. If race does not distinguish humans from one another biologically, why does it seem to be so important? It is important because of the social meaning people have attached to it. The 1950 (UNESCO) Statement on Race maintains that "for all practical social purposes 'race' is not so much a biological phenomenon as a social myth" (Montagu 1972, 118). Adolf Hitler expressed concern over the "Jewish race" and translated this concern into Nazi death camps. Winston Churchill spoke proudly of the "British race" and used that pride to spur a nation to fight. Evidently, race was a useful political tool for two very different leaden in the 1930s and 1940s. Race is a social construction, and this process benefits the oppressor, who defines who is privileged and who is not. The acceptance of race in a society as a legitimate category allows racial hierarchies to emerge to the benefit of the dominant "races." For example, inner-city drive-by shootings have come to be seen as a race-specific problem worthy of local officials cleaning up troubled neighborhoods Yet schoolyard shootouts are viewed as a societal concern and placed on the national agenda. People could speculate that if human groups have obvious physical differences, then they could have corresponding mental or personality differences. No one disagrees that people differ in temperament, potential to learn, and sense of humor. In its social sense, race implies that groups that differ physically also bear distinctive emotional and mental abilities or disabilities. These beliefs are based on the notion that humankind can be divided into distinct groups. We have already seen the difficulties associated with pigeonholing people into racial categories. Despite these difficulties, belief in the inheritance of behavior patterns and in an association between physical and cultural traits is widespread. It is called racism when this belief is coupled with the feeling that certain groups or races are inherently superior to others. Racism is a doctrine of racial supremacy, stating that one race is superior to another (Bash 2001; Bonilla-Silva 1996). Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity We questioned the biological significance of race in the previous section. In modern complex industrial societies, we find little adaptive utility in the presence or absence of prominent chins, epicanthic folds of the eyelids, or the comparative amount of melanin in the skin. What is important is not that people are genetically different but that they approach one another with dissimilar perspectives. It is in the social setting that race is decisive. Race is significant because people have given it significance. Race definitions are crystallized through what Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1994) called racial formation. Racial formation is a sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhibited, transformed, and destroyed. Those in power define groups of people in a certain way that depends on a racist social structure. The Native Americans and the creation of the reservation system for Native Americans in the late 1800s is an example of this racial formation. The federal American Indian policy combined previously distinctive tribes into a single group. No one escapes the extent and frequency to which we are subjected to racial formation. In the southern United States, the social construction of race was known as the "one-drop rule." This tradition stipulated that if a person had even a single drop of "Black blood," that person was defined and viewed as Black. Today children of biracial or multiracial marriages try to build their own identities in a country that seems intent on placing them in some single, traditional category. rn ASK Yourself
Who are we in terms of race or ethnicity? Do you ever ask someone "What are you?" or "Where are you from?" because you are uncomfortable with not knowing? Concepts of race and ethnicity in the United States are socially constructed and, while most of the time we think we correctly identify people around us, sometimes we cannot. Sociology and the Study of Race and Eth n icity
Before proceeding further with our study of racial and ethnic groups, let us consider several sociological perspectives that provide insight into dominant—subordinate relationships. Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior and human groups and, therefore, is aptly suited to enlarge our understanding of intergroup relations. There is a long, valuable history of the study of race relations in sociology. Admittedly, it has not always been progressive; indeed, at times it has reflected the prejudices of society. In some instances, scholars who are members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, as well as women, have not been permitted to make the kind of contributions they are capable of making to the field. Si k iticai by Cla PS and(taw racial formation
A sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhibited, transformed, and destroyed. All societies are characterized by members having unequal amounts of wealth, prestige, or power. Sociologists observe that entire groups may be assigned less or more of what a society values. The hierarchy that emerges is called stratification. Stratification is the structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal rewards and power in a society. Much discussion of stratification identifies the class, or social ranking, of people who share similar wealth, according to sociologist Max Weber's classic definition. Mobility from one class to another is not easy. Movement into classes of greater wealth may be particularly difficult for subordinate-group members faced with lifelong prejudice and discrimination (Gerth and Mills 1958). Recall that the first property of subordinate-group standing is unequal treatment by the dominant group in the form of prejudice, discrimination, and segregation. Stratification is intertwined with the subordination of racial, ethnic, religious, and gender groups. Race has implications for the way people are treated; so does class. One also has to add the effects of race and class together. For example, being poor and Black is not the same as being either one by itself. A wealthy Mexican American is not the same as an affluent Anglo or as Mexican Americans as a group. sociology The systematic study of social behavior and human groups. stratification
A structured ranldng of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal rewards and power in a society. class As defined by Max Weber,
people who share similar levels of wealth. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity ASK Yourself
Celebracian or tokenism? In 2006 the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team debuted a new member of their famous sausage race. A 9foot-high chorizo with goatee, sombrero, and bandana joined the fourteam mascots of hot dog, a Polish sausage, a bratwurst, and an Italian sausage. Although still relatively small, Wisconsin's Hispanic population has tripled over the last 15 years, so the team wanted to acknowledge its growing Latino fan base. Is this a genuine tribute or just another example of tokenism with no meaningful social significance? Public discussion of issues such as housing or public assistance often is disguised as discussion of class issues, when in fact the issues are based primarily on race. Similarly, some topics such as the poorest of poor or the working poor are addressed in terms of race when the class component should be explicit. Nonetheless, the link between race and class in society is abundantly clear (Winant 1994). Another stratification factor that we need to consider is gender. How different is the situation for women as contrasted with men? Returning again to the first property of minority groups—unequal treatment and less control—treatment of women is not equal to that received by men. Whether the issue is jobs or poverty, education or crime, the experience of women typically is more difficult. In addition, the situation faced by women in such areas as health care and welfare raises different concerns than it does for men. Just as we need to consider the role of social class to understand race and ethnicity better, we also need to consider the role of gender. tooveAcsi 1,:erspecilvev
Sociologists view society in different ways. Some see the world basically as a stable and ongoing entity. The endurance of a Chinatown, the general sameness of male–female roles over time, and other aspects of intergroup relations impress them. Some sociologists see society as composed of many groups in conflict, competing for scarce resources. Within this conflict, some people or even entire groups may be labeled or stigmatized in a way that blocks their access to what a society values. We will examine three theoretical perspectives that are widely used by sociologists today: the functionalist, conflict, and labeling perspectives. Functionalist Perspective In the view of a functionalist, a society is like a living organism in which each part contributes to the survival of the whole. The functionalist perspective emphasizes how the parts of society are structured to maintain its stability. According to this approach, if an aspect of social life does not contribute to a society's stability or survival, it will not be passed on from one generation to the next. It seems reasonable to assume that bigotry between races offers no such positive function, and so we ask, why does it persist? Although agreeing that racial hostility is functionalist perspective
A sociological approach emphasizing how parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity hardly to be admired, the functionalist would point out that it serves some positive functions from the perspective of the racists. We can identify five functions that racial beliefs have for the dominant group. Racist ideologies provide a moral justification for maintaining a society that routinely deprives a group of its rights and privileges. Racist beliefs discourage subordinate people from attempting to question their lowly status; to do so is to question the very foundations of the society. Racial ideologies not only justify existing practices but also serve as a rallying point for social movements, as seen in the rise of the Nazi party. Racist myths encourage support for the existing order. Some argue that if there were any major societal change, the subordinate group would suffer even greater poverty, and the dominant group would suffer lower living standards (Nash 1962). 5. Racist beliefs relieve the dominant group of the responsibility to address the economic and educational problems faced by subordinate groups. As a result, racial ideology grows when a value system (e.g., that underlying a colonial empire or slavery) is being threatened. There are also definite dysfunctions caused by prejudice and discrimination. Dysfunctions are elements of society that may disrupt a social system or decrease its stability. There are six ways in which racism is dysfunctional to a society, including to its dominant group. A society that practices discrimination fails to use the resources of all individuals. Discrimination limits the search for talent and leadership to the dominant group. Discrimination aggravates social problems such as poverty, delinquency, and crime and places the financial burden of alleviating these problems on the dominant group. Society must invest a good deal of time and money to defend the barriers that prevent the full participation of all members. Racial prejudice and discrimination undercut goodwill and friendly diplomatic relations between nations. They also negatively affect efforts to increase global trade. Social change is inhibited because change may assist a subordinate group. Discrimination promotes disrespect for law enforcement and for the peaceful settlement of disputes. That racism has costs for the dominant group as well as for the subordinate group reminds us that intergroup conflict is exceedingly complex (Bowser and Hunt 1996; Feagin, Vera, and Batur 2000; Rose 1951). Conflict Perspective In contrast to the functionalists' emphasis on stability, conflict sociologists see the social world as being in continual struggle. The conflict perspective assumes that the social structure is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups. Specifically, society is a struggle between the privileged (the dominant group) and the exploited (the subordinate groups). Such conflicts need not be physically violent and may take the form of immigration restrictions, real estate practices, or disputes over cuts in the federal budget. The conflict model often is selected today when one is examining race and ethnicity because it readily accounts for the presence of tension between competing groups. According to the conflict perspective, competition takes place between groups with unequal amounts of economic and political power. The minorities are exploited or, at best, ignored by the dominant group. The conflict perspective is viewed as more in dysfunction
An element of society that may disrupt a social system or decrease its stability conflict perspective
A sociological approach that assumes that the social structure is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups. ormassassallINIIIIMIMMI Il
Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity r radical and activist than functionalism because conflict theorists emphasize social change and the redistribution of resources. Functionalists are not necessarily in favor of inequality; rather, their approach helps us to understand why such systems persist. Those who follow the conflict approach to race and ethnicity have remarked repeatedly that the subordinate group is criticized for its low status. That the dominant group is responsible for subordination is often ignored. William Ryan (1976) calls this an instance of blaming the victim: portraying the problems of racial and ethnic minorities as their fault rather than recognizing society's responsibility. The recognition that many in society fault the weak rather than embrace the need for restructuring society is not new. Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish social economist of international reputation, headed a project that produced the classic 1944 work on Blacks in the United States, The American Dilemma. Myrdal concluded that the plight of the subordinate group is the responsibility of the dominant majority. It is not a Black problem but a White problem. Similarly, we can use the same approach and note that it is not a Hispanic problem or a Haitian refugee problem but a White problem. Myrdal and others since then have reminded the public and policy makers alike that the ultimate responsibility for society's problems must rest with those who possess the most authority and the most economic resources (Hochschild 1995; Southern 1987). Labeling Approach Related to the conflict perspective and its concern over blaming the victim is labeling theory. Labeling theory, a concept introduced by sociologist
Howard Becker, is an attempt to explain why certain people are viewed as deviant and others engaging in the same behavior are not. Students of crime and deviance have relied heavily on labeling theory. According to labeling theory, a youth who misbehaves may be considered and treated as a delinquent if she or he comes from the "wrong kind of family." Another youth, from a middle-class family, who commits the same sort of misbehavior might be given another chance before being punished. The labeling perspective directs our attention to the role negative stereotypes play in race and ethnicity. The image that prejudiced people maintain of a group toward which they hold ill feelings is called a stereotype. Stereotypes are unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not take individual differences into account The warrior image of Native American (America Indian) people is perpetuated by the frequent use of tribal names or even terms such as "Indians" and "Redskins" as sports team mascots. In Chapter 2, we will review some of the research on the stereotyping of minorities. This labeling is not limited to racial and ethnic groups, however. For instance, age can be used to exclude a person from an activity in which he or she is qualified to engage. Groups are subjected to stereotypes and discrimination in such a way that their treatment resembles that of social minorities. Social prejudice exists toward ex-convicts, gamblers, alcoholics, lesbians, gays, prostitutes, people with AIDS, and people with disabilities, to name a few. The labeling approach points out that stereotypes, when applied by people in power, can have very negative consequences for people or groups identified falsely. A crucial aspect of the relationship between dominant and subordinate groups is the prerogative of the dominant group to define society's values. U.S. sociologist William I. Thomas (1923), an early critic of racial and gender discrimination, saw that the "definition of the situation" could mold the personality of the individual. In other words, Thomas observed that people respond not only to the objective features of a situation (or person) but also to the meaning these features have for them. So, for example, a lone walker seeing a young Black man walking toward him may perceive the situation differently than if the oncoming person is an older woman. In this manner, we can create false images or stereotypes that become real in their social consequences. blaming the victim
Portraying the problems of racial and ethnic minorities as their fault rather than recognizing society's responsibilities. labeling theory
A sociological approach introduced by Howard Becker that attempts to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants and others engaging in the same behavior are not. stereotypes
Unreliable, exaggerated generalizations about all members of a group that do not take individual differences into account. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity m White taxpayers do not want to waste money Set SGI drops out attends poorly financed school Or or SGI has SGI pushed out SGI performs less job opportunity poorly on exams SGI Has poor health Shops at less attractive stores with higher prices Has poor housing Is more likely to be a crime victim
SGI earns less money SGI is inferior by cultural measures of success
SGI has self-doubt and self-hate (Judged by others) . (Judged by himself or herself) SGI = Subordinate-Group Individual FIGURE 1.3 Self-Fulfilling Prophecy The self-validating effects of dominant-group definitions are shown in this figure. The subordinate-group individual (SGI) attends a poorly financed school and is left unequipped to perform jobs that offer high status and pay. He or she then gets a low-paying job and must settle for a standard of living far short of society's standards. Because the person shares these societal standards, he or she may begin to feel self-doubt and self-hatred. In certain situations, we may respond to negative stereotypes and act on them, with the result that false definitions become accurate. This is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. A person or group described as having particular characteristics begins to display the very traits attributed to him or her. Thus, a child who is praised for being a natural comic may focus on learning to become funny to gain approval and attention. Self-fulfilling prophecies can be devastating for minority groups (Figure 1.3). Such groups often find that they are allowed to hold only low-paying jobs with little prestige or opportunity for advancement. The rationale of the dominant society is that these minority people lack the ability to perform in more important and lucrative positions. Training to become scientists, executives, or physicians is denied to many subordinategroup individuals, who are then locked into society's inferior jobs. As a result, the false definition becomes real. The subordinate group has become inferior because it was defined at the start as inferior and was, therefore, prevented from achieving the levels attained by the majority. Because of this vicious circle, a talented subordinate-group person may come to see the worlds of entertainment and professional sports as his or her only hope for achieving wealth and fame. Thus, it is no accident that successive waves of Irish, Jewish, Italian, African American, and Hispanic performers and athletes have made their mark on culture in the United States. Unfortunately, these very successes may convince the dominant group that its original stereotypes were valid—that these are the only areas of society in which subordinate-group members can excel. Furthermore, athletics and the arts are highly competitive areas. For every LeBron James and Jennifer Lopez who makes it, many, many more will end up disappointed. Th e Creation of Subordinate-Group Status
Three situations are likely to lead to the formation of a subordinate-group–dominantgroup relationship. A subordinate group emerges through migration, annexation, and colonialism. self-fulfilling prophecy
The tendency to respond to and act on the basis of stereotypes, a predisposition that can lead one to validate false definitions. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Wil'gvatint). migration
A general term that describes any transfer of population. People who emigrate to a new country often find themselves a minority in that new country. Cultural or physical traits or religious affiliation may set the immigrant apart from the dominant group. Immigration from Europe, Asia, and Latin America has been a powerful force in shaping the fabric of life in the United States. Migration is the general term used to describe any transfer of population. Emigration (by emigrants) describes leaving a country to settle in another; immigration (by immigrants) denotes coming into the new country. From Vietnam's perspective, the "boat people" were emigrants from Vietnam to the United States, but in the United States they were counted among this nation's immigrants. Although people may migrate because they want to, leaving the home country is not always voluntary. Conflict or war has displaced people throughout human history. In the twentieth century, we saw huge population movements caused by two world wars; revolutions in Spain, Hungary, and Cuba; the partition of British India; conflicts in Southeast Asia, Korea, and Central America; and the confrontation between Arabs and Israelis. In all types of movement, even the movement of a U.S. family from Ohio to Florida, two sets of forces operate: push factors and pull factors. Push factors discourage a person from remaining where he or she lives. Religious persecution and economic factors such as dissatisfaction with employment opportunities are possible push factors. Pull factors, such as a better standard of living, friends and relatives who have already emigrated, and a promised job, attract an immigrant to a particular country. Although generally we think of migration as a voluntary process, much of the population transfer that has occurred in the world has been involuntary. The forced movement of people into another society guarantees a subordinate role. Involuntary migration is no longer common; although enslavement has a long history, all industrialized societies today prohibit such practices. Of course, many contemporary societies, including the United States, bear the legacy of slavery. Migration has taken on new significance in the twenty-first century partly due to globalization. Globalization refers to the worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements, and financial markets through trade and the exchange of ideas. The increased movement of people and money across borders has made the distinction between temporary and permanent migration less meaningful. Although migration has always been fluid, in today's global economy, people are connected across societies culturally and economically like they have never been before. Even after they have relocated, people maintain global linkages to their former country and with a global economy (Richmond 2002).
Leaving a country to settle in another. immigration
Coming into a new country as a permanent resident. globalization
Worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements, and financial markets through trade, movements of people, and the exchange of ideas. Nations, particularly during wars or as a result of war, incorporate or attach land. This new land is contiguous to the nation, as in the German annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939 and in the U.S. Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848 gave the United States California, Utah, Nevada, most of New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Wyoming, and Colorado. The indigenous peoples in some of this huge territory were dominant in their society one day, only to become minority-group members the next. When annexation occurs, the dominant power generally suppresses the language and culture of the minority. Such was the practice of Russia with the Ukrainians and Poles and of Prussia with the Poles. Minorities try to maintain their cultural integrity despite annexation. Poles inhabited an area divided into territories ruled by three countries but maintained their own culture across political boundaries. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Colonialism In India and elsewhere established for generations a hierarchical relationship between Europeans and much of the rest of the world. Pictured here is a British officer being fanned and pampered by two Indian attendants. teolonialisr n Colonialism has been the most common way for one group of people to dominate another. Colonialism is the maintenance of political, social, economic, and cultural dominance over people by a foreign power for an extended period (W. Bell 1991). Colonialism is rule by outsiders but, unlike annexation, does not involve actual incorporation into the dominant people's nation. The long control exercised by the British Empire over much of North America, parts of Africa, and India is an example of colonial domination. Societies gain power over a foreign land through military strength, sophisticated political organization, and investment capital. The extent of power may also vary according to the dominant group's scope of settlement in the colonial land Relations between the colonial nation and the colonized people are similar to those between a dominant group and exploited subordinate groups. The colonial subjects generally are limited to menial jobs and the wages from their labor. The natural resources of their land benefit the members of the ruling class. By the 1980s, colonialism, in the sense of political rule, had become largely a phenomenon of the past, yet industrial countries of North America and Europe still dominated the world economically and politically. Drawing on the conflict perspective, sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein (1974) views the global economic system of today as much like the height of colonial days. Wallerstein has advanced the world systems theory, which views the global economic system as divided between nations that control wealth and those that provide natural resources and labor. The limited economic resources available in developing nations exacerbate many of the ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts noted at the beginning of the chapter. In addition the presence of massive inequality between nations only serves to encourage immigration generally and more specifically the movement of many of the most skilled from developing nations to the industrial nations. A significant exception to the end of foreign political rule is Puerto Rico, whose territorial or commonwealth status with the United States is basically that of a colony. The nearly 4 million people on the island are U.S. citizens but are unable to vote in presidential elections unless they migrate to the mainland. In 1998, 50 percent of Puerto Ricans on the island voted for options favoring continuation of commonwealth status, 47 percent favored statehood, and less than 3 percent voted for independence. Despite their poor showing, proindependence forces are very vocal and enjoy the sympathies of others concerned about the cultural and economic dominance of the U.S. mainland (Navarro 1998; Saad 1998). colonialism A foreign power's maintenance of political, social, economic, and cultural dominance over people for an extended period. world systems theory A view of the global economic system as divided between nations that control wealth and those that provide natural resources and labor. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity
internal colonialism The treatment of subordinate peoples as colonial subjects by those in power. genocide The deliberate, systematic killing of an entire people or nation. ethnic cleansing Policy of ethnic Serbs to eliminate Muslims from parts of Bosnia. Colonialism is domination by outsiders. Relations between the colonizer and the colony are similar to those between the dominant and subordinate peoples within the same country. This distinctive pattern of oppression is called internal colonialism. Among other cases, it has been applied to the plight of Blacks in the United States and Mexican Indians in Mexico, who are colonial peoples in their own country. Internal colonialism covers more than simple economic oppression. Nationalist movements in African colonies struggled to achieve political and economic independence from Europeans. Similarly, some African Americans also call themselves nationalists in trying to gain more autonomy over their lives (Blauner 1969, 1972). he Consequences of Subordinate-Group Status
There are several consequences for a group with subordinate status. These differ in their degree of harshness, ranging from physical annihilation to absorption into the dominant group. In this section, we will examine six consequences of subordinategroup status: extermination, expulsion, secession, segregation, fusion, and assimilation. Figure 1.4 illustrates how these consequences can be defined. The most extreme way of dealing with a subordinate group is to eliminate it. Today the term genocide is used to describe the deliberate, systematic killing of an entire people or nation. This term is often used in reference to the Holocaust, Nazi Germany's extermination of 12 million European Jews and other ethnic minorities during World War II. The term ethnic cleansing was introduced into the world's vocabulary as ethnic Serbs instituted a policy intended to "cleanse"—eliminate—Muslims from parts of Bosnia. More recently, a genocidal war between the Hutu and Tutsi people in Rwanda left 300,000 school-age children orphaned (Chirot and Edwards 2003). However, genocide also appropriately describes White policies toward Native Americans in the nineteenth century. In 1800, the American Indian population in the United States was about 600,000; by 1850 it had been reduced to 250,000 through warfare with the U.S. Army, disease, and forced relocation to inhospitable environments. Dominant groups may choose to force a specific subordinate group to leave certain areas or even vacate a country. Expulsion, therefore, is another extreme consequence of minority-group status. European colonial powers in North America and eventually EXPULSION SEGREGATION ASSIMILATION •
or genocide !1 1-;
SECESSION or partitioning EXTERMINATION FUSION or amalgamation or melting pot PLURALISM
or multiculturalism FIGURE 1.4 Intergroup Relations Continuum The social consequences of being in a subordinate group can be viewed along a continuum ranging from extermination to forms of mutual acceptance such as pluralism. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity the U.S. government itself drove almost all Native Americans out of their tribal lands into unfamiliar territory. More recently, Vietnam in 1979 expelled nearly 1 million ethnic Chinese from the country, partly as a result of centuries of hostility between the two Asian neighbors. These "boat people" were abruptly eliminated as a minority within Vietnamese society. This expulsion meant that they were uprooted and became a new minority group in many nations, including Australia, France, the United States, and Canada. Thus, expulsion may remove a minority group from one society; however, the expelled people merely go to another nation, where they are again a minority group.
$,er.,.?..t shot A group ceases to be a subordinate group when it secedes to form a new nation or moves to an already established nation, where it becomes dominant After Great Britain withdrew from Palestine, Jewish people achieved a dominant position in 1948, attracting Jews from throughout the world to the new state of Israel. In a similar fashion, Pakistan was created in 1947 when India was partitioned. The predominantly Muslim areas in the north became Pakistan, making India predominantly Hindu. Throughout this century, minorities have repudiated dominant customs. In this spirit, the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Armenian peoples, not content to be merely tolerated by the majority, all seceded to form independent states after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1999, ethnic Albanians fought bitterly for their cultural and political recognition in the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia. Some African Americans have called for secession. Suggestions dating back to the early 1700s supported the return of Blacks to Africa as a solution to racial problems. The settlement target of the American Colonization Society was Liberia, but proposals were also advanced to establish settlements in other areas. Territorial separatism and the emigrationist ideology were recurrent and interrelated themes among African Americans from the late nineteenth century well into the 1980s. The Black Muslims, or Nation of Islam, once expressed the desire for complete separation in their own state or territory within the present borders of the United States. Although a secession of Blacks from the United States has not taken place, it has been proposed.
Owl Segregation is the physical separation of two groups in residence, workplace, and social functions. Generally, the dominant group imposes segregation on a subordinate group. Segregation is rarely complete, however; intergroup contact inevitably occurs even in the most segregated societies. Sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton (1998) wrote American Apartheid, which described segregation in U.S. cities based on 1990 data. The tide of their book was meant to indicate that neighborhoods in the United States resembled the segregation of the rigid government-imposed racial segregation that prevailed for so long in the Republic of South Africa. Analyzing the 2000 census results shows little change despite growing racial and ethnic diversity in the nation. Sociologists measure racial segregation using a segregation index or index of dissimilarity. The index ranges from 0 to 100, giving the percentage of a group that would have to move to achieve even residential patterns. For example, Atlanta has an index of 65.6 for Black—White segregation, which means that about 66 percent of either Blacks or Whites would have to move so that each small neighborhood (or census tract) would have the same racial balance as the metropolitan area as a whole. In Figure 1.5, we give the index values for the most and least segregated metropolitan areas among the 50 largest in the nation with respect to the Black—White racial divide. segregation The physical separation of
two groups, often imposed on a subordinate group by the dominant group. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Most Segregated 84.7 82.2 81.8 Top 50 Metropolitan Areas Least Segregated 80.9 80.4 FIGURE 1.5 White-Black Segregation, 2000
Source: From "Ethnic Diversity Grows, Neighborhood Integration Lags Behind." Reprinted by permission of John Logan, Brown University, http://www.s4.brown.edu (Also see Lewis Mumford Center 2001). Detroit Milwaukee New York City Chicago Newark Greenville Riverside Norfolk Raleigh Augusta NC CA VA NC GA 1 46.4 46.3 46.2 46.2 45.5 40 • Metropolitan Areas Overall, the least segregated metropolitan areas tend to be those with the smallest African American populations. For Latinos, the separation patterns are similar, with the highest patterns of isolation occurring in the cities with the larger number of Hispanics (Figure 1.6). There has been little change in overall levels of racial and ethnic segregation from 1990 to 2000. Similarly, Asian-White segregation remains high and showed little change during the 1990s (Lewis Mumford Center 2001). This focus on metropolitan areas should not cause us to ignore the continuing legally sanctioned segregation of Native Americans on reservations. Although the majority of our nation's first inhabitants live outside these tribal areas, the reservations play a prominent role in the identity of Native Americans. Although it is easier to maintain tribal identity on the reservation, economic and educational opportunities are more limited in these areas segregated from the rest of society. The social consequences of residential segregation are significant. Given the elevated rates of poverty experienced by racial and ethnic minorities, their patterns of segregation mean that the consequences of poverty (dismal job opportunities, poor health care facilities, delinquency, and crime) are much more likely to be experienced by even the middle-class Blacks, Latinos, and tribal people than it is by middle-class Whites (Massey 2004).
FIGURE 1.6 White-Latino Segregation, 2000
Source: From "Ethnic Diversity Grows, Neighborhood Integration Lags Behind." Reprinted by permission of John Logan, Brown University, http://www.s4.brown.edu (Also see Lewis Mumford Center 2001). Top 50 Metropolitan Areas Most Segregated 66.7 65.0 63.2 62.1 60.2 Least Segregated 35.4 31.7 28.7 so
New York City Newark Los Angeles Chicago Philadelphia Stockton Modesto Portland Ft. Laredo CA CA OR Lauderdale TX Metropolitan Areas Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity fl Given segregation patterns, many Whites in the United States have limited contact with people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. In one study of 100 affluent powerful White men looking at their experiences past and present, it was clear they had lived in a "white bubble"—neighborhoods, schools, elite colleges, and workplaces overwhelmingly White. The continuing pattern of segregation in the United States means our diverse population grows up in very different nations. (Feagin and O'Brien 2003).
H.Wir Fusion occurs when a minority and a majority group combine to form a new group. This combining can be expressed as A + B + C –+ D where A, B, and C represent the groups present in a society, and D signifies the result, an ethnocultural-racial group sharing some of the characteristics of each initial group Mexican people are an example of fusion, originating as they do out of the mixing of the Spanish and indigenous Indian cultures. Theoretically, fusion does not entail intermarriage, but it is very similar to amalgamation, or the process by which a dominant group and a subordinate group combine through intermarriage into a new people. In everyday speech, the words fusion and amalgamation are rarely used, but the concept is expressed in the notion of a human melting pot, in which diverse racial or ethnic groups form a new creation, a new cultural entity (Newman 1973) . The analogy of the cauldron, the "melting pot," was first used to describe the United States by the French observer Crèvecoeur in 1782. The phrase dates back to the Middle Ages, when alchemists attempted to change less valuable metals into gold and silver. Similarly, the idea of the human melting pot implied that the new group would represent only the best qualities and attributes of the different cultures contributing to it. The belief in the United States as a melting pot became widespread in the early twentieth century. This belief suggested that the United States had an almost divine mission to destroy artificial divisions and create a single kind of human. However, the dominant group had indicated its unwillingness to welcome such groups as Native Americans, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Asians, and Irish Roman Catholics into the melting pot. It is a mistake to think of the United States as an ethnic mixing bowl. Although there are superficial signs of fusion, as in a cuisine that includes sauerkraut and spaghetti, most contributions of subordinate groups are ignored (Gleason 1980). Marriage patterns indicate the resistance to fusion. People are unwilling, in varying degrees, to marry outside their own ethnic, religious, and racial groups and indeed through the 1960s there many states where it was illegal to cross racial boundaries. Surveys today show that 20 to 50 percent of various White ethnic groups report single ancestry. When White ethnics do cross boundaries, they tend to marry within their religion and social class. For example, Italians are more likely to marry Irish, who are also Catholic, than they are to many Protestant Swedes. Although it may seem that interracial matches are everywhere, there is only modest evidence of a fusion of races in the United States. Racial intermarriage has been increasing, and the number of interracial couples immigrating to the United States has also grown. In 1980, there were 167,000 Black–White couples, but by 2004 there were 413,000. That is still less than one out of every 100 marriages involving a White and Black person. Among couples in which at least one member is Hispanic, marriages with a nonHispanic partner account for 27 percent. Taken together all interracial and Hispanicnon-Hispanic couples account for 7.2 percent of married couples today (Bureau of the Census 2005a, 51; A. Coleman 2006; Lee and Edmonston 2005). is ^:•atl^it^fiiexi Assimilation is the process by which a subordinate individual or group takes on the characteristics of the dominant group and is eventually accepted as part of that group. 0 ASKVas& n
6 Lot's of people seem to date and
marry across racial lines. Just how common is it? fusion
A minority and a majority group combining to form a new group. amalgamation
The process by which a dominant group and a subordinate group combine through intermarriage to form a new group. melting pot
Diverse racial or ethnic groups or both, forming a new creation, a new cultural entity. assimilation
The process by which a subordinate individual or group takes on the characteristics of the dominant group. • ft. Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity Faced with new laws restricting rights of noncitizens, people representing countries from around the world participate in naturalization ceremonies in New York City in 2006 aboard the USS Intrepid. About 18,000 new citizens took the oath during the July 4th week. pluralism Mutual respect between the various groups in a society for one another's cultures, allowing minorities to express their own culture without experiencing prejudice or hostility. Assimilation is a majority ideology in which A + B + C -* A. The majority (A) dominates in such a way that the minorities (B and C) become indistinguishable from the dominant group. Assimilation dictates conformity to the dominant group, regardless of how many racial, ethnic, or religious groups are involved (Newman 1973, 53). To be complete, assimilation must entail an active effort by the minority-group individual to shed all distinguishing actions and beliefs and the unqualified acceptance of that individual by the dominant society. In the United States, dominant White society encourages assimilation. The assimilation perspective tends to devalue alien culture and to treasure the dominant. For example, assimilation assumes that whatever is admirable among Blacks was adapted from Whites and that whatever is bad is inherently Black. The assimilation solution to Black—White conflict is the development of a consensus around White American values. Assimilation is very difficult. The person must forsake his or her cultural tradition to become part of a different, often antagonistic culture. Members of the subordinate group who choose not to assimilate look on those who do as deserters. Assimilation does not occur at the same pace for all groups or for all individuals in the same group. Assimilation tends to take longer under the following conditions: The differences between the minority and the majority are large. g. The majority is not receptive or the minority retains its own culture. The minority group arrives over a short period of time. The minority-group residents are concentrated rather than dispersed. if The arrival is recent, and the homeland is accessible. Assimilation is not a smooth process (Warner and Srole 1945). Assimilation is viewed by many as unfair or even dictatorial. However, members of the dominant group see it as reasonable that people shed their distinctive cultural traditions. In public discussions today, assimilation is the ideology of the dominant group in forcing people how to act. Consequently, the social institutions in the United States, such as the educational system, economy, government, religion, and medicine, all push toward assimilation, with occasional references to the pluralist approach. 1 . 4) Pes'Srot-r:f.'°-V`,.* Thus far, we have concentrated on how subordinate groups cease to exist (removal) or take on the characteristics of the dominant group (assimilation). The alternative to these relationships between the majority and the minority is pluralism. Pluralism im- Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity plies that various groups in a society have mutual respect for one another's culture, a respect that allows minorities to express their own culture without suffering prejudice or hostility. Whereas the assimilationist or integrationist seeks the elimination of ethnic boundaries, the pluralist believes in maintaining many of them. There are limits to cultural freedom. A Romanian immigrant to the United States could not expect to avoid learning English and still move up the occupational ladder. To survive, a society must have a consensus among its members on basic ideals, values, and beliefs. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for variety. Earlier, fusion was described as A + B + C -+ D and assimilation as A + B + C--> A. Using this same scheme, we can think of pluralism as A + B + C -+ A + B + C, where groups coexist in one society (Manning 1995; Newman 1973; Simpson 1995). In the United States, cultural pluralism is more an ideal than a reality. Although there are vestiges of cultural pluralism—in the various ethnic neighborhoods in major cities, for instance—the rule has been for subordinate groups to assimilate. Yet as the minority becomes the numerical majority, the ability to live out one's identity becomes a bit easier. African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans already outnumber Whites in nine of the ten largest cities (Figure 1.7). The trend is toward even greater diversity. Nonetheless, the cost of cultural integrity throughout the nation's history has been high. The various Native American tribes have succeeded to a large extent in maintaining their heritage, but the price has been bare subsistence on federal reservations. In the United States, there is a reemergence of ethnic identification by groups that had previously expressed little interest in their heritage. Groups that make up the dominant majority are also reasserting their ethnic heritages. Various nationality groups are rekindling interest in almost forgotten languages, customs, festivals, and traditions. In some instances, this expression of the past has taken the form of a protest against exclusion from the dominant society. For example, Chinese youths Li FIGURE 1.7 Race and Ethnicity, New York City Los Angeles Chicago
17.7,at. -1 1111111111111116t. NW 1P 15 Largest Cities, 2005
Source: Author analysis based on
American Community Survey 2006 and U.S. Bureau of the Census 2001c. Houston Philadelphia Phoenix San Diego San Antonio Dallas San Jose Detroit Jacksonville Indianapolis San Francisco Columbus 111111111111111111n0111 vow 0 20 40 Black II Hispanics 60 80 100 Other Groups Am White Non-Hispanic IN Asian Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity gi Let's play Scrabble! This is not your typical board game. In order to preserve their language among young people, residents of the Lake Traverse Reservation of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate hold Scrabble tournaments where only Dakotah language words are permitted. bilingualism
The use of two or more languages in places of work or education and the treatment of each language as legitimate. chastise their elders for forgetting the old ways and accepting White American influence and control. The most visible controversy about pluralism is the debate surrounding bilingualism. Bilingualism is the use of two or more languages in places of work or education, with each language being treated as equally legitimate. As of 2000, about one of every six people (17 percent) speaks a native language other than English at home. Reflecting this diversity, the demand for interpreters is now unprecedented. One private company, NetworkOmni (2006), provides services to both government and private clients seeking translation services. To meet the need, the business offers interpreters to 911 services, hospitals, and private corporations in 150 languages and dialects ranging from widely spoken languages like Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian to dozens of lesser-known ones such as Akan, Oromo, and Telagu. The passionate debate under way in the United States over bilingualism often acknowledges the large number of people who do not speak English at home. In education, bilingualism has seemed to be one way of helping millions of people who want to learn English to function more efficiently within the United States. Bilingualism for almost two decades has been a political issue. A proposed Constitutional amendment has been introduced that designates English as the "official language of the nation." A major force behind the proposed amendment and other efforts to restrict bilingualism is U.S. English, a nationwide organization that views the English language as the "social glue" that keeps the nation together. This organization supports assimilation. By contrast, Hispanic leaders see the U.S. English campaign as a veiled expression of racism. The reality of learning English offers little reason for concern about language acquisition. Historically, English is the language of choice by the third generation. By 1970, over 90 percent of the grandchildren of immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Poland spoke only English. In 1990, the grandchildren of Asian immigrants were in the same situation. Today, most of the third generation (64 percent of Mexican and 78 percent of Cuban) speak only English. Given the large Latino enclaves in cities like Miami and the back-and-forth movement along the Mexico—U.S. border, it is surprising that English-only is so high today (Massey et al. 2002). Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity fl vmo Am I? When Tiger Woods first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Shore, he was asked whether it bothered him, the only child of a Black American father and a Thai mother, to be called an African American. He replied, "It does. Growing up, I came up with this name: I'm a Cabalinasian" (White 1997, 34). This is a self-crafted acronym to reflect that Tiger Woods is one-eighth Caucasian, one-fourth Black, one-eighth American Indian, one-fourth Thai, and one-fourth Chinese. Soon after he achieved professional stardom, another golfer was strongly criticized for making racist remarks based on seeing Woods only as African American. If Tiger Woods was not so famous, would most people, upon meeting him, see him as anything but an African American? Probably not. Tiger Woods's problem is really the challenge to a diverse society that continues to try to place people in a few socially constructed racial and ethnic boxes. The diversity of the United States today has made it more difficult for many people to place themselves on the racial and ethnic landscape. It reminds us that racial formation continues to take place. Obviously, the racial and ethnic landscape, as we have seen, is constructed not naturally but socially and, therefore, is subject to change and different interpretations. Although our focus is on the United States, almost every nation faces the same problems. The United States tracks people by race and ethnicity for myriad reasons, ranging from attempting to improve the status of oppressed groups to diversifying classrooms. But how can we measure the growing number of people whose ancestry is mixed by anyone's definition? In "Research Focus" we consider how the U.S. Census Bureau dealt with this issue. Within little more than a generation, we have witnessed changes in labeling subordinate groups from Negroes to Blacks to African Americans, from American Indians to Native Americans or Native Peoples. However, more Native Americans prefer the use of their tribal name, such as Seminole, instead of a collective label. The old 1950s statistical term of "people with a Spanish surname" has long been discarded, yet there is disagreement over a new term: Latino or Hispanic. Like Native Americans, Hispanic Americans avoid such global terms and prefer their native names, such as Puerto Ricans or Cubans. People of Mexican ancestry indicate preferences for a variety of names, such as Mexican American, Chicano, or simply Mexican.
Celebrities such as Mariah Carey are unable to protect their privacy. Much has been made about her racial and ethnic identity. She told Ebony magazine that she is very aware of her African American heritage, and I think sometimes it bothers people that I don't say, 'I'm black' and that's it ... So when people ask, I say I'm, black, Venezuelan, and Irish, because that's who I am" (Carberry 2005, 5). Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity 'in, arl+F __ Research Focus
Most people did select one racial category in Census 2000. Overall, about 7 million people, or 2.4 percent of the total population, selected two or more racial groups. This was a smaller proportion than many had anticipated. In fact, not even the majority of mixed-race couples identified their children with more than one racial classification. As shown in Figure 1.8, White and American Indian was the most common multiple identity, with about a million people selecting that response. As a group, American Indians were most likely to select a second category and Whites least likely. Race is socially defined. Complicating the situation is that people are asked separately whether they are Hispanic or non-Hispanic. So a Hispanic person can be any race. In the 2000 Census 94 percent indicated they were one race but 6 percent indicated two or more races; this proportion was three times higher than among non-Hispanics. Therefore, Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanics to indicate a multiracial ancestry. The Census Bureau's decision does not necessarily resolve the frustration of hun.nkaaa•IrlIS711111F4ren-trIllInir pproaching Census 2000, a movement was spawned by people who A were frustrated by government questionnaires that forced them to indicate only one race. Take the case of Stacey Davis in New Orleans. The young woman's mother is Thai and her father is Creole, a blend of Black, French, and German. People seeing Stacey confuse her for a Latina, Filipina, or Hawaiian. Officially, she has been "White" all her life because she looked White. Congress was lobbied by groups such as Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally) for a category "biracial" or "multiracial" that one could select on census forms instead of a specific race. Race is only one of six questions asked of every person in the United States on census day every ten years. After various trial runs with different wordings on the race question, Census 2000 for the first time gave people the option to check off one or more racial groups. "Biracial" or "multiraciar was not an option because pretests showed very few people would use it. This meant that the government recognized in Census 2000 different social constructions of racial identity—that is, a person could be Asian American and White. isernarranavanrs 1111111!Wi panethnicity The development of solidarity between ethnic subgroups, as reflected in the terms Hispanic or Asian American. In the United States and other multiracial, multiethnic societies, panethnicity has emerged. Panethnicity is the development of solidarity between ethnic subgroups. The coalition of tribal groups as Native Americans or American Indians to confront outside forces, notably the federal government, is one example of panethnicity. Hispanics or Latinos and Asian Americans are other examples of panethnicity. Although it is rarely recognized by dominant society, the very term Black or African American represents the descendants of many different ethnic or tribal groups, such as Akamba, Fulani, Hausa, Malinke, and Yoruba (Lopez and Espiritu 1990). Is panethnicity a convenient label for "outsiders" or a term that reflects a mutual identity? Certainly, many people outside the group are unable or unwilling to recognize ethnic differences and prefer umbrella terms such as Asian Americans. For some small groups, combining with others is emerging as a useful way to make themselves heard, but there is always a fear that their own distinctive culture will become submerged. Although many Hispanics share the Spanish language and many are united by Roman Catholicism, only one in four native-born people of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity 111 "White and American Indian. : 15.9 and Alaska Native" "White and Asian" "White and Black or African American" "Black or African American And American Indian and Alaska Native" All other combinations Of two races Three or more races
r, 2.7 50.5 FIGURE 1.8 Multiple Race Choices in Census 2000 This figure shows the percentage distribution of the 6.8 million people who chose two or more races out of 281.4 million total population.
Source: Gdeco and Cassidy 2001. dreds of thousands of people such as Stacey Davis who face on a daily basis people trying to place them in some racial or ethnic category convenient for them. However, it does underscore the complexity of social construction and trying to apply arbitrary definitions to the diversity of the human population. Source: El Nasser 1997; Gdeco and Cassidy 2001; Jones and Smith 2001; Tafoya,Johnson, and Hill 2004; K.Williams 2005. 7,11111STIMMIIII,11•11117.11111111 nTINIII7,11111'n=111CrallaallIMINIIr:790/WWIMICIIIVEtrOr1•111rnlIrlifflt or Cuban descent prefers a panethnic label to nationality or ethnic identity. Yet the growth of a variety of panethnic associations among many groups, including Hispanics, continued through the 1990s (de la Garza et al. 1992; Espiritu 1992). Add to this cultural mix the many peoples with clear social identities who are not yet generally recognized in the United States. Arabs are a rapidly growing segment whose identity is heavily subject to stereotypes or, at best, is still ambiguous. Haitians and Jamaicans affirm that they are Black but rarely accept the identity of African American. Brazilians, who speak Portuguese, often object to being called Hispanic because of that term's association with Spain. Similarly, there are White Hispanics and non–White Hispanics, some of the latter being Black and others Asian (Bennett 1993; Omi and Winant 1994, 162). Another challenge to identity is marginality, the status of being between two cultures, as in the case of a person whose mother is a Jew and whose father is a Christian. Du Bois (1903) spoke eloquently of the "double consciousness" that Black Americans feel—caught between the concept of being a citizen of the United States but viewed as marginality The status of being between two cultures at the same time, such as the status of Jewish immigrants in the United States. rn Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity something quite apart from the dominant social forces of society. Incomplete assimilation by immigrants also results in marginality. Although a Filipino woman migrating to the United States may take on the characteristics of her new host society, she may not be fully accepted and may, therefore, feel neither Filipino nor American. The marginalized person finds himself or herself being perceived differently in different environments, with varying expectations (Billson 1988; Park 1928; Stonequist 1937). As we seek to understand diversity in the United States, we must be mindful that ethnic and racial labels are just that: labels that have been socially constructed. Yet these social constructs can have a powerful impact, whether self-applied or applied by others. Resistance and Change
By virtue of wielding power and influence, the dominant group may define the terms by which all members of society operate. This is particularly evident in a slave society, but even in contemporary industrialized nations, the dominant group has a disproportionate role in shaping immigration policy, the curriculum of the schools, and the content of the media. Subordinate groups do not merely accept the definitions and ideology proposed by the dominant group. A continuing theme in dominant—subordinate relations is the minority group's challenge to its subordination. We will see throughout this book the resistance of subordinate groups as they seek to promote change that will bring them more rights and privileges, if not true equality (Moulder 1996). Resistance can be seen in efforts by racial and ethnic groups to maintain their identity through newspapers, organizations, and in today's technological age, cable television stations and Internet sites. Resistance manifests itself in social movements such as the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, and gay rights efforts. The passage of such legislation as the Age Discrimination Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act marks the success of oppressed groups in lobbying on their own behalf. Resistance efforts may begin through small actions. For example, residents of a reservation question a second toxic waste dump being located on their land. Although it may bring in money, they question the wisdom of such a move. Their concerns lead to further investigations of the extent to which American Indian lands are used disproportionately to house dangerous materials. This action in turn leads to a broader investigation of the way in which minority-group people often find themselves "hosting" dumps and incinerators. As we will discuss later, these local efforts eventually led the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor the disproportionate placement of toxic facilities in or near racial and ethnic minority communities. There is little reason to expect that such reforms would have occurred if we had relied on traditional decision-making processes alone. Change has occurred. At the beginning of the twentieth century lynching was practiced in many parts of the country. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, laws punishing hate crimes were increasingly common and embraced a variety of stigmatized groups. Although this social progress should not be ignored, the nation needs to focus concern ahead on the significant social inequalities that remain (Best 2001). An even more basic form of resistance is to question societal values. In this book, we avoid using the term American to describe people of the United States because geographically Brazilians, Canadians, and El Salvadorans are Americans as well. It is very easy to overlook how our understanding of today has been shaped by the way institutions and even the very telling of history have been presented by members of the dominant group. African American studies scholar Molefi Kete Asante (2000) has called Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity for an Afrocentric perspective that emphasizes the customs of African cultures and how they have pervaded the history, culture, and behavior of Blacks in the United States and around the world. Afrocentrism counters Eurocentrism and works toward a multiculturalist or pluralist orientation in which no viewpoint is suppressed. The Afrocentric approach could become part of our school curriculum, which has not adequately acknowledged the importance of this heritage. The Afrocentric perspective has attracted much attention in colleges. Opponents view it as a separatist view of history and culture that distorts both past and present. Its supporters counter that African peoples everywhere can come to full self-determination only when they are able to overthrow White or Eurocentric intellectual interpretations (Early 1994). In considering the inequalities present today, as we will in the chapters that follow, it is easy to forget how much change has taken place. Much of the resistance to prejudice and discrimination in the past, whether to slavery or to women's prohibition from voting, took the active support of members of the dominant group. The indignities still experienced by subordinate groups continue to be resisted as subordinate groups and their allies among the dominant group seek further change. afrocentric perspective
An emphasis on the customs of African cultures and how they have pervaded the history, culture, and behavior of Blacks in the United States and around the world. Conclusion 0 ne hundred years ago, sociologist and activist W. E. B. Du Bois took another famed Black activist, Booker T. Washington, to task for saying that the races could best work together apart, like fingers on a hand. Du Bois felt that Black people had to be a part of all social institutions and not create their own. Today among African Americans, Whites, and other groups, the debate persists as to what form society should take. Should we seek to bring everyone together into an integrated whole? Or do we strive to maintain as much of our group identities as possible while working cooperatively as necessary? In this first chapter, we have attempted to organize our approach to subordinate—dominant relations in the United States. We observed that subordinate groups do not necessarily contain fewer members than the dominant group. Subordinate groups are classified into racial, ethnic, religious, and gender groups. Racial classification has been of interest, but scientific findings do not explain contemporary race relations. Biological differences of race are not supported by scientific data. Yet as the continuing debate over standardized tests demonstrates, attempts to establish a biological meaning of race have not been swept entirely into the dustbin of history. However, the social meaning given to physical differences is very significant. People have defined racial differences in such a way as to encourage or discourage the progress of certain groups. The oppression of selected racial and ethnic groups may serve some people's vested interests. However, denying opportunities or privileges to an entire group only leads to conflict between dominant and subordinate groups. Societies such as the United States develop ideologies to justify privileges given to some and opportunities denied to others. These ideologies may be subtle, such as assimilation (i.e., "You should be like us"), or overt, such as racist thought and behavior. Subordinate groups generally emerge in one of three ways: migration, annexation, or colonialism. Once a group is given subordinate status, it does not necessarily keep it indefinitely. Extermination, expulsion, secession, segregation, fusion, and assimilation remove the status of subordination, although inequality still persists. Subordinate-group members' reactions include the seeking of an alternative avenue to acceptance and success: "Why should we forsake what we are to be accepted by them?" In response to this question, there has been a resurgence of ethnic identification. Pluralism describes a society in which several different groups coexist, with no dominant or subordinate groups. The hope for such a society remains unfulfilled, except perhaps for isolated exceptions. Race and ethnicity remains the single most consistent social indicator of where we live, whom we date, what media we watch, where we worship, and even how we vote (Younge 2004). Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity II Subordinate groups have not and do not always accept their second-class status passively. They may protest, organize, revolt, and resist society as defined by the dominant group. Patterns of race and ethnic relations are changing, not stagnant. Furthermore, in many nations, including the United States, the nature of race and ethnicity changes through migration. Indicative of the changing landscape, biracial and multiracial children present us with new definitions of identity emerging through a process of racial formation, reminding us that race is socially constructed. The two significant forces that are absent in a truly pluralistic society are prejudice and discrimination. In an assimilation society, prejudice disparages out-group differences, and discrimination financially rewards those who shed their past. In the next two chapters, we will explore the nature of prejudice and discrimination in the United States. Key Terms
Afrocentric perspective 33 amalgamation 25 assimilation 25 bilingualism 28 biological race 12 blaming the victim 18 class 15 colonialism 21 conflict perspective 17 dysfunction 17 emigration 20 ethnic cleansing 22 ethnic group 9 functionalist perspective 16 fusion 25 genocide 22 globalization 20 immigration 20 intelligence quotient (IQ) 13 internal colonialism 22 labeling theory 18 marginality 31 melting pot 25 migration 20 minority group 7 panethnicity 30 pluralism 26 racial formation 15 racial group 8 racism 14 segregation 23 self-fulfilling prophecy 19 sociology 15 stereotypes 18 stratification 15 world systems theory 21 Review Questions
In what ways have you seen issues of race and ethnicity emerge? Identify groups that have been subordinated for reasons other than race, ethnicity, or gender. How can a significant political or social issue (such as bilingual education) be viewed in assimilationist and pluralistic terms? 3. How does the concept of "double consciousness" popularized by W. E B. Du Bois relate to the question "Who am I?" II Chapter 1 Understanding Race and Ethnicity TABLE tit Reeler and Ethnic Groups lathe United States, 2000P Classification RACIAL GROUPS Whites (includes 16.9 million White Hispanic) Blacks/African Americans Native Americans, Alaskan Native Asian Americans Chinese Filipinos Asian Indians Vietnamese Koreans Japanese Other ETHNIC GROUPS White ancestry (single or mixed) Germans Irish English Italians Poles French Jews Hispanics (or Latinos) Mexican Americans Central and South Americans Puerto Ricans Cubans Other TOTAL (ALL GROUPS) Number in Thousands 211,461 34,658 2,476 10,243 2,433 1,850 1,679 1,123 1,077 797 1 285 Percentage of Total Population 75.1 12.3 0.9 3.6 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.5 42,842 30,525 24,509 15,638 8,977 8,310 5,200 35,306 23,337 5,119 3,178 1,412 2,260 281,422 15.2 10.8 8.7 5.6 3.2 3.0 1.8 12.5 8.3 1.8 1.1 0.5 0.8 Note: Percentages do not total 100 percent, and subheads do not add up to figures in major heads because of overlap between groups (eg., Polish American Jews or people of mired ancestry, such as Irish and Italian). Source: Bdttingham and de la Cruz 2004; Bureau of the Census 2003a; Grieco and Cassidy 2001; Therden and Ramirez 2001; United Jewish Communities 2003. FIGURE 1.1 Population of the United States by Race and Ethnicity, 2005 and 2100 (Projected) 2005 2100 (projected) According to projections by the Census Bureau, the proportion of residents of the United States who are White and non-Hispanic will decrease significantly by the year 2050. By contrast, there will be a striking rise in the proportion of both Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans.
Source: Author's analysis based on American Community Survey 2006 and Bureau of the Census 2004b. Asian and other 5% American Indian 2% Asian and other 14% ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/22/2011 for the course AFPRL 103 taught by Professor Melendez during the Spring '11 term at CUNY Hunter.
- Spring '11
- The American, Minority group