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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9: Race and Ethnicity Definitions Race-a population of people who are believed to be naturally or biologically distinct from other populations o Exists only when people use a classification system that divides all human beings into distinct categories sharing genetically-based physical traits o Racial categories are developed around the meanings that people give to real or assumed physical traits o Sociologists use race to refer to the social meanings that people have given to physical traits Ethnicity-a cultural heritage that people use to identify a particular population o Not based on biology or genetically determined traits Ethnic Population-a category of people regarded as socially distinct because they share a way of life, a collective history, and a sense of themselves as a people Minority-a socially identified population that suffers disadvantages due to systematic discrimination and has a strong sense of social togetherness based on shared experiences of past and current discrimination o Not all minorities are racial or ethnic populations o Not all racial or ethnic populations are minorities Racial ideology-a web of ideas and beliefs that people use to give meaning to skin color and evaluate people in terms of racial classifications Creating Race and Racial Ideologies The idea that there are distinct, identifiable races is a recent invention o Race was once used to refer to people with particular religious beliefs, language or ethnic traditions, histories, national origins, and social status o Over time, people have come to use race to identify populations that they believe are naturally or biologically distinct from other populations Racial classification models developed in Europe were based on the assumption that the appearance and actions of white Europeans were normal and all deviations from European standards were strange, exotic, primitive, or immoral o Whiteness became the standard o Over time, these racial ideologies became accepted and whites used them to connect skin color with other traits Racial Ideology in the United States o Emerged during the 17 th and 18 th centuries, by the 19 th century whites believed race was a mark of a persons humanity and moral worth Colored people were socially, intellectually, and morally inferior to light- skinned Europeans This ideology became popular for 3 reasons Need for political expansion, white citizens and government used it to justify killing, capturing, and confining Indians to reservations After the abolition of slavery, white southerners used the accepted fact to justify hundreds of new laws that restricted the lives of...
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This note was uploaded on 06/15/2011 for the course KIN 350 taught by Professor Warner during the Fall '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '09