family_lec11_race_3pg - Race and Families Sociology of the...

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10/7/2010 1 Sociology of the Family Prof. Mouzon Race and Families 1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/14/census-projections-us-wil_n_118878.html 2 **2 ITEMS OF NOTE?** Is Race Genetic? Common belief in America: race is genetic/biological distinction Scientific evidence refutes this: Human Genome Project finds far more differences between groups than within groups More genetic/biological diversity among those of African descent than between this group and others Race is a social construct : Definition of a social construct: People are different because we say they are. Any phenotypical differences could have been chosen to demarcate categories and distribute social rewards. 3
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10/7/2010 2 American Anthropological Association on Race (May 17, 1998) In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups . Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species. http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm 4 Terminology Race : Invention used for socially marking groups based on presumed physical differences Ethnicity : social category that allows for a broader range of affiliation. Cultural distinctions based in language, religion, food, history, and customs. Minority : Refers to those who experience social marginalization in society (relative to Whites) Ongoing debates on who constitutes a “minority” – Should it vary by % of population or social standing of the group? 5 Examples : Race vs. Ethnicity RACE: Non-Hispanic White ETHNICITIES: Irish, Italian RACE: Non-Hispanic Black ETHNICITIES: African American, Afro-Caribbean (e.g., Jamaican, Trinidadian), African RACE: Hispanic/Latino ETHNICITIES: Puerto Rican, Mexican, Uruguayan, Columbian, Cuban RACE: Asian/Asian American ETHNICITIES: Chinese, Japanese, Filipino 6
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10/7/2010 3 Race as a Social Construct, Not Biological/Genetic Reality Race is an organizing principle and system of inequality/stratification, not an objective fact How the Irish Became White (Ignatiev, 1995) Different meanings of race in different countries (i.e., Brazil) Fluidity of racial categories over time (Census) 7 8 Shifting Race/Ethnic Categories on the U.S. Census
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