chapter9

chapter9 - Race is a Social Construct Sociologists call...

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Race is a Social Construct Sociologists call race a social construct because it is based on social context. Race is a social fact, not a biological fact.
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Race is Not a Biological Fact 1. There has been much intermixing throughout history. Racial categories form a continuum of gradual change, and not a set of sharply demarcated types.
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Race is Not a Biological Fact 2.Genetic variation within what we call the same race is often greater than genetic variation between races. The example of sickle cell anemia.
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Race is Not a Biological Fact 3.If race is a biological fact, then a parent and a biological child must belong to the same race.
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What have Americans historically believed about racial identity?
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What was the economic basis for this belief about racial identity?
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If there are such problems with the term “race,” why do sociologists continue to use it?
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Review Questions 1.Is race a social construct or a biological fact? 2.What have Americans historically believed about racial identity? 3.What was the economic basis for this belief about racial identity? 4.If there are such problems with the term “race,” why do sociologists continue to use it?
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Race and Ethnicity Race is often seen in physical terms – skin color, different facial characteristics, etc. Ethnicity is primarily seen in cultural terms – language, food, customs, etc. – but may also involve some physical differences.
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Ethnic Groups An ethnic group is a group within a larger society, characterized by: - a cultural tradition - a sense of community - a feeling of ethnocentrism - ascribed membership - territoriality (in some cases)
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Origins of Ethnic Stratification Ethnic stratification results from contact between previously separate groups. Initial contact includes: - Conquest - Annexation - Voluntary Immigration - Involuntary Immigration Following initial contact: - Groups view one another ethnocentrically. - They compete for scarce societal resources. - The dominant group uses its power to obstruct competition of other groups and to solidify its dominance.
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Ethnic groups usually follow 1 of 2 paths: assimilation or pluralism
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Assimilation Cultural assimilation involves the adoption by one ethnic group of another’s cultural traits – language, religion, diet, etc. Primary structural assimilation involves small, personal groups – clubs, intermarriage, etc. Secondary structural assimilation involves institutions in society – the economy, education, politics, etc.
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- manner of entrance - time of entrance - demographic factors - cultural similarity - visibility
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course 920 103 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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chapter9 - Race is a Social Construct Sociologists call...

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