Sociology Chapter 7

The functionalist explanation has been criticized as

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in occupations that are important to society as a whole. The functionalist explanation has been criticized as an ideology that does more to justify economic inequality than to explain it. Racial Inequality Some groups are subjected to discrimination and exploitation on the basis of their minority- group status. Race is a meaningless concept in biological terms; but it is an important social concept. The term racial formation has been used to underscore the social construction of race. Identifying a particular population as a race may lead to discrimination, including the extreme of genocide , in which an entire group of people is systematically exterminated by those who consider themselves racially superior. Racism is expressed in personal and institutional forms. Affirmative action is a policy designed to eliminate discrimination in the labor market in the United States. Gender Inequality Gender inequality stems from the notion that biological differences between the sexes require that the sexes play different social roles. Sex refers to the fundamental biological characteristics that cause a person to be categorized as either a female or a male. Gender , on the other hand, is a social construction, much like race. The text uses the concept of patriarchy as a way of understanding gender inequality. Sexism , male chauvinism , and institutional sexism are expressions and outcomes of patriarchy, as is evidenced in the existence of a dual labor market . Feminism is an ideology that opposes patriarchy.
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