Race & Ethnicity
1. What is the difference between a racial and an ethnic category?
Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as skin, hair and eye color. Ethnicity refers to a person’s culture, ancestry, and language.
2. What makes a minority group?
A minority group is signified by a group of alienated people who are discriminated against due to physical, cultural, or lifestyle characteristics.
3. Explain the difference between individual and institutional discrimination? Which is more harmful to society and why?
Individual racism refers to the behavior of individual members of one race/ethnic/gender group that is intent on having differential and harmful effects on members of another race/ethnic/gender group. Institutional racism refers to the behavior of an entire system mistreating an individual or a group in an unjust biased way. Honestly, it’s all very harmful to society, but the larger spread racism provided by social institutions is a few tiers up from individual racism. It’s more harmful because we as a society are supposed to trust that our social institutions treat everyone fairly and justly without any biased. That certainly is not the case for America.
4. Explain each of the six types of intergroup relationships identified in the book.
Assimilation happens when one group disregards its identity and adopts the values, beliefs, language, or culture of another group as a way of being accepted or a way of fitting in.
Pluralism happens when each group retains its identity while peacefully and respectfully existing with the other group. For pluralism to even exist, the subordinate group must be accepted by the dominant group and fully participate in the dominant society.
Amalgamation happens when two different groups combine to form a single group with shared values, beliefs, cultures, languages, and so on. This is sometimes, but not always, achieved through marriage or breeding between people from two different groups.
Segregation happens when one group, typically the dominant group, creates a physical separation between themselves and another group. This may involve designated areas or behaviors for each particular group, to ensure that there is limited or no intermingling.
Expulsion happens when one group, typically the dominant group, forces another group to leave a community, region, or country.
Genocide happens when one group, typically the dominant group, tries to deliberately destroy another group. It is undoubtedly the most toxic, intolerant intergroup relationship.
5. In the sociological sense, what is “colorblindness” and is it positive or negative when considering racial inequality in US society?
Colorblindness refers to the idea of a society where racial characteristics do not limit a person’s opportunities or hinder their treatment as an equal member of society. Colorblindness is negative when considering racial inequality in the US because is prevents us from see the historical causes of racial inequality and how racial inequality persists in our society.
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