SSCI 316 Yo

Which is more problematic: acknowledging differences in groups or assigning a hierarchy to different groups?
Hierarchy; simply noting differences among groups is not problematic until there is an implied status hierarchy (that is differences in how goods, services, power are distributed)
Are race and ethnicity the only types of inequality in the US today?
No; diversity in US today is not limited to ethnicity, race – other factors: social class (SES or socio-economic status), education, size of group, religion, language, sexual orientation, differences in physical abilities
As defined in this class what do the terms ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ refer to? (understand that a primary difference is relationship to power; it is not about numbers)
*Majority*: greater access to power, authority, resources
*Minority*: reduced access to power, authority, resources, wealth, income, prestige. “*markers*”
What are the 5 characteristics of minority groups (“markers”)?
1. Experience a pattern of disadvantage, inequality
2. group members share a trait/characteristic that is visible, differentiates and makes them unique
3. identify as a group; self-conscious social unit (group identity creates degree of solidarity “were in this together”)
4. Ascribed membership (given at birth), permanent, ascribed characteristics impact potential achieved characteristics
5. Tendency to marry within croup (endogamous)
What is meant by the statement that inequality emerges from (and then contributes to) patterns of inequality in society? Do members of a majority group and members of a minority group have the same perspective of inequalities in a society?
These patterns emerge due to majority group’s actions. Majority does not recognize them, because they haven’t experienced it.
What is the distinction between racial minorities and ethnic minorities? Are these mutually exclusive?
*Racial Minority groups*: according to perceived PHYSICAL characteristics
*Ethnic minority groups*: according to perceived CULTURAL characteristics
*Not mutually exclusive*
How have we defined race in this class? – ethnicity?
Race = physical
Ethnicity = cultural learned through the process of socialization
What does the statement “racial and ethnic groups are social constructions” mean?
Society determines what the groups are, where the boundaries are, what the hierarchies are, SO the consequences are social
What does ‘markers’ of group membership refer to? How are they important?
They set who is or who is not part of which groups
VISIBLE signs that allow quick and easy identification and differential treatment
Social construction process makes them significant
What is stratification?
Unequal distribution of valued goods, services, power
Basic to all human societies
What did Marx mean by ‘means of production?’ How did Marx feel about the economy? What were the 2 classes that Marx described?
‘means of production’ – materials, tools, resources, organizations a society uses to produce, distribute goods and services
Proletariat (working class) – sold their labor for subsistence wages
Bourgeoisie (elite) – owned the means of produciton
this system >> inequality >> competition >> conflict >> social change (good)
Did Weber agree totally with Marx? What did Weber add to our understanding of stratification?
Felt it was too narrow, need socio-economic status SES, prestige, and power
These 3^ create overlapping stratification systems
What concept did Lenski add to our understanding of stratification?
Nature of inequality related to subsistence technology (how a society satisfies basic needs: food, water, shelter)
What does Patricia Hill Collins add to our understanding of stratification?
Intersectionality – race, class, and gender
– not look at them separately but recognize they are: interlocked, and mutually reinforcing
Are power relationships static? Why? What does this mean?
No; can have lower power at work, but higher power at home.
What does ‘matrix of domination’ refer to?
There are many cross systems of domination and subordination
other factors besides race, class, and gender
How does stratification impact a person’s life chances and life choices?
differential access to wealth, income affects their potential opportunities and success.
Why is it important to understand that race is a social construct and therefore, the consequences are social?
Because a person’s race will affect where they live, type of employmentk, educational attainment, etc. due to the fact that it is a social construct.
Is there any scientific proof that humans should be categorized into distinct races?
No; there is no proof
Use biology to ‘explain’ race
What do the following terms refer to: prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, ideological racism, institutionalized discrimination mean?
Prejudice – having negative thoughts about individuals in other groups (thinking/feeling – individual)
Discrimination – treating individuals unequally based on their percieved group membership (doing – individual)
Stereotypes – generalizations that are applied to all members of a group
Ideological Racism – A belief system or a set of ideas (thinking/feeling – group/societal)
Institutional Discrimination – Patterns of unequal treatment based on group membership and built into the institutions and daily operations of society (doing – group/societal)
Which is more likely: 1) competition leads to prejudice. OR 2) prejudice leads to competition?
Competition leads to prejudice
Which of the groups below is predicted to have the most dramatic growth in the US in the near future?
Hispanic (Latino) Americans
Which of the following best describes how racial and ethnic categories are established?
Social Construction
The social or physical characteristics that mark the boundaries between groups are usually:
Highly Visible
Following characteristics are typical of ascribed status? (4)
acquired at birth
cannot be changed easily
for life
“Most important source of inequality arises from means of produciton” said by:
In opposition to Marx, Weber argued that there are ___ dimensions of inequality.
Three (Property/SES, Prestige, Power)
Gerhard Lenski is important because he linked the nature of inequality to the ___ of a society.
Level of development
How have we defined assimilation in this class?
A process of different, distinct groups coming to share a common culture, merge socially
What does ‘melting pot’ refer to? What is the current understanding of this concept? Is it still accepted as valid for all groups coming into the US?
The US version of assimilation
Inaccurately assumes that all groups have fairly equal contributions to a new, unique society
Americans have liked to think of the US as a melting pot, but the reality says otherwise
What assumption is the concept of ‘melting pot’ based on that turns out to not be true for all groups?
What is Anglo-Conformity
Type of assimilation when new groups want to fit in, they’re expected to give up prior culture, and accept the existing Anglo culture. (most likely in US)
How did Park explain assimilation? What did he propose as factors in assimilation? How has this work been criticized?
Once contact is made with another group, assimilation is inevitable when the society is democratic and industrial.
*Race Relations Cycle*
1: contact
2: conflict
3: Competition
4: assimilation
Criticism for no time frame, and no description of the process.
How have we defined culture in this class?
Aspects of daily life including language, religion, values, norms, etiquette.
What does ‘social structure’ refer to? How does social structure impact society?
Structural components of society such as networks of relationships, groups, organizations, systems of stratification, communities, families
Organizes the work of a society, and individuals are connected to each other and to the larger society
What is human capital theory? How does it help us understand assimilation?
Attempt to explain why some groups assimilate and gain upward social mobility faster than others
?? assimilation is considered to be valued, and does help explain differential social mobility
What is Pluralism?
Early proponent of Horace Kallen; felt that people could participate in US society without Anglo conformity
Possible if they know and understand the new cultural aspects
What is multi-culturalism?
Mutual respect for all groups, their heritages
What is separatism? – Revolution?
Separatism – cutting off ties (political, cultural) with other groups, may include idea of revolution
Revolution – minority group works to become elite, have other group as minority
Why did immigrants from the north and west of Europe have an easier experience assimilating?
They ‘appeared’ to be like ANglo’s that have already settled due to light skin.
Some processes (such as economics, religion) are the same in the US as their ‘old’ country
How did industrialization impact assimilation?
US need low-skill workers for industrialization, which helped the immigrants assimilate easier, as they were working. Fit within the traditionalist perspective of assimilation.
What was the industrial revolution?
Large shift in subsistence technology, going from agrarian, rural lifestyle to living in cities. Farms >>> Factories
No longer manufacturing what a family needs, but working for wages which you use to buy stuff
What does ‘chains of communication and migration’ refer to?
Many immigrants were farmers seeking cheap land in (the then frontier) of upper mid-west
Needed more people working the land, so networks created with homeland to recruit, send more immigrants
What was ethnic enclaves?
Settling close to people from their own country, allowed continued use of previous culture
Ex: Little Italy, Chinatown, etc.
Why did many Protestant groups not accept Catholicism at first?
Seemed alien, was frequently considered to not be Christian
Afraid Catholics would take over the country
How did the lifestyle most Jews have in Europe impact their assimilation in the US? What impact did the 1924 National Origins Act have on Jews and the Holocaust?
Due to extreme persecution, their emigration from Europe was more voluntary than other groups
more voluntary migration improved chances of assimilation
National Origins Act (1924) – allowed immigration in US based on % of that pop. in US from that area in US of 1890 (greatly favored north, west Europe)
What is anti-Semitism? What was the role of pogroms?
Directed specifically towards Jews.
Pogrom – ‘disturbance’, ethnic cleansing, means of intimidation, persecution
More Jews came to US due to pogroms
What is the ‘three generation model?’
1st gen – little assimilation, ways of ‘old country’
2nd gen – higher rates of assimilation, grew up in ethnic enclaves, but exposed to US culture
3rd gen – born, raised outside enclave, culturally ‘American’ but practice some old traditions
What was the relationship between Irish immigrants and politics in the US?
Due to ongoing exploitation by elite English in Ireland, Irish immigrants became active in US politics (finally had a ‘voice’)
What is ‘structural mobility’ and what role does it play in assimilation?
Primarily result of changes in economic structure and labor market than individual efforts
Over time newer generations have greater access to education, better jobs
How does the concept ‘degree of similarity’ help explain why some immigrant groups had an easier experience in assimilation?
Degree of resistance, prejudice, – varies – by degree to which they differed from the dominant group characteristics. (Less diff – easier to assimilate)
The ___ metaphor sees assimilation as benign and egalitarian, a process that emphasizes sharing and inclusion.
Melting Pot
Which theory argues that status attainment is a direct result of educational levels, personal values, and other indiv. characteristics?
Human Capital Theory
The concept of multi-culturalism includes:
The idea of mutual respect for all groups and heritages
Which is the most important factor of success according to Human Capital Theory?
Getting a good education
The single largest ancestry group in the US is:
German American
The experiences of female immigrants have been well documented and reflect those of their male counterparts. (True or False)
What three groups have had a particularly difficult time assimilation to US culture? Why?
?? African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics, because they were exploited.
What are the 2 themes that are central to this chapter and the rest of this book?
1. The current subsistence technology impacts majority/minority relations
2. The contact situation when 2 or more groups first make contact impacts majority/minority relations
What is subsistence technology? Why is it important?
How a society provides for basic goods, services.
Impacts relations
Understand the general timeline (not actual dates) regarding slavery for the Spanish, Portuguese, English and English colonies that became the US.
What are ‘indentured servants?’ How are they similar to and different from slaves?
Contract laborers.
Similar – worked for plantation owners
Difference – at the end of the contract they were freed
What role did slavery play in the economic success of plantations?
They wouldn’t ever lose the labor, and the labor was cheap, cost-effective.
allowed owvers to generate profits, status and success
What are the 3 aspects of the contact situation that Noel proposed as being important to equality / inequality between groups? How did Noel propose degree of power is determined?
*Ethnocentrism* – considering your group as the ‘best’
*Competition* – groups compete over scarce resources, results in prejudice (attitudes), discrimination (actions)
*Power Differential* – group with greater power can achieve goals easier
Degree of Power determined by: size of group, organization, and resources
What did Blauner identify as 2 different initial contact relationships? What are the characteristics of these relationships? What are potential outcomes?
*Colonization* – forced into minority status by superior military, etc., subjected to massive inequalities, identified by highly visible racial or physical characteristics that maintain and reinforce the oppressive system
*Immigrant* – partly voluntary participants in the host society, some control, easier acceptance and not as inferior as colonized people.
What is an ‘enclave?’
Immigrant groups using their resources, opportunities to create a niche
What happens if a group has characteristics of both colonized and immigrant groups?
intermediate between the majority society and immigrant minority
Relationships between groups are likely to be __ in a plantation based economy.
What are characteristics of paternalism?
Person with power makes decisions, etc. – not considering impact on the ‘lesser’ group
vast power differences, caste-like barriers, elaborate and repressive systems, low rates of overt conflict
Were slaves likely to engage in open rejection of their situation? Why? What part does access to power play?
No; the fact that they had no power they couldn’t.
Can we say that the experience of the contact situation was the same for all groups of Mexican Americans? Why?
No; it was highly variable by region, depending on their size and their skill in mobilizing for political activity
How were Mexican Americans impacted by the close proximity between their homeland and the US?
The constant movement across the border kept the Spanish language and much of the heritage alive in the Southwest
A key feature of ___ is a low rate of overt conflict.
Slavery was a caste system, or ___ stratification system.
A closed
In 1860, about ___% of all southern Whites owned slaves.
The first persons from Africa to arrive in what became the US, landed in Virginia in ?
The plantation elite designed and enacted an elaborate system of laws and customs that gave masters total legal power over slaves. In these laws, slaves were defined as:
In 1763, the British Crown declared American Indian tribes to be:
Sovereign Nations
Much of what is now the south-west US became US territory in 1848 as a result of:
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
In the plantation hierarchy, who had the least power
Black Women
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