Race and Ethnicity
Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations
Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
Global Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the Future
Some people view race as:
Skin color: the Caucasian “race”,
Religion: the Jewish “race”
Nationality: the British “race”
Entire human species: the human “race”
A race is a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, or other attributes.
Race has little meaning biologically due to interbreeding in the human population.
Think about Whites in the U.S. compared to ethnic and racial minority groups. To what extent do you agree with the following statement: Whites as a group are very distinct from ethnic and racial minority groups.
Unique cultural traits.
A sense of community.
A feeling of ethnocentrism.
Ascribed membership from birth.
Tendency to occupy a geographic area.
True or False?
African Americans who competed in boxing matches in the late 1800s often had to agree to lose before they could obtain a match.
Promoters, who often set up boxing matches that pitted fighters by race, assumed that white fans were more likely to buy tickets if the white fighters frequently won.
True or False?
Until recently, the positions of quarterback and kicker in the National Football League have been held almost exclusively by white players.
As late as the 1990s, whites accounted for about 90 percent of the quarterbacks and kickers on NFL teams. However, this changed early in the twenty-first century, and today there are some African Americans playing virtually every position on all professional football teams.
A dominant group is one that is advantaged and has superior resources and rights in a society.
A subordinate group is one whose members are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment by the
dominant group and who
regard themselves as
objects of collective
A negative attitude based on generalizations about members of selected racial, ethnic, or other groups.
Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to regard one’s own culture and group as the standard.
Stereotypes are overgeneralizations about the appearance, behavior, or other characteristics of members of particular categories.
A set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices used to justify the superior treatment of one racial or ethnic group and the inferior treatment of another racial or ethnic group.
Recent studies have shown that the underlying reasoning behind racism
differs according to
factors such as gender,
age, class, and
People who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal will respond with a pattern of aggression toward others.
Characterized by excessive conformity, submissiveness to authority, intolerance, insecurity, a high level of superstition, and rigid, stereotypic thinking.
Isolate discrimination - A prejudiced judge giving harsher sentences to African American defendants.
Small-group discrimination - Small group of white students defacing a professor’s office with racist epithets.
Direct institutionalized discrimination - Intentional exclusion of people of color from public accommodations.
de jure - by law
de facto - by practice
Indirect institutionalized discrimination - Special education classes may have contributed to racial stereotyping.
Contact between divergent groups should be positive as long as group members:
Have equal status.
Pursue the same goals.
Cooperate with one another to achieve goals.
Receive positive feedback while interacting.
Assimilation - A process by which members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become absorbed into the dominant culture.
Ethnic Pluralism - The coexistence of a variety of distinct racial and ethnic groups within one society.
The Caste Perspective views racial and ethnic inequality as a permanent feature of U.S. society.
Class perspectives emphasize the role of the capitalist class in racial exploitation.
Genocide - systematic attempt to kill all members of a social category
Internal Colonialism occurs when members of a racial or ethnic group are forcibly placed under the control of the dominant group.
Split Labor Market - The division of the economy into a primary sector composed of higher paid workers in more secure jobs, and a secondary sector of lower-paid workers in jobs with little security.
The belief that racism is such an ingrained feature of U.S. society that it appears to be ordinary and natural to many people.
The belief that interest convergence is a crucial factor in bringing about social change.
White Anglo-Saxon Protestants
White Ethnic Americans
Middle Eastern Americans
I would like to marry someone of a different racial or ethnic group.
Most disadvantaged group in the U.S. in terms of income, employment, housing, and nutrition.
According to the US Census, Native Americans have a 24% poverty rate, compared to the US poverty rate of 12.5%
As a group they have experienced:
Slavery was rationalized by stereotyping African Americans as inferior and childlike.
Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 sought to eliminate discrimination in education, housing, employment and health care.
Descendents of slavery in the U.S. should be given economic restitution by the U.S. government for the consequences of slavery.
Fastest growing ethnic minority in the U.S.
Includes Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Indochinese Americans, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotians.
Racial profiling and Japanese internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Includes Mexican Americans, South Americans, Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans.
Many Mexican American families have lived in the U.S. for 4 or 5 generations and have made significant contributions.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans acquired U.S. citizenship and the right to move freely to and from the mainland.
Do attitudes about illegal immigration contribute to a new prejudice against Mexican Americans?
Includes immigrants from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, and Jordan.
The Lebanese, Syrians, and Iranians primarily come from middle class backgrounds.
Most Iranian immigrants initially hoped to return to Iran; however, many have become U.S. citizens.
What are some of our current stereotypes about Middle Easterners?
Thurgood Marshall wrote that, "History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure." Recent surveys indicate that 66% of whites and 71% of African-Americans support the ethnic profiling of people who look to be of middle-eastern descent.
In 1980 white Americans made up 80% of the population.
In 2000, white Americans made up 70% of the population.
By 2056, the roots of the average U.S. resident will be in Africa, Asia, Hispanic countries, the Pacific Islands, or Arabia-not white Europe.
According to the US Census for L.A.: Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, 2005 46.8%
Long Beach Demographics (US Census 2000)
White 45.2%, Black 14.9%, Asian 12%, Latino 35.8%, Pacific Islander 1.2%, Some other race 20.6%, Two or more races 5.3%