Important concepts & distinctions in Race & Ethnic Relations Prejudice vs. Discrimination Prejudice: negative attitude toward an entire category of people Involves thoughts, beliefs, and actions Usually based on limited information Discrimination: the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups Involves action Total Discrimination Total Discrimination = Past & Current Labor Market Past: Inferior schooling, poorer health care, inadequate counseling, no inherited wealth; poor job record, laws forbidding access Current Labor Market: hiring practices, promotion practices, bias in lending and leasing; acting on assumptions about merit Racial & Ethnic Identity Development Refers to the process of defining for oneself the personal significance and social meaning of belonging to a particular racial group Ethnic group: a socially defined group based on cultural criteria, such as language, customs, and shared history Racial and ethnic identity sometimes intersect Identity: Who Am I? How people define themselves is a dynamic process Identity is not fixed and static – constantly changing Multiple identities: individual characteristics family dynamics historical factors social and political contexts situational regional generational class Depends in large part on who the world says I am! Racial and ethnic identity is a social construction (meanings and definitions change over time); “Race is significant because people have given it significance.” (p. 13) Identity is shaped by the political, social and economic order; Integrating one’s past, present, and future into a cohesive, unified sense of self is a complex task that begins in adolescence and continues for a lifetime. Which parts of our identity capture our attention first? Dominant vs. Subordinate Groups Principle: If you’re going to understand race & ethnic relations, must understand in the context of power relations. Minority (subordinate/SB): A subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. Characteristics of Minority Groups Unequal treatment Distinguishing physical or cultural traits Involuntary membership Awareness of subordination In-group marriage Racial Formation A socio-historical process by which racial categories are created, inhibited, transformed, and destroyed. Example: influx of Mexican immigrants between 1910-1920 gave more prominence to terms of Mexican or Mexican American, as opposed to the 19th century concept of “Californios.” Dominant Groups set the parameters within which the subordinates operate hold power and authority in society and determine how that power and authority may be used defines subordinate group as defective or substandard in significant ways seen as NORM for humanity does not like to be reminded of the existence of inequality does not really know what the experiences of subordinates are Subordinate Groups have a greater need to learn about dominant groups and have greater opportunities to do so has to focus on survival; highly attuned to dominant groups as a way of protecting themselves develop covert ways of resisting or undermining the power of the dominant groups Many of us are both dominant and subordinate Racism? Prejudice? Schaefer’s definition: Racism is a doctrine that one race is superior. Wellman’s definition: A system of advantage based on race. Racism is more effectively analyzed as a strategy for the maintenance of privilege than as prejudice. The determining feature of race relations is not prejudice toward SG, but rather the superior position of whites and the institutions – ideological as well as structural – which maintain it. The subordination of people of color is functional to the operation of American society as we know it and the color of one’s skin is a primary determinant of people’s position in the social structure. Racism is a structural relationship based on the subordination of one racial group by another. Race and Class Intersect Wellman argues that racial beliefs vary by the class position of the people expressing them; different classes experience different kinds of privileges and have different relationships to racial problems. Racism is dehumanizing to all.