Minorities in America:
- The definition: a culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. As such, minority status does not necessarily correlate to population.
- Minorities in relation to power, influence, equality of opportunity
- In some cases one or more minority groups may have a population greater than the dominating group.
- ie). Native Americans tribes in the 1600’s, Mexicans in CA in the 1700-1800’s. They were greater in numbers but not in power influence or status.
Exploring Terms and Phrases
- Derives from the Greek word meaning Ethnos “People”
- People perceive themselves and are perceived by others, to be bound together by a common origin, history, values, attitudes and behaviors.
- It is a sense of Identification with and membership in a particular ethnic group.
- A sense of people-hood.
- Defined on the basis of (observable) physical characteristics
Meaningless in a biological sense
- Socially defined and constructed
- A group is defined as a race when certain physical characteristics are selected for special emphasis (by society)
- Mis-uses of the word Race:
- People mistakenly use the following identifiers to describe someone’s race
Linguistic categories – Aryan, English speaking
Religious categories – Hindu, Jewish
National categories – French, Italian
Mystical categories – Teutonic (ancient Germanic Mythological people)
A set of ideas and beliefs used to explain, rationalize or justify a racially organized social order.
*Racism is a power relationship.
it exists when the person in power exercises oppression or discrimination upon a less powerful person—based on race.
(powerless people can hold prejudice or discriminatory attitudes, but not exercise racism)
- Individual racism
- Institutional racism
Used to maintain social order
One can only be a Racists if there is an ability by the ‘racist’ to affect social order with his/her racism. The racist must have some sort of power over the person(s) being targeted in order to be considered a racist action.
- “ A hostile attitude toward a person who belongs to a group, simply because he or she belongs to that group, and is therefore presumed to have the objectionable qualities ascribed to that group” –Allport, 1958.
- Prejudice thus refers to at set of rigidly held negative attitudes (not action), beliefs and feelings toward members of another group.
- Prejudice often involves an emotional component.
- Ranges from unconscious aversion to members of the out-group to a comprehensive, well-articulated, and coherent ideology, such as the ideology of racism.
- Involves unfavorable treatment of individuals because of their group membership.
- Prejudice – involves attitudes and internal states
- Discrimination – involves overt action or behavior.
- Discrimination can manifest itself in a number of ways:
- Mild slights (like Polish jokes)
- Verbal epithets intimidation and harassment
- Graffiti with ethnic / gender slurs
- Refusing to hire or promote qualified applicants
- Out right Violence
A social system which disallows mobility and equality based on race, class or gender.
- Institutionalized oppression is a matter of result regardless of intent.
- Established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups
- Institutional Oppression creates a system of invisible barriers limiting people based on their membership in unfavored social identity groups.