In this section, we will discuss race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism and how they are depicted in the show. These concepts are somehow illustrated in this television series. Race, in the American society, has been typified by black skin color. The unique cultural traits and the sense of community African-Americans share reflect their ethnicity. On the other hand, Kady, the youngest child in the Kyle family, represents multiculturalism through her knowledge of multiple languages.
The following section will define, operationalize, and describe these concepts and how they are evident in the show. Race is a category of people used to differentiate people in terms of physical appearance, particularly skin color. People who have the same physical characteristics are from the same race. The concept that is used to operationalize race is skin color. In this show, the dominant race is “black” but there are a few characters that are “white.” People who have a dark skin color are considered non-Caucasians. In this series, the racial minority is the Caucasian because the non-Caucasians are the dominant group that makes up most of the characters.
Therefore, race is largely unmentioned during the show because most of the characters are from the same race. However, there is one episode in season two where there was an argument between two different races, the Caucasians and the non-Caucasian. At the beginning of this episode, Michael is forced to take his family out for a meal. He is annoyed when he realized that the restaurant is expensive and the service isn’t good enough. Michael’s evening worsens as he gets to sit next to Stuart Tyler’s family, a guy whom he got angry at in the gas station for taking to long to gas up his tank.
A few minutes later, Stuart starts insulting Michael’s kids, citing their smell, while Michael insults Stuart’s kids by telling Stuart that “they look like squirrels.” Afterwards, Michael apologizes to Stuart but seconds later they argue again on who’s the bigger man. They make amends again but then argue cause Stuart held Michael’s lobster without washing his hands after urinating. When they starting singing “Happy Birthday” for Stuart’s wife, Stuart interrupts in the middle and is irritated by the fact that Michael isn’t singing.
The arguing just keeps going and going and things never got any better. They leave the restaurant at odds with one another. Michael and Stuart’s altercation evidenced friction between Caucasian and non-Caucasians but apart from this episode, race is not a point of reference throughout the scope of the show. Consequently, race is insignificant in this show and is proven to be unimportant within the Kyle family. An ethnic group is a group of people who have common national or cultural characteristics.
An ethnic group has five main characteristics: (1) unique cultural traits such as language, clothing, holiday, or religious practices; (2) a sense of community; (3) a feeling of ethnocentrism; (4) ascribed membership from birth; and (5) tendency to occupy a distinct geographic area (Caron 269). The social structures ethnicity groups strengthen social solidarity. Social structures are the stable pattern of social relationships that exist within a group or society (Soci1002E, Lect. 5, 2012).
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