Latino Race Ethnicity and Place in the USA Essay
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– Race: people who share physical characteristics, such as skin color and facial features that are passed on through reproduction – social construction: a societal invention that labels people based on physical appearance. – Skin color, hair texture, and eye shape are examples of unequal treatment – Ethnic Group: a group of people who identify with a common national origin or cultural heritage that includes language, geographic roots, food, customs, traditions, and/or religion.
– Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Serbs, Arabs, Swedes, Hungarians, Jews – Racial-Ethnic Group: people who have distinctive physical and cultural characteristics.
Immigrants – Illegal immigrants do the jobs that most Americans don’t want like clean homes and offices, nannies and busboys, nurses’ aides, and pick fruit for low wage Dominant and Minority Groups: – Dominant Group: any physically or culturally distinctive group that has most economic and political power, the greatest privileges, and the highest social status.
– Men are dominant group because they have more status, resources, and power than women. – Apartheid: a formal system of racial segregation – Minority: a group of people who may be subject to differential and unequal treatment because of their physical, cultural, and other characteristics such as sex, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or skin color.
– American minorities have fewer choices than dominant group members in finding homes and apartments because they are less likely to get help from a bank to help with mortgage. – Patterns of Dominant-Minority Group Relations:
– Genocide: the systematic effort to kill all members of a particular ethnic, religious, political, racial, or national group. – Holocaust in Germany – Segregation: the physical and social separation of dominant and minority groups. – De Facto: informal; may be voluntary as when members of racial or ethnic groups prefer to live among their own group. Due to discrimination -De Jure: Legal; replaced by de facto – Assimilation: the process of conforming to the culture of the dominant group, adopting its language and values, and intermarrying with that group.
– Mexicans are less likely to assimilate in the US than immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam or South Korea because they are more likely to have entered the country illegally which cuts them from getting a good job, most public assistance programs, and eventual citizenship – Pluralism: minority groups retain their culture but have equal social standing in a society. – The US is pluralistic because it is multicultural, multicolored, and multilingual. Also, the US has most racial and ethnic communities (“Little Italy”, “Greek Town”, “Little Korea”, “Spanish Harlem”) live peacefully side by side Some Sources of Racial-Ethnic Friction
– Racism: a set of beliefs that one’s own racial group is naturally superior to other groups. – Prejudice: an attitude, positive or negative, toward people because of their membership. – Different from us in race, ethnicity, or religion. Asians are really hard workers; White people can’t be trusted – Stereotype: an oversimplified exaggerated generalization about a category of people. – Can be positive; All African Americans are athletic – Can be negative; All African Americans are lazy – Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own culture, society, or group is inherently superior to others. – Reject those outside of our groupю
– Scapegoats: individuals or groups whom people blame for their own problems or shortcomings. – They didn’t hire me because the company wants blacks; I didn’t get into that college because Asian Americans are at the top of the list Minorities are scapegoating targets because they differ in physical appearance and too powerless to strike back. – Stereotypes, ethnocentrism, and scapegoating are attitudes, but lead to discrimination. – Discrimination: any act that treats people unequally or unfairly because of their group membership. – Range from social slights (not inviting a co worker to lunch) to rejection of job application and hate crimes.
– Can be subtle (not sitting next to someone) or blatant (racial slurs) – Individual Discrimination: harmful action on a one-to-one basis by a member of a dominant group against a member of a minority group. – Discrimination while eating in restaurants, shopping, buying house, applying for job, etc. – Institutional Discrimination: unequal treatment and opportunities that members of minority groups experience as a result of the everyday operations of a society’s law, rules, policies, practices, and customs. – Heath services; minorities get lower quality care than white people even when treated by the same doctor.
– Relationship between Prejudice and Discrimination: – Robert Merton described the relationship between prejudice and discrimination as 4 patterns; 1. Unprejudiced Nondiscriminators: “All-weather liberals” They aren’t prejudiced and don’t discriminate; they believe in the American creed of freedom 2. Prejudiced Discriminators: “Active Bigots” They are prejudiced and do discriminate. They are willing to break laws to express beliefs 3. Unprejudiced Discriminators: “Fair-weather liberals” ; They aren’t prejudiced but they discriminate because its in their own self interest to do so 4.
Prejudiced Nondiscrimination: “Timid Bigots” They are prejudiced but don’t discriminate. Major Racial and Ethnic Groups in the US – European Americans: immigrants from southern and eastern Europe; they viewed newcomers as dirty, lazy, and uncivilized because they differ in language, religion and customs. – Latinos: many Latinos who were professionals in their native land only find low-income jobs in the US. They often have a hard time to both work and learn English well enough to pass exams to become doctors, lawyers, and accountants. Many are successful though.
Earn better hourly wages because they are older, better educated, and more likely to be employed in construction than agriculture. – African Americans: They are successful. A third of all black households earn incomes of $50,000 or more. – Asian Americans: the most successful Asian Americans are those who speak English relatively well and have high education levels. Have higher educational levels than any other US racial-ethnic groups. Most likely to be concentrated in highly skilled occupations like information technology, science, engineering, and medicine.
– American Indians: they are not immigrants, they have been in the US longer than any other group. They have made considerable economic progress by insisting on self- determination and the rights of tribes to run their own affairs. Most of them work in construction and repair, maintenance, and personal and laundry services. – Middle Eastern Americans: one of the most diverse and complex combinations of geographic, historical, religious, linguistic, and even racial places on Earth. Tend to be better educated and wealthier than other Americans. Well integrated into American life.
Three of four speak only English at home or speak it well and more than half are homeowners. Sociological Explanations of Racial-Ethnic Inequality – Functionalism: (macro) Prejudice and Discrimination can be dysfunctional, but they provide benefits for dominant groups and stabilize society. – Conflict: (macro) Powerful groups maintain their advantages and perpetuate racial-ethnic inequality primarily through economic exploitation – Primary Labor Market: held primarily by white workers, provide better wages, health and pension benefits, and some measure of job securityю
– Secondary Labor Market: (fast-food employees) are largely minorities and easily paid, their wages are low, there are a few benefits and working conditions are poor. – Feminist: (macro and micro) Minority women suffer from the combined effects of racism and sexism. – Gendered Racism: the overlapping and cumulative effects of inequality due to racism and sexism. – Symbolic Interactionism: (micro) Hostile attitudes toward minorities, which are learned, can be reduced through cooperative interracial and interethnic contacts.
– Attitudes toward dominant and minority groups through labeling and selective perception can increase prejudice and discrimination. – Contact Hypothesis: the idea that more people get to know members of a minority group personally, the less likely they are to be prejudiced against that group Interracial and Interethnic Relationships: – Miscegenation: marriage or sexual relations between a man and a woman of different races. – The increase in intermarriage reflects many interrelated factors both macro and micro that include everyday contact and changing attitudesю