Lecture 4

Race: The Power of Illusion v.2 Topics
--> What was Thomas Jefferson's 'suspicion'? (1781)
--> Religion + Wealth as common social distinctions
--> Slavery: Identifiable (racialized) cheap labor source
--> Slavery became equated with blackness (social status + race) 
--> How did 'ordinary' whites become complicit with thee white racial narrative?
--> The distinction between 'unassimilable' blacks (emphasizing 'biological' race) v. 'civilizing' Indians (emphasizing culture)
--> What happened with the Indian Removal Act (1830)?
--> What is Manifest Destiny?
--> What kind of role did science (i.e., Agassiz, Morton) play in conceptualizing race?
--> What is the white man's burden?
--> The emergence of white racial identity as American unity 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and its racial discourse

Contemporary Conceptualization of Race
--> "A race can be defined as a group of people who (1) are generally considered to be physically distinct in some way, such as skin color, hair texture, or facial features, from other groups and (2) are generally considered by themselves and/or others to be a distinct group." (Farley, 1995)

The Four Ways Race Has Existed in our History
--> (1) Race as a 'scientific' concept (black, white, yellow, etc): This concept has led to so-called scientific racism (biological characteristics are linked to behavioral characteristics)
--> (2) Race is a socially constructed political concept: The basis of racial discrimination 
--> (3) Social category & identity (popular usage): This is how we use race in our everyday life. It might not be consistent with how the U.S. Census or sociologists define race.
--> (4) 'Biological' race and genetics, DNA, etc.: different kinds of people based on medical science

Racism
--> Racism is the belief that certain groups of people are innately, biologically, socially, and morally superior to other groups, based upon what is attributed to be their racial composition.
--> The assigning of attitudes, behaviors, and abilities to individuals or groups based on skin color; includes the institutional arrangements that privilege one group over another and the ideological apparatus that perpetuates and makes those arrangements possible.

Individual Racism
--> It involves individual hatred, racial prejudice, discrimination, and more importantly intention of the individual.
--> Racism stems from individual prejudice, and is a more psychological way of looking at racism. It ignores structural advantages that some groups receive from the social arrangement.
--> 'Racism by Intent' : If your intention cannot be proven, you're off the hook. This is relevant to what we call disparate treatment in legal context.

Structural or Systemic Racism
--> focuses on institutional power and group position
--> seeks social structural sources of racism by looking at racial biases embedded in such phenomena as the inertia of customs, bureaucratic procedures, impersonal routines, laws, or unequal distribution of resources
--> 'the institutional arrangements that privilege one group over another' : Our society is structured in certain ways that give advantage to a group(s). Once such arrangements are established, it is difficult to change (due to the second component listed below)
--> 'the ideological apparatus that perpetuates and makes those arrangements possible' : In other words, we justify how our society is structured as if the arrangements are normal and the system is, in fact, fair.
--> 'racism by consequences' : this view of racism suggest that those who benefit from the racist system are "racist" 

Discrimination
--> discrimination refers to only social acts (behavior), not attitude (that would be prejudice)
--> discrimination can be legal or illegal
--> (Legal) Jim Crow segregation, the drinking age, age to receive driver's license
--> An example of discrimination at the societal level would be The Holocaust

Merton's Typology
--> 'the prejudice discriminator' : This is someone who we normally call a 'racist' for doing racist things to other people. 
--> 'the unprejudiced nondiscriminator' : This is something we all strive to become. We don't hate anyone and don't discriminate against anyone.
--> 'the unprejudiced discriminator' : Can you be unprejudiced and still discriminate against someone? 
--> 'the prejudiced nondiscriminator' : A racist hiding his/her prejudice and following normal procedure.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s