African American and People Essays

Submitted By expressgk5
Words: 5298
Pages: 22

1. Race and ethnicity are two words that many people have very different opinions on what defines the two. Race indicates biological differences among people such as skin color, facial features, stature, and the like that are transmitted from generation to generation (Aguirre & Turner, 2011). Different races consist of Black, White, Asian, Hispanic and etc. Among all of the different races there are a plethora of subcultures due to the different beliefs, languages, countries of origin, religions, culture characteristics, and family practices. These differences make up a person’s ethnicity. For example a person from Africa would be classified racially as Black or African, and their ethnicity could be Gambian, Nigerian, or any of the many countries in Africa. Once you find out what country that person is from most will then inform you of the tribe they are associated with. This definitely is much more specific and breaks down that person so much more than the first label as African or Black. Two people from the same race can have completely different ethnicities but be generally perceived as the same. People with dark skin live across the globe in places people would not imagine. In South America there are people as dark as Africans. If both walked into a building together people would assume they were both black men until they spoke, and their languages would change their label. The word ethnicity is used to describe individuals in detail. Here in America there are many different people from various places in the world, but the physical features are very similar. More importantly some genes in our biological make-up are similar as well, so the term race runs into many particulars. So, people tend to refer to their ethnic group as their definition. This explains the importance of studying humans from a sociological perspective. By their being so many distinctions within every race it is hard to classify people in large groups. Ethnicities are sometimes negatively viewed by society. The sociological approach allows an understanding of the superficial concepts developed in the minds of people to help remove some of the stereotypes formed of certain ethnic groups. When people see differences in appearance, mannerism and mentality they tend to treat those people differently. The study done on all of the different races and ethnicities can help give society a better understanding and tolerance for one another.

2. The ethnic relations theory that appealed to me as I skimmed the book for this assignment was the Caste Theories. In 1940’s a group a sociologists explained black-white relations as a caste system as blacks were kept at lower socioeconomic positions, denied access to power, prevented from intermarriage, and segregated in their own living space (Aguirre & Turner, 2011). Oliver C. Cox contributed to the theory by submitting the argument that the capitalist class owners and managers of industries have been crucial to the caste like subornation of African Americans (Aguirre & Turner, 2011). He suggested that present ideas developed from the legitimization of slavery. To justify the actions of slavery the Europeans developed prejudice beliefs, stereotypes and used religion to erase the immorality of slavery. Low labor cost brought higher profit for the southern plantation owners but when slavery was abolished those beliefs still presided in the United States. The hatred for the descendants of the slaves remained in the descendants of the slave masters. That explains the puzzling dislike for one another. In my opinion there are no two races of people who have a greater history of conflict than blacks and whites. The reason this theory stuck out to me is because I believe that system is still present in American society. Since 1980 the consistency in the unemployment rate of blacks is that it has doubled the number of unemployed whites. In 1980 the unemployment rate of blacks was roughly 12-13% compared to