- Which is more problematic: acknowledging differences in groups or assigning a hierarchy to different groups?
Assigning hierarchy to different groups because of how goods, services, power are distributed.
- Are race and ethnicity the only types of inequality in the US today?
No, unequal distribution of goods, services, and power also create inequality.
- As defined in this class what do the terms ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ refer to? (understand that a primary difference is relationship to power; it is not about numbers)
Majority- people who have greater access to power, resources, and authority.
Minority- people who have reduced access to power, resources, and authority.
- What are the 5 characteristics of minority groups?
1) experience a pattern of disadvantage
2) group members share a trait that is visible; differentiates them from the rest
3) group members identify as a self-conscious social unit
4) ascribed membership
5) tendency to marry within group
- What is meant by the statement that inequality emerges from (and then contributes to) patterns of inequality in society? Do members of a majority group and members of a minority group have the same perspective of inequalities in a society?
Patterns of inequality – part of daily life – not really acknowledged as existing by those in majority, dominant groups. Majority groups and minority groups do not have the same perspective of inequalities in society because the dominant group do not have the same experience therefore do not see how it effects minority status groups.
- What is the distinction between racial minorities and ethnic minorities? Are these mutually exclusive?
Racial minorities – minority according to perceived physical characteristics.
Ethical minorities – minorities according to perceived cultural characteristics.
- How have we defined race in this class? – ethnicity?
Race – physical differences
Ethnicity – referred to culture and is learned through the process of socialization
- What does the statement “racial and ethnic groups are social constructions” mean? society determines what the racial / ethnic categories are and how they are ranked. By themselves, things such as facial features or skin color are not meaningful. The reason it is important to note things that are social constructs is because there are social consequences (such as where a person lives, go to school, overall educational attainment, adult employment, etc)
- What does ‘markers’ of group membership refer to? How are they important?
‘markers’ of group membership:
1. experience a pattern of disadvantage, inequality
— degree of disadvantage can vary (genocide, slavery to no left hand desks)
2. group members share a trait / characteristic that is visible; that differentiates them as unique (language, dress, grooming, physical characteristics, religion, etc.)
— these differences are considered to be evidence that the group is inferior
— these traits allow group members to be identified & treated as inferior
3. group members identify as a group; are a self-conscious social unit
— a sense of group identity emerges creating a degree of solidarity (we are all in this together)
4. ascribed membership (a person‘s status is given at birth)
— ascribed characteristics tend to be permanent - not changeable
— achieved characteristics – gained through an effort
— though we tend to think that achieved status is all about specific people, ascribed characteristics impact potential achieved characteristics (where a family lives, where kids go to school, etc)
5. tendency to marry within group (endogamous)
— sometimes voluntary by minority group; sometimes enforced by dominant group traits above set boundaries of who is or who is not part of which groups
- these are ‘markers’ of group membership - these visible signs allow quick and easy identification - and differential treatment
- these traits / characteristics themselves not