Race And Ethnicity

Submitted By kingme1991
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Pages: 7

Race and Ethnicity

A theory is a way to explain or understand something.

Social Science and Humanities * Human behavior * Stress critical analyses, critical thinking. * The development of theories

Canada is a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-racial and multi-national state. * Has an official policy of multiculturalism * Historically, much of Canadian’s policy revolved around the assimilation of ethnic minorities or races. * The idea of assimilation is that is a process that happens over time. * Absorbing a minority culture into a dominant one. * Canada has attempted this with Aboriginals, French Canadians and immigrants (anglo-comformity). * Race and ethnicity have always been central categories to organize the structure of the Canadian population.

Etymology: Looks at different stories that we tell, the history of how we use words. * Words have different meanings depending on the time period. * The terms in the following notes are highly contested. There’s a lot of disagreement on how to define them.

Ethnicity: Refers to some specific traits, such as the sharing of a common ancestry. * Often involves a shared set of customs * It may involve a nation. * A shared history. * Culture * Language * Set of ideas and values. * Religion * Symbols * There is some element of choice. * Historically the word ethnicity has referred to people who have shared blood or family or are related through marriage.

Race: Refers to superficial physical differences, such as skin color, that cannot be changed. * Concept that is socially constructed * Something that does not occur naturally. * Over time a process has meant that those superficial physical differences have taken on societal meaning. * Built on a system of power relations * Dominant group gets to define and create the standards. * Racialization: Use to refer to that process of social construction. * Looks at the process of categorizing the human population into different groups. * And this categorization happens on the basis of physical characteristics. * Highlighting that this is a process that is created through social interaction. It is not natural. * Racism exists when these physical differences are the basis for social ordering.

Over time, there was an emergence of hierarchal systems based on either ethnicity or race based on who had the more desirable characteristics than the others. * Decided by the dominant group * The belief that differences are natural and unchangeable. * Basis for the thinking of ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism: A concept that talks about how there’s a tendency of some to evaluate other cultures based on the standards of one’s own culture. * Often involves the belief that one’s own culture is superior.

Cultural Relativism: The principal that we should not evaluate other cultures based on our own standard and our own culture. * Very contemporary * This was not an idea that was dominant historically.

Historically, many theories and ideas were written by English political and religious philosophers, justified racial hierarchies and colonialism on the supposed lack of rationality in other cultures. * These distinctions based on ethnicity came to understand these differences as natural and unchangeable. * In this view, ethnicity and race overlap and are difficult to distinguish. * There was a focus on ascriptive characteristics, which is something you are born with, such as eye or skin color. * Scientists used race as an explanation for differences across groups. * In terms of morality, physical differences, etc. * This was used to say that some races were superior while others inferior. * There was a reaction against this type of thinking after the racism of the Nazis. * But the idea of race as a scientific