Race & Ethnicity The Biological vs. The Socialized

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1 Race & Ethnicity The Biological vs. The Socialized Dr. Jamie R. Riley Director for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

2 How did race become a factor? According to Hudson (1999), racism and race evolved out of the Protestant belief system subscribed to by many of the original colonist. This time in history was called the Enlightenment, and White Europeans were expanding across the globe, which brought them in contact with the world s dark hued people and their cultures, customs, and traditions (Wright, 2002). Originating primarily from the British Isles (England, Scotland, and Ireland) these colonists identified strongly with the myth of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority, which prided itself on racial purity, physical prowess and beauty, love for of independence, and their gift of creating democratic institutions Historically, race has used to develop social class and hierarchies of power, privilege, and access. Who has the power to control resources? Who has rights? Racism became a direct byproduct of race

3 Origins of Race The science of racism was developing in Europe, and during this time historians and philosophers attempted to rationalize and classify the various races that existed in the world (Wright, 2002). According to White (2002) and Menchaca (2003) German taxonomist, Carlos Linnaeus declared that there were four races in the world:, the European man (white), the Asian man (yellow), the African man (black), and the American man (red). Linnaeus ranked these races, incorporating his hierarchical racist belief system of superiority, Ranking the white race at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the yellow race, then the red race, and ending with the black race. Theorists, like Linnaeus began the divide between race superiority and inferiority, which would only grow and strengthen over time.

4 Origins of Race Some attempted to use biological differences to infer levels of intelligence between the races. Using intellect tests and classifying races as less able were tactics used to qualify the level of superiority between various races. In the 1800s, Dr. Samuel Morton argued that physical differences between races could be measured, most notably in brain size. Morton s successor in this field, Louis Agassiz, began arguing that blacks are not only inferior but they re a separate species altogether.

5 Race vs. Ethnicity Race relates to a person's appearance - chiefly the color of their skin. It is determined biologically, with genetic traits such as skin color, eye color, hair color, bone/jaw structure etc. Ethnicity, on the other hand, relates to cultural factors such as nationality, culture, ancestry, language and beliefs. For example, take the Caucasian race. The physical characteristics of Caucasians were described by M. A. MacConaill, as being "light skin and eyes, narrow noses, and thin lips. Their hair is usually straight or wavy". Caucasoids are said to have the lowest degree of projection of the alveolar bones which contain the teeth, a notable size prominence of the cranium and forehead region, and a projection of the mid-facial region. A person whose appearance matches these characteristics is said to be a Caucasian. However, there are many ethnicities within the Caucasian race e.g. Irish, Welsh, German, French, Slovak etc. What differentiates these ethnic groups from each other is their country of origin, language they speak, cultural heritage and traditions, beliefs and rituals.

6 Race vs. Ethnicity Attributes Ethnicity Race Significance Ethnicity connotes shared cultural traits and a shared group history. Some ethnic groups also share linguistic or religious traits, while others share a common group history but not a common language or religion. Race presumes shared biological or genetic traits, whether actual or asserted. Scientific measures of race are exceedingly problematic to verify. Governments - not by scientists, define most racial categories. Definition Nationalism Legal System Conflicts Distinguishing Factors Genealogy An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, on the basis of a real or a presumed common genealogy or ancestry. In 19th century, there was development of the political ideology of ethnic nationalism; creating nations based on a presumed shared ethnic origins (e.g. Germany, Italy, Sweden...) In last decades of the 20th century in the U.S. and in most nations, the legal system as well as the official ideology prohibited ethnic-based discrimination Often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world. But most ethnic groups in fact get along peacefully within one another in most nations most of the time. Ethnic groups distinguish themselves differently from one time period to another. They typically seek to define themselves but also are defined by the stereotypes of dominant groups. Ethnicity is defined in terms of shared genealogy, whether actual or presumed. Typically, if people believe they descend from a particular group, and they want to be associated with that group, then they are in fact members of that group. The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics. However, it is usually governments that decide on the racial categories in a given country. In 19th century, the concept of nationalism was often used to justify the domination of one race over another within a specific nation. In last decades of the 20th century, the legal system as well as the official ideology emphasized racial equality Racial prejudice remains a continuing problem throughout the world. However, there are fewer racebased conflicts in the 21st century than in the past. Races are assumed to be distinguished by skin color, facial type, etc. However, the scientific basis of racial distinctions is very weak. Most scientific studies show many changes in racial identity over time, and crossover traits among races. Racial categories presume a shared genealogy, although this often is not the case. Most races actually share multiple genealogies with significant crossover.

7 Race & Ethnicity: The Racism Discrimination Prejudice Black Codes Inequality Immigration Laws Injustices Access Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) Separate But Equal Low Socioeconomic Status Minority/Majority Affirmative Action Jim Crow Laws Brown vs. Board of Education 1954 Privilege Pride Civil Rights Act of 1964 Degradation Social Capital Aftermath

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