Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay Example
Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay Example

Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3487 words)
  • Published: October 3, 2017
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Race and ethnicity are of import constructs in the field of sociology and are 1s that are studied a great trade. Race plays a big function in mundane human interactions and sociologists want to analyze how. why. and what the results are of these interactions. A race is a human population that is believed to be distinct in some manner from other worlds based on existent or imagined physical differences. Racial categorizations are rooted in the thought of biological categorization of worlds harmonizing to morphological characteristics such as skin colour or facial features. An person is normally externally classified ( intending person else makes the categorization ) into a racial group instead than the single choosing where they belong as portion of their individuality.

Concepts of race. every bit good as specific racial groupings. are frequently controversial due to their impact on societal individuality and how those individualities influence someone’s place in societ


al hierarchies. Ethnicity. while related to race. refers non to physical features but societal traits that are shared by a human population. Some of the societal traits frequently used for cultural categorization include:

  • nationality
  • folk
  • spiritual religion
  • shared linguistic communication
  • shared civilization
  • shared traditions


Unlike race. ethnicity is non normally externally assigned by other persons. The term ethnicity focuses more upon a group’s connexion to a perceived shared yesteryear and civilization.


Race is a socially defined class. based on existent or sensed biological differences between groups of people. Ethnicity is a socially defined class based on common linguistic communication. faith. nationality. history or another cultural factor. Sociologists see race and ethnicity as societal buildings because they are non roote

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in biological differences. they change over clip. and they ne'er have steadfast boundaries.

Example: White

The differentiation between race and ethnicity can be displayed or hidden. depending on single penchants. while racial individualities are ever on show.


The categorization of people into races and cultural groups carries deep deduction on the societal and political life of different racial and cultural groups. These categorizations led to the impression of racial high quality and racial lower status. culturally advanced groups and culturally disadvantaged. the usage of derogatory undertones and lampoon. apartheid policy. favoritism and bias. and pigeonholing of groups of people. Cultural struggles have been regular procedure within the same territorial boundary lines and among the states of the universe. Cultural struggles have been permeant and unsafe because they cause monolithic human-centered agony. civil wars. and destabilizing effects.

Sociologically. “race” refers to a group of people whom others believe are genetically distinguishable and whom they treat consequently. This term is normally used to mention to physical differences between people brought approximately by physical features of familial beginning. This expectedness of familial heritage may be manifested in the form of the caput and face. the form and colour of the eyes. the form of the olfactory organ. lips. and ears. the texture and colour of the hair. the skin colour. tallness. blood type and other physical features. Among the important racial classs studied by early societal scientists were the Caucasoid. Mongoloid. Negroid. and the subgroups of primary and derived races. Racial differences are seen as physical differences singled out by the community or society as ethnically important.

It is preferred to mention to ethnicity or cultural

groups instead than race for its historical and biological intensions. An cultural group represents a figure of individuals who have a common cultural background as evidenced by a feeling of trueness to a given geographical district or leader. a feeling of designation with and integrity among historical and other group experiences. or a high grade of similarity in societal norms. thoughts and material objects. Members of cultural groups see themselves as culturally different from other groups in the society and are viewed by others to be so.


Membership in racial and cultural groups influences people’s societal position and functions as they interact with others. Physical features. particularly skin colour and certain typical cultural traits. composites. and forms. go badges for societal and economic position.

Frequently. they set up a person’s or groups place in the societal stratification system and do up the foundation for bias. favoritism. and other signifiers of differential intervention. Furthermore. when an cultural group becomes a mark of favoritism. such group may use the alone physical or cultural traits as the beat uping force for advancing common truenesss and heightening corporate action. When people’s definition of physical features greatly affects their relationship. such definitions by and large become interlinked with cultural differences. A authoritative illustration is the white man’s justification of his technological. economic. political and military high quality. Examples are such political orientations as the God-chosen race. the white man’s load and more late. the apartheid policy.

Since the early yearss of the United States. Native Americans. African-Americans and European-Americans were classified as belonging to different races. But the standards for rank in these races were

radically different. For Africans. the authorities considered anyone with African visual aspect to be strictly African. Native Americans. on the other manus. were classified based on a certain per centum of Indian blood. Finally. European-Americans had to hold strictly white lineage. The differing standards for delegating rank to peculiar races had comparatively small to make with biological science ; it had far more to make with keeping a group’s defined functions and place.

Racial and cultural rank leads to a sense of people-hood. By this. we mean a sense of designation with a comparatively little section of the world’s population- those who by virtuousness of common lineage or heritage we consider “our ain kind” .

Erich Fromm wrote in 1941:

“The individuality with nature. kin. faith. gives the single security. He belongs to. he is rooted in. structuralized whole in which he has an unquestionable topographic point. He may endure from hungriness or suppression. but he does non endure from worst of all pains- complete loneliness and uncertainty. ”


Peoples who occupy a subsidiary position are normally called a minority group. What determines a minority group is non the alone racial or ethnics traits nor their great figure but the relationship of different groups in the society of which they are a portion. A minority group. so is one that. because of the power of differences among the groups. is singled out for unequal intervention in the society. A minority refers to a group which. because of physical and cultural features. occupies a low-level place in the society and subjected to corporate favoritism. in some instances. even segregation. subjugation. bondage. peonage. military subjection. spiritual persecution.

and economic. political. educational. and societal suppression. The forms of cultural group dealingss include the followers:

  1. Forms of Racism
  2. Prejudice and favoritism

Racism – is behavior that is motivated by the belief that one’s ain group is superior to other groups that are set apart on the footing of physical features Structural racism refers to inequalities built into an organisation or system. An illustration of structural racism can be seen in recent research on workplace favoritism. [ 37 ] There is widespread favoritism against occupation appliers whose names were simply perceived as “sounding black. ”

These appliers were 50 % less likely than campaigners perceived as holding “white-sounding names” to have recalls for interviews. no affair their degree of old experience. Prejudice – prejudged negative attitude or sentiment about a group without trouble oneselfing to verify the virtues of the sentiment or judgement The relationship between bias and favoritism is complex. Robert Merton’s survey and typology of the relationship between bias and favoritism

Four forms

  1. Unprejudiced nondiscriminatory – integrating
    Unprejudiced and prejudiced – institutional favoritism
  2. Prejudiced and nondiscriminatory – latent dogmatism
    Prejudiced and prejudiced – outright bigotry

In his survey. ( 1974 ) . Bulatao listed feelings on some cultural groups by respondents from five Filipino metropoliss: Ilocanos and Chinese were viewed as most hardworking. serious. thrifty ; Tagalogs. imperfect ; Bicolanos and Cebuanos. low. friendly. warm. and peaceable ; Warays. lazy but strong ; and Ilongos. proud and extravagant.

B. Discrimination refers to the act of unfiting or maltreating people on the footing of their group rank or on ascriptive unit of ammunitions rationally irrelevant to the state of affairs. Whereas bias is a province of head. favoritism is existent behaviour.

Prejudice and favoritism work manus in manus to make and prolong racial and cultural stratification. ( Jarry J. 1987 )


Light gives the undermentioned accounts on the beginning of bias: 1. Economic Theory- assumes that racial bias is a societal attitude transmitted by the dominant cultural bulk category for the intent of stigmatising some group s as inferior so that the development of the group resources will be justified. 2. Symbolic Theory- asserts that bias arises because a racial or cultural group is a symbol of what people hate. fright. or enviousness. 3. Scapegoat theory- maintains that human existences are loath to accept their errors for their problems and failures so they look for an ethnic-minority to shoulder the incrimination. 4. Social norm theory- asserts that ethnocentrism is a natural development of group life. Hatred and intuition for the out-group are the standard and normal manner of making things. peculiarly in covering with people.

c. Stereotypes are frequently simplified and unsupported generalisations about others and are used randomly for all instances. A few illustrations are Ilokano. “bantay kuako” ( heavy tobacco users ) and “kuripot” ( stingy ) ; Pampangueno. “dugong aso” ( dog blood or treasonists ) ; Batangueno. “balisong” ( knife-wielding ) ; Bicolanos. “sili” ( pepper or hot people ) . 2. Forms of Competition. Conflict and Domination

When ethnocentric attitudes are coupled with intergroup competition for district and scarce resources. an explosive societal state of affairs may originate. When two groups both strive for the same things- and they perceive their several claims to be reciprocally entirely and legitimate- the phase is set for struggle. In modern societies. the province has become

the vehicle that enables one group to rule and maintain the other group subsidiary. In amount. competition supplies the motive for systems of stratification. and ethnocentrism directs competition along racial and cultural lines. but power determines which group will repress the other ( Noel. 1972 ; Barth and Noel. 1975 ) .

Economic and Political Subjugation

The economic coup d'etat of one state by a more powerful one and the subsequent political and societal domination of the native population is called colonialism. If the coup d'etat of one state is trough the military high quality of the more powerful one for the intent of territorial enlargement and set uping settlements. it is termed as military colonialism. On the other manus. if the economic coup d'etat is made through the great technological high quality of the more powerful one. the institutionalization of their concerns in their former settlements. the control and domination of most of a colony’s natural resources. the infliction of trade policies and economic pacts favorable to their side ; the constitution of mercantile establishments for their excess capital ; the demand for more inexpensive labour. natural stuffs. and markets to fuel their turning economic system. the procedure is termed neo-colonialism or economic imperialism.

 Supplanting and Segregation of the Native Population

Economic and political subjection of a minority population by a more powerful group is non the lone form of conquering that occurs when different racial and cultural group meet.

Supplanting of native population can be made possible through the inflow of powerful colonists or encroachers with their vastly superior arms. It is typically found in countries rich in natural resources and similar in geographics and clime to the

fatherland of the occupying group. Displacement takes the undermentioned signifiers: a. ) by abrasion. that is. Numberss of the weaker group may decease of famishment or disease either intentionally or non ; b. ) by population transportation ; and c. ) by genocide- deliberate and pitiless extinction of the weaker group.

Segregation involves the passage of Torahs and/or imposts that restrict or prohibit contact between groups. Segregation may be cultural or racial or based on sex or age.

Forms of Accommodation and Tolerance

Interracial and interethnic adjustment can be carried out through crossbreeding or amalgamation- the exogamy of members of the bulk and minority groups. This can ensue in the blending of their assorted imposts and values and the creative activity of a new cultural loanblend. This involves a cultural and biological blending in which the imposts and values of both groups are to some extent preserved and their biological features appear in the progeny.

Forms of Acculturation and Assimilation

Socialization and assimilation are two really of import constructs in sociology and anthropology that describe transverse cultural effects on both minorities every bit good as bulks in societies that are multi cultural and multi cultural in nature. Assimilation is a broader construct as described by sociologist Jean Piaget and refers to the mode in which people take new information. There are many people who think of the two constructs as same and even utilize them interchangeably. If you belong to a minority community in a state and retain your ain civilization but can non stay stray and are affected by the bulk civilization in such a manner that you adapt to some facets of the bulk civilization. the procedure is

referred to as socialization.

Assimilation is a procedure whereby people of a civilization learn to accommodate to the ways of the bulk civilization. There is a loss of one’s ain civilization as a individual gives more value to the cultural facets of the bulk community in the procedure of assimilation.

What is the difference between Acculturation and Assimilation?

  • Meeting of civilizations ever produces consequences in footings of alterations in both the civilizations. and socialization and assimilation refer to two of import and different alterations in these civilizations.
  • Assimilation refers to the procedure where some of the bulk community’s cultural facets are absorbed in such a mode that the place cultural facets get mitigated or lost.
  • Acculturation is a procedure where the cultural facets of the bulk community are adapted without losing the traditions and imposts of the minority community.
  • Minority civilization alterations in the instance of assimilation whereas it remains integral in the instance of socialization.

Forms of cultural Pluralism or Ethnic Diversity

Cultural pluralism refers to the coexistence of different racial or cultural groups each of which retains its ain cultural individuality and societal structural webs. while take parting every bit in the economic and political systems. ( Light. 1985 ) In pluralistic society. each group retains its ain linguistic communication. faith and imposts. and its members tend to interact socially chiefly among themselves. Yet all jointly participate in the economic and political systems and unrecorded in harmoniousness and peaceable “coexistence” . A premier illustration of such an agreement can be found in Switzerland. There. people of German. Gallic. and Italian heritage preserve their distinguishable cultural ways while coexisting peacefully and every bit. No 1 group enjoys particular

privileges or is discriminated against.

Cultural groups in the philippines

Cultural groups in the Philippines are classified harmonizing to certain physical. cultural. lingual. spiritual and geographic standards.

A. Harmonizing to typical physical traits
The Negritoes who are regarded as the natives of the Philippines.
The Indonesian- Malayan stock which is prevailing among the Filipinos.
3. The Chinese who make up the largest national group.
4. The Americans and the Spaniards. and a few other Europeans who came as colonisers.

B. Harmonizing to cultural point of views
1. Cultural minorities or cultural communities
2. Moslems
3. Christian groups

C. Harmonizing to lingual groupings

PANAMIN studies that there are about 87 ethno lingual groups in the Philippines-e. g. . Tagalog. Ilokano. Waray. Hiligaynon. Kapampangan. Ilonggo. etc. D. Harmonizing to faith
1. Roman Catholics
2. Moslems
3. Aglipayans
4. Protestants
5. Iglesia ni Cristo
6. Buddhists
7. Jehovah’s informants
8. Other spiritual religious orders.
E. Muslims of Southern Philippines

The Muslims make up the largest individual non-Christian group. They have nine ethno-linguistic groups. viz. :

1. Taosug
2. Maranao
3. Maguindanao
4. Samal
5. Yakan
6. Sanggil
7. Badjao
8. Molbog
9. Jama Mapun

From the Spanish government to the present. Muslim and Christian intergroup relationships have been characterized by animus and intuition. This has been expressed in the Muslims’ on-going bitterness of Christian colonists and efforts at sezession to organize an independent Mindanao. Muslim radical groups the Moro National Liberation Front ( MNLF ) and the Bangsai Moro Liberation Front ( BMLF ) want Mindanao. Sulu. and Palawan to splinter from the Philippines.


The non-Christian Filipinos now known as cultural communities make up 10 % of the entire national population. They have maintained their civilization in their apparels. art. faith. cultural idiom. imposts. traditions and other superficial differences. There are 77 major ethno-linguistic groups

in the Philippines.


Within sociology. the footings race. ethnicity. minority. and dominant group all have very specific and different significances. To understand the sociological position on race and ethnicity. it is of import to understand the significances of these constructs. An cultural group is a societal class of people who portion a common civilization. such as a common linguistic communication. a common faith. or common norms. imposts. patterns. and history. Cultural groups have a consciousness of their common cultural bond. An cultural group does non be merely because of the common national or cultural beginnings of the group. nevertheless. They develop because of their alone historical and societal experiences. which become the footing for the group’s cultural individuality. For illustration. prior to in-migration to the United States. Italians did non believe of themselves as a distinguishable group with common involvements and experiences. However. the procedure of in-migration and the experiences they faced as a group in the United States. including favoritism. created a new individuality for the group.

Some illustrations of cultural groups include Italian Americans. Polish Americans. Mexican Americans. Arab Americans. and Irish Americans. Cultural groups are besides found in other societies. such as the Pashtuns in Afghanistan or the Shiites in Iraq. whose ethnicity is base on spiritual differences. Like ethnicity. race is chiefly. though non entirely. a socially constructed class. A race is a group that is treated as distinguishable in society based on certain features. Because of their biological or cultural features. which are labeled as inferior by powerful groups in society. a race is frequently singled out for differential and unjust intervention. It is non the biological features that define racial

groups. but how groups have been treated historically and socially. Society assigns people to racial classs ( White. Black. etc. ) non because of scientific discipline or fact. but because of sentiment and societal experience.

In other words. how racial groups are defined is a societal procedure ; it is socially constructed. A minority group is any distinguishable group in society that portions common group features and is forced to busy low position in society because of bias and favoritism. A group may be classified as a minority on the footing of ethnicity. race. sexual penchant. age. or category position. It is of import to observe that a minority group is non needfully the minority in footings of Numberss. but it is a group that holds low position in relation to other groups in society ( regardless of the size ) . The group that assigns a racial or cultural group to subordinate position in society is called the dominant group. There are several sociological theories about why bias. favoritism. and racism exist. Current sociological theories focus chiefly on explicating the being of racism. peculiar institutional racism.

The three major sociological positions ( functionalist theory. symbolic interaction theory. and conflict theory ) each have their ain accounts to the being of racism. Functionalist theoreticians argue that in order for race and cultural dealingss to be functional and contribute to the harmonious behavior and stableness of society. racial and cultural minorities must absorb into that society. Assimilation is a procedure in which a minority becomes absorbed into the dominant society – socially. economically. and culturally. Symbolic interaction theoreticians look at two issues in relation to race and ethnicity.


they look at the function of societal interaction and how it reduces racial and cultural ill will. Second. they look at how race and ethnicity are socially constructed. In kernel. symbolic interactionists ask the inquiry. “What happens when two people of different race or ethnicity come in contact with one another and how can such interracial or interethnic contact cut down ill will and struggle? ” The basic statement made by struggle theoreticians is that class-based struggle is an built-in and cardinal portion of society. These theoreticians therefore argue that racial and cultural struggle is tied to category struggle and that in order to cut down racial and cultural struggle. category struggle must foremost be reduced.

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