How the social geography of race and ethnicity is shaped by racism and exclusion Essay Example
How the social geography of race and ethnicity is shaped by racism and exclusion Essay Example

How the social geography of race and ethnicity is shaped by racism and exclusion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (921 words)
  • Published: December 21, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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The idea of race pertains to the grouping of people based solely on their genetic composition, encompassing both genotypes and phenotypes. However, this unscientific approach to categorizing individuals is no longer widely embraced in contemporary society due to the presence of multiple ethnic or racial backgrounds that render genetic-based classification unfeasible. Presently, races are recognized as societal groups such as Caucasian, Negro, Chinese and Japanese among others; these designations are artificially assigned at birth and characterized by physical characteristics like skin tone and facial features.

The cultural background of an individual shapes their ethnicity, which includes personal traits such as religious beliefs, language proficiency, and social interaction. In contrast, race does not take into account cultural beliefs.

In general, individuals view race as a type of oppression that is imposed on them, whereas ethnicity is a new


er idea that pertains to those who share cultures based on language and/or nationality. Unlike race, which relies solely on an individual's racial identity, ethnicity revolves around their culture. In essence, ethnicity denotes membership in a subgroup within a culture dominated by another culture.

As per information found on, two of the ethnicities recognized are Italian American and Jewish American.

Even though race is established by one's physical traits, ethnicity is shaped by cultural background and values. Ethnicity can transform as a person's situation alters, like the decision to embrace a different faith system. Therefore, ethnicity is viewed as an individual selection for self-identification.

The simplicity of international travel in today's society has made it possible for individuals to move based on education, work, and safety. As a result, some nations have become melting pots of diverse races and ethnicities. However, th

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abrupt influx of foreigners into urban areas can be difficult for native communities to embrace and may lead to issues with discrimination and marginalization.

Racism is defined as the act of treating a particular race or ethnic group with prejudice or bias based on the belief that one's own race or ethnicity is superior, often due to differences in skin color, cultural practices, religion, or nationality. This type of discrimination usually involves members of the dominant ethnic group mistreating minorities and violating their fundamental human rights. Unfortunately, this cycle can escalate and cause targeted groups to develop similar attitudes towards their oppressors.

Despite the legal prohibition of discrimination based on race and employment under the employment equality act 1998, modern cities continue to suffer from everyday racism perpetrated by their 'modern' citizens. This type of discrimination results in conflicts between ethnicities that lead to the spatial differentiation of urban areas. These conflicts may escalate to protests, civil rights marches, riots, and even long-term war/terrorism, such as the "Fight" for Northern Ireland that started in 1968 and still persists today. As someone who grew up amidst this conflict and has been directly and indirectly affected by it over the years, I have witnessed how the Unionist Protestants and Nationalist Catholics have argued over who has the right to claim Northern Ireland's small patch of land.

The conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland has resulted in the division of cities and creation of segregated suburbs. In Belfast, for instance, the Falls Road is inhabited purely by Catholics, while the Shankill Road is a Protestant enclave. The intensity of this conflict led to the establishment of a peace

line that still exists today to separate these two areas of Belfast.

The conflict in Northern Ireland often results in ethnic groups becoming divided within cities due to cultural and religious differences. Coexisting can be difficult as discrimination and prejudice are prevalent among both city residents and some city governments. Historically, certain government policies have been viewed as discriminatory by certain ethnic groups, such as the 1969 UK Housing Act implemented across England and Wales. This policy relocated a large number of people (primarily white individuals) from inner-city slums to estates and high-rise flats at an average rate of 160,000 to 180,000 people annually.

In the past, the "middle-ring" area of the city was where the majority of black households were situated. However, in the 1960s, efforts were focused on improving poor urban areas instead. As a result, the black population remained in their original settlement areas due to the migrant labour process. The establishment of areas dominated by one particular race or ethnicity can lead to exclusion. It is often believed that introducing a new ethnicity into such a community could compromise its identity. Unfortunately, the new ethnicity may face barriers or even racist abuse when trying to settle in or be forced out if they manage to establish themselves. (S . Pile, "Unruly Cities" 1999)

The process of exclusion is causing ethnic groups to cluster together, resulting in unintentional urban planning across the globe. This divides city dwellers who should be uniting, as there is power in numbers. Exclusion can also occur within a particular ethnicity, leading to even further marginalization. Overall, the diverse races and ethnicities in cities worldwide are forced to form segregated

communities, resulting in a distinct urban environment and the emergence of ghettoized suburbs.

City planners have attempted to address the problem of cultural sensitivity and equality in social planning to prevent social exclusion, which is viewed as a potential issue by governments. However, these planners have encountered obstacles when attempting to mix residential areas due to communication barriers with different ethnic minorities. It has been discovered that some people do not engage in mutual communication and often communicate in a way that bypasses one another.

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