Understanding Race, Ethnicity and Societal Power Structures

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Laying the Sociological Foundation. There are many different races in the world. A race is a group of people that share the same physical or biological characteristics and can be distinguished from another group because of those. One common myth is that one race is better than other races. This can become a problem if they act on it, like when Hitler killed many Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and people with disabilities. The attempt to wipe out, or destroy a certain race or ethnicity is called genocide. Ethnicity or ethnic is the cultural characteristics a person or group has. For example, Jews is an ethnic group, not a race. Within ethnic groups and races, there is minority and dominant groups. A minority group is one where people are not treated fairly, even if they aren’t the smaller group, and discriminated by the dominant group. A dominant group is one that more power, privileges, and a higher social status. Some …show more content…

There are different speculations on why people are prejudice. Psychologist John Dollard believes that people take out their frustration on a scapegoat, which in this case is a race, ethnicity, or a minority group. Another psychologist, Theodor Adorno, believed that prejudice came from a person’s personality. He did an experiment and concluded that people who were insecure and listened to their superiors, named an authoritarian personality. From the sociological perspective, functionalist believe that prejudice is a result of the social environment. Conflict theorist believe that capitalist try to keep workers divided so they can keep wages down. They do this by a fear of unemployment, or a reserve labor force. They also encourage and manipulate racial and ethnic division. The division between racial and ethnic groups in work is called a split labor market. Symbolic Interactionist believe that labels create selective perceptions, or allow us to see this and block out others and these labels cause

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