Ssci 316 Study Guide Answers

1. Which is more problematic: acknowledging differences in groups or assigning a hierarchy to different groups? Assigning a hierarchy to different groups is more problematic. For example if our society were to simply note that different groups are different, without an overt or implied status hierarchy, the issues of inequality would not be as important as they are today 2. Are race and ethnicity the only types of inequality in the US today? diversity in US today is not limited to ethnicity, race – other factors: social class (SES or socio-economic status), education, size of group, religion, language

As defined in this class what do the terms ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ refer to? (understand that a primary difference is relationship to power; it is not about numbers) minority group: reduced access to power, authority, resources – has the following characteristics (of group members) majority / dominant group: greater access to power, authority, resources What is meant by the statement that inequality emerges from (and then contributes to) patterns of inequality in society? Do members of a majority group and members of a minority group have the same perspective of inequalities in a society?

These patterns emerge due to majority (dominant) group’s actions. frequently the inequalities are not recognized by members of majority, dominant group What is the distinction between racial minorities and ethnic minorities? Are these mutually exclusive? racial minority groups – defined as minority according to physical characteristics ethnic minority groups – defined as minority according to cultural characteristics can overlap. result from historical and social processes not biological processes How have we defined race in this class? – ethnicity?

Race: perceived physical differences – categories change over time, from place to place – no scientific proof of what the categories are or what criteria should be used to put a person in one category or another ethnicity – culture – learned through the process of socialization What does the statement “racial and ethnic groups are social constructions” mean? (society determines what the groups are, where the boundaries are, what the hierarchies are) – therefore the consequences are social – consequences: where to live, education, employment, etc.

— impact: exposure to pollution, available diet (nutritious or not), neighborhood safety 8. What does ‘markers’ of group membership refer to? How are they important? traits above – set boundaries of who is or who is not part of which groups ‘markers’ of group membership – these visible signs allow quick and easy identification – and differential treatment – these traits / characteristics themselves not significant – become significant through social construction process

What is stratification? stratification – unequal distribution of valued goods, services stratification is basic to almost all human societies What did Marx mean by ‘means of production? ’ How did Marx feel about the economy? What were the 2 classes that Marx described? ‘means of production’ important to understanding inequality means of production (materials, tools, resources, organizations a society uses to produce, distribute (usually unequally) goods & services) Did Weber agree totally with Marx? What did Weber add to our understanding of stratification? felt that Marx’s view of inequality (primarily economics)

Was too narrow – need to also consider economic position (socio-economic status – SES), prestige, power (ability to influence others – INCLUDING DECISION MAKING – example political power through voting) What concept did Lenski add to our understanding of stratification? includes that to understand stratification, we need to consider societal evolution (level of development) – nature of inequality related to subsistence technology – how a society satisfies basic needs (food, water, shelter) — subsistence technology impacts degree of inequality & criteria of inequality)

What does Patricia Hill Collins add to our understanding of stratification? Patricia Hill Collins: adds concept of intersectionality – intersection of race, class, gender (not look at them separately but recognize they are): — interlocked — mutually reinforcing Are power relationships static?

Why? power is not static – a man working at a low income, low prestige job will have low power at work – when that same man goes home, his power is likely to increase, especially if the household is based on more patriarchal principles What does ‘matrix of domination’ refer to there are many cross systems of domination and subordination – cross over each other – overlap with each other – impact an individual person‘s experiences, opportunities – the concept ‘matrix of domination’ does not end with race, class gender — other factors such as disability, sexual preference, religion, age, national origin, being homeless How does stratification impact a person’s life chances, life choices? a person‘s status (minority, majority) impact that person‘s life chances, health, wealth opportunities, potential success

Why is it important to understand that race is a social construct and therefore, the consequences are social? – Even though race is not regarded as an important biological characteristic, it is still an important social concept. It continues to be seen as a significant way of differentiating among people. – and, as a social construct, the consequences of race are social (where to live, type of employment, educational attainment, access to appropriate nutrition, neighborhood safety, etc. )

Is there any scientific proof that humans should be categorized into distinct races? No. these categories are not perceived as simple ? different‘ – hierarchy is imbedded What do the following terms refer to: prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, ideological racism, institutionalized discrimination mean? Prejudice – negative attitudes (cognition, thoughts) applied to an entire category of people Stereotypes are generalizations that are thought to apply to all members of the group. Ideological Racism – a belief system or a set of ideas.

Asserts that a particular group is inferior. is used to legitimize or rationalize the inferior status of the group. Incorporated into the culture of society and can be passed on from generation to generation. Institutionalized Discrimination – Patterns of unequal treatment based on group membership and built into the institutions and daily operations of society. Which is more likely: 1) competition leads to prejudice or 2) prejudice leads to competition? competition between groups can lead to prejudice