sscii midterm

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  1. - How have we defined assimilation in this class?
    a process groups that had been different, separate, distinct from each other come to share a common culture, merge socially
  2. - What does ‘melting pot’ refer to?
    What is the current understanding of this concept? *Is it still accepted as valid for all groups coming into the US? What assumption is the concept of ‘melting pot’ based on that turns out to not be true of all groups?
    • - one version of assimilation
    • - inaccurately assumes that all groups have fairly equal contributions to a new, unique society
  3. - What is Anglo-conformity?
    • - Anglo-conformity – type of assimilation most likely to have been in the US
    • - when new groups want to fit in they‘re expected to give up prior culture (traditions, language, etc) and accept the existing Anglo culture
    • - very little from other cultures is brought in - what little is accepted undergoes substantial change (burritos, pizza, etc)
  4. - How did Park explain assimilation?
    What did he propose as factors in assimilation? How has this work been criticized? (3)
    • Robert Park - an early contributor to looking at assimilation
    • - once contact is made with another group, assimilation is inevitable when the society is democratic (political system based on fairness, equal application of law, impartial justice) and industrial (for industrialized societies to work, individuals will be judged on their own merits, abilities, not race or ethnicity or family status - industrialization –> rationality)
    • - proposed ‘race relations cycle’
    • - 1st: contact (immigration, conquest, etc) once contact has been made, the rest of the process continues as long as the issues above are met (Park did not give a time frame)
    • - 2nd conflict
    • - 3rd competition
    • - 4th assimilation
    • criticism of Park‘s theory - no time frame given & no description of the process
    • - we know from US history that not all groups in the US have totally assimilated (in particular, some groups still have problems - such as African Americans, Native Americans)
    • - since no time frame given, when are we to expect assimilation of ALL groups? Above groups have had 4 or more centuries without full acceptance
    • - assimilation is a process, but Park does not provide details such as how it would happen; how would daily life be impacted; in what order would different aspects of the group/s change?
  5. - What does ‘social structure’ refer to?
    How does social structure impact society?
    social structure: structural components of society such as networks of relationships, groups, organizations, systems of stratification, communities, families - organizes the work of a society - individuals are connected to each other and to the larger society
  6. - How have we defined culture in this class?
    aspects of daily life including language, religion, values, norms, etiquette


  7. - What is human capital theory?
    How does it help us understand assimilation?
    • Human Capital theory
    • - attempt to explain why some groups assimilate and gain upward social mobility faster than others
    • — a person‘s individual characteristics, abilities are important
    • — — resources, culture individuals gained through group membership
    • — above includes level of education, personal values, skills — increased education leads to increased status attainment --- — ex: it has been noticed that individuals‘ whose fathers have greater status and monetary attainment, have greater likelihoods of success
    • — — everyone has values, but to what degree do values agree with each other (or, are perceived to be similar)
    • — above can be attributed to - not just $/occupational status father has, but that money can buy a quality education (& so can status)- consistent with US culture, values (importance of individual efforts, personal resources)
    • — also - assimilation is considered to be valued
    • - critic of human capital theory
    • — does help explain differential social mobility
    • — however, so very based in US value system that we accept it without critical analysis
    • — not necessarily wrong - simply not complete enough - other factors are involved in mobility, assimilation
    • — incorrect in assuming that US society is equally open, fair to all
  8. - What is pluralism?
    • Pluralism - early proponent - Horace Kallen - felt that people could participate in US society without Anglo conformity (giving up old ways, take on new ways)
    • - integration & equality possible if individuals / groups kept cultures, etc and also knew, understand, take on new cultural aspects
    • - for many years Kallen‘s ideas were ignored, focus stayed on Anglo conformity model
    • - lately increased in interest in pluralism
    • — we can observe groups that do not conform to Park‘s theory of race relations
    • — US diversity is increasing, questions arise as to whether this is good or not
    • - — there are other nation-states, that rather than merging together, are breaking up (to one degree or another) into smaller (ethnic, etc) sub groups
  9. - What is multi-culturalism?
    multi-culturalism - mutual respect for all groups, their heritages
  10. revolution?
    revolution: minority group works to become elite, have other group as minority - other possibilities (forced migration - Trail of Tears; expulsion (Chinese American immigrants in later 1800s; extermination / genocide (Holocaust / Isiss / Isil) - can include ‘continued subjugation’ - elite / dominant group desire to keep minority group/s powerless & exploited
  11. - What is separatism? –
    separatism: cutting off ties (political, cultural) with other groups, may include idea of revolution (seen in French Canada, Scotland, Hawaii)
  12. - Why did immigrants from the north and west of Europe have an easier experience assimilating?
    • northern and western Protestant Europeans
    • - this group resembled US dominant group in racial and ethnic characteristics (including religion - at this time Catholicism not considered to be Christian)
    • - less racial, ethnocentric rejection
    • - sending nations were similar in development to US, so immigrants more likely to have education, skills, money which helped them settle into US
    • - many went to Midwest, frontier areas - generally did not form the ethnic enclave (as with Italians); not considered a threat (socially or economically), more easily accepted
  13. - How did industrialization impact assimilation?
    • - if there is a change in how a society meets basic needs, then society will change
    • - - those who came to US were frequently pushed out of homelands due to various aspects of industrialization in homelands (many went to cities in Europe hoping to get ‘good’ factory jobs; not enough factory jobs in Europe (Europe not industrialized at same rate of US, so don‘t need as many workers); end up coming to US to work in factories
    • - - came to US where they fit into our industrialized work force
  14. - What was the industrial revolution?
    industrial revolution - if there is a change in how a society meets basic needs, then society will change

    • - forms of energy change: prior to industrialization - human, animal power; with industrialization new power forms emerged (water, steam, coal, gas, oil)
    • — productivity of society increases
    • - new industrial technologies was ‘capital intensive’
    • — need to invest heavily in machines, equipment, processes of production (land no longer as important)
    • — human labor (even in rural areas) no longer as important (technology increases agricultural yields without an increase in human labor (tractors, etc))
  15. - What does ‘chains of communication and migration’ refer to?
    • chains of communication and migration: many immigrants were farmers seeking cheap land in (the then frontier) of upper mid-west
    • realized that they needed more people working the land, so networks created with homeland to recruit, send more immigrants
  16. - What are ethnic enclaves?
    • ethnic enclaves - people of specific groups live close to each other, connected through interconnected businesses, economic interests
    • — high degrees of cooperation, mutual aid, cultural bonds - in contrast to Gordon, acculturation not needed to integrate, it is possible for groups to retain culture, etc and still do well in US society
  17. - Why did many Protestant groups not accept Catholicism at first?
    • Protestant denominations had been the primary representation of Christianity; Catholicism seemed alien, was frequently considered to not be Christian
    • — fears that Pope would relocate Vatican to US and take over US (similar unrealistic concerns that we have today - such as 1) whether individuals who practice the Mormon faith should run for US President; 2) concerns that the extreme Islam fundamentalists will take over countries, etc)
    • - not only were Catholics not accepted as Christian by Protestants, within Catholicism there were (and sometimes still are) differences according to nation of origin
    • — new Catholic immigrants tended to create their own Catholic parishes despite the commonality of being Catholic
  18. - What is anti-Semitism? What was the role of pogroms?
    • anti-Semitism (directed specifically toward Jews)
    • - prior to large numbers of Jews (many fleeing pogroms), pogrom = disturbance
  19. - How did the lifestyle most Jews have in Europe impact their assimilation in the US?

    What impact did the 1924 National Origins Act have on Jews and the Holocaust?
    • - - due to having lived in cities in Europe, easier to assimilate into city life as compared to some
    • 1924 - National Origins Act - allowed immigration into US based on % of that population in US from that area in US of 1890
    • - — greatly favored north, west Europe - drastically reduced other areas; some areas essentially eliminated
  20. - What is the ‘three generation model?’
    • patterns of assimilation: three generation model (many groups from Europe fit this model; however, other groups such as <Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans have not fit this model>
    • - 1st generation (those who initially come into the US)
    • - little assimilation- maintain ways of ‘old country’ - often in ethnic enclaves(allows for replication of prior culture); learn some English, etc - but still distinctive culture


    • 2nd generation (children of 1st generation)
    • - higher rates of assimilation as compared to 1st generation - grew up in ethnic enclaves where they lived the ethnic traditions of the ‘old country’- however, they are also exposed to US culture (mostly through public schools) — many decide to move out of ethnic enclaves,— move into and raise children in more majority neighborhoods, so children raised predominately mainstream American - sometimes desire to ‘forget’ parents’ ethnicity, customs

    • 3rd generation (grandchildren of 1st generation)
    • - in general, born, raised outside of ethnic enclaves- frequently speak only English (maybe some phrases from grandparents’ culture)- “what the second generation (their parents) tries to forget, the 3rd generation tries to remember”— frequently want to learn about ‘old ways’ of grandparents culture- may follow some of the ‘old’ traditions (example holidays), but are culturally ‘American’

  21. - What was the relationship between Irish immigrants and politics in the US?
    • politics and immigrants (in particular, Irish immigrants)
    • - one perspective: due to ongoing exploitation by elite English in Ireland, Irish immigrants became active in US politics (were finally able to have a political voice)
    • - became an important component of political machines
    • — note: Irish immigrants did not begin, nor were they responsible for political machines - they took advantage of a system that was already in place
    • - in exchange for votes, corrupt politicians offered favors to Irish immigrants
  22. - What is ‘structural mobility’ and what role does it play in assimilation?
    • structural mobility - primarily result of changes in economic structure and labor market than individual efforts
    • - - over time newer generations have greater access to education, better jobs
  23. - How does the concept ‘degree of similarity’ help explain why some immigrant groups had an easier experience in assimilation?
    Degree of Similarity –The degree of resistance, prejudice, and discrimination encountered by the different European immigrant groups varied in part by the degree to which they differed from these dominant group characteristics.
  24. - What does ‘sojourners’ refer to?

    What does this concept tell us about rates of assimilation?
    Sojourners – (birds of passage; example: boys, men from southern Italy – other contract laborers)- some immigrants had no intention of becoming American citizens and therefore had little interest in Americanization- were going back and forth between US and country of origin - learning language, etc not all that necessary — less incentive to learn language, etc - - going back and forth between US and country of origin re-enforced language, culture, customs of ‘home’
  25. - What is unique about immigrants from Ireland during the mid 1800s?
    • gender - most immigrant women came as part of a family (family of origin, family of procreation)
    • - Irish were different - about 50% of Irish immigrants were female in a time period when custom dictated that women not travel alone, especially to foreign countries
    • - families in Ireland sent about equal numbers of male and female teen / young adult family members to US
    • — get jobs, send money back to Ireland
    • — sometimes this money used to send more family members to American (another aspect of chain immigration)
  26. What three groups have had a particularly difficult time assimilation to US culture? Why?
    • Mexico, canda & Indians?
    • They are close to their land that they can’t lose their culture when it’s around
  27. What are the 2 themes that are central to this chapter and the rest of this book?
    • 1) what the current subsistence technology is for a specific time period) (impacts majority – minority relations at that time (subsistence technology: how a society provides for basic goods, services (shelter, food, water) for its people) (see table)
    • 2) what the contact situation is when 2 or more groups first make contact (impacts majority – minority relations at the time and later)
    • — Noel hypothesis
    • — Blauner hypothesis
  28. What is subsistence technology? Why is it important?
    • agricultural subsistence technology for success in colonies- in colonial period agricultural subsistence drove the economy (1600s – 1800s)- agricultural subsistence: energy used is human and or animal labor— 2 things are now important—
    • ownership of land—
    • — labor that is very inexpensive and easily controlled (needed because no industrialization and farm work is very labor
  29. What are ‘indentured servants?’ How are they similar to and different from slaves?
    • contract laborers – a contract is put together – specifies how long the servitude is, type of labor, living conditions
    • when contract is up, person is freed, often given ‘freedom dues’
  30. What role did slavery play in the economic success of plantations?
    • crops were more likely to need a lot of hands on laborto maximize profits this labor should be low cost and easily controlled
    • - slavery allowed plantation owners (landowners) to generate profits, status and success
  31. What are the 3 aspects of the contact situation that Noel proposed as being important to equality / inequality between groups? How did Noel propose degree of power is determined?
    • Two or more groups come togetherif the following conditions exist
    • - ethnocentrism
    • - competition
    • - power differential among the groups
    • =ethnic or racial stratification
  32. What did Blauner identify as 2 different initial contact relationships? What are the characteristics of these relationships? What are potential outcomes?
    • - If initial contact is immigration, the individuals in that group will encounter problems with prejudice, discrimination.
    • - If the initial contact is colonization there will be more prejudice and discrimination and these problems will persist longer and be harder to overcome.
  33. What is an ‘enclave?’
    - immigrant group/s come into host country with some resources, thus have more opportunities than colonized group/s — use resources, opportunities to create a nicheCan be distingused
  34. What happens if a group has characteristics of both colonized and immigrant groups?
    • if a group is treated as both immigrants and colonized, their status would be intermediate between the immigrant minority and colonization
    • - combined characteristics of both the colonized and the immigrant minority group experience, produces an intermediate status between the more assimilated white ethnic groups and the colonized racial minorities.
  35. Relationships between groups are likely to be __ in a plantation based economy.
    Paternalistic relations-nature of intergroup relationships will reflect a society’s subsistence technology— a society with a small elite class and a plantation-based economy will often develop a form of minority relations called paternalism
  36. What are characteristics of paternalism? :
    person with power makes decisions, etc – not considering impact on the ‘lesser than’ group
  37. Were slaves likely to engage in open rejection of their situation? Why? What part does access to power play?
    • The powerlessness of slaves made it difficult for them to openly reject or resist the system, however, slaves:
    •  - revolted
    • - ran away (many with the help of the abolitionist Underground Railroad)
    • - used the forms of resistance most readily available to them
    • —sabotage, intentional carelessness, dragging their feet, and work slowdowns
  38. Can we say that the experience of the contact situation was the same for all groups of Mexican Americans? Why?
    the consequences of contact were variable even though the ultimate result was a loss of status within the context of the conquest and colonization of the group as a whole
  39. How were Mexican Americans impacted by the close proximity between their homeland and the US?
    • However, Mexican Americans were in close proximity to their homeland and maintained close ties with villages and families
    • this constant movement across the border with Mexico kept the Spanish language and much of the Mexican heritage alive
  40. - Which is more problematic: acknowledging differences in groups or assigning a hierarchy to different groups?
    hierarchy (thats is difference in how goods ,services power, distributed)
  41. - Are race and ethnicity the only types of inequality in the US today?
    • intersection of race, class, gender.
    • not jjust elite vs workers
    • social class (SES or socio-economic status), education, size of group, religion, language, sexual orientation, differences in physical abilities
  42. - 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)
    • What is the difference between majority and minority?
    • - NOT referring to the number of individuals in a group; rather according to the group’s access to power, resources and authority
    • — does NOT indicate what should be, but the reality of the relationship between minority / majority (dominant) groups
    • majority / dominant group: greater access to power, authority, resources
    • minority group: reduced access to power, authority, resources, wealth, income, prestige — in general, the group members have the following characteristics
  43. - What are the 5 characteristics of minority groups?
    • 1. experience a pattern of disadvantage, inequality
    • degree of disadvantage can vary (genocide, slavery to no left hand desks)
    • 2. group members share a trait / characteristic that is visible; that differentiates them as unique (language, dress, grooming, physical characteristics, religion, etc.)
    • — these differences are considered to be evidence that the group is inferior
    • — these traits allow group members to be identified & treated as inferior
    • 3. group members identify as a group; are a self-conscious social unit
    • — a sense of group identity emerges creating a degree of solidarity (we are all in this together)
    • 4. ascribed membership (a person‘s status is given at birth)
    • — ascribed characteristics tend to be permanent - not changeable
    • — achieved characteristics – gained through an effort
    • — though we tend to think that achieved status is all about specific people, ascribed characteristics impact potential achieved characteristics (where a family lives, where kids go to school, etc)
    • 5. tendency to marry within group (endogamous)
    • — sometimes voluntary by minority group; sometimes enforced by dominant group
  44. - 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?
    society is reliable for the shit they do

    its different


    • Institutionalized Discrimination
    • - Patterns of unequal treatment based on group membership and built into the institutions and daily operations of society.
    • - Can be obvious and overt, but usually operate in more hidden and unintended ways.
    • - Individual level prejudice and discrimination, and group level racism and institutional discrimination reinforce each other.
  45. - What is the distinction between racial minorities and ethnic minorities? Are these mutually exclusive?
    • ethnic minority groups - defined as minority according to perceived cultural characteristics
    • - above categories can overlap
    • - result from historical and social processes not biological processes
    • racial minority groups - defined as minority according to perceived physical characteristics
    • - categories change over time, and 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
  46. - How have we defined race in this class? – ethnicity?
    • ethnicity refers to culture - learned through the process of socialization
    • 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.)
  47. - 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
  48. - 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
    • - these are ‘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
  49. - What is stratification?
    • stratification - unequal distribution of valued goods, services, power
    • - stratification is basic to almost all human societies (some make exception for hunting / gathering societies)
    • — theme – subsistence technology – how a society provides needed ‘stuff’ – food, shelter. water
  50. - 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 – Weber: 3 different, often overlapping stratification systems
    • 1. ownership, control of property, wealth, income (similar to Marx concept of class)
    • 2. prestige: honor, esteem, respect
    • 3. power (including decision making) - ability to influence others, pursue own interests, goals
  51. - 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 (materials, tools, resources, organizations a society uses to produce, distribute (usually unequally) goods & services)
    • elite vs workers


    • means of production changes over time
    • - agriculture period land is important
    • - industrial period factories, machines - capital
    • - post-industrial – knowledge, ability to use knowledge
    • proletariat (working class) - sold their labor for subsistence wages
    • - bourgeoisie (elite) - owned the means of production
    • — the system of means of production can / does change
    • - this system creates inequality, which leads to competition, which leads to conflict
    • - Marx perceived conflict as good since it can bring about needed social change
    • — eventually this conflict would result in working class overcoming exploitation with a new, utopian, egalitarian society emerging

    Marx did not see emergence of middle class
  52. - 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)
    • hunting / gathering // foraging – little surplus, little to no stratification – human energy only
  53. - What does Patricia Hill Collins add to our understanding of stratification?
    • intersection of race, class, gender (not look at them separately but recognize they are):
    • — interlocked
    • — mutually reinforcing
  54. - Are power relationships static? Why? What does this mean?
    • how individuals are ranked to each other re: 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

    different areas power changes
  55. - What does ‘matrix of domination’ refer to?
    • being white (or black, or Asian, etc) is not the same experience for all persons who appear to be of that group
    • the above is a ‘matrix of domination’- that is, 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
  56. - How does stratification impact a person’s life chances and life choices?
    - a person‘s status (minority, majority) impact that person‘s life chances, health, wealth opportunities, potential success
  57. - 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.
    • society determines what the groups are, where the boundaries are, what the hierarchies are)
  58. Is there any scientific proof that humans should be categorized into distinct races?
    1400s - technology of ship building and navigation improves, allowing Europeans to explore and then colonize / exploit other areas - as exploration, colonization increase, the importance of race increases — when areas are colonized, the peoples in those areas are considered inferior (it helps to justify exploitation) - racism used to justify military conquest, genocide, exploitation, slavery using biology to ‘explain’ race - the ‘categories’ developed are arbitrary, blurred, ambiguous - often more variation within a category than across different categories
  59. Prejudice
    • - negative attitudes (cognition, thoughts) applied to an entire category of people
    • - these attitudes are usually very invested in affect (the emotions), so can be hard to ‘un-do’
    • — that is, negative emotions (affective) are generally attached to groups that are defined as being inferior
  60. Discrimination
    actions; treating people differently sometimes based on prejudices
  61. Stereotypes
    are generalizations that are thought to apply to all members of the group.
  62. 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.
    • - Can be obvious and overt, but usually operate in more hidden and unintended ways.
    • - Individual level prejudice and discrimination, and group level racism and institutional discrimination reinforce each other.
  63. - Which is more likely:
    1) competition leads to prejudice or
    2) prejudice leads to competition?competition leads to prejudice
    1) competition leads to prejudice
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sscii midterm
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2016-02-09 19:21:49
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