Chapter 11. Race and EthnicityFigure 11.1. The Sikh turban or “Dastaar” is a required short article in the observance the the Sikh faith. Baltej singh Dhillon was the an initial Sikh member that the RCMP come wear a turban on active duty. This sparked a significant controversy in 1990, yet today human being barely bat an eye as soon as they see a police officer attract a turban. Race and ethnicity are part of the person experience. Just how do the indications of racial and ethnic diversity pat in a function in who we are and also how us relate to one another? (Photo courtesy the Sanyam Bahga/Wikipedia)

Learning Objectives

11.1. Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups

Understand the difference between race and ethnicityDefine a majority group (dominant group)Define a minority group (subordinate group)

11.2. Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Explain the difference between stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and also racismIdentify different types of discrimination

11.3. Theories of Race and also Ethnicity

Describe how significant sociological perspectives see race and ethnicityIdentify examples of culture of prejudice

11.4. Intergroup Relations and the management of Diversity

Explain different intergroup connections in terms of their loved one levels the toleranceGive historic and/or modern-day examples the each form of intergroup relation

11.5. Race and also Ethnicity in Canada

Compare and contrast the various experiences of assorted ethnic groups in CanadaApply theory of intergroup relations and race and also ethnicity to different subordinate groups

Introduction come Race and Ethnicity

Visible decimal are identified as “persons, other than aboriginal persons, who room non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour” (Statistics Canada 2013, p. 14). This is a contentious term, as we will watch below, however it does offer us a method to speak around the farming ethnic and racial diversity that Canada. The 2011 census detailed that clearly shows minorities consisted of 19.1 percent that the Canadian population, or virtually one the end of every 5 Canadians. This to be up native 16.2 percent in the 2006 census (Statistics Canada 2013). The three largest visible minority teams were south Asians (25 percent), Chinese (21.1 percent), and blacks (15.1 percent).

You are watching: Which of the following is an example of a numerical majority being treated as a subordinate group?

Going ago to the 1921 census, just 0.8 percent of population were comprised of people of asian origin, conversely, 0.2 percent of the populace were black. Indigenous Canadians comprised 1.3 percent that the population. The vast bulk of the population were Caucasians (“whites”) of british or French ancestry. These numbers did not readjust appreciably until after the alters to the immigrant Act in 1967, which replaced an immigrant policy based upon racial criteria with a allude system based upon educational and also occupational qualifications (Li 1996). The 2011 census reported that 78 percent of the immigrants that arrived in Canada in between 2006 and 2011 to be visible minorities (Statistics Canada 2013).

Still, these figures do no really provide a complete snapshot of racial and also ethnic diversity in Canada. Ninety-six percent of clearly shows minorities live in cities, greatly Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, making this cities exceptionally diverse and also cosmopolitan. In Vancouver, almost fifty percent the population (45.2 percent) is consisted of of clearly shows minorities. Within better Vancouver, 70.4 percent of the residents of Richmond, 59.5 percent of the inhabitants of Burnaby, and also 52.6 that the residents of Surrey room visible minorities. In the Toronto area, wherein visible minorities comprise 47 percent of the population, 72.3 percent the the inhabitants of the suburb the Markham space visible minorities (Statistics Canada 2013). In numerous parts of city Canada, that is a misnomer to usage the hatchet visible minority, as the “minorities” are currently in the majority.

Table 11.1. Visible minority population and top three visible decimal groups, selected census city areas, Canada, 2011. (Table courtesy the Statistics Canada, 2013). Source: (p. 17)

Projecting forward based upon current trends, Statistics Canada estimates that by 2031, between 29 and 32 percent of the Canadian population will be visible minorities. Visible minority teams will comprise 63 percent of the populace of Toronto and also 59 percent the the population of Vancouver (Statistics Canada 2010). The outcome of these patterns is the Canada has end up being a much more racially and also ethnically diverse country over the 20th and 21st centuries. The will continue to become more diverse in the future.

In big part this has to do v immigration policy. Canada is a settler society, a society historically based upon colonization through foreign settlement and also displacement of indigenous inhabitants, so immigrant is the major influence on population diversity. In the two years following world War II, Canada adhered to an immigration plan that was clearly race based. Element Minister Mackenzie king’s statement to the home of Commons in 1947 express this in what were, at the time, uncontroversial terms:

There will, i am sure, it is in general agreement with the view that the human being of Canada do not wish, together a an outcome of fixed immigration, to do a basic alteration in the personality of our population. Massive immigration indigenous the orient would adjust the basic composition that the Canadian population. Any considerable oriental immigration would, moreover, be certain to give rise come social and also economic problems of a character that might lead come serious obstacles in the ar of international relations. The government, therefore, has actually no assumed of making any readjust in immigrant regulations which would have after-effects of the sort (cited in Li 1996 pp. 163-164).

Today this would certainly be a fully unacceptable statement indigenous a Canadian politician. Immigrant is based on a non-racial allude system. Canada defines itself as a multicultural country that promotes and recognizes the diversity that its population. This does no mean, however, the Canada’s legacy of institutional and also individual prejudice and racism has been erased. No one does it mean that the difficulties of controlling a diverse population have to be resolved.

In 1997, the U.N. Committee on the removed of racial Discrimination criticize the Canadian federal government for utilizing the ax “visible minority,” citing the distinctions based on race or colour room discriminatory (CBC 2007). The term combines a diverse group of world into one category whether they have actually anything in common or not. What does the actually average to it is in a member that a visible minority in Canada? What does it typical to it is in a member that the “non-visible” majority? What carry out these terms median in practice?

11.1. Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups

While plenty of students first entering a sociology classroom are accustomed come conflating the state “race,” “ethnicity,” and also “minority group,” these 3 terms have actually distinct interpretations for sociologists. The idea of “race” refers to superficial physical distinctions that a particular culture considers significant, when “ethnicity” is a ax that defines shared culture. And also “minority groups” describes groups that are subordinate, or lacking power in society regardless the skin colour or nation of origin. Because that example, in modern history, the elderly can be taken into consideration a decimal group due to a reduced status result from renowned prejudice and also discrimination versus them. The human being Health Organization’s study on yonsi maltreatment shows that 10 percent the nursing residence staff recognize to physically abusing one elderly human being in the past year, and 40 percent recognize to mental abuse (2011). As a decimal group, the yonsi are also subject come economic, social, and workplace discrimination.

What Is Race?

Historically, the principle of race has actually changed across cultures and eras, eventually becoming less connected with genealogical and familial ties, and much more concerned with superficial physics characteristics. In the past, theorists have actually posited categories of race based on various geographical regions, ethnicities, skin colours, and more. Their labels because that racial groups have connoted areas (Mongolia and also the Caucus Mountains, because that instance) or denoted skin tones (black, white, yellow, and red, because that example).

However, this typology the race developed during beforehand racial science has actually fallen into disuse, and the social building of race or racialization is a far much more common means of expertise racial categories. Follow to this institution of thought, gyeongju is no biologically identifiable. Rather, specific groups become racialized v a social procedure that point out them because that unequal treatment based on perceived physiological differences. When considering skin colour, for example, the social construction of gyeongju perspective recognizes the the loved one darkness or fairness of skin is an evolutionary adaptation to the obtainable sunlight in various regions of the world. Modern conceptions of race, therefore, which have tendency to be based on socioeconomic assumptions, illuminate how far removed modern race expertise is from organic qualities. In modern society, some human being who consider themselves “white” in reality have more melanin (a pigment that determines skin colour) in your skin 보다 other human being who determine as “black.” take into consideration the instance of the actress Rashida Jones. She is the daughter the a black male (Quincy Jones) yet she does not play a black color woman in her tv or film roles. In some countries, such as Brazil, class is an ext important 보다 skin color in determining gyeongju categorization. Human being with high levels of melanin in your skin may take into consideration themselves “white” if they reap a middle-class lifestyle. ~ above the other hand, someone with low level of melanin in their skin might be assigned the identity of “black” if lock have small education or money.

The social building of gyeongju is likewise reflected in the way that names for racial categories change with transforming times. It’s worth noting the race, in this sense, is also a mechanism of labelling that provides a source of identity—specific labels autumn in and out the favour during various social eras. Because that example, the classification ”negroid,” renowned in the 19th century, progressed into the hatchet “negro” through the 1960s, and also then this term fell from use and also was replaced with “black Canadian.” The term was intended to celebrate the lot of identities the a black person could hold, but the word selection is an pass out one: the lumps with each other a big variety of ethnic teams under one umbrella term. Unequal the situation in the United says where the hatchet “African American” is common, many black Canadians immigrant from the Caribbean and also retain ethnic root from the area. Culturally castle remain unique from immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa or the progeny of the slaves brought to mainland phibìc America. Some favor to use the term “Afro-Caribbean Canadians” for that reason.

What Is Ethnicity?

Ethnicity is a hatchet that describes shared culture—the practices, values, and also beliefs the a group. This might include shared language, religion, and traditions, among other commonalities. Like race, the hatchet “ethnicity” is challenging to describe and its meaning has changed over time. And also like race, individuals may be identified or self-identify with ethnic cultures in complex, also contradictory, ways. Because that example, ethnic groups such as Irish, Italian American, Russian, Jewish, and Serbian could all be groups whose members room predominantly consisted of in the racial category “white.” vice versa, the ethnic group British includes citizens from a multiplicity of gyeongju backgrounds: black, white, Asian, and more, plus a range of race combinations. These instances illustrate the complexity and also overlap of this identifying terms. Ethnicity, favor race, continues to it is in an identification technique that individuals and institutions use today—whether through the census, affirmative activity initiatives, non-discrimination laws, or just in personal day-to-day relations.

What are Minority Groups?

Sociologist luigi Wirth (1945) characterized a minority group as “any group of people who, since of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled the end from the others in the society in which they live for differential and also unequal treatment, and also who thus regard themselves together objects of collective discrimination.” The term minority connotes discrimination, and also in its sociological use, the term subordinate can be used interchangeably v the hatchet minority, while the hatchet dominant is regularly substituted because that the team that’s in the majority. These definitions correlate to the ide that the dominant group is the which hold the most power in a given society, when subordinate groups space those who lack power contrasted to the leading group.

Note that being a numerical decimal is no a characteristic of being a minority group; sometimes larger teams can be considered minority groups because of their lack of power. That is the absence of power that is the predominant characteristic the a minority, or low grade group. For example, take into consideration apartheid in south Africa, in i m sorry a numerical bulk (the black residents of the country) to be exploited and also oppressed through the white minority.

According to Charles Wagley and Marvin Harris (1958), a minority team is differentiated by five characteristics: (1) unequal treatment and less strength over their lives, (2) separating physical or cultural traits favor skin color or language, (3) involuntary membership in the group, (4) awareness that subordination, and (5) high rate of in-group marriage. Added examples of decimal groups might include the LGBTQ community, religious practitioners whose faith is not commonly practised wherein they live, and people through disabilities.

Scapegoat theory, occurred initially from Dollard’s (1939) frustration-aggression theory, says that the leading group will displace your unfocused aggression onto a low grade group. Background has shown us countless examples of the scapegoating the a low grade group. An instance from the critical century is the method that Adolf Hitler to be able to use the Jewish human being as scapegoats for Germany’s social and also economic problems. In Canada, eastern European immigrants were branded Bolsheviks and interned throughout the financial slump following human being War I. In the unified States, countless states have enacted legislations to disenfranchise immigrants; these laws are popular because they allow the dominant group scapegoat a subordinate group. Numerous minority groups have been scapegoated because that a nation’s—or an individual’s—woes.

Multiple Identities

Figure 11.2. Golfer Tiger Woods has actually Chinese, Thai, afri American, native American, and also Dutch heritage. People with multiple ethnic cultures are becoming more common. (Photo courtesy that familymwr/Flickr)

Prior come the 20th century, racial intermarriage (referred to as miscegenation) was very rare, and also in numerous places, illegal. In the unified States, 41 that the 50 states at once or another enacted regulation to avoid racial intermarriage. In Canada, there to be no officially anti-miscegenation laws, though strong informal standards ensured the racial intermixing to be extremely minimal in scope. Thompson (2009) provides the case, however, that the various versions of the Indian Act, originally enacted in 1876, successfully worked top top a gyeongju level to restrict the marital relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. A an essential part that the plot enumerated the various ways in which indigenous people could lose your status and thus their insurance claim to aboriginal land title and state provisions. Until its revised in 1985, the many egregious ar of the action (Section 12.1.b) determined that one Indian woman that married a non-Indian male would shed her Indian status and her children’s Indian status, conversely, an Indian man who married a non-Indian woman would retain his status, as would his children. In this way, the thorny concern of having multiple racial identities could be avoided.

Figure 11.3. Luigi Riel (1844-1885). Riel to be the kid of a influential French-Ojibwa father and French mother. He to be executed in 1885 top top the fee of high treason because that his role in the Northwest Rebellion. This photo was take away at the time of his psychological in 1885. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Métis room Canada’s original exemption to this rule. Prior to the full facility of British early american rule in Canada, gyeongju intermarriage was urged in some areas to support the fur trade. The Métis developed a distinctive mixed-race society of French hair traders and also mostly Cree, Anishinabe, and Saulteaux people centred in the Red River settlement of what is currently Manitoba. The progeny that liaisons between the british Hudson’s Bay firm traders and aboriginal women were known as “half-breeds,” a largely pejorative term then and now. That is unfortunately a testament to the untenability of multiple identities in 19th century Canada that the attempt to establish and protect an independent Métis culture under the provisional federal government of louis Riel resulted in the violent suppression that the Métis in the Red flow Rebellion that 1869 and also the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Despite the assures of the newly started Canadian government, the Métis to be swindled the end of their land v a corrupt manuscript system and also displaced by a massive influx the Anglo-Saxon immigrant (Purich 1988).

Increasingly throughout the modern-day era, the trend toward equal rights and legal protection versus racism have steadily lessened the society stigma enclosed to racial exogamy (exogamy describes marriage exterior of one’s core social unit). It is now usual for the kids of racially combined parents come acknowledge and celebrate their assorted ethnic identities. Golfer Tiger Woods, because that instance, has actually Chinese, Thai, african American, indigenous American, and Dutch heritage; the jokingly refers to his ethnicity as “Cablinasian,” a term that coined to combine several the his ethnic backgrounds. In Canada the ubiquity of multiple identities is caught in the 2011 Statistics Canada National family Survey. While simply over 19 million Canadians described themselves as having a single ethnic origin, (including nearly 6 million who claimed a “Canadian” ethnic origin), nearly 14 million Canadians defined themselves as having actually a multiple ethnic beginning (Statistics Canada 2011). Follow to 2006 census data, 3.9 percent of every Canadian couples were “mixed unions,” the is, couples consisted of of one of two people a visible minority member and also a non-visible decimal member or 2 members from different visible minorities. This was up indigenous 3.1 percent in 2001 and 2.6 percent in 1991 (Milan et al. 2010).

11.2. Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination


The state stereotype, prejudice, discrimination, and racism are regularly used interchangeably in day-to-day conversation. However when discussing these terms from a sociological perspective, it is vital to specify them: stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about groups the people, prejudice describes thoughts and feelings around those groups, if discrimination refers to actions towards them. Racism is a form of prejudice that involves collection beliefs around a certain racial group.

As stated above, stereotypes space oversimplified ideas around groups of people. Stereotypes have the right to be based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sex-related orientation—almost any characteristic. They may be hopeful (usually around one’s very own group, such as as soon as women indicate they are much less likely to complain around physical pain) however are often negative (usually toward other groups, together as once members the a dominant racial group suggest the a low grade racial team is stupid or lazy). In either case, the stereotype is a generalization that doesn’t take it individual distinctions into account.

Where do stereotypes come from? In fact brand-new stereotypes are seldom created; rather, they space recycled native subordinate teams that have actually assimilated into culture and are reused to define newly subordinate groups. Because that example, numerous stereotypes that are at this time used to characterize black people were used earlier in Canadian history to characterize Irish and eastern european immigrants.

Prejudice and also Racism

Prejudice describes beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that someone holds around a group. A prejudice is not based on experience; instead, that is a prejudgment, originating external of actual experience. Racism is a form of prejudice the is offered to justify the id that one racial classification is somehow premium or inferior to others. White supremacist teams are instances of racist organizations; their members’ id in white dominance has urged over a century of dislike crime and hate speech.


While prejudice refers to biased thinking, discrimination consists of actions against a team of people. Discrimination have the right to be based on age, religion, health, and other indicators. Race-based discrimination and also antidiscrimination laws strive to attend to this collection of social problems.

Discrimination based upon race or ethnicity have the right to take many forms, indigenous unfair real estate practices come biased hiring systems. Overt discrimination has actually long been part of Canadian history. Discrimination versus Jews was common until the 1950s. Mc glitter University applied quotas top top the join of Jewish college student in 1920, a practice which ongoing in its medical faculty till the 1960s. As we saw in the Nova Scotia instance of Viola Desmond in chapter 7, Canada had additionally its own version of American Jim raven laws, i m sorry designated “whites only” locations in cinemas, windy transportation, workplaces, etc. Both Ontario and also Nova Scotia had actually racially segregated schools. That is amazing to keep in mind that when Viola Desmond was prosecuted because that sitting in a whites just section that the cinema in Glasgow, Nova Scotia, she was in truth of mixed-race descent together her mother was white (Backhouse 1994). These methods are unacceptable in Canada today.

However, discrimination cannot be erased indigenous our society just through enacting legislations to abolish it. Even if a magic pill controlled to eradicate racism from each individual’s psyche, society itself would keep it. Sociologist Émile Durkheim (1895) phone call racism “a society fact,” meaning that the does not need the action of individuals to continue. The factors for this are complex and relate come the educational, criminal, economic, and also political systems that exist.

For example, as soon as a newspaper prints the race of individuals accused that a crime, the may boost stereotypes that a details minority. That is daunting to think the Somali-Canadians for example without recalling the news reports that gang-related deaths in Toronto’s social real estate projects or the north Alberta drug trade (Wingrove and Mackrael 2012). One more example of racist practices is racial steering, in which genuine estate agents direct prospective homeowners toward or away from specific neighbourhoods based upon their race. Racism attitudes and beliefs room often more insidious and also hard come pin down than details racist practices.

Prejudice and discrimination can overlap and intersect in countless ways. Come illustrate, below are four instances of just how prejudice and also discrimination have the right to occur. Unprejudiced nondiscriminators are open-minded, tolerant, and accepting individuals. Unprejudiced discriminators might be those who, unthinkingly, practise sexism in their rectal by not considering females for particular positions that have actually traditionally been organized by men. Prejudiced nondiscriminators room those who hold racist ideas but don’t act ~ above them, such as a racist keep owner who serves minority customers. Prejudiced discriminators include those who proactively make disparaging remarks around others or who perpetuate dislike crimes.

Discrimination can likewise involve the promotion of a group’s status, such as occurs v white privilege. While most white people are willing to recognize that non-white human being live through a set of disadvantages due to the colour of your skin, very few white civilization are ready to identify the services they receive just by gift white. White privilege refers to the fact that dominant groups often accept their suffer as the normative (and hence, superior) experience. Fail to acknowledge this “normality” together race-based is an example of a dominant group’s frequently unconscious racism. Feminist sociologist Peggy McIntosh (1988) described several instances of “white privilege.” for instance, white women have the right to easily discover makeup the matches their skin tone. White people can it is in assured that, many of the time, they will be managing authority figures of their very own race. How plenty of other instances of white privilege deserve to you think of?

Institutional Racism

Discrimination likewise manifests in various ways. The illustrations above are examples of individual discrimination, but other types exist. Institutional discrimination or institutional racism is as soon as a societal device has developed with an installed disenfranchisement of a group, such together Canadian immigration plans that applied “head taxes” top top Chinese immigrants in 1886 and also 1904. Institutional racism describes the means in which gyeongju distinctions are supplied to organize the policy and practice of state, judicial, economic, and educational institutions. Together a result they systematically reproduce inequalities along racial lines. They define what civilization can and also cannot do based upon racial characteristics. It is no necessarily the on purpose of these institutions to reproduce inequality, nor of the individuals who work-related in the institutions. Rather inequality is the outcome of patterns of differential treatment based on racial or country categorizations that people.

Clear examples of institutional racism in Canada have the right to be seen in the Indian Act and immigration policy, as we have already noted. The impacts of institutional racism can likewise be it was observed in the frameworks that reproduce income inequality for visible decimal and indigenous Canadians. The median revenue of aboriginal people in Canada to be 30 percent much less than non-aboriginal human being in 2006 (Wilson and Macdonald 2010). Rates of child poverty (using Statistics Canada’s after-tax low-income measure) because that all aboriginal people in 2006 were at 40 percent, while prices for non-indigenous, non-racialized, non-immigrant children were 12 percent (Macdonald and also Wilson 2013).

Institutional racism is additionally deeply problematic for visible decimal in Canada. While labour participation rates in the economy are an ext or less equal because that racialized and non-racialized individuals, racialized men are 24 percent much more likely to it is in unemployed 보다 non-racialized men. Racialized women room 48 percent an ext likely to it is in unemployed. Moreover, racialized Canadians earned only 81.4 percent the revenue of non-racialized Canadians due to the fact that they often tend to discover work in insecure, temporary, and also low-paying tasks like speak to centres, security services, and janitorial services. Those identifying together Chinese earn 88.6 percent of the income of non-racialized Canadians; south Asians 83.3 percent; and also Koreans, Latin Americans, and West Asians about 70 percent. Block and Galabuzi (2011) argue the these inequalities in earnings are not merely the effect of the time it takes immigrant to incorporate into the society and economy. The revenue inequality between racialized and non-racialized individuals remains comprehensive even into the third generation that immigrants.

Figure 11.4. St. Joseph’s Mission residential school near Williams Lake, B.C., circa 1890. (Photo courtesy of LibraryArchives/Flickr)

The residential school system was collection up in the 19th century come educate and assimilate aboriginal children into European culture. Indigenous 1883 till 1996, over 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit, and also Métis kids were forcibly be separate from their parents and also their social traditions and also sent come missionary-run residential schools. In the schools, they received substandard education and many were topic to neglect, disease, and abuse. Many kids did not check out their parents again, and thousands of kids died in ~ the schools. As soon as they did return home they found it daunting to right in. They had not learned the skills needed because that life ~ above reserves and had additionally been teach to be ashamed of their aboriginal heritage. Due to the fact that the education at the residential schools was inferior they also had challenge fitting into non-aboriginal society.

The residential school system was part of a system of institutional racism because it was created on the communication of a difference between the educational demands of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. In presenting the plan to the house of Commons in 1883, Public functions Minister Hector Langevin argued, “In stimulate to educate the kids properly we have to separate them from your families. Some civilization may say the this is hard but if we desire to civilize castle we must do that” (cited in Truth and also Reconciliation the supervisory board of Canada 2012, p. 5). The sad heritage of this “civilizing” mission has been numerous generations of severely disrupted aboriginal families and communities; the lose of aboriginal languages and cultural heritage; and also the neglect, abuse, and traumatization of thousands of aboriginal children. As the Truth and also Reconciliation the supervisory board concluded, the residential school system constituted a systematic attack on aboriginal families, children, and culture in Canada. Some have likened the policy and its after-effects to a cultural genocide (Truth and Reconciliation board of directors of Canada 2012).

While the last of the residential colleges closed in 1996, the trouble of aboriginal education remains grave, through 40 percent the all aboriginal people age 20 to 24 having no high college diploma (61 percent that on-reserve indigenous people), compared to 13 percent that non-aboriginals (Congress of indigenous Peoples 2010). The influence of generations of children being eliminated from their houses to be education in an underfunded and also frequently abusive residential institution system has actually been “joblessness, poverty, family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, sexual abuse, prostitution, homelessness, high prices of imprisonment, and early death” (Truth and Reconciliation commission 2012). Also with the public apology to residential institution survivors and the inauguration of the Truth and Reconciliation commission in 2008, the commonwealth government, and the interests that represents, continue to refuse an easy aboriginal insurance claims to title, self-determination, and also control over your lands and resources.

11.3 theories of Race and also Ethnicity

Theoretical Perspectives

Issues of race and ethnicity have the right to be observed through three significant sociological perspectives: functionalism, problem theory, and also symbolic interactionism. As you review through this theories, ask you yourself which one makes the most sense, and why. Is more than one theory required to define racism, prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination?


In the check out of functionalism, racial and ethnic inequalities must have served an important function in order to exist as lengthy as they have. This concept, that course, is problematic. How have the right to racism and discrimination contribute positively to society? Sociologists that adhere to the functionalist check out argue the racism and also discrimination do contribute positively, however only to the dominant group. Historically, it has indeed served dominant groups fine to discriminate against subordinate groups. Slavery, of course, was advantageous to slaveholders. Holding racist views can advantage those who desire to deny rights and privileges to human being they see as worse to them, yet over time, racism harms society. Outcomes the race-based disenfranchisement—such together poverty levels, crime rates, and also discrepancies in employment and also education opportunities—illustrate the permanent (and plainly negative) results of slavery and racism in Canadian society.

Apart from the issues of race, ethnicity, and also social inequality, the close ties that ethnic and racial membership deserve to be viewed to serve some hopeful functions even if they lead to the formation of ethnic and also racial enclaves or ghettos. The nearby ties promote team cohesion, which deserve to have economic benefits specifically for immigrant who deserve to use community contacts to go after employment. Castle can also have political benefits in the form of politics mobilization because that recognition, services, or sources by various communities. The Truth and Reconciliation board of directors for indigenous residential institution survivors or the plan of multiculturalism space examples. Finally, the nearby ties of gyeongju or ethnic groups likewise provide cultural familiarity and emotional assistance for people who can otherwise feel alienated by or discriminated against by the dominant society.

Critical Sociology

Critical sociological theories room often used to inequalities that gender, society class, education, race, and ethnicity. A crucial sociology perspective of Canadian background would examine the countless past and also current struggles between the Anglo-Saxon judgment class and also racial and also ethnic minorities, noting details conflicts that have arisen when the dominant group regarded a risk from the decimal group. Contemporary Canada itself have the right to in reality be explained as a product of internal colonialism. while Canada was initially a colony itself, the product of exterior colonialism, first by the French and then the English, it also embraced colonial approaches internally as it ended up being an independent country state. Internal manifest destiny refers to the procedure of uneven local development by which a dominant group establishes its control over existing populations within a country. Frequently it functions by keeping segregation amongst the colonized, which allows different geographical distributions of people, various wage levels, and different job-related concentrations to form based on gyeongju or ethnicity.

For vital sociology, addressing the concerns that arise as soon as race and also ethnicity end up being the basis of society inequality is a main focus of any emancipatory project. They room often complex problems, however. Feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins (1990) occurred intersection theory, which argues we cannot separate the results of race, class, gender, sex-related orientation, and also other attributes. As soon as we study race and how that can carry us both benefits and disadvantages, the is crucial to recognize that the means we suffer race is shaped, because that example, by ours gender and class. Multiple class of disadvantage intersect to develop the means we suffer race. For example, if we want to understand prejudice, us must understand that the prejudice concentrated on a white woman since of her sex is an extremely different native the layered prejudice concentrated on a poor eastern woman, that is affected by stereotypes regarded being poor, gift a woman, and being part of a visible minority.

Symbolic Interactionism

For symbolic interactionists, race and also ethnicity provide solid symbols as resources of identity. In fact, part interactionists propose the the symbols of race, not race itself, space what cause racism. Well known interactionist Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) suggested that gyeongju prejudice is formed through interactions between members that the leading group: without this interactions, individuals in the dominant group would certainly not hold racist views. These interactions contribute to an abstract photo of the subordinate group that allows the dominant group to assistance its see of the low grade group, therefore maintaining the condition quo. An instance of this could be an individual who beliefs around a particular group are based on images conveyed in popular media. These ideas are unquestioned because the individual has never personally met a member of that group.

A society of prejudice refers to the idea the prejudice is installed in ours culture. We thrive up surrounded by photos of stereotypes and also casual expression of racism and also prejudice. Consider the casually racialism imagery top top grocery save shelves or the stereotypes that fill renowned movies and advertisements. It is simple to see how someone life in Canada, that may know no mexican Americans personally, can gain a stereotyped impression indigenous such resources as Speedy Gonzalez or Taco Time fast-food restaurants, or Hollywood. Due to the fact that we space all exposed to this images and thoughts, it is difficult to understand to what level they have influenced our thought processes.

11.4. Intergroup Relations and the management of Diversity

Throughout Western background intergroup relations (relationships in between different teams of people) have been subject to different strategies because that the management of diversity. The problem of administration arises when differences between different individuals are related to as for this reason insurmountable the it is thought they cannot quickly coincide or cohabit v one another. How have the right to the unified of the self-group or political community be attained in the face of the divisive presence of non-selves or others? as Richard work (2000) explains it, the layout for the trouble of diversity was laid down at the very least as early as the functions of the ancient Greeks Herodotus, Plato, and Aristotle: “the division of person individuals right into groupable ‘types,’ the arrangement of these varieties into a hierarchy, the naming of some varieties as presenting a ‘problem,’ and the attempt to administer ‘solutions’ to the problem so constructed” (p. 7). The services proposed come intergroup relations have ranged along a spectrum in between tolerance and intolerance. The most tolerant kind of intergroup connections is multiculturalism, in which social distinctions room made between groups, however the groups are concerned to have actually equal stand in society. At the other end of the continuum room assimilation, expulsion, and even genocide—stark instances of intolerant intergroup relations.


Genocide, the intended annihilation the a target (usually subordinate) group, is the most toxic intergroup relationship. Historically, we deserve to see that genocide has contained both the will to exterminate a group and the function of exterminating the a group, intended or not.

Possibly the many well-known case of genocide is Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish civilization in the an initial part the the 20th century. Likewise known as the Holocaust, the explicit goal of Hitler’s “Final Solution” was the eradication of european Jewry, as well as the decimation of various other minority teams such together Catholics, world with disabilities, and homosexuals. With forced emigration, concentration camps, and mass executions in gas chambers, Hitler’s Nazi routine was responsible because that the deaths that 12 million people, 6 million that whom to be Jewish. Hitler’s intent was clear, and also the high Jewish death toll definitely indicates that Hitler and his regimen committed genocide. But how do we know genocide that is not so overt and also deliberate?

Figure 11.5. Portrait that Demasduit in 1819, a Beothuk captured and renamed mar March by her captors. Demasduit passed away of tuberculosis in 1820. (Photo courtesy that Wikimedia Commons)

During the European colonization of phibìc America, some historians estimate that aboriginal populations dwindled from roughly 12 million world in the year 1500 to barely 237,000 by the year 1900 (Lewy 2004). European settlers coerced aboriginal people off their own lands, often causing hundreds of deaths in required removals, such as emerged in the Cherokee or Potawatomi trace of Tears in the unified States. Settlers additionally enslaved aboriginal people and forced them to offer up their spiritual and cultural practices. However the major cause of aboriginal death was neither enslavement nor battle nor forced removal: it to be the arrival of European illness and indigenous people’s absence of immunity to them. Smallpox, diphtheria, and also measles flourished amongst North American indigenous people who had actually no exposure come the diseases and also no capability to fight them. Rather simply, these diseases decimated them. Exactly how planned this genocide was continues to be a object of contention. Some argue the the spread of condition was an unintended effect of conquest, while others think it was intentional v rumours of smallpox-infected blankets being spread as “gifts” to aboriginal communities.

Importantly, genocide is not a just a historical concept, however one practised today. Recently, ethnic and geographic conflicts in the Darfur region of Sudan have actually led to hundreds of thousands the deaths. As part of an ongoing land conflict, the Sudanese government and their state-sponsored Janjaweed militia have actually led a project of killing, forced displacement, and also systematic rape of Darfuri people. A treaty was signed in 2011.


Expulsion describes a dominant group forcing a subordinate team to leave a details area or country. As seen in the examples of the Beothuk and also the Holocaust, expulsion have the right to be a factor in genocide. However, the can additionally stand top top its own as a disastrous group interaction. Expulsion has often arisen historically with an ethnic or gyeongju basis. The great Expulsion of the French-speaking Acadians indigenous Nova Scotia through the British beginning in 1755 is perhaps the most notorious instance of the usage of expulsion to manage the problem of diversity in Canada. The British conquest of Acadia (which included contemporary Nova Scotia and also parts of new Brunswick, Quebec, and also Maine) in 1710 produced the problem of what to perform with the French homesteaders who had been living there because that 80 years. In the end, roughly three-quarters of the Acadian populace were rounded up by brothers soldiers and also loaded onto watercrafts without regard for keeping families together. Numerous of them ended up in Spanish Louisiana wherein they formed the basis of contemporary Cajun culture.

On the West Coast, the War actions Act was supplied in 1942 ~ the Japanese government’s attack on Pearl Harbor, to designate Japanese Canadians as foe aliens and intern them in camps in the Slocan valley in british Columbia, in southerly Alberta, and also elsewhere in Canada. Your property and also possessions were marketed to pay because that their required removal and also internment. End 22,000 Japanese Canadians (14,000 the whom were born in Canada) were held in these camps in between 1941 and also 1949, regardless of the truth that the RCMP and the room of national Defence report there to be no evidence of collusion or espionage. (In fact, numerous Japanese Canadians prove their loyalty to Canada by offer in the Canadian military throughout the war.) This was the largest mass activity of human being in Canadian history. In ~ the end of civilization War II, Japanese Canadians were obliged come settle eastern of the Rocky mountains or challenge deportation to Japan. This half only finished after 1949, 4 years after ~ the war’s end. In 1988, prime Minister Brian Mulroney approve a officially apology because that this expulsion, and compensation of $21,000 to be paid to each enduring internee.


Segregation describes the physics separation of 2 groups, specifically in residence, but likewise in workplace and social functions. The is essential to distinguish between de jure distinction (segregation the is enforced by law) and de facto distinction (segregation that occurs without regulations but due to the fact that of various other factors). A stark example of de jure segregation is the apartheid movement of south Africa, which dated 1948 to 1994. Under apartheid, black southern Africans were stripped of their polite rights and forcibly relocated to areas that segregated lock physically from your white compatriots. Just after years of degradation, violent uprisings, and also international advocacy to be apartheid lastly abolished.

De jure segregation emerged in the United claims for many years after ~ the polite War. During this time, countless former Confederate states passed “Jim Crow” regulations that forced segregated facilities for blacks and also whites. These legislations were encode in 1896’s landmark supreme Court case Plessey v. Ferguson, which proclaimed that “separate yet equal” facilities were constitutional. For the next 5 decades, blacks were subjected to legalized discrimination, required to live, work, and also go to institution in separate—but unequal—facilities. That wasn’t until 1954 and the Brown v. Board of Education case that the can be fried Court claimed that “separate educational infrastructure are inherently unequal,” thus ending de jure segregation in the unified States.

Figure 11.6. In the “Jim Crow” South, it to be legal to have actually “separate however equal” infrastructure for blacks and whites. (Photo courtesy the Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

De jure segregation was also a factor in Canada’s development. Return slavery finished in Canada in 1834, as soon as Britain abolished slavery throughout the empire, the around 60,000 blacks who arrived through the British empire Loyalists adhering to the American revolution and v the “underground railway” up until the end of the American polite War, were subject to discrimination and differential treatment. Law in Ontario and Nova Scotia created racially segregated schools, while de facto distinction of blacks was practised in the workplace, restaurants, hotels, theatres, and swimming pools. Similarly, segregating laws were passed in brothers Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario staying clear of Chinese- and also Japanese-owned restaurants and laundries from rental white females out of concern that the ladies would be corrupted (Mosher 1998). The to make reservation system developed through the treaty procedure with very first Nations individuals can additionally be regarded as a kind of de jure segregation. As was the situation in the unified States, de jure distinction (with the exception of the to make reservation system) was largely got rid of in Canada by the 1950s and also 1960s.

De facto segregation, however, cannot be abolished by any kind of court mandate. Segregation has actually existed transparent Canada, with various racial or ethnic groups frequently segregated by neighbourhood, borough, or parish. Assorted Chinatowns or Japantowns arisen in Canadian cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The neighborhood of Africville was a residentially and also socially segregated black enclave in Halifax created by escaped American slaves. As provided at the beginning of the chapter, some city neighbourhoods favor Richmond, Surrey, and Markham are residence to high concentrations of Chinese and also South Asians.

Sociologists usage segregation indices to measure up racial distinction of different races in different areas. The indices employ a scale from 0 come 100, whereby 0 is the most integrated and 100 is the least. In Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, these indices were fairly high (2001 data) for visible minorities together a whole—over 40—and higher for Chinese and South Asians—over 50 (Walks and Bourne 2006). This means that 40 percent of one of two people visible decimal or whites, 50 percent of Chinese and also South Asians or whites, would have to move in order for each neighbourhood to have the very same racial balance together the whole metro region. However, these indices are much lower than those it was observed in the United states for black populations. In the brand-new York city area, for instance, the black-white segregation index to be 79 for the years 2005–2009. This way that 79 percent of one of two people blacks or whites would need to move in order because that each neighbourhood to have the same racial balance as the totality metro region (Population Studies center 2010).


Assimilation defines the procedure by which a decimal individual or group offers up its own identification by taking on the qualities of the dominant culture. In Canada, adaptation was the policy embraced by the government with the Indian Act, i m sorry attempted to combine the aboriginal population by Europeanizing them. Adaptation was likewise the plan for absorbing immigrants from various lands with the duty of immigration.

Figure 11.7. Federal government advertisement in 1907 to encourage immigration and also settlement the the west provinces. (Photo courtesy that Wikimedia Commons)

Canada is a settler nation. Through the exception of aboriginal Canadians, every Canadians have immigrant ancestors. In the 20th century, there were three waves of immigrant to Canada (Li 1996). Throughout the wheat boom from 1900 come the start of World war I, Canada recruited nearly 3 million settlers from miscellaneous parts of Europe, although numerous subsequently emigrated to the united States. Because that the two decades following human being War II, one more 3 million immigrant arrived (96 percent from Europe in between 1946 and 1954, and also 83 percent native Europe between 1954 and 1967). As we experienced at the beginning of the chapter, the third wave of immigration adhering to the change of the race-based immigration policy saw progressively larger proportions of immigrant from non-European countries. Most immigrants space eventually absorbed into Canadian culture, although periodically after facing extended periods that prejudice and discrimination. Assimilation way the ns of the decimal group’s cultural identity as ithe civilization in the group become took in into the dominant culture, while over there is minimal to no influence on the bulk group’s social identity.

Some assimilated teams may keep only symbolic gestures that their original ethnicity. Because that instance, plenty of Irish Canadians may celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, numerous Hindu Canadians reap a Diwali festival, and many Chinese Canadians might celebrate Chinese new Year. However, for the remainder of the year, other aspects of their originating society may it is in forgotten.

Assimilation is antithetical to the “cultural mosaic” model interpreted by Canadian multiculturalism; quite than preserving their own social flavour, subordinate societies give up your own traditions in order come conform come their new environment. Cultural differences are erased. That is sometimes taken as the American “melting pot” model, return ideally the “melting pot” sees the mix of societies resulting in a new culture entirely. Sociologists measure the degree to i m sorry immigrants have actually assimilated to a new culture with 4 benchmarks: socioeconomic status, spatial concentration, language assimilation, and intermarriage. When confronted with racial and also ethnic discrimination, it have the right to be difficult for new immigrants to totally assimilate. Language assimilation, in particular, can be a formidable barrier, limiting employment and also educational options and thus constraining expansion in socioeconomic status.


Inthe federal government document, Multiculturalism: gift Canadian, multiculturalism is characterized as “the recognition of the social and racial diversity of Canada and also of the equality of Canadians of all origins” (cited in job 2000, p. 6). The is represented in Canada by the metaphor of the mosaic, which argues that in a multicultural society, every ethnic or racial team preserves the unique cultural traits while together contributing to nationwide unity. Each culture is equally important within the mosaic. There is a an excellent mixture of different cultures where each society retains its own identity and also yet adds to the colour of the whole. The best of multiculturalism is defined by mutual respect ~ above the part of all cultures, both dominant and subordinate, producing a polyethnic environment of mutual tolerance and acceptance.

Figure 11.8. The Monument to Multiculturalism (1985) through Francesco Pirelli, in former of Union Station, Toronto (Courtesy that Wikimedia Commons)

As a strategy for controlling diversity, Canada to be the very first country to take on an official multicultural policy. In 1971, prime Minister Pierre Trudeau applied both a policy of official bilingualism (both French and also English would be the language of the state) and also a plan of multiculturalism. The multicultural policy was designed to aid the different cultural groups in Canada to preserve their heritage, overcome cultural barriers to participation in Canadian society, and exchange through other cultural groups in order to contribute to national unity (Ujimoto 2000). Doubters argue that Trudeau’s motives were more oriented to undermining the Québécois separatist movement and winning the votes of metropolitan ethnic areas than distributing more power to ethnic communities (Li 1996). However, together a result of this plan initiative, multiculturalism was enshrined in the Canadian constitution in 1982 and also in the Multiculturalism action of 1988 together a fundamental principle the Canadian society. The an outcome is a mechanism, declared in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that obliges Canadian law and also federal establishments to operate “in a manner regular with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians” (cited in Li 1996, p. 132).

Whereas constitutional democracies prefer Canada are typically based upon the security of individual rights, multiculturalism implies that the protection of social difference also depends ~ above protecting group-specific rights or group-differentiated civil liberties (i.e., legal rights conferred on individuals by virtue of your membership in a group). Kymlicka (1995) notes the there space three different ways the the principle of multicultural group-specific rights deserve to be conceived: (1) as self-government legal rights in i m sorry culturally distinctive nations within a culture attain some degree of politics autonomy and also self-determination come ensure your survival and advancement as unique peoples; (2) together polyethnic legal rights in which culturally distinct groups space able to express their particular social beliefs and practices without gift discriminated against, and (3) together special depiction rights in i m sorry the systematic underrepresentation of minorities in the political process is addressed by some kind of proportional representation (e.g., reserving a certain variety of parliamentary seats for specific ethnic decimal or language groups). When multicultural plan in Canada has generally been imposed on the basis of polyethnic rights, self-government rights have been a an essential part of an initial Nations claims and also special depiction rights have also occasionally been proposed, as was the instance during the Charlottetown Accord conflict in 1992.

While the result of Canadian multicultural policy has actually been the facility of a generally welcomed norm in which no culture takes precedence over any kind of other in Canadian society, at the very least not in main practice, and all Canadians are recognized as “full and equal entrants in Canadian society” (as proclaimed in the Canadian Multiculturalism action of 1988), there have been a number of flashpoints in i m sorry the viability the the policy have actually been called into question. The instance of even if it is Sikhs in the RCMP must be allowed to undertake turbans was very early example. Back it appears trivial today, in 1990 countless felt the the ideal of Sikhs to keep their religious practice undermined a core and inviolable tradition of both the police force and also Canada. As such the instance served as an emblem of a deeper fear about multiculturalism, namely the it would foster a attention fragmentation that an currently fragile Canadian unity. In particular, brand-new non-European immigrant were viewed by part as also different and also their requirements for accommodation as well disruptive to “Canadian” values and also practices to sustain. (Of course, similar claims around the unassimilable differences of immigrants from Ireland, east Europe, and also southern Europe to be made in earlier waves that immigration.) more recently a comparable issue play out v respect to the Parti Québécois’ Quebec Charter of Values, i beg your pardon sought to secularize government institutions by removed visible symbols of religious practice favor the Sikh turban, Muslim hijab, or Jewish kippah native public service.

While the optimistic outcome of multicultural plan is the the Canadian population remains remarkably agree of diversity—the most accepting of all OECD countries in 2011 follow to the Gallup world Poll (Conference plank of Canada 2013)—issues roughly multiculturalism continually lug up the difficulty of ethical relativism, the idea the all cultures and also all social practices have equal value. In a completely multicultural society, what values can be appealed come in order to resolve concerns where different cultural beliefs or techniques clash? Richard work (2000) has suggested that fairly than resolving the difficulty of diversity, main multiculturalism has exacerbated it. “Far from achieving the goal, this state sponsored attempt to design a unified country has paradoxically led to rise in both the variety of minority identities and in the quantity of effort required come ‘manage’ them” (p.3).


Hybridity is the procedure by which different racial and ethnic groups integrate to create new or emergent social forms the life. Fairly than a multicultural mosaic, where each society preserves its distinctive traditions, or a melting pot, where societies assimilate right into the bulk group, the hybrid combination of cultures results in a new culture entirely. The post-colonialist philosopher Homi Bhaba (1994) argues that the mingling of formerly fixed social identities “open increase the opportunity of a social hybridity that entertains distinction without an presume or enforced hierarchy” (p. 4). The contemporary culture of the Caribbean, because that example, is a mixture of europe colonization, afri roots, and “New World” setup that defies the imposition of a single social identity. Those points that are pertained to as essentially Caribbean prefer the accents, gyeongju blendings, spiritual beliefs, spicy cuisines, and also music have thoroughly varied origins while being repeatedly reinvented (Hall 1990).

As we listed above, intermarriage between people of various races or societies creates brand-new hybrid identities. The Métis to be Canada’s original hybrid culture (Day 2000). Much more recently, Canadian culture has been house to many emergent social forms, some superficial and also some profound, due to the interleaver of people from diverse backgrounds. From fusion cuisine, come martial arts and also yoga, to hip hop and also reggae, to different spiritual and healing practices, hybridity appears to catch some of the fluidity of modern-day Canadian culture. As the group of multiple country origins through which people recognize themselves grows, the is feasible that the distinctions in between ethnicities or between races that supported the “us matches them” narratives of earlier forms of racism and ethnocentrism could disappear all by us (Day 2000).

11.5. Race and Ethnicity in Canada

When colonists pertained to the new World, they uncovered a land that did not need “discovering” since it was already occupied. When the first wave that immigrants come from west Europe, eventually the bulk of human being entering north America were from north Europe, then eastern Europe, climate Latin America and also Asia. And also let us not forget the required immigration of african slaves. Many of these teams underwent a period of disenfranchisement in i beg your pardon they to be relegated come the bottom that the society hierarchy before they regulated (those that could) to achieve social mobility. Today, our culture is multicultural, back the extent to which this multiculturality is embraced varies, and the many manifestations of multiculturalism carry significant political repercussions. The sections below describe exactly how several teams became component of Canadian society, comment on the history of intergroup relations for every group, and assess each group’s condition today.

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Aboriginal Canadians

The only non-immigrant ethnic group in Canada, indigenous Canadians were as soon as a big population, however by 2011 they consisted of only 4.3 percent of the Canadian populace (Statistics Canada 2013).