3. 1. Unfortunately in our society people are judged and put into categories by race. Hansen tells us that the definition of race is, “how a person identifies themselves in response to a question about their racial background. People have tried to categorize man since the beginning of time. The first actual reference to race comes from Homer. He spoke of a black or southern race. Early Greek and Egyptian writings talk about the poor being of another race. The first person to attempt to classify people by race was German Anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. He came up with five groups including Caucasians, Mongolians, Ethiopians, Americans, and Malayans. It is important to almost every culture to distinguish people between races. They look at how some people are the same and how they are different from each other. While there are many different social definitions for race modern genetics tells us that there are no biological factors that determine race. There are physical characteristics that we conotate with certain races but that has nothing to do with biology. We know from DNA studies that we all have a common ancestor. I will go through six different theories of race. Race as lineage is classified by a group of persons, animals, or plants connected by a common descent or origin. The major point of this definition is that physical traits are passed down by heredity. Linnaeus came up with the binomial classification which came from the observation that there were animals that could not successfully interbreed with other animals. Race as a type uses characteristics with a special form. This theory uses the physical characteristics such as skin color, hair color, disease, and the ability to adapt to a climate as its basis. Race as a subspecies is used based on the definition that subspecies are “a genetically distinct group that has evolved in relative isolation almost to the point where it cannot successfully breed with other isolated groups in within its broader species.” (Hansen) Race as status is used just like a caste system. Status is “a position held by a person or group in relation to another person or group.” (Hansen) Certain groups have better intelligence while others have lower intelligence. Race as a socially constructed category says that there is not a way to classify race through biology. This theory believes that race is defined differently by different people. Hopefully some day we will be able to classify people in other ways besides race.
4. 2. Ethnicity as defined by Hansen is “displaying or being perceived to display shared historical experiences as well as unique organizational, behavioral, and cultural characteristics.” There are different cultural characteristics that give ethnic labels. These characteristics include native language, cultural traditions, country or region of beginning, norms and beliefs, family rituals or practices, preferences in food and clothing, and interaction patterns or interpersonal styles.
5. 3. Prejudice and discrimination are two terms that can be
intertwined but are different in meaning. Schaefer
gives us very good definitions of these two terms in the book. He defines Prejudice as, “a negative attitude toward an entire category of people.” (Schaefer 44) He also defines discrimination as, “behavior that excludes all members of a group from certain rights, opportunities, or privileges.” (Schaefer 44) Both of these terms can be applied to different things such as race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. I will use ethnicity because it is often used in prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is covered through thoughts and beliefs and not through words. When you show prejudice toward an individual for whatever reason you are not looking at ther individual qualities or beliefs you are looking at the group that they belong to that you do not like.. Discrimination comes through the denial of an opportunity because of an individuals ethnicity. If you do not give a qualified person a position for your company based on the fact of the ethnic origin that is discrimination. An example of prejudice would be racial slurs. Often on this campus I here different racial slurs all of the time. Often times when I attend a party or go out to a bar I will hear people making fun