Exam #4 study questions:

Ch. 12 Race and Ethnicity

  1. Define race and explain how race can be both, a reality and a myth. (Myth because biological/genetic differences are minuscule--humans share 99.9% of their DNA; reality because racial differences are defined as real [Thomas theorem] by others/themselves as signs of superiority/inferiority or justification of domination & colonialism)
  2. Define ethnicity and explain what an ethnic group is.
  3. Define terms "a minority group" and "majority group" (majority not in a numerical sense, but a group with power, privileges and status.)
  4. Explain the factors that affect the emergence of minority groups within society. Provide examples from the contemporary U.S. to illustrate your answer (expansion of political boundaries/conquering [Mexican-Americans; Native Americans]; immigration [integration/segregation immigrants from Southern Europe; Asian Americans]).
  5. Define and differentiate between prejudice (attitudes, values) and discrimination (actions).
  6. Compare and contrast individual and institutional discrimination (e.g., in financial services, health provision, policing, etc.) and provide examples to illustrate each type of discrimination.
  7. Describe how psychological approaches explain prejudice and discrimination (PD). (PD is a result of a particular kind of personality; frustration/aggression - PD is "normal" functioning of the mind when frustration/aggression is leading to scapegoating such as rise of anti-Semitism in Germany after WWI; rise in anti-immigrant sentiments in the US during economic downturns]; authoritarian personality - PD abnormal functioning of the mind - harsh and restrictive childbearing leads to a development of authoritarian personality syndrome which predisposes to PD; Nazi Germany during the 1930s and the early 1940s).
  8. How do sociological perspectives–functionalism and conflict theory–explain PD? Provide examples to illustrate your answer. (Social environments foster or reduce PD; functionalism - PD is functional, normal – costs/benefits; produces social solidarity [immigrants]; conflict theory [role of capitalist class in exploiting minorities–when class and ethnic boundaries coincide, PD tends to increase
  9. How does symbolic interactionism explains PD? (labels produce prejudice).
  10. Why do sociologists believe that psychological explanations provide inadequate PD explanations? [psychological explanations reduce PD to functioning of the mind/types of personalities & ignore social environments that tend to foster or reduce PD].
  11. How does age (generational differences) and education influence prejudice and discrimination?
  12. List and describe six patterns of intergroup relations (genocide; population transfer; internal colonialism; segregation; assimilation, and multiculturalism)
  13. What are the major ethnic groups in the United States? What proportion of population is constituted by African Americans and Latinos?
  14. Discuss both the gains and setbacks that African-Americans have made since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement in education, home and health, and the economy. Describe the impact that growing class inequalities have on African-American identity. How values of the poor and middle class Blacks had changed in the last two decades? How did class inequalities among African-Americans change their attitudes towards mainstream (white) America?
  15. Briefly describe socio-demographic characteristics of Latinos in the US (size; factors influencing immigration; national origins, and impact national origins on political mobilization).

Ch. 11 Sex and Gender

  1. Define gender and sex. What is the difference between the notions of "sex" and "gender"? What are the primary and the secondary sexual characteristics of humans?
  2. How did females become a minority group? What is patriarchy and how did this type of domination evolve?
  3. How are gender differences reproduced in contemporary societies? (socialization and sexism/patriarchy)
  4. Why are the females considered a minority group?
  5. What impact did the change in the mode of subsistence (from hunter-gatherer, to agricultural, industrial, and post-industrial societies) have on gender stratification?
  6. Explain the "mommy track" and the "double shift" phenomena.  
  7. What is a "glass ceiling" and a "glass escalator"? Provide an example to illustrate each of these two phenomena.
  8. What is the gender pay gap and what factors account for its decline since the 1960s?
  9. How did the gender gap in education change since the 1960s?  Why did the relative number of men enrolled in universities decline since the early 1980s?
  10. How much do women earn as compared to men? Why are women, being better educated than men, still earn only 81c for each $1 earned by men?
  11. How do interactionism, functionalism and conflict theories explain gender inequalities?
  12. What is "feminization of politics" and how it was expressed in a political life of the country during the last two decades?