Exam #4 study questions:
Ch. 12 Race and Ethnicity
- 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)
- Define ethnicity and explain what an ethnic group is.
- Define terms "a minority group" and "majority group" (majority not in a
numerical sense, but a group with power, privileges and status.)
- 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]).
- Define and differentiate between prejudice (attitudes, values) and
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- How does symbolic interactionism explains PD? (labels produce prejudice).
- 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].
- How does age (generational differences) and education influence prejudice
- List and describe six patterns of intergroup relations (genocide;
population transfer; internal colonialism; segregation; assimilation, and
- What are the major ethnic groups in the United States? What proportion of
population is constituted by African Americans and Latinos?
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- How did females become a minority group? What is patriarchy and how did
this type of domination evolve?
- How are gender differences reproduced in contemporary societies?
(socialization and sexism/patriarchy)
- Why are the females considered a minority group?
- What impact did the change in the mode of subsistence (from
hunter-gatherer, to agricultural, industrial, and post-industrial societies)
have on gender stratification?
- Explain the "mommy track" and the "double shift" phenomena.
- What is a "glass ceiling" and a "glass escalator"? Provide an example to
illustrate each of these two phenomena.
- What is the gender pay gap and what factors account for its decline since
- 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?
- 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?
- How do interactionism, functionalism and conflict theories explain
- What is "feminization of politics" and how it was expressed in a
political life of the country during the last two decades?