5 Must Know Concepts of Race and Ethnicity

(W.E.B. Du Bois)
Last week I posted an article on the 6 sociological concepts that I thought everyone should know about. For this article, I decided to do the same -- except with concepts of race and ethnicity. So to keep the introduction short, here they are, the 5 must know concepts of race and ethnicity:

6 Must Know Sociological Concepts

On Everything Sociology, we've gone over many concepts. And since the holidays are here, I thought I'd make a (half) year in review so you can pick and choose what you want to re-read during the lonely, cold days of your break. So without further to do, here are the 6 must-know sociological concepts from Introduction to Sociology.

White Supremacy: Colonizing the Mind

The term white supremacy is often only used when people sit around and discuss Hitler and his band of Nazis or when people talk about the Grand Wizard and the Ku Klax Klan's latest shenanigans, as they believe that white supremacy only happens when there is a physical force. But what many don't seem to realize is that it also occurs at a psychological level. White supremacy is the colonizing of the mind.

The Hybrid

(This article was originally posted on my other blog, PunchPunchFrontKick.com. However, I recently decided to halt that site, and felt compelled to re-post this article here.)

(The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai)
Conflicted by two cultures, the Hybrid has to constantly learn what to absorb and what to abandon. What is right? What is wrong? What do I believe in? Confused by these questions as she walks the road of life, the Hybrid never really fits in completely and never sees herself properly represented. "What am I?" the Hybrid often asks. When she travels to her motherland, everyone acts differently from her. When she comes home to North America, she never truly fits into society because she practices "the other" ethnicity. "So, what am I?"

Concepts of Race and Ethnicity: Double Consciousness

(W.E.B. Du Bois)
This week, we continue with the concepts of race and ethnicity. For this article, I will discuss W.E.B. Du Bois' concept of double-consciousness. This is one of the most important concepts as it will help you with becoming ecstatic. So take your time to digest it.

Concepts of Race and Ethnicity: Otherness and Collective Memory of Oppression

In the last article, I talked about Jean-Paul Restoule's idea of "identity" and "identifying." For this article, as we continue on with the concepts of race and ethnicity, I will discuss Susan Judith Ship's theory of "otherness" and "collective memory."

Sociology of Identifying and Identity

(Chicago Blackhawks team logo)

Continuing on with Theories of Race and Ethnicity, I will talk about the sociological definitions of identifying and identity, which was coined by Jean-Paul Restoule, in this article. This is an important concept to grasp because it is a such a great tool for understanding yourself and your true feelings
about your ethnicity.

Concepts of Race and Ethnicity Continued

(A picture from the Holocaust. Via http://www.mtholyoke.edu)
On the previous Sociology of Race and Ethnicity article, I talked about what 'race' is and how it is not real. I also discussed the concepts of racism and discrimination. For this article, I will continue on with the concepts from this subject.

Peter Berger's Society as Drama

In Peter Berger's Invitation to Sociology, he brings up Erving Goffman's interesting idea of society being a drama. In this theory, Goffman says that humans are only characters (with specific roles based on their group) that society has dealt them. For instance, a doctor is meant to have the role of a healer. But if we look deeper into society, we can see that it also hands out the roles of the scary thug black man or the obedient wife with great kitchen skills. For Berger, he believes that we have to use this knowledge to escape the "tyranny of society."

Sociology of Crime and Deviance

When sociologists study deviance, they look at people or groups who violate social norms, such as drug addicts, murderers, child molesters, Satanists, Nazis, etc, and then observe to see why society deems these people/groups as deviants. Sociologists also try to figure out how these individuals/groups became full-fledged deviants.

As well, some sociologists also consider people with conditions such as mental illness, disabilities, obesity, etc, as deviants. But not because of the person's personal self, but rather because of how society looks at and treats them; they are not acceptable in the eyes of their fellow humans.

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

(W.E.B du Bois)
The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity was my favorite course back in university because it revealed so many aspects of people and society that I didn't realize. I hope that through this post -- and many more like it -- you will achieve the same realizations I did.

Sociology of Social Stratification

(Karl Marx)

Social stratification is society's way of ranking people based on a hierarchal system of property, prestige, and/or power.

There are two different types of stratification. The caste system and the class system. Caste ranks people based on whose family they were born into, while class ranks people based on both birth and a person's achievements.

Sociology of Sexuality and Gender

According to social scientists, sex and gender are two different things. A person's sex defines what they are biologically. Are you a girl or a boy? Male or female? Sex answers these questions. 

Gender, however, is the different social behaviors between males and females and how groups of power have exploited people based on it. I am a man, therefore I will go out and hunt, and protect the family. You are a woman, therefore you will stay back, and gather fruits and take care of the children. Basically, it looks at the different gender roles that society has created.

Sociology of Religion

The sociology of religion looks at the sacred, awe-inspiring beliefs and practices of a community. Sociologists tend to look at how the procedures of fundamentalism and secularization are influenced by religious pluralism -- a system where more than one religion is accepted in a society.

Sociology of Family

A family is defined as a group of two or more people who are related -- and consider themselves as such -- by blood, marriage or adoption.

An illustration of socialization

Young and Dangerous
Here is a story to illustrate last week's concept of socialization.

I am an owner of a start-up and every month I have to go to the bank to deposit my earnings, which happens to be mostly cash. But this one time (maybe my fifth or sixth time going to that back), the teller, who was a middle aged white lady, was very suspicious with me and kept asking me personal questions and very specific questions about my business, and even though I cheerfully answered them, she made me feel very uncomfortable because I knew in the back of my mind that she was only hassling me because I was young, didn't dress like a businessman and Asian (this feeling is referred to as double consciousness, but we will explore this further later on).

On Cooley's 'looking-glass self' and Mead's 'I' and 'Me'

Charles Horton Cooley
Socialization is the process whereby social institutions teach its members how to properly interact in a society. It also helps its members develop a sense of self (the "self" is a unique sense of identity that distinguishes people from others). But socialization can also be negative. A lot of times it can develop people into conforming citizens rather than free-thinkers or people with agency (a person's capacity to act independently; to have free will). 

The 4 Paradigms of Sociology

Emile Durkheim

For this week's article, I will take a very textbook approach. What I mean by this is that I will simply give you the definition of the sociological concept and a short example. The reason being is that these ideas are very broad, as they are tools used by sociologists to analyze issues of social institutions. So rather than giving you an in-depth, descriptive example of each paradigm, I will save it for when I write about the sociology of family or the sociology of religion.

My goal with this article is to get you to be familiar with the four major schools/ideologies of sociology so that you can start thinking about it, and maybe even applying it to the real world. So without further to do, let's get started:

The Sociological Imagination

C. Wright Mills
The Sociological Imagination is a book and theory developed by contemporary sociologist C. Wright Mills.

In this theory, Mills explains that to truly understand society and a person's situation, we must not just look at the social issue from an everyday viewpoint. We must use some creativity and imagination by trying to understand the person's story and the society that they were brought up in (or how the social institutions they were involved with affected them).

What is Sociology?

W.E.B Du Bois
Sociology, as defined by many, is the empirical study of society. In other words, it is the scientific examination of social institutions. But the study of sociology is much more than that, as it teaches its students about society's hierarchy of power, how to analyze it, and how to make fellow humans conscious of the invisible ladder.