Chapter 11. Race and also EthnicityFigure 11.1. The Sikh turban or “Dastaar” is a required post in the observance that the Sikh faith. Baltej singh Dhillon was the first Sikh member the the RCMP to wear a turban on active duty. This sparked a significant controversy in 1990, however today human being barely bat an eye once they view a police officer wearing a turban. Race and ethnicity are component of the human being experience. How do the signs of racial and also ethnic diversity pat in a function in who we are and also how us relate come one another? (Photo courtesy the Sanyam Bahga/Wikipedia)

Learning Objectives

11.1. Racial, Ethnic, and also Minority Groups

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

11.2. Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

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

11.3. Theory of Race and also Ethnicity

Describe how significant sociological perspectives watch race and also ethnicityIdentify examples of society of prejudice

11.4. Intergroup Relations and the management of Diversity

Explain different intergroup connections in regards to their loved one levels of toleranceGive historic and/or contemporary examples the each kind of intergroup relation

11.5. Race and Ethnicity in Canada

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

Introduction to Race and also Ethnicity

Visible minorities are characterized as “persons, various other than aboriginal persons, who space non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour” (Statistics Canada 2013, p. 14). This is a controversial term, together we will check out below, however it does offer us a method to speak about the growing ethnic and racial diversity that Canada. The 2011 census listed that clearly shows minorities consisted of 19.1 percent that the Canadian population, or virtually one the end of every five Canadians. This to be up indigenous 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).

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Going earlier to the 1921 census, only 0.8 percent of populace were comprised of civilization of oriental origin, vice versa, 0.2 percent of the populace were black. Aboriginal Canadians consisted of 1.3 percent the the population. The vast bulk of the population were Caucasians (“whites”) of brothers or French ancestry. These numbers did not readjust appreciably until after the transforms to the immigration Act in 1967, which replaced an immigrant policy based upon racial criteria v a suggest system based upon educational and occupational qualifications (Li 1996). The 2011 census reported the 78 percent that the immigrants that arrived in Canada between 2006 and 2011 to be visible decimal (Statistics Canada 2013).

Still, these numbers do no really give a complete picture of racial and also ethnic diversity in Canada. Ninety-six percent of visible minorities live in cities, largely Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, making these cities exceptionally diverse and also cosmopolitan. In Vancouver, almost fifty percent the populace (45.2 percent) is consisted of of clearly shows minorities. Within higher Vancouver, 70.4 percent of the occupants of Richmond, 59.5 percent of the residents of Burnaby, and also 52.6 that the residents of Surrey are visible minorities. In the Toronto area, whereby visible minorities consist of 47 percent of the population, 72.3 percent the the occupants of the suburb of Markham room visible minorities (Statistics Canada 2013). In countless parts of urban Canada, the is a misnomer to usage the term 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 through 2031, in between 29 and also 32 percent that the Canadian populace will be clearly shows minorities. Clearly shows minority groups will consist of 63 percent that the population of Toronto and 59 percent of the population of Vancouver (Statistics Canada 2010). The result of these patterns is that Canada has end up being a much much more racially and ethnically diverse country over the 20th and 21st centuries. The will continue to become much more diverse in the future.

In big part this has to do with immigration policy. Canada is a settler society, a society historically based on 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. Prime Minister Mackenzie king’s statement to the home of Commons in 1947 to 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 world of Canada do not wish, as a result of fixed immigration, to make a fundamental alteration in the character of our population. Massive immigration from the orient would adjust the an essential composition of the Canadian population. Any type of considerable eastern immigration would, moreover, be particular to provide rise come social and also economic troubles of a character that might lead come serious obstacles in the field of international relations. The government, therefore, has no thought of do any readjust in immigration 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 together a multicultural country that promotes and recognizes the diversity of its population. This does no mean, however, that Canada’s heritage of institutional and also individual prejudice and racism has been erased. Nor does it average that the difficulties of managing a diverse populace have been resolved.

In 1997, the U.N. Committee top top the elimination of gyeongju Discrimination criticize the Canadian government for using the hatchet “visible minority,” citing the distinctions based on race or colour space discriminatory (CBC 2007). The term combine a diverse group of world into one category whether they have actually anything in usual or not. What does it actually mean to be a member that a visible decimal in Canada? What walk it median to it is in a member that the “non-visible” majority? What perform these terms average in practice?

11.1. Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups

While countless students an initial entering a sociology classroom space accustomed to conflating the terms “race,” “ethnicity,” and “minority group,” these 3 terms have actually distinct meanings for sociologists. The idea the “race” refers to superficial physical distinctions that a particular culture considers significant, if “ethnicity” is a term that describes shared culture. And “minority groups” defines groups that space subordinate, or doing not have power in culture regardless that skin colour or nation of origin. Because that example, in modern history, the elderly might be taken into consideration a minority group because of a decreased status result from popular prejudice and also discrimination versus them. The human being Health Organization’s research on yonsei maltreatment reflects that 10 percent that nursing house staff recognize to physically abusing an elderly person in the previous year, and also 40 percent admit to psychological abuse (2011). Together a decimal group, the yonsi are additionally subject come economic, social, and also workplace discrimination.

What Is Race?

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

However, this typology of race emerged during early on racial science has actually fallen into disuse, and the social building and construction of race or racialization is a far much more common method of expertise racial categories. Follow to this institution of thought, gyeongju is no biologically identifiable. Rather, particular groups become racialized v a social process that point out them for unequal treatment based on perceived physiological differences. Once considering skin colour, because that example, the social building of gyeongju perspective recognizes that the relative darkness or same of skin is an evolutionary adaptation to the obtainable sunlight in various regions the the world. Contemporary conceptions of race, therefore, which tend to be based upon socioeconomic assumptions, illuminate how far removed modern race understanding is from organic qualities. In modern society, some human being who think about themselves “white” in reality have more melanin (a pigment that determines skin colour) in your skin 보다 other civilization who identify as “black.” think about the instance of the actress Rashida Jones. She is the daughter of a black male (Quincy Jones) but she does no play a black color woman in her tv or film roles. In part countries, such as Brazil, class is an ext important than skin colour in determining racial categorization. World 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 levels of melanin in their skin might be assigned the identification of “black” if castle have small education or money.

The social construction of race is also reflected in the method that names because that racial categories change with transforming times. It’s precious noting the race, in this sense, is also a system of labelling that provides a source of identity—specific labels loss in and also out that favour during various social eras. For example, the category ”negroid,” famous in the 19th century, progressed into the ax “negro” by the 1960s, and then this term fell from use and was replaced with “black Canadian.” The term was intended come celebrate the many identities the a black color person can hold, yet the word an option is an faint one: the lumps together a huge variety of ethnic groups under an umbrella term. Uneven the situation in the United states where the ax “African American” is common, most black Canadians immigrated from the Caribbean and retain ethnic root from the area. Culturally castle remain unique from immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa or the progeny of the slaves lugged to mainland north America. Some choose to usage the term “Afro-Caribbean Canadians” for the reason.

What Is Ethnicity?

Ethnicity is a hatchet that explains shared culture—the practices, values, and beliefs that a group. This might include shared language, religion, and traditions, amongst other commonalities. Like race, the ax “ethnicity” is difficult to describe and its an interpretation has readjusted over time. And also like race, people may be identified or self-identify with ethnic backgrounds in complex, also contradictory, ways. Because that example, ethnic groups such together Irish, Italian American, Russian, Jewish, and also Serbian can all be teams whose members are predominantly consisted of in the racial group “white.” vice versa, the ethnic group British includes citizens native a multiplicity of racial backgrounds: black, white, Asian, and also more, to add a selection of race combinations. These examples illustrate the complexity and overlap of these identifying terms. Ethnicity, like race, continues to it is in an identification an approach that individuals and also institutions usage today—whether with the census, affirmative activity initiatives, non-discrimination laws, or just in personal day-to-day relations.

What space Minority Groups?

Sociologist louis Wirth (1945) identified a minority group together “any team of human being who, since of their physical or social characteristics, are singled the end from the rather in the society in which lock live because that differential and unequal treatment, and who because of this regard themselves as objects of cumulative discrimination.” The term minority connotes discrimination, and in that is sociological use, the ax subordinate have the right to be used interchangeably through the term minority, when the ax dominant is regularly substituted because that the team that’s in the majority. These meanings correlate come the principle that the dominant group is that which holds the most power in a given society, when subordinate groups room those who lack power compared to the leading group.

Note that being a numerical decimal is not a characteristic of being a minority group; periodically larger groups can be considered minority groups due to their lack of power. That is the absence of power that is the predominant characteristic that a minority, or low grade group. Because that example, take into consideration apartheid in south Africa, in i beg your pardon a numerical bulk (the black residents of the country) to be exploited and oppressed by the white minority.

According to Charles Wagley and also Marvin Harris (1958), a minority team is distinguished by 5 characteristics: (1) uneven treatment and also less power over their lives, (2) differentiating physical or cultural traits like skin color or language, (3) involuntary membership in the group, (4) awareness the subordination, and (5) high price of in-group marriage. Additional examples of minority groups can include the LGBTQ community, spiritual practitioners whose confidence is not commonly practised whereby they live, and people v disabilities.

Scapegoat theory, emerged initially indigenous Dollard’s (1939) frustration-aggression theory, argues that the leading group will displace your unfocused aggression onto a low grade group. Background has presented us numerous examples of the scapegoating the a subordinate group. An example from the last century is the means that Adolf Hitler was able to usage the Jewish civilization as scapegoats for Germany’s social and economic problems. In Canada, eastern European immigrants were branded Bolsheviks and interned throughout the financial slump following human being War I. In the united States, plenty of states have actually enacted laws to disenfranchise immigrants; these legislations are popular due to the fact that they permit the leading group scapegoat a subordinate group. Many minority groups have to be scapegoated for a nation’s—or an individual’s—woes.

Multiple Identities

Figure 11.2. Golfer Tiger Woods has Chinese, Thai, african American, indigenous American, and also Dutch heritage. Individuals 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 exceptionally rare, and also in many places, illegal. In the unified States, 41 the the 50 states at once or an additional enacted legislation to protect against racial intermarriage. In Canada, there to be no formal anti-miscegenation laws, though strong informal norms ensured the racial intermixing was extremely minimal in scope. Thompson (2009) renders the case, however, that the assorted versions that the Indian Act, initially enacted in 1876, properly worked on a racial level to restrict the marriage between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. A vital part the the action enumerated the various methods in which aboriginal people could lose your status and also thus their claim to aboriginal land title and also state provisions. Till its revised in 1985, the most egregious section of the action (Section 12.1.b) identified that one Indian woman that married a non-Indian male would shed her Indian status and also her children’s Indian status, vice versa, an Indian guy who married a non-Indian woman would retain his status, as would certainly his children. In this way, the thorny concern of having actually multiple gyeongju identities can be avoided.

Figure 11.3. Louis Riel (1844-1885). Riel was the son of a prominent French-Ojibwa father and French mother. He to be executed in 1885 ~ above the fee of high treason for his duty in the Northwest Rebellion. This photo was take away at the time of his psychological in 1885. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Métis are Canada’s original exemption to this rule. Before the full facility of British early american rule in Canada, gyeongju intermarriage was encouraged in some areas to support the hair trade. The Métis developed a distinctive mixed-race culture of French hair traders and also mostly Cree, Anishinabe, and Saulteaux world centred in the Red River negotiation of what is currently Manitoba. The progeny of liaisons between the brother Hudson’s Bay company traders and indigenous women were recognized as “half-breeds,” a mainly pejorative hatchet then and also now. That is unfortunately a testament to the untenability of many identities in 19th century Canada the the attempt to establish and protect an elevation Métis culture under the provisional government of louis Riel caused the violent suppression the the Métis in the Red flow Rebellion that 1869 and also the Northwest Rebellion that 1885. Despite the assures of the newly founded Canadian government, the Métis to be swindled out of their land with a corrupt manuscript system and also displaced through a massive influx the Anglo-Saxon immigrants (Purich 1988).

Increasingly throughout the modern-day era, the trend towards equal rights and legal protection against racism have steadily lessened the society stigma enclosed to racial exogamy (exogamy describes marriage outside of one’s main point social unit). That is now usual for the children of racially mixed parents to acknowledge and celebrate their various ethnic identities. Golfer Tiger Woods, because that instance, has actually Chinese, Thai, african American, native American, and Dutch heritage; the jokingly describes his ethnicity as “Cablinasian,” a term the coined to integrate several that his country backgrounds. In Canada the ubiquity of multiple identities is recorded in the 2011 Statistics Canada National family Survey. While simply over 19 million Canadians described themselves as having a single ethnic origin, (including practically 6 million who claimed a “Canadian” ethnic origin), almost 14 million Canadians defined themselves as having a lot of ethnic origin (Statistics Canada 2011). According to 2006 census data, 3.9 percent of every Canadian couples were “mixed unions,” that is, couples consisted of of one of two people a visible minority member and also a non-visible minority member or two members from different visible minorities. This was up from 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 frequently used interchangeably in everyday conversation. Yet when discussing these terms from a sociological perspective, the is vital to specify them: stereotypes are oversimplified ideas around groups that people, prejudice refers to thoughts and feelings around those groups, if discrimination describes actions toward them. Racism is a type of prejudice that involves set beliefs about a particular racial group.

As stated above, stereotypes room oversimplified ideas around groups that people. Stereotypes can be based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation—almost any type of characteristic. They may be optimistic (usually about one’s very own group, together as when women suggest they are much less likely come complain about physical pain) yet are often negative (usually toward various other groups, such as as soon as members that a leading racial team suggest that a subordinate racial group is stupid or lazy). In either case, the stereotype is a generalization the doesn’t take it individual distinctions into account.

Where execute stereotypes come from? In fact brand-new stereotypes are seldom created; rather, they space recycled indigenous subordinate groups that have actually assimilated into society and are reused to define newly low grade groups. Because that example, numerous stereotypes that are right now used to characterize black world were used previously in Canadian background to characterize Irish and eastern europe immigrants.

Prejudice and also Racism

Prejudice refers to beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes the someone holds around a group. A prejudice is not based upon experience; instead, it is a prejudgment, originating external of actual experience. Racism is a type of prejudice that is offered to justify the id that one racial category is somehow exceptional or worse to others. White supremacist groups are instances of racist organizations; your members’ belief in white supremacy has urged over a century of hate crime and hate speech.


While prejudice describes biased thinking, discrimination is composed of actions versus a team of people. Discrimination can be based on age, religion, health, and also other indicators. Race-based discrimination and also antidiscrimination legislations strive to attend to this collection of social problems.

Discrimination based upon race or ethnicity deserve to take countless forms, native unfair housing practices come biased hiring systems. Overt discrimination has actually long been part of Canadian history. Discrimination against Jews was common until the 1950s. Mcgill University implemented quotas on the join of Jewish students in 1920, a exercise which ongoing in its medical faculty till the 1960s. As we experienced in the Nova Scotia situation of Viola Desmond in chapter 7, Canada had likewise its very own version that American Jim crow laws, which designated “whites only” locations in cinemas, windy transportation, workplaces, etc. Both Ontario and Nova Scotia had racially segregated schools. The is interesting to note that if Viola Desmond was prosecuted because that sitting in a whites just section that the cinema in Glasgow, Nova Scotia, she to be in fact of mixed-race descent together her mom was white (Backhouse 1994). These practices are unacceptable in Canada today.

However, discrimination cannot be erased native our culture just through enacting laws to abolish it. Also if a magic pill controlled to eradicate racism from each individual’s psyche, culture itself would keep it. Sociologist Émile Durkheim (1895) calls racism “a social fact,” meaning that it does not need the activity of people to continue. The reasons for this are facility and relate come the educational, criminal, economic, and also political systems that exist.

For example, when a newspaper prints the race of individuals accused that a crime, it may boost stereotypes that a specific minority. That is daunting to think of Somali-Canadians for instance without recalling the news reports the gang-related deaths in Toronto’s social real estate projects or the northern Alberta drug profession (Wingrove and also Mackrael 2012). An additional example the racist practices is racial steering, in which genuine estate agents straight prospective homeowners towards or far from certain neighbourhoods based upon their race. Racialism attitudes and also beliefs room often more insidious and hard to pin down than particular racist practices.

Prejudice and also discrimination can overlap and also intersect in countless ways. Come illustrate, here are four examples of how prejudice and discrimination have the right to occur. Unprejudiced nondiscriminators are open-minded, tolerant, and also accepting individuals. Unprejudiced discriminators could be those who, unthinkingly, practise sexism in their workplace by not considering females for specific positions that have actually traditionally been held by men. Prejudiced nondiscriminators room those who hold racist ideas but don’t act on them, such as a racist keep owner that serves minority customers. Prejudiced discriminators include those who actively make disparaging remarks around others or that perpetuate hate crimes.

Discrimination can also involve the promotion of a group’s status, such together occurs v white privilege. While many white human being are willing to admit that non-white civilization live through a set of disadvantages because of the colour of their skin, very few white world are willing to acknowledge the benefits they receive simply by being white. White privilege refers to the reality that dominant groups frequently accept their suffer as the normative (and hence, superior) experience. Failure to identify this “normality” as race-based is an example of a dominant group’s frequently unconscious racism. Feminist sociologist Peggy McIntosh (1988) described several instances of “white privilege.” because that instance, white women deserve to easily discover makeup that matches their skin tone. White human being can it is in assured that, most of the time, they will certainly be managing authority figures of their own race. How countless other examples of white privilege deserve to you think of?

Institutional Racism

Discrimination likewise manifests in different ways. The illustrations above are instances of individual discrimination, but other types exist. Institutional distinguish or institutional racism is when a societal system has developed with an installed disenfranchisement of a group, such together Canadian immigration policies that applied “head taxes” top top Chinese immigrant in 1886 and also 1904. Institutional racism describes the method in which gyeongju distinctions are supplied to to organize the policy and practice the state, judicial, economic, and educational institutions. As a result they systematically blee inequalities follow me racial lines. They specify what human being can and cannot do based on 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. Fairly inequality is the outcome of fads of differential treatment based upon racial or ethnic categorizations of people.

Clear examples of institutional racism in Canada deserve to be viewed in the Indian Act and also immigration policy, together we have already noted. The results of institutional racism can additionally be observed in the structures that reproduce revenue inequality because that visible minorities and indigenous Canadians. The median income of aboriginal people in Canada was 30 percent much less than non-aboriginal people in 2006 (Wilson and also Macdonald 2010). Prices of child poverty (using Statistics Canada’s after-tax low-income measure) for all indigenous people in 2006 to be at 40 percent, while prices for non-indigenous, non-racialized, non-immigrant children were 12 percent (Macdonald and also Wilson 2013).

Institutional racism is likewise deeply problematic because that visible decimal in Canada. While labour participation rates in the economic situation are much more or much less equal for racialized and also non-racialized individuals, racialized men are 24 percent more likely to be unemployed than non-racialized men. Racialized women room 48 percent more likely to be unemployed. Moreover, racialized Canadians earned just 81.4 percent the income of non-racialized Canadians because they tend to uncover work in insecure, temporary, and also low-paying tasks like call centres, defense services, and janitorial services. Those identifying as Chinese earn 88.6 percent the the earnings of non-racialized Canadians; southern Asians 83.3 percent; and also Koreans, Latin Americans, and West Asians around 70 percent. Block and Galabuzi (2011) argue that these inequalities in revenue are not merely the effect of the time it takes immigrants to combine into the culture and economy. The income inequality between racialized and also non-racialized people remains substantial even into the 3rd generation that immigrants.

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

The residential school system was set up in the 19th century come educate and assimilate aboriginal children right into European culture. Indigenous 1883 till 1996, over 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit, and Métis youngsters were forcibly be separate from your parents and also their social traditions and also sent come missionary-run residential schools. In the schools, they got substandard education and many were subject to neglect, disease, and also abuse. Many youngsters did not see their parental again, and also thousands of kids died at the schools. Once they did return residence they discovered it difficult to fit in. They had actually not learned the skills needed for life on reserves and also had likewise been teach to be ashamed of their aboriginal heritage. Due to the fact that the education at the residential institutions was inferior they likewise had an obstacle fitting into non-aboriginal society.

The residential school system was component of a mechanism of institutional racism because it was established on the communication of a distinction between the educational needs of indigenous and non-aboriginal people. In presenting the plan to the house of Commons in 1883, Public functions Minister Hector Langevin argued, “In stimulate to education the youngsters properly we have to separate castle from their families. Some world may say that this is hard yet if we want to civilize lock we need to do that” (cited in Truth and Reconciliation commission of Canada 2012, p. 5). The sad tradition of this “civilizing” mission has been numerous generations the severely disrupted aboriginal families and also communities; the loss of indigenous languages and social heritage; and the neglect, abuse, and traumatization of thousands of aboriginal children. Together the Truth and Reconciliation commission concluded, the residential college system comprised a systematic attack on indigenous families, children, and culture in Canada. Some have actually likened the policy and also its aftermath to a cultural genocide (Truth and also Reconciliation board of directors of Canada 2012).

While the critical of the residential colleges closed in 1996, the problem of aboriginal education remains grave, through 40 percent the all aboriginal people age 20 come 24 having actually no high school diploma (61 percent that on-reserve indigenous people), contrasted to 13 percent of non-aboriginals (Congress of aboriginal Peoples 2010). The impact of generations of youngsters being gotten rid of from their houses to be educated in an underfunded and frequently abusive residential school system has actually been “joblessness, poverty, household violence, drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, sex-related abuse, prostitution, homelessness, high prices of imprisonment, and also early death” (Truth and also Reconciliation commission 2012). Also with the general public apology to residential college survivors and also the inauguration of the Truth and Reconciliation commission in 2008, the federal government, and the interests the represents, continue to refuse basic aboriginal insurance claims to title, self-determination, and control over their lands and also resources.

11.3 theory of Race and also Ethnicity

Theoretical Perspectives

Issues that race and also ethnicity have the right to be observed through three significant sociological perspectives: functionalism, dispute theory, and also symbolic interactionism. As you review through these theories, ask yourself which one provides the most sense, and also why. Is an ext than one theory required to define racism, prejudice, stereotypes, and also discrimination?


In the see 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 can racism and also discrimination contribute positively to society? Sociologists that adhere to the functionalist see argue that racism and discrimination do contribute positively, yet only to the leading group. Historically, it has indeed served dominant groups fine to discriminate against subordinate groups. Slavery, that course, was valuable to slaveholders. Holding racist see can advantage those who desire to deny rights and privileges to world they see as worse to them, but over time, racism hurts society. Outcomes the race-based disenfranchisement—such together poverty levels, crime rates, and also discrepancies in employment and also education opportunities—illustrate the irreversible (and plainly negative) outcomes of slavery and racism in Canadian society.

Apart native the problems of race, ethnicity, and social inequality, the close ties of ethnic and also racial membership have the right to be seen to offer some confident functions also if they lead come the development of ethnic and also racial enclaves or ghettos. The nearby ties promote group cohesion, which deserve to have economic benefits specifically for immigrants who can use ar contacts to go after employment. Castle can likewise have political benefits in the type of politics mobilization because that recognition, services, or sources by different communities. The Truth and Reconciliation the supervisory board for indigenous residential institution survivors or the plan of multiculturalism room examples. Finally, the nearby ties of gyeongju or ethnic groups additionally provide cultural familiarity and also emotional support for individuals who might otherwise feeling alienated through or discriminated versus by the dominant society.

Critical Sociology

Critical sociological theories space often used to inequalities of gender, social class, education, race, and also ethnicity. A crucial sociology perspective of Canadian background would study the many past and also current struggles between the Anglo-Saxon ruling class and racial and ethnic minorities, noting certain conflicts the have occurred when the leading group regarded a danger from the decimal group. Modern Canada itself have the right to in reality be defined as a product that internal colonialism. when Canada was originally a colony itself, the product of exterior colonialism, first by the French and also then the English, that also adopted colonial approaches internally together it came to be an independent country state. Internal manifest destiny refers to the procedure of uneven regional development through which a dominant group develops its regulate over existing populaces within a country. Typically it works by maintaining segregation among the colonized, which permits different geographical distributions the people, various wage levels, and also different work-related concentrations to form based on race or ethnicity.

For vital sociology, addressing the concerns that arise when race and also ethnicity become the basis of society inequality is a main focus of any type of emancipatory project. They space often complex problems, however. Feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins (1990) arisen intersection theory, which says we cannot separate the effects of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes. Once we study race and also how it can bring us both advantages and disadvantages, that is vital to recognize that the method we endure race is shaped, for example, by our gender and class. Multiple great of disadvantage intersect to produce the way we endure race. For example, if we want to know prejudice, us must understand that the prejudice focused on a white woman since of her gender is really different from the layered prejudice focused on a poor oriental woman, who is impacted 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 strong symbols as sources of identity. In fact, some interactionists propose the the signs of race, no race itself, space what result in racism. Famous interactionist Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) said that racial prejudice is created through interactions in between members of the dominant group: without these interactions, people in the dominant group would certainly not hold racist views. This interactions contribute to one abstract picture of the subordinate group that permits the leading group to assistance its watch of the low grade group, for this reason maintaining the status quo. An example of this could be an individual whose beliefs about a details group are based upon images conveyed in popular media. These beliefs are unquestioned since the individual has never personal met a member of the group.

A culture of prejudice describes the idea that prejudice is embedded in our culture. We grow up surrounding by pictures of stereotypes and casual expression of racism and also prejudice. Consider the casually racist imagery on grocery save shelves or the stereotypes that fill famous movies and advertisements. The is basic to see how someone living in Canada, who may know no mexico Americans personally, could gain a stereotyped impression native such sources as Speedy Gonzalez or Taco Time fast-food restaurants, or Hollywood. Because we space all exposed to this images and also thoughts, the is impossible to know to what extent they have actually influenced our assumed processes.

11.4. Intergroup Relations and the monitoring of Diversity

Throughout Western history intergroup relations (relationships in between different groups of people) have been topic to various strategies for the administration of diversity. The problem of administration arises once differences in between different individuals are related to as therefore insurmountable that it is believed they cannot quickly coincide or cohabit through one another. How deserve to the unity of the self-group or political community be attained in the confront of the divisive visibility of non-selves or others? as Richard work (2000) defines it, the theme for the difficulty of diversity to be laid down at least as beforehand as the functions of the old Greeks Herodotus, Plato, and Aristotle: “the department of human being individuals right into groupable ‘types,’ the plan of these types into a hierarchy, the naming of some species as presenting a ‘problem,’ and the effort to carry out ‘solutions’ to the problem so constructed” (p. 7). The services proposed come intergroup relations have ranged follow me a spectrum between tolerance and intolerance. The many tolerant form of intergroup connections is multiculturalism, in which cultural distinctions are made between groups, however the groups are pertained to to have equal was standing in society. In ~ the other end of the continuum space assimilation, expulsion, and even genocide—stark examples of intolerant intergroup relations.


Genocide, the intentional annihilation the a target (usually subordinate) group, is the many toxic intergroup relationship. Historically, we can see the genocide has consisted of both the will to exterminate a group and the duty of exterminating that a group, intentional or not.

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

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

During the European colonization of north America, some historians estimate that aboriginal populations dwindled from around 12 million human being in the year 1500 come barely 237,000 by the year 1900 (Lewy 2004). European settlers coerced indigenous people turn off their own lands, frequently causing countless deaths in forced removals, together as occurred in the Cherokee or Potawatomi trace of Tears in the united States. Settlers additionally enslaved aboriginal people and also forced castle to offer up their spiritual and social practices. Yet the major cause of aboriginal death to be neither enslavement nor battle nor forced removal: it to be the advent of European illness and indigenous people’s absence of immunity to them. Smallpox, diphtheria, and measles flourished amongst North American indigenous people who had no exposure come the diseases and no capability to fight them. Quite simply, these illness decimated them. Just how planned this genocide was stays a subject of contention. Part argue that the spread of disease was an unintended result of conquest, while others believe it to be intentional through rumours of smallpox-infected blankets being spread as “gifts” to aboriginal communities.

Importantly, genocide is no a simply a historic concept, yet one practised today. Recently, ethnic and also geographic problems in the Darfur region of Sudan have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. As part of an ongoing land conflict, the Sudanese government and also their state-sponsored Janjaweed militia have led a project of killing, compelled displacement, and also systematic rape that Darfuri people. A treaty was signed in 2011.


Expulsion refers to a dominant group forcing a subordinate group to leave a specific area or country. As watched in the instances of the Beothuk and the Holocaust, expulsion can be a variable in genocide. However, it can additionally stand top top its very own as a destructive group interaction. Expulsion has actually often emerged historically through an ethnic or racial basis. The good Expulsion of the French-speaking Acadians indigenous Nova Scotia by the British start in 1755 is probably the many notorious instance of the use of expulsion to control the problem of diversity in Canada. The British occupation of Acadia (which included contemporary Nova Scotia and parts of brand-new Brunswick, Quebec, and also Maine) in 1710 created the trouble of what to perform with the French homesteaders who had been life there for 80 years. In the end, about three-quarters that the Acadian population were rounded up by brother soldiers and also loaded onto boats without regard for keeping families together. Many of them ended up in Spanish Louisiana where they created the basis of contemporary Cajun culture.

On the West Coast, the War procedures Act was provided in 1942 after ~ the Japanese government’s assault on Pearl Harbor, come designate Japanese Canadians as adversary aliens and intern castle in camps in the Slocan sink in brother Columbia, in southern Alberta, and also elsewhere in Canada. Your property and possessions were offered to pay because that their required removal and internment. End 22,000 Japanese Canadians (14,000 that whom were born in Canada) were organized in this camps between 1941 and also 1949, in spite of the fact that the RCMP and the room of nationwide Defence report there to be no proof of collusion or espionage. (In fact, many Japanese Canadians demonstrated their commitment to Canada by offer in the Canadian military during the war.) This was the largest mass motion of human being in Canadian history. At the finish of civilization War II, Japanese Canadians were obliged to settle eastern of the Rocky mountains or confront deportation to Japan. This ban only finished after 1949, 4 years ~ the war’s end. In 1988, element Minister Brian Mulroney issued a formal apology because that this expulsion, and also compensation the $21,000 was paid to each surviving internee.


Segregation describes the physics separation of two groups, an especially in residence, but additionally in workplace and social functions. That is necessary to distinguish in between de jure distinction (segregation the is enforced by law) and also de facto distinction (segregation that occurs without laws but due to the fact that of other factors). A stark example of de jure segregation is the apartheid activity of south Africa, which dated 1948 come 1994. Under apartheid, black south Africans were stripped the their polite rights and also forcibly relocated to locations that segregated lock physically from their white compatriots. Just after decades of degradation, violent uprisings, and international advocacy to be apartheid ultimately abolished.

De jure segregation occurred in the United claims for numerous years after the polite War. During this time, numerous former Confederate claims passed “Jim Crow” legislations that required segregated infrastructure for blacks and also whites. These regulations were codified in 1896’s landmark supreme Court instance Plessey v. Ferguson, which stated that “separate but equal” infrastructure were constitutional. For the next 5 decades, blacks were subjected to legalized discrimination, required to live, work, and also go to school in separate—but unequal—facilities. That wasn’t until 1954 and the Brown v. Plank of Education instance that the can be fried Court claimed that “separate educational framework are inherently unequal,” thus finishing de jure distinction in the united States.

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

De jure distinction was additionally a aspect in Canada’s development. Although slavery ended in Canada in 1834, when Britain abolished slavery throughout the empire, the about 60,000 blacks who arrived v the British realm Loyalists complying with the American revolution and through the “underground railway” up until the finish of the American civil War, were subject to discrimination and differential treatment. Law in Ontario and also Nova Scotia produced racially segregated schools, while de facto segregation of blacks was practised in the workplace, restaurants, hotels, theatres, and also swimming pools. Similarly, segregating legislations were pass in brothers Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario preventing Chinese- and Japanese-owned restaurants and laundries from rental white females out of problem that the females would it is in corrupted (Mosher 1998). The make reservation system developed through the treaty process with an initial Nations peoples can likewise be pertained to as a form of de jure segregation. As was the instance in the unified States, de jure distinction (with the exception of the to make reservation system) was largely eliminated in Canada through the 1950s and 1960s.

De facto segregation, however, can not be abolished by any type of court mandate. Segregation has actually existed transparent Canada, with various racial or ethnic groups frequently segregated by neighbourhood, borough, or parish. Miscellaneous Chinatowns or Japantowns emerged in Canadian cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The community of Africville was a residentially and also socially segregated black enclave in Halifax created by escaped American slaves. As listed at the beginning of the chapter, some urban neighbourhoods prefer Richmond, Surrey, and Markham are house to high concentrations of Chinese and South Asians.

Sociologists use segregation exponentiation to measure racial distinction of different races in different areas. The indices rental a range from 0 to 100, wherein 0 is the most integrated and 100 is the least. In Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, these indices were relatively high (2001 data) because that 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 either visible decimal or whites, 50 percent the Chinese and South Asians or whites, would need to move in order for each neighbourhood to have the very same racial balance together the whole metro region. However, these indices room much reduced than those observed in the United says for black color populations. In the brand-new York urban area, for instance, the black-white distinction index was 79 for the year 2005–2009. This means that 79 percent of either blacks or whites would need to move in order for each neighbourhood to have actually the very same racial balance together the entirety metro region (Population Studies center 2010).


Assimilation describes the procedure by i beg your pardon a minority individual or group provides up its own identification by taking on the qualities of the leading culture. In Canada, assimilation was the policy adopted by the federal government with the Indian Act, i beg your pardon attempted to integrate the aboriginal population by Europeanizing them. Assimilation was also the plan for taking in immigrants from various lands through the duty of immigration.

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

Canada is a settler nation. Through the exception of aboriginal Canadians, every Canadians have immigrant ancestors. In the 20th century, over there were 3 waves of immigration to Canada (Li 1996). During the wheat eight from 1900 to the start of World war I, Canada recruited virtually 3 million inhabitants from miscellaneous parts of Europe, although countless subsequently emigrated come the unified States. For the two years following world War II, an additional 3 million immigrant arrived (96 percent native Europe in between 1946 and 1954, and also 83 percent native Europe in between 1954 and also 1967). As we experienced at the beginning of the chapter, the 3rd wave the immigration adhering to the change of the race-based immigration policy saw progressively larger proportions of immigrants from non-European countries. Many immigrants room eventually absorbed into Canadian culture, although sometimes after facing expanded periods that prejudice and also discrimination. Assimilation method the lose of the decimal group’s cultural identity together ithe world in that group become soaked up into the dominant culture, while over there is minimal to no affect on the bulk group’s cultural identity.

Some assimilated teams may keep only symbolic gestures of their original ethnicity. Because that instance, many Irish Canadians might celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, numerous Hindu Canadians gain a Diwali festival, and also many Chinese Canadians might celebrate Chinese brand-new Year. However, because that the remainder of the year, other aspects of their originating culture may be forgotten.

Assimilation is antithetical come the “cultural mosaic” model taken by Canadian multiculturalism; quite than keeping their own social flavour, subordinate cultures give up your own traditions in order come conform to their brand-new environment. Social differences space erased. It is sometimes understood as the American “melting pot” model, back ideally the “melting pot” look at the combination of cultures resulting in a new society entirely. Sociologists measure the degree to which immigrants have assimilated come a new culture with 4 benchmarks: socioeconomic status, spatial concentration, language assimilation, and also intermarriage. When challenged with racial and ethnic discrimination, it deserve to be challenging for new immigrants to totally assimilate. Language assimilation, in particular, deserve to be a formidable barrier, limiting employment and also educational alternatives and because of this constraining development in socioeconomic status.


Inthe federal government document, Multiculturalism: gift Canadian, multiculturalism is characterized as “the acknowledgment of the social and racial diversity of Canada and of the equality the Canadians of all origins” (cited in work 2000, p. 6). The is stood for in Canada by the an allegory of the mosaic, which suggests that in a multicultural society, each ethnic or racial team preserves that unique cultural traits while together contributing to national unity. Each society is equally essential within the mosaic. There is a good mixture that different societies where each society retains its very own identity and yet adds to the colour of the whole. The right of multiculturalism is characterized by common respect on the part of all cultures, both dominant and subordinate, producing a polyethnic environment of common tolerance and acceptance.

Figure 11.8. The Monument come Multiculturalism (1985) by Francesco Pirelli, in prior of Union Station, Toronto (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

As a strategy for managing diversity, Canada was the an initial country to adopt an main multicultural policy. In 1971, prime Minister Pierre Trudeau enforced both a policy of main bilingualism (both French and English would be the language of the state) and a policy of multiculturalism. The multicultural policy was design to aid the different cultural groups in Canada to preserve their heritage, overcome cultural barriers come participation in Canadian society, and exchange v other cultural groups in bespeak to contribute to national unity (Ujimoto 2000). Movie critics argue that Trudeau’s engine were much more oriented to undermining the Québécois separatist movement and also winning the votes of urban ethnic communities than distributing much more power to ethnic areas (Li 1996). However, together a result of this plan initiative, multiculturalism was anchored in the Canadian constitution in 1982 and also in the Multiculturalism plot of 1988 together a basic principle that Canadian society. The an outcome is a mechanism, stated in the Canadian Charter that Rights and also Freedoms, that obliges Canadian law and federal organizations to operate “in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural legacy of Canadians” (cited in Li 1996, p. 132).

Whereas constitution democracies like Canada room typically based upon the security of individual rights, multiculturalism suggests that the protection of social difference also depends ~ above protecting group-specific rights or group-differentiated civil liberties (i.e., civil liberties conferred on individuals by virtue of your membership in a group). Kymlicka (1995) notes that there are three different ways the the rule of multicultural group-specific rights can be conceived: (1) together self-government civil liberties in i beg your pardon culturally distinctive nations within a society attain some level of politics autonomy and self-determination come ensure their survival and advancement as distinctive peoples; (2) together polyethnic rights in which culturally distinct groups are able to express your particular social beliefs and also practices without gift discriminated against, and (3) as special depiction rights in i beg your pardon the methodical underrepresentation of decimal in the political process is addressed by some form of proportional representation (e.g., reserving a certain number of parliamentary seat for particular ethnic decimal or language groups). When multicultural policy in Canada has usually been applied on the basis of polyethnic rights, self-government rights have been a an essential part of very first Nations claims and special representation rights have additionally occasionally to be proposed, as was the situation during the Charlottetown Accord conflict in 1992.

While the outcome of Canadian multicultural policy has actually been the facility of a generally embraced norm in i m sorry no culture takes precedence over any other in Canadian society, at least not in main practice, and also all Canadians are known as “full and equal attendees in Canadian society” (as stated in the Canadian Multiculturalism plot of 1988), there have been a number of flashpoints in i m sorry the viability of the policy have actually been called into question. The instance of whether Sikhs in the RCMP have to be enabled to stay turbans was very early example. Although it seems trivial today, in 1990 numerous felt that the ideal of Sikhs to maintain their spiritual practice undermined a core and inviolable legacy of both the police force and Canada. As such the situation served together an emblem of a depths fear around multiculturalism, namely that it would foster a attention fragmentation of an already fragile Canadian unity. In particular, brand-new non-European immigrant were checked out by part as as well different and also their needs for accommodation also disruptive to “Canadian” values and also practices come sustain. (Of course, comparable claims around the unassimilable differences of immigrant from Ireland, eastern Europe, and southern Europe to be made in earlier waves that immigration.) more recently a comparable issue played out through respect to the Parti Québécois’ Quebec Charter that Values, which sought to secularize government institutions by remove visible signs of religious practice prefer the Sikh turban, Muslim hijab, or Jewish kippah indigenous public service.

While the positive outcome of multicultural policy is the the Canadian population remains remarkably agree of diversity—the many accepting of every OECD nations in 2011 follow to the Gallup civilization Poll (Conference plank of Canada 2013)—issues approximately multiculturalism continually lug up the problem of ethical relativism, the idea that all cultures and also all social practices have equal value. In a completely multicultural society, what ethics can be appealed come in order to resolve problems where different cultural beliefs or practices clash? Richard day (2000) has suggested that fairly than fixing the difficulty of diversity, official multiculturalism has actually exacerbated it. “Far native achieving its goal, this state sponsored attempt to architecture a unified nation has paradoxically led to rise in both the variety of minority identities and also in the quantity of effort required to ‘manage’ them” (p.3).


Hybridity is the process by which different racial and ethnic groups combine to create brand-new or emergent social forms that life. Fairly than a multicultural mosaic, wherein each society preserves its distinctive traditions, or a melting pot, where cultures assimilate into the majority group, the hybrid combination of societies results in a new culture entirely. The post-colonialist philosopher Homi Bhaba (1994) suggests that the mingling of previously fixed cultural identities “open up the opportunity of a social hybridity that entertains distinction without an presume or applied hierarchy” (p. 4). The contemporary culture of the Caribbean, for example, is a mixture of europe colonization, african roots, and also “New World” setup that defies the imposition the a single cultural identity. Those things that are related to as essentially Caribbean prefer the accents, gyeongju blendings, spiritual beliefs, spicy cuisines, and music have thoroughly varied origins while being continuously reinvented (Hall 1990).

As we provided above, intermarriage in between people of various races or cultures creates new hybrid identities. The Métis were Canada’s original hybrid society (Day 2000). An ext recently, Canadian culture has been home to plenty of emergent social forms, part superficial and some profound, because of the interleaver of people from varied backgrounds. From combination cuisine, to martial arts and yoga, come hip hop and reggae, to alternative spiritual and also healing practices, hybridity appears to record some of the fluidity of modern-day Canadian culture. Together the category of multiple country origins whereby people recognize themselves grows, it is possible that the distinctions between ethnicities or between races that sustained the “us matches them” narratives of earlier forms the racism and ethnocentrism might disappear all by us (Day 2000).

11.5. Race and also Ethnicity in Canada

When colonists involved the new World, they discovered a land the did not need “discovering” due to the fact that it was currently occupied. If the an initial wave the immigrants come from west Europe, eventually the mass of people entering north America were from north Europe, then eastern Europe, then Latin America and also Asia. And also let united state not forget the required immigration of afri slaves. Most of these teams underwent a duration of disenfranchisement in i m sorry they to be relegated to the bottom of the social hierarchy before they managed (those that could) to achieve social mobility. Today, our culture is multicultural, although the level to i beg your pardon this multiculturality is taken on varies, and also the numerous manifestations the multiculturalism carry far-reaching political repercussions. The sections listed below describe exactly how several groups became part of Canadian society, comment on the history of intergroup relations for each group, and also assess every group’s status today.

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Aboriginal Canadians

The just non-immigrant ethnic group in Canada, aboriginal Canadians were when a big population, however by 2011 they made up only 4.3 percent that the Canadian populace (Statistics Canada 2013).