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3C ­ Ethnicity and Inequality

Ethnic Groups
Ethnic groups are identified according to their distinctive cultural features they usually have a
shared sense of history, a common cultural tradition and a collective identity.

Ethnicity is a useful concept for sociologists because it draws attention to cultural and social
features. But…

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Black people are over nine times more likely to be in prison than their white counterparts
People from ethnic minorities made up 18% of the male prison population and 24% of the
female prison population
1 in 8 ethnic minority people report discrimination at a job interview
Statistics demonstrate…

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A small sample size is a weak basis for making generalisations

If researchers use different classification systems to assign people to ethnic groups then it
will be difficult to make comparisons of findings.

Ethnic Diversity
The ethnic minority population in Britain is not only small, it is also extremely…

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Roberts (2001)
He states that cultural explanations of economic differences are plausible.
Asian immigrants brought strong entrepreneurial traditions with them and these soon fund
expression in the establishment of ethnic businesses.
But it can be argued that there is an `antienterprise' attitude among AfricanCaribbean
groups, which may be down to…

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Gilroy is recommending an understanding of culture which is radically different from crude
cultural approaches which end up blaming the victim.

The HostImmigrant Model Patterson
This approached stressed the importance of culture.
This theory depicted Britain as a basically stable, orderly society with a high degree of
consensus over norms…

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emerged. This new racism does not describe racial minorities as inferior, rather it objects to
minorities on the grounds that they ate culturally different. It alleges that the cultures of ethnic
minorities are incompatible with traditional or white British culture. The mere presence of ethnic
minorities in Britain is treated…

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1. Status Inequality
There is not only a class struggle for status, income and wealth but there is also an ethnic
struggle. However status and power is in the hands of the majority ethnic group, thereby
making it difficult for ethnicminority groups to compete equally for jobs, housing etc.


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Marxist argue that black people are part of the exploited working class and it is this rather than
any lack of status due to ethnicity, that determines their fate in capitalist society. Racial conflicts
are usually the symptoms of some deeper underlying class problem.

Marxists suggest that racism and racial…

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unstable ventures in extremely competitive markets, offering small returns for long hours and with
the owners only managing to survive because they are able to draw on cheap family labour.

Institutional Racism
Institutional racism is currently the most influential version of the structural approach. The term
suggests that racism is…

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Still the largest study of ethnic minorities ever carried out in Britain
Was based on detailed interviews with 5196 people of Caribbean, South Asian and Chinese
2867 white people were also surveyed to provide a comparison
It extended the scope of race relations research by investigating several issues in…


Raj Aujla


Hi Emma these notes are really useful :) What was your overall grade for sociology and how did you revise for it? (Unit G674)

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