Racial Inequality

These are essays (and not short answer questions), and as such, the answers should be fully developed. 2 paragraphs per question.

1. Define ethnocentrism and comment on how research suggests that ethnocentrism by itself does not necessarily lead to racial inequality unless there is also scarcity, competition, and unequal power. In what ways does this idea support explanations of racial inequality offered by the conflict perspective? In what ways does it apply to the early experiences of African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans in the United States?

2. The essay from the Rothenberg text entitled, “Becoming Hispanic: Mexican Americans and Whiteness” by Neil Foley (see attachment)equates becoming Hispanic with becoming white. According to his essay, are all Mexican Americans currently considered white in the United States? Compare and contrast Foley’s account of how some Mexican Americans came to be categorized as white with the accounts of how members of other ethnic groups (for example, Greeks and Poles) came to be included in this category.

3. Identify the functionalist and conflict perspectives on race and ethnic relations. How might both of these perspectives meet societal needs by contributing to the efficiency of society and tend to keep wealth and power in the hands of a chosen few.

4. The essay from the Rothenberg text entitled, “The Invisible Whiteness of Being” by Derald Wing Sue (see attachment) writes about the concepts of individual racism, institutional racism, and cultural racism. Define each of these terms and provide an example of each that you have observed or experienced. What was involved? Who was harmed? Who benefited? Why do these racisms continue to play such a critical role in the pattern of racial and ethnic inequality in the United States?

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