Race and Ethnicity

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					       Race and Ethnicity

   Dilworth-Anderson, P., Burton, L. M.,
& Johnson, L. B. (1993). Reframing
theories for understanding race,
ethnicity, and families. In P. G. Boss,
W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R.
Schumm, & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.),
Sourcebook of family theories and
methods: A contextual approach (pp.
627-649). New York: Plenum Press.
 Race:
    Cultural construction of identity based on
     social description.
    From this perspective, race has a cultural
 Ethnicity:
    An experientially based identity that is part of
     an ongoing process.
    It is part of the social self which contributes to
     a personal sense of peoplehood as well as a
     sense of shared identity with others form the
     same group.

                                        Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
           Definitions (cont.):
 Minority group:
    Any collective of people (e.g., women, Native-
     Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-
     Americans) that is assigned a low social
    This low social position reflects oppression,
     suppression, and discrimination that is
     experienced in almost all aspects of life.
 Culture: a subjective and objective
  expression of self which represents the
  encompassing aspects of a person’s life;
  it includes racial and ethnic
    rituals
    symbols
    language
    general patterns of behavior.

                                      Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Impact of Assumptions, Values,
       and Ethnic Reality
 From age four, European-American
  children hold negative attitudes toward
  other groups (Aboud, 1987) which are
  reinforced at all levels (e.g., from parents,
  media, teachers) (Phinney & Rotheram,
 Values and scientific truths are confused
  when scholars uncritically use their
  personal cultural frameworks to define
  and report on a culture other than their

                                  Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
    Three Approaches to Value
    Intrusion in Social Science:
 Value rejection: suggest that social
  scientists can be objective so values do
  not influence theory and research.
 Value separation: approach social
  science as if it is possible to separate
  values from research and theory.
 Value espousal: scholars should clearly
  articulate their values so that readers
  may understand the complete nature of
  the research.

                                Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
   Example of Research Which
        Reflects Bias:
 Moynihan (1965), a European-American:
    Described deterioration of African-American
    Suggested that social policies should be
     developed which would change their “inferior”
     values and structure.
 Hill (1972), an African-American:
    Observed the resilience of African-American
    Recommended social policies which would
     build on these strengths.

                                    Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
   Dimensions Which Influence
    Thinking About Diversity
 Social climate and social change
  influence theory (e.g., genetic pathology
  versus cultural relativity), research, and
 Presence of minorities in studies of the
  family and method of group comparison.
 Definition of the family (e.g., nuclear
  versus extended; blood relationship
  versus other networks known as “fictive

                                 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
 Creating New Ways of Thinking
 Adopt a multi-disciplinary perspective in
  order to avoid discipline-bound truths.
 Identify and use culturally relevant
  concepts: examine various
  methodologies to understand minority
  families; examine culture and
  experiences expressed through
    art,
    music,
    dance,
    literature,
    and folktales.

                                Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Cultural Relevance in Existing
 The Life Course Perspective
    Strengths for studying diversity:
      It is based on an interdisciplinary way of
      It is flexible and dynamic, focusing on the
        interlocking nature of individual trajectories,
          temporal motion
          culture
          social change
    Modified perspective: “Kin-scripts framework”
      temporal and interdependent dimensions of
        role transitions
      transmission of family norms
      process of negotiation and reciprocity

                                         Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Cultural Relevance in Existing
         Theory (cont.)
 Family Stress Theory
    Limited attempts to make this approach
     culturally relevant.
    Suggestions to enhance cultural relevance:
      Recognize that minority families emphasize
        survival over adaptation; adaptation is a
        fundamental theme in family stress theory.
      Survival suggests an ongoing struggle to
        maintain psychosocial balance without loss
        of identity.

                                    Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Cultural Relevance in Existing
         Theory (cont.)
 Feminist Ideology:
    Some scholars (e.g., Collins, 1990; Giddings,
     1984; La Rue, 1970) dispute a central feminist
     assumption: they object to the tenet that
     women are oppressed.
    Rather, these scholars suggest that
     opportunities for women are restricted,
     suggesting that they experience suppression.
    Distinction between terms:
      Oppression refers to almost total restriction
        from access to benefits, rights, and
        privileges in society.
      Suppression refers to a lesser degree of

                                     Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson

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