How have the economic and political needs of elite social groups have led to the creation of particular racial categories and their social and economic meanings?
Elite social group is a relatively small group which is within a large society; it is characterized by low social status low living conditions. It is obvious that large social groups will have some kind of elite group within them that will participate in the group’s activities. When a group is excluded from the larger society, the elite members of the group excluded are likely to form counter elite to fight for their group’s interests which may be economical, social or political needs.
This needs may lead to racial categories with their social and economical meanings Economical and political needs which may include ethnic racial and ethnic minorities which are likely to affect both groups and individuals, this needs will depend on external factors, such as racial and ethnic stratification and discrimination, the availability of employment opportunities, residential and educational as well other internal factors For example recruitment procedures have led to creation of racial economic meanings as the elite groups are sometimes ignored and considered as minorities.
Research continues to show slower progress of minorities in organizations and a greater tendency for minorities to receive evaluations of incompetence Social constructions of racial and ethnic line will be generated to establish certain privileges for these racial categories that arise due to political and economical needs.
According to many different perceptions, racial groups and conflict are likely when contact occurs between different races or ethnicities. . Minorities have also been deprived some basic citizenship rights, right to be governed equally . Economically, minorities have also suffered discrimination in employment opportunities and income. The ethnic few have been disadvantaged in the acquisition of all the life concepts. They over and over again have survived in fear and been treated as though their lives were of less significance.
Racial difference may be cited as a reason for conflict itself. In many studies, conflict along ethnic or racial lines is looked as something useless, without hope for relations to improve. But, just as racial and ethnic categorization is not fixed, but developing and changing, so are the conflicts that are often engendered along racial and ethnic lines. Racial categories are also social importance in construction of hierarchies and identification, thus very adaptive to changing contexts, and negotiation.
While ordinary public education is repeatedly planned to educate the universal population to produce knowledgeable and skilled citizens, the elite approach to education is often presented at a more intellectual and demanding level, and is centered to create leaders of a sort. It can be focused upon as an education geared to producing an individual capable of thinking at an intellectual level more advanced than the general population, consisting of diverse philosophical ideals and theories in order to enable the elite to logically evaluate situations and know political and economical needs of the elite social group.
2. How have race and ethnic categories developed a life of their own, independent or political or ethnic logic?
Ethics identity development comprise movement of individuals towards a highly conscious identification with their own cultural values, behaviors and traditions while racial identity seem to be a frame in which individual categorize others on their own points of view.
Racial and ethical identity has become critical parts of overall individual identity. In some minority population race and ethnic categories have manifested in their own ways. This ways are triggered by two conflicting influences which include social and cultural influences. Dealing in cultural traditions and values through religious or neighborhood and likely to bring a positive sense to ethnic identity. The individuals must try to filter identity through media message, this message make it clear to people with minority status who have a different ethnic make up and least desirable characteristics within the society.
Race and ethnic categories have developed a life of their own in the last few decades through a framework which has given acknowledgement of a racially and ethnically population through social boundaries between groups reflecting differences made by individual in their everyday life on their culture such as religion, language, dressing etc, social and physical differences between members of elite groups. on reflection to socially constructed nature ,ethnic and ratio categories differ somehow across particular society from time to time as people assimilate across the boundaries
They have been also themes which have immerged to enhance our understanding on race and ethnicity to a deeper level. the racial differences have been explained to be more in mind than in our genes ,this explanation help us to conclude that inferiority associated with racial differences are socially constructed to satisfy agenda of the dominant group. Racial and ethnic groups are considered to be fluid since they keep on changing depending on social political context at any given period.
Ethnic and racial categories can also take on a social meaning of hierarchy which is likely to lead to conflict when divided groups fail to come to a conclusion .in such cases imbalance of power is the underlying cause of conflict. In this type of cases, it is critical that the topic of ethnicity and race receive a continuous examination which show micro issues how groups of different people are able to assimilate into mainstream of the society .from a racial arrangement approach problems of race discrimination are decreasing compared to previous years although they are conflict perspective which include internal colonialism, gendered racism and racial formation theory. Cooperative among individuals, educating peoples will play a great role in fighting the race and promoting overall equality among people of different races
3. How and why have some racial categories become `ethnic` categories? Who has benefited
From these shifts?
As individuals are crossing boundaries to get eroded in marriage or through adoption of cultural practices across boundaries or as new groups are entering a new society through immigration, this make racial categories to change to ethnic categories. Most people are identified as ethic/racial at time of birth since their racial is likely to change with time. Ethnic or racial has a major role in definition o f group identities and also in maintenance o f boundaries between groups .they also act as conservative forces by resisting assimilation into majority population. Shifting our categories that is from racial to ethnic help us to create space for humanity because it is open minded .ethnicity is preferred over the race since it is non racial identity.
Ethnic category has helped to check our history and origins, so ethnicity unlike race category must be practiced, because different types of people with different races have already been included with the cultural boundaries regardless of the political origins .ethnicity seem to be good since it centers itself on cultural practices, due to that it excuses racial; differences and avoid discrimination among the different types of people and assimilation. Ethnic assimilation can be defined as a means of ethnic change taking place in the ethnic boundary involving a diminution of cultural, social, or physical differences. A racial category undermines unitary racial thinking hence coming to an end. Shifting from racial category helps us to achieve racial harmony dream. For example blacks and whites have married despite some racial pressure from some quarters hence led to maintenance of racial color line.
We need to come out from our traditional understanding of racial meaning since race correlate with our mental processes and we have not to look race as a barrier that hinders peace within our minds. Otherwise let keep in mind that it is our consciousness that determines who we are and who we what to be and not our race.
Audrey Smedley: Chapter 5 +6 ; 7, The arrival of Africans and Decent into slavery
Peter, Berger and Thomas Luckmann : Society as a human Product.
Michael Omi and Harold Winant : Racial Formations.
Miles Robert: Representations of the other…