The myth of the country ideal and race

Russ Roberts: Yeah. The Race Suicide idea is really rampant among the American Right today--this idea that America needs to be white, or pure, or somehow our national destiny is going to be contaminated by immigrants of certain kinds because they are not capable of becoming part of a democracy, part of the workforce, whatever it is. And again, those attitudes are all over your book, which were common in the 1880s, 1890s, 1910, and about immigrants whether they were from Eastern Europe as Jews, the Chinese, Italians, Irish, or African-Americans. It's just very depressing.

History of the race and intelligence controversy The history of ..

including the idea that "there are no differences ..

Race and Ethnic Relation Vocab Flashcards | Quizlet

To explain and understand the aspect of race and racism better, several theoretical perspectives have been suggested that are more susceptible to the set of characteristics shared by every individual in a category. To express the essentialism of ending racism, contemporary sociologists acknowledge three general, theoretical perspectives. From these perspectives, sociologists further document that they help in assessment of how various social phenomena interrelate with one another. The functional perspective, also called, structural-functional perspective looks at society as a system showing how parts of the society work structurally to keep the survival of societies. From the perspective, functionalists identify structural characteristics, functions, and dysfunctions of institutions, which help in drawing a distinction between manifest functions and latent functions. This perspective further assumes that members of the same society share a consensus regarding their core beliefs and values. The conflict perspective borrows much of its inspiration from the work of Karl Marx arguing that existing social structure and social relationship results from past and ongoing conflicts. This perspective argues that the society regularly thrives on the conflict thus keeps struggling between social groups that compete with one another. The last is the labeling perspective, a result of symbolic interaction contending that a society exists due to human beings’ ability to communicate to one another by means of symbols. In addition, they say that peoples action towards others, objects, and events is a dependent of meaning impacted to them. Consequently, the perspective denotes that people experience the world they live in as a constructed reality. This perspective highlights why an individual’s accountability can be different from another despite the fact that they are engaging in a similar behavior.

The idea that society is organized along ..

My general point is that the meaning of race in the United States has been and probably always will be fluid and subject to multiple determinations. Race cannot be seen simply as an objective fact, nor treated as an independent variable. Attempting to do so only serves, ultimately, to emphasize the importance of critically examining how specific concepts of race are conceived of and deployed in areas such as social-science research, public-policy initiatives, cultural representations, and political discourse. Real issues and debates about race—from the Federal Standards for Racial and Ethnic Classification to studies of economic inequality—need to be approached from a perspective that makes the concept of race problematic.

Part XXXV in our ongoing series on Race, Racism and the ..

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Viewed from today, it's pretty ugly stuff, Russ. Some of these passages that you've read aloud were hard for me to write. But for the most part, these quotes are, if you like, letting the men who said them hang . It doesn't require any further sorts of indictment than to see what sorts of arguments that they made. One thing that--it turns that the Chinese play a really key role in the American anti-immigration movement. The Chinese were the first race--using the terminology of the day--to be legally excluded from the United States on racial grounds because they were Chinese. The Chinese Exclusion Act dates to 1882, and it follows a decade or more of [?] mob violence against Chinese immigrants and Chinese workers in California. And if you think about it, it's ugly of course, but it's also a little bit odd. Because the Chinese worker who they are vilifying as coolies--that's a very important and particular usage--the Chinese worker is basically being accused of being hard-working, of being law-abiding, of being frugal and resourceful. And these are quintessentially American virtues, aren't they? At least in the small-'r' republican tradition. So, if you are going to try to demonize someone as a threat, as a hereditary threat, as a political threat, and of course as an economic threat to Anglo-Saxon American workers, you have to come up with someone . And so, what they came up with--the progressives, activists, the economists, and some of the labor unions--was that they had this sort of supernatural ability to subsist on nothing. And that was in fact linked to their . Today we might give it a cultural explanation, but at the time it was deemed an innate quality. And furthermore, that living standard, this ability to live at subsistence, was not only determined by race but it also somehow led them to accept unusually substandard low wages. Of course, that doesn't follow at all if you think about it. Just because you frugally doesn't mean that you are willing to accept low wages. If there's any competition in the market, you won't. It just means you are saving your money so that maybe you can bring some more of your family to safety, or maybe start a small business. So the actual economics of it are a little bit puzzling. And we could talk about that if you want, but I don't want to get too far in the weeds. This is the moment where Labor Economics, which it was not yet called--that's anachronistic--still hadn't fully adopted marginal productivity as a theory of how wages are determined. It's sort of a mishmash, say: there's still an idea that wages are partly determined by living standards and if you can say that living standard is a function of race or indeed of gender, then you are off to the races. And, just to finish the thought, Russ, this model of demonizing the Chinese as --that was sort of the term of the art; that's what made them a threat--was later adapted and applied to immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, and so-called defectives--people with physical and mental disabilities. And ultimately to women, too, using the same sort of argument.

Oregon Was Founded As a Racist Utopia - Gizmodo

In the same framework, it is important to point to the research of Daniel Pick (1989) into socio-biological discourse around degeneration in different European countries between 1848 and 1918. Social evolution and degeneration were intimately linked in late nineteenth-century ideology. The ideal of unity that was so important to processes of nation formation was under continuous pressure from (presumed) cultural, national and racial disintegration. The city in particular was considered the center of disintegration. The concept of degeneration allowed the representation of current social problems in the depoliticized terms of nature, biology and race. The pathological elements that had to be excluded, such as criminals, prostitutes and the mentally ill, were considered to be interior, unwanted foreigners.


Thomas Leonard: That's right. I think that's exactly right. And I should say that this notion that these various inferior peoples, races and genders and the disabled are wrongfully usurping the jobs that rightly belong to white, male Anglo-Saxon workers, has a second component, too. That's where the term 'Race Suicide' comes from. The fear--and this is where eugenics adds meat to the argument--it's not just, 'It's unfair economic competition.' The idea is that the American working man will not , and will instead have fewer children. And because of that, the inferior, the hereditary inferiors, will their biological betters. That's what Race Suicide means. That's what Edward A. Ross named the process. And the idea--