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Key Terms

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Key Terms: Stereotype, Gender group, Pluralism, Sociology, Minority group, Assimilation, Conflict perspective, Segregation, Ethnic group, Racism, Class, Subordinate group, Social construction of race, Racial group, Religious minority group.

Note: Some descriptions were adapted from Richard Schaefer's Racial and Ethnic Groups, 10th ed., 2006.

Description Key Term

This group is the same as a subordinate group. A defining feature of this group is that its members have less control or power over their lives than do members of dominant groups. Minority group

This describes the social structure between competing groups as defined by conflict or tension. An example would be the conflict that occurs between Haitians and United States citizens when Haitian refugees seek a new home in the United States. Social construction of race

This is a group with distinct national origins or cultural patterns. For example, Norwegian Americans belong to this type of group. ,Ethnic group

Women are considered the social minority in the United States because they belong to this group, and are sometimes subject to prejudice and discrimination. Gender group

This is the study of social behavior. A professional in this field may study intergroup relations between African Americans and Asian Americans, for example. Sociology

This occurs when a person both believes and feels that his or her own racial group is superior to another racial group. Racism

The most common definition of this term is a social ranking by social wealth. An example would be a family whose income level categorizes them below the poverty line, versus a family whose income level categorizes them far above the poverty line. Class

This is when an oppressor uses race to determine who is and is not privileged. These determinations are made by assigning characteristics to races and dividing them into groups. At minimum, characteristics include physical or cultural traits. Conflict perspective

This is a broad generalization about groups which does not account for individual differences. An example would be if a person were to generalize that all people from New York City are pushy. Stereotype

Among many others, Chinese Americans, African American, Native Americans and Caucasians are examples of this group. Members of such a group can be identified by obvious physical differences. Racial group

This occurs when a dominant group forces a minority group to live, work, or socialize separately. The high index of Blacks and Whites living separately in Detroit, Michigan is an example. Segregation

Another way of describing a minority group, this type of group comprises people of certain race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability. Members of such a group exhibit five distinct characteristics. Subordinate

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