Race & Ethnicity: Crash Course Sociology #34

Race & Ethnicity: Crash Course Sociology #34

How do you define race? If you had to describe why you think you’re a member
of one race and someone else was a member of a
different one, you’d probably focus on appearances – your skin, your hair, maybe even the
structures of your bodies and faces. But most of the time, those physical criteria
mean different things, depending on the culture
you’re a part of. An obvious example is skin color. We use the words White and Black to describe
two races, but the distinction in skin color
between those races isn’t as clear cut. A White person who’s spent the summer at
the beach might come home with brown skin,
but getting a tan doesn’t change their race. And light-skinned Black people may have skin
that’s not all that darker than that tan. Clearly, race is about more than just the
literal color of someone’s skin. So let’s talk about race, and why it’s
a topic that goes more than skin deep. [Theme Music] Much like gender, race is a socially constructed
category. In this case, it’s used to categorize people
who share biological traits that a society
thinks are important. So, you might be wondering: how can race be both
a social construct and something based on biology? Well, the key part of that definition of race
is the last part: what a society thinks is important. Sure, skin color varies widely across regions
of the world. But so does eye color, and we don’t consider people with
blue eyes a different race than people with brown eyes. And while physical traits are often used to describe or
identify a race, they’re not always applied consistently. Take for example, the so-called ‘one-drop’
rule in the United States, where even the smallest amount of
African American ancestry is enough to classify
someone as Black rather than White. The opposite, however, isn’t true – someone
with one Black parent and one White parent
is almost never considered white. Plus people from different places or different
time periods have defined racial groups differently. Nowadays, light skinned people of European descent
are typically considered `White’ in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether your heritage
is British or Irish or Italian or Polish or
German – you’re just ‘White.’ But that wasn’t the case a century ago. In the early 1900s, anyone who wasn’t a White
Anglo-Saxon Protestant was considered ‘ethnic’ – so for example, if you were Italian or Irish,
you weren’t considered white. Likewise, today, being Jewish is often seen
as an ethnicity in the United States. But Europeans are more likely to think of
being Jewish as a race. So, that raises the question: What’s the
difference between ethnicity and race? Well, ethnicities are socially constructed categories
based on cultural traits that a society finds important,
rather than strictly biological traits. Essentially, an ethnic group is a group that
has a shared cultural heritage. Language, traditions, religion – these are
all types of culture that can determine your
ethnic background. Two people of different races might share an ethnicity
– and conversely, two people of the same race might
be of totally different ethnicities. Japanese and Vietnamese people are both considered
Asian, but they come from different cultural backgrounds. In fact, a term that many people think refers
to race – `Hispanic’ – actually refers to ethnicity. To explore this a little more, let’s go to the
Thought Bubble to talk about the differences between
the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latin American. The term “Hispanic” first appeared as
a racial category in the US Census in 1970, as a way of describing those whose heritage
originated in a Spanish-speaking country. Before then, the Census referred to those
people as Spanish-Americans – even though tracing back their origins to Spain would
mean going way, way back for many of them. And for others, it’d be totally inaccurate. But in day-to-day conversation, most people
from Spanish-speaking backgrounds were usually
referred to by the country of their heritage, like Mexican American or Cuban American, or
sometimes more broadly as ‘Latin American.’ This last term is also where we get the word
`Latino’ – and the de-gendered latinx. It’s a shorter version of the Spanish word
‘latinoamericano,’ and it refers to someone whose heritage
originates from nations in the Americas
that are south of the United States, including Mexico, all of South America,
and the Caribbean. Now, not all Hispanics are Latino. Being from Spain for example, makes you Hispanic
but not Latino – and not all Latinos are Hispanic. Brazilians speak Portuguese, meaning that
they are not considered Hispanic. But regardless of which term you’re using,
Hispanic or Latino, neither of these distinctions
are based on physical appearance. Unlike race, which is based on observable,
physical traits, ethnicities aren’t. And in fact, two people of the same ethnicity
can be entirely different races. For example, both Cameron Diaz and Rosario
Dawson are Cuban Americans, which means they
are both Hispanic, but Cameron Diaz is white
and Rosario Dawson is Black. Thanks Thought Bubble! Though race is more commonly used by society
as a way to organize people and distribute power, both race and ethnicity play a role in how people
are perceived and, therefore, the opportunities that
are available to them. A person’s race influences a whole host of social
outcomes, from their education to their income to
their experiences with the criminal justice system. But which races or ethnicities are advantaged
or disadvantaged depends on when and where
we’re talking about. For example, in the United Kingdom, there’s
been a lot of unrest about immigration from
Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Incidents of hostility and violence against
Polish immigrants have increased in the wake
of the UK’s exit from the European Union. But while Eastern Europeans are
considered an ethnic minority in the UK, people in the US are much more likely to think
of Eastern European immigrants as just White –
they’re not thought of as a minority. And that’s because what constitutes a minority
is more complex than you might think. Sociologists define a minority as any category of people,
who are distinguished by physical or cultural difference,
that a society sets apart and subordinates. Now, notice that there are two important parts
of that definition: First, minorities share a distinctive identity
based on physical or cultural traits. Second, minorities occupy a lower status in
society and have less access to the levers
of societal power. Notice how that definition doesn’t say anything
about the size of the group. In sociology, a minority group’s relative
size isn’t important. For example, women are considered a minority, even
though they make up about 51% of the United States. And a group that’s a minority in terms of
size can still be a majority in terms of power. South African apartheid is an example of this. From 1948 to 1994, a white minority maintained
a system of racial segregation and discrimination
against Black South Africans. Right now, non-Hispanic Whites are the majority
group in the United States in terms of sheer size,
making up 61% of the US population. But that’s rapidly changing. As of 2015, babies of color being born now
outnumber non-Hispanic white babies. And five states are already minority-majority states:
California, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and Hawaii. How can a state or country be minority-majority?
Isn’t that, like, an oxymoron? Well, for one thing, even if non-Hispanic
white Americans no longer make up more than
half the country, they’ll likely remain a larger group than any
other single race. But also, to be a minority in the sociological
sense of the word, a group must be in a position
of disadvantage. And as we’ve discussed many times before,
non-Hispanic White Americans tend to have
higher incomes, live in better neighborhoods, and are more likely
to have more prestigious jobs and better educations
than racial and ethnic minorities. But before we can make comparisons between
different racial groups in the US, we should talk
about the races that make up the United States. The US Census uses six different
categories of race when collecting data about
the demographics of the country. White refers to anyone who reports their origins as
being from Europe, the Middle East, or Northern Africa. So, Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Iranian,
Moroccan – they’re all ethnicities that go
under the heading of white. Yes, you heard me right. People of Middle Eastern descent are categorized
as White by the Census, even if they often aren’t
treated as if they’re white. Why? Well, what’s now become known as ‘White’
originates from a term to refer to people of
Indo-European descent: the ‘Caucasian’ race. The term Caucasian started as a reference to the
Caucus Mountains, which run through the modern day
countries of Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Back when race was understood as a purely biological
phenomenon, everyone from Europe all the way down
to India was lumped into one ‘Caucasian’ group. So yesterday’s ‘Caucasian’ contained most
of the people who count as today’s ‘white’, but also captured groups that nowadays get
labelled as Asian, such as Indians or Pakistanis. Now, many Hispanic Americans are also counted
as White in the Census. ‘Hispanic’ is considered an ethnicity, not a race,
for Census purposes, so in the 2010 Census, 52% of Hispanic Americans identified
themselves as white, while 36.7% identified themselves as ‘some
other race,’ and smaller percentages identified
themselves as one of the other racial groups. Black or African Americans are the second largest
racial group in the United States and are defined
as individuals with African heritage, including
those who are Afro-Caribbean. Since many African Americans’ ancestors were
forcibly brought to the United States as slaves, the countries that their ancestors
originated from are often unknown. To this day, the remnants of slavery and the Southern
plantation systems can be seen in the geographic
distribution of Black Americans around the country. Though many Black Americans moved to
Northern cities during the Great Migration
of the early 20th century, most remained in the South, in a region that has come
to be known as the Black Belt of the United States. The third racial category used in the Census
is ‘American Indian or Alaska Native,’ which refers to anyone whose origins are indigenous
to the contiguous United States and Alaska. Though Native Americans numbered in the millions
when Europeans first arrived in the 15th century, today, they control only 2% of the country’s
land area, make up just 0.2% of the US population, and remain severely disadvantaged in terms
of access to education and income. The fourth Census category for race, Asian,
refers to origins in Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia,
or the Indian subcontinent, including China, India,
Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The largest subgroup of Asian Americans are
those of Chinese ancestry, who make up a little less
than ¼ of the total Asian American population. The fifth Census category is Native Hawaiian
and Other Pacific Islander, which refers to people whose origins are from
Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. As I mentioned before, Hawaii is one of the states
where a minority race is the majority race for the state – and in fact, it’s the only state that has
always been minority-majority. The last Census category is just a catch-all
‘Some Other Race.’ You might remember that about a third of
Hispanic Americans fall into this group; if a person lists a country of origin that doesn’t fit
one of the other categories, they get stuck in this group. You might be thinking that these categories
don’t seem like the racial groups you typically think of. And that’s ok! In all likelihood, the way that the government
defines races will continue to change, to incorporate our society’s changing notions
of race and ethnicity. And something that should be clear from everything
we talked about today is that races aren’t fixed
immutable categories – they are defined by societies. Today we learned the difference between races
and ethnicities. We discussed how definitions of races and
ethnicities have changed over time and across places. We also discussed the terms minority and minority-majority. And we finished up by discussing how races
are defined in the United States. Crash Course Sociology is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl C.
Kinney Studio in Missoula, MT, and it’s
made with the help of all of these nice people. Our animation team is Thought Cafe and Crash
Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud. If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everyone, forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support.

100 thoughts on “Race & Ethnicity: Crash Course Sociology #34

  • Race is not biological, so there is no races, just social construct nonsense everywhere.
    The census is just brainwashing people to claim a human title.

  • “Italians and Irish weren’t considered white.”

    Yes. Yes, they were. In literally every legal way, Italians and Irish were always considered to be white, regardless of any sociocultural bigotry which may or may not have been expressed against them. Picture an Irishman being forced to drink out of the “colored” water fountain, or sit at the back of the bus…

  • Race is just a social construct based of of phenotype, and phenotype doesnt determine lineage. So sad

  • I feel like the US should make changes to their race categorization. Also, wouldn't it be better if they call it "subspecies" instead. Because there's a reason why we look different.

  • Lol this is only for the American population who seems to mix everything up. One black American refered Africa as a country to me smh. Americans of all races needs to educate themselves more about "word history" than just American history.

  • So… If I am Mexican with lighter skin pigmentation and there is no Latino/Hispanic option am I white or do I put other?

  • Latino does not mean just a male person, it means latin person in general by default. It's not gendered only if you specifically use it as such. Stop making up words. Latinx sounds horrendous.

  • Wtf? So vietnamese and japanese people have the same race? They just have a different culture? LOL. Have you ever looked at Vietnamese and Japanese people? This video has some serious US-centric bias. "Asian" is not a race, it's just the name of a continent. Just in case, "european" also is not a race.

  • Technically speaking, if we were to actually follow the one drop rule then everyone would have to be classified as BLACK

  • Rosario Dawson is a mestizo and not just black. If you are going to do video about ethnicities please make it accurate.

  • Race IS REAL just like dog breeds are real. All domestic dogs’ species name is “Canis familiaris”. Yet breeding has created dogs of varying intelligence(IQ), appearances, behavior patterns, and physical ability.

    No one believes dogs are equal in the sense that a blood hound would be good as a Rottweiller in guarding; or a Rottweiller is as good a sniffer as a blood hound (even with exact same enthusiasm and training due to differences in DNA/biology for physical abilities and behavior).

    By logical extension, it has consistently shown that Blacks have considerably better athletics than whites (blacks have higher representation in NBA and MLA, and even in Olympic sprinting). Given that Blacks originated in Africa’s harsh environment, selective adaptation allowed Blacks with better physiques to survive. In Europe, where climate is less harsh, there wasn’t as strong a selective adaptation push for stronger whites.

    With this, the logic and science is there to prove the existence of racial IQ and its collective impact on societal development. Both Chinese and Europeans(who have high social IQ) developed a high-level of civilization independently. On the other hand, Africans and Native Americans’ societal development was behind even before they met the Europeans.

    Lastly, the whole “Europe stole from natives” narrative only applied to physical resources. The science as to HOW TO create telegraphs, trains, steam boats, and other forms of industrial-era machinery certainly wasn’t discovered by Africans or Native Americans (if they had the science, they wouldn’t have been easily conquered).

  • When you talk about Race and Ethnicity, you know you did a very good job at Triggering the racist when like to dislike ratio is 50/50! Keep up the good work!

  • Fascinating!
    Brazil has an interesting way of defining "race" in their census, using a system of combinations to construct someones racial identity.
    A mix of indigenous, European, African aswell as the omnipresent "other" decent contributes to how you define your race.

  • status quo warriors, whatever they call themselves- right wing, conservatives,etc., are mostly white people (mostly men) in western countries and men of upper caste in eastern societies and these are the ones who refute all these studies calling it "way too liberal" and categorizing their personal ideologies, opinions as Science.These people are similar to people who still think Earth is flat which is obviously very scientific for them. If you have enough brain you can clearly understand the reason behind why specific people or group debunk this video and why the like and dislike ratio is this. Most importantly, how come a subject is being categorized as leftist or rightist? Where is our society going with these hateful, dumb, people having pea-sized brain? The future seems dark and these people will be ruining the future generation too. We all are doomed.

  • 3:35 The "degendered latinx" isn't a word. When referring to a collective of people in Spanish, the default and correct form is the masculine gender, according to the "Gramática de la lengua española de la RAE", since it is the non-marked gender. This isn't a political thing, but rather grammar.
    You should have put "latina" instead of "latinx", since the feminine version also exists and should be included.
    So, stop to apply genderless inpronounceable words to languages that have grammatical gender, it is wrong and rude. Whoever doesn't like grammatical gender, get over it.

  • This is interesting.
    I'm South African and we have race still classifying us on all various applications.

    Recently, Blacks have been renamed to African.
    Then we have Coloureds (Mixed) as most don't want to identify as black.
    Indian, we actually the second largest population of Indians outside India in the world.
    Asian, This includes every One who has their ancestors originally from Asia and settles in South Africa for centuries. We mostly have Chinese.
    Other, I'm not sure which race identifies as Other as we do not dissect them further than the above. For example, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese people are referred to as Asians. But Indian people specially would be Indian. Think it's based on population more than anything.

    So in essence, a Latina or Pakistani would identify as Other but we hardly have such "racial" groups permanently residing in South Africa.

  • Hey 👋, amazing channel, i would like to know more about ethnic minorities it sounds interesting

  • It slightly annoys me that she never puts her arms down once in this video. It actually got to the point where I can't concentrate on the video sometimes.

  • 4:46 when you're eastern european😂🤦😝 remember that part from citizen Khan " Eastern europeans are bloody immigrants, not the British Pakistani!☝️"🤣 Come on that's ridiculous, we all are people, no matter eastern or western, north or south, black or white. I don't understand why some people hate others only because of their skin colour, nationality, etc. We didn't choose those things.
    P.s. I have no pretensions towards the channel or the video, I'm just against racism at all.

  • Seriously speaking – do you guys have references for the sources you used? I'm actually quite keen to read them!

  • Why does everyone focus on Hispanic and Latino, what about the Nahua, Otomi, Mapuche and many tribes in central and south America…once again we Natives are left out…crash course ,,whyyy!

  • We’re told that tens of thousands of years of relative isolation hasn’t resulted in any evolution amongst the different human populations. Big jokes

  • I’m confused. Like I feel like the differences between race and ethnicities were explained too fast. Then you brought in hispanic and latino and that confused me more. Finally, you are not using plurality to properly describe minority-majorities. Like it’s confusing if you dont use a different wors to distinguish it from other things

  • Jewish is a religion not a race or ethnicity they are polish or German or kazy the real race is Hebrew and their religion is Jewish and the polish decided to clam it as their own doesn’t make those people minority white Jews still have more privilege the the rest of us.

  • A white minority maintained a system of racial segregation and discrimination against non-white South Africans* the term Black is ambiguous because in theory “Black” is meant to be an umbrella term for all non white South Africans yet there is an existing race group that is established and classified as black. Coloured/Mixed Race and Indian South Africans are considered separate

  • This was actually very well scripted. I'm a white Venezuelan (yes there are white people in Latin America) yet my parents are from Spain. Here in the United States I receive more discrimination from Latinos (mostly chicanos/as, Puerto Ricans) who say I'm not Latino because I'm white. Meanwhile white Americans say I'm brown based solely on my name and being from Latin American. I think this lady from "CrashCourse" gave a very thorough explanation of this whole mess of ethnicity vs race.

  • I thought this was going to be informative. No just some more force fed PC Green brothers trash. I was actually looking migration patterns. I put myself as Hispanic because my grandma is Panama, but not an aboriginal, I can trace them back to Spain via 1670s. Therefore I’m 65% Northern European and 25% Iberian. It did say I was ~5% Nigerian. Igbo tribe. Yet society would say I’m white. This just goes to show that we are all so unique at the blood level. I’m not 100% Irish.

  • I would define race as populations with fixed sets of alleles. Which is what we see when we look at an ethnically Japanese person and an ethnically Irish person. As a rule of thumb I believe want my eyes are telling me is the truth, not what some ideologue is telling me.

  • Race isnt a social construct, and there are many ways to prove it like iq, skull shape,height, features, colour, bone density, blood type, Dna and the list goes on. When fishing the ocean isnt made of the same fish, there is more than one type.

  • Yeah… I was enjoying this video until the statement "much like gender, race is a socially contracted category…." I dont argue the race part, but I dont have much trust in people who claim that the gender is socially contracted….

  • Ethnicity relates to geographic, cultural or racial groups. So a person can be ethnically Japanese, or Latin American or Chinese or Indian, or Pacific Islander, etc., all around the World. Skin color or other racial characteristics are MEANINGLESS. However, culture difference can matter a great deal. Some cultures are better than others for freedom, prosperity, and human dignity.

  • Gender is biological, it is not made up or constructed by society. You are born with a specific gender and set of chromosomes. Society does not choose whether you will have XX chromosomes or XY. You get a dislike for trying to mislead and spreading false information.

  • One of disease of society is categorizing people based on majority or minority..this is nonsense. God creates us equally and diverse so we can know and learn each other. The noble of us is not based on external appearance but what is reside on our heart…

  • I thought Latino included French , Italian, Romanian, Spanish and Portuguese.

    Also why doesn’t ‘native american’ include the indigenous populations of The rest of America? Are they not the same race?

  • People here in the comments getting salty because she said there is nothing that makes y'alls races superior to others.That its simply socially constructed

  • So if I’m correct here race is defined by society but also by the location of where you and your ancestors are from? Bit confused on that last part there.

  • I hate when social scientists twist the language. The word "minority" refers to a group that is less numerous that the majority. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being disadvantaged. It would be perfectly correct to say, for instance, that Sweedish Americans are a minority in the United States, or that South Africa was ruled by a white minority under Apartheid. I also hate how she used the term "people of color" to refer to anyone who isn't white. The term used to mean black people. And "hispanic" or "latino" were interchangeable names for anyone who came, or whose ancestors came, from south of the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego.

  • I think the us is wrong with race if you compair a slavic to a germanic person you can see a lot of different facial features

  • Minority and majority groups have been subordinated. South Africa blacks were the majority.
    The terms have to do with polulation.. You're giving negative connotations based on your delusions and lack of knowledge and creating division and hurting people. But im sure you "making a difference is more important." Even if it's for the worst. Put you sanctimonious narcissistic destruction above everything else. Who cares who gets hurt.Race isnt a problem it's the people who feel elevated by, who get off on abusing others. The come in all colors and genders and they always play victim yet are the victimizers.
    Narcassists and psychopaths love a good smokescreen.

  • Question: How would you describe my race and ethnicity?
    Background: I was born and raised in Ohio, USA. I've never lived anywhere else, and my culture, values, language, etc have been shaped by my life in rural Ohio. Both my parents were born in and later emigrated from India. I am a brown guy, black hair, etc., but I know almost nothing of India, it's history, culture, etc.
    I'm asking because I recently moved to a new town, and everyone is always asking me where I'm from or what my ethnicity is. No one is ever satisfied when I say I'm from Ohio or my ethnicity is American, and they keep asking questions until I've said something about India. I've always thought what they're meaning to ask about is my race and not ethnicity, right? Is it wrong for me to say my ethnicity is American? I don't want to say my ethnicity is Indian because I have very little to do with that country and culture other than the fact that I look like most people from there. What are your thoughts?

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