In his book Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life, 10th edition, how does author David M. Newman define three types of racism? How has discrimination been built into our social...

In his book Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life, 10th edition, how does author David M. Newman define three types of racism? How has discrimination been built into our social system so that institutions can end up racist even if the individuals within them are not?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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One form of racism defined in the section titled "Racial and Ethnic Relations" in chapter 11 of David M. Newman's book Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life, 10th edition, is "personal racism." Personal racism occurs when individuals demonstrate "racist attitudes or behaviors." Such demonstrations can come in the form of using demeaning names, showing clear contempt, and demonstrating aggression toward people of specific ethnic groups. However, Newman points out that personal racism can also be displayed in subtler forms; for example, a "high school guidance counselor" can demonstrate personal racism by "steer[ing] minority students away from 'hard' subjects and towards those that do not prepare them for higher-paying jobs."

Newman goes on to argue that stereotyping is a main reason behind racism, and stereotyping leads to prejudice. Newman defines stereotyping as "an oversimplified picture of the world" we use to help us understand our "social environment." However, he also points out that it's important to know that stereotypes are learned, not something we think up on our own, and since stereotypes are untrue, thinking with stereotypes affects our judgements and our actions. Newman further defines prejudice as a distortion of "people's perceptions." For example, the belief that "all Blacks are violent" can be so strong that it alters how we perceive reality and even influences public policy.

In the section titled "Institutional Racism: Injustice Built Into the System," also found in chapter 11, a second type of racism Newman identifies is institutional racism. According to Newman, "Institutional racism consists of established laws, customs, and practices that systematically reflect and produce racial inequalities in society," regardless of whether or not the individual people maintaining such practices have "racist intentions." Institutional racism is exhibited in the exclusion of minority groups from "key positions."

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