Chapter 8 Study Questions & Exercises

“Race” and Ethnicity

Study Questions

  1. Why is it problematic to talk about “race” in an essentialist manner?
  1. What is racialization? Briefly describe how Indigenous people and black Canadians became racialized.
  1. What is a master narrative? Briefly outline one of the Canadian stories identified by the authors as “buried knowledge.”
  1. What is ethnicity? Explain using the theoretical approaches outlined by the author. Which approach do you agree with and why?
  1. What was the impact of colonialism on both the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and how did it lead to genocide?
  1. Discuss dual colonialism in Rwanda.
  1. What is the cultural mosaic, as described by John Porter? How does it differ from the melting pot metaphor? What does Potter mean by “vertical mosaic?”
  1. Discuss the contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois, Daniel G. Hill, and Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins to the sociological study of “race.”

Exploration and Discussion Exercises

  1. Read Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. You may choose to read the entire book, or just a few chapters to get a sense of the situation. The book can be viewed online here:
    What does this story tell you about instances of racism? In what ways is Harriet Jacobs is a victim of all of the four linked elements that determine racism? What type(s) of racism are outlined throughout this reading?
  1. How does the role of resistance come into play in the colonization of First Nations peoples? One example of resistance you might explore is the Idle No More movement that began in Canada in November of 2012. Here is a link to help you get started on your research:
  2. Analyze a documentary/film on the APTN channel in terms of standpoint theory.