Question 1: Identify two factors that influence the political activity of racial/ethnic minorities, and explain how each factor influences activity.
Ethnicity/racism refers to the characteristics of an individual which cannot be changed such as the skin color of a person, one's nationality or even a persons primary language. Ethnic identity tends to shape the political attitudes of people and as well as their behavior. One of the factors that influence the political activity of a racial or ethnic minority is the political rules and regulations that have been set. The rules can be adjusted in a manner that encourages or discourages the ethnic minority to participate in politics (Woodward). There is first the voter registration regulation this refers to the set days that a minority is supposed to register before the voting date. If enough time is not given for that process, it will tend to make the minority not to participate in politics and hence lessening their political behavior. The other regulation is whereby the minorities are supposed to show their identification before they cast their vote. It makes the ethnic minority not participate in a political activity because they fear to be discriminated according to their race and the ethnic group they come from hence. These regulations tend to lessen the political behavior of the minorities. For example, in the United States, the strict voter identification requirements made most of the ethnic minority not to vote in large numbers during the 2004 elections.
The other factor that tends to influence the activity of a racial or ethnic group is due to under-representation. It could be in three forms that are the descriptive, substantive and also the formal representation. It limits the ethnic minoritys access to politics. For example, in Belgium, the ethnic minorities are only supposed to vote while at the local level, and this would influence their presence at the national level. It tends to lessen the chances of political behavior because these minorities will want equality to be administered. It makes them not to trust the ethnic majority (Mack-Williams and Shally-Jensen).
Question 2: How an ethnic group can have their interests addressed
The African Americans face a racism legacy. They get their interests addressed through the electoral activity. They should ensure that they turn out in large numbers to vote. It will help them gain their democratic rights this is by voting in leaders who do not advocate for racism and ethnicity and will treat every equally. They should give enough support to candidates who are also from the African community since they will help in fighting for their rights once they are in the government. Through voting the Africans will show the American government that it matters and they are concerned with what is happening this will help in turn the government to protect them and ensure that they are not discriminated against the Americans. They can also use campaigns to have their voices heard. It will result in more people based agitation. It will create a participation of conflict involvement. Most studies have shown that this has turned out to be an effective way for an ethnic/racial minority group to be heard (Issues in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: Selections from Cq Researcher).
The other way that the African-American can have their issues addressed is through insurgent activity such as protesting and boycotting. For example in the United States, there is the American Civil Rights movement which mainly aims at coming up with various ways of in which racial discrimination against the African American can be ended. The movement mostly carried out non-violent protests and civil disobedience through boycotting of meetings which in turn created a crisis. It led to having dialogues between the government authorities with the activists that ended up being productive and hence resulting to their interests addressed. The best way in which the African American should use to have their interests addressed is through the utilization of an insurgent activity. This action will lead to a crisis which will have the government be in a state of fear that it will affect the countrys economy and hence they will have to address their issues (Aslund and Olcott).
Question 3: Important factors in determining whether two racial/ethnic groups that live in close proximity to one another will be mostly cooperative, or mostly conflictual
Equal distribution of power is a factor that can be used to assess if cooperation and peace exist between two racial /ethnic groups. Fair distribution of power will make two ethnic groups live together peacefully while the unequal distribution of power will result in conflict between two ethnic groups. For example, in the past, the Americans would place the white groups who were mostly from the European origin at the top and those who were of another color at the bottom. It resulted in conflicting and lack of harmony since the people who were not white were made to do dirty work and received low wages. But with power equality, there will be peace for example when the U.S appointed an African to be their president was a good example that they were not divided by race or ethnicity (Leighley).
The other factor that will determine if the ethnic groups are living in harmony together is the level of prejudice and stereotyping that will be experienced in that place. Prejudice can be in the form of cognitive which refers to what people tend to believe to be true, the affective Prejudice refers to what people like or what they dislike, and the conative prejudice refers to how people will tend to behave against each other or while together. For example, after Donald Trump was appointed as the president of the U.S he initiated an initiative that people who were not from his country they should leave this showed that he was against people who were not from his race. Where there is high stereotyping between different groups, it will lead to conflict, hatred, and discrimination against each other since they will all want to prove that what they believe in is what should be considered as the truth and that people should act on that.
Aslund, Anders, and Martha B. Olcott. Russia after Communism. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1999.
Issues in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: Selections from Cq Researcher. SAGE/Pine Forge, 2010.
Leighley, Jan E. Strength in Numbers? The Political Mobilization of Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Princeton UP, 2001.
Mack-Williams, Kibibi, and Michael Shally-Jensen. Racial & Ethnic Relations in America. 2017.
Woodward, Jeanne M. America's Racial and Ethnic Groups: Their Housing in the Early Nineties, a Chartbook. Diane Pub Co, 1994.
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