Ethnic differences and misunderstanding


Ethnic differences and misunderstanding


In the 20th century, ethnic differences and misunderstandings have risen in different parts of the world. These differences can be analyzed using two themes which emerge in the study of the ethical conflicts. These two themes are namely; world systems theory and ethnonational conflict. Ethonational conflict is used to refer to clashes among ethnic, religious and linguistic groupings within a certain country. Ethnonational conflicts in countries are more to serious since it is the source of refugees and sometimes it leads to death. Diversity in ethnicity within a country including the highly populated countries is highly significant.

In sociology, the perspective between the large and small ethnic groups, ethnicity and race are treated as social categories. The social concepts can only be understood in the context of the understandings attached to them by the members of the society. Economic demands and needs lead to ethnic and social hostilities due to the misunderstandings which arise from the need to control a certain economic activity or resource. The other theme that comes up is the world systems that consider the global economy in the concept of countries the control resources and countries that provide raw materials and labor. The countries considered are the “haves” and the “have not’s”. These two themes are the ones which will be the basis in comparing and contrasting the intergroup relations. In this case, we compare and contrast the cases of three countries: Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.


In Mexico, some social changes have led to some difference in ethnicity in the country. A major concern has been reassessing the link between the indigenous people and the Mexican government. In 1900, the majority of the people in México spoke in Indian languages and lived in small isolated villages in accordance with their ancestral norms. They were not truly represented in the government and they were left out in the industrialization México.

Their only cognizable change only came in the 20th century when they intermarried with the Europeans descendants to form a class of people called the mestizo. The mestizos have developed their own distinct culture. These social changes have been a major cause of the Mexican Indians been left behind the rest of the population in terms of economic development. Indian cultures have been a subject of stereotype as backward and lagging behind the rest of the world in their resistance to modern ways of living.

México has also exhibited discrimination in gender. In México, women didn’t have the right to vote up until 1957.up until 2011, the Mexican parliament accounted for 26% of women which shows that they have made progress but they still have a long way to go. Women have been denied recognition as an active family member even when they are working away from the family. Men are always preferred by women in highly skilled jobs. Generally, México has started to recognize that the problem of social discrimination goes beyond poverty. A survey has been conducted and has shown that 40% of Mexicans didn’t want to live next to their Indian neighbors while 8/10 of Mexicans felt that it was important to eliminate inequality as poverty.

In Canada, the issue of multiculturism has been brought up to refer to diversity. Multiculturism has been adopted as a national policy for over 20 years. Canada has rallied for a national identity which is cohesive or a sense of peoplehood. The sparse population and the size of the country have been a major setback to this effort. During the Canadian history, there have been little disputes between the Canadian white and the Canadian Native Americans. This trend has stretched up until today. Tribal members were encouraged to ignore their tribalism and declare they are Canadian citizens which is a contrast to the treatment to the Mexican Indians. All the native Canadians are collectively referred to as “the first nation” by the government. The non-status has not received a legal separation of the law but efforts are underway to secure them special treatment under the law.

However, the social and economic field shows many challenges. It is noted that 40% graduate from secondary school compared to more than 70% for the entire country. The native people of Canada experience unemployment rates to a tune of twice as high and an average income 1/3 lower.

Canada has favorably treated the French-speaking people in the Québec region by making French the official language in the region. It also gave a referendum that the people of Québec voted for separately. This move by Canada has made the English speaking people feel being treated as aliens.

Canada gives much consideration to its visible minorities including the immigrants. Black refugees were warmly received but it became a matter of concern since the numbers grew and would overwhelm the white population. Racial concerns were always not vibrant and the black Canadians have found the race relations in Canada as friendly.

In Brazil, racial discrimination was much more evident. Brazil imported black Africans to serve as slaves. The total number of slaves imported to Brazil is estimated at 4 million. In Brazil, there was a certain number of refugees who were freed annually. Out of 1000 slaves, 100 were freed annually

In Brazil today, light color enhances status but the impact is always exaggerated. It is viewed that in Brazil dark-skinned people are obviously discriminated in employment and they get a lower pay contrary to their white counterparts.

The issue of slavery in Brazil has been major evidence of the discrimination that existed. However, in the recent past, the Brazilians are coming to terms with racial democracy and are more often mixing in terms of people with different skin color. In the 19th century, the majority of the Brazil population was composed of the blacks that are the Africans and their descendants who were needed as shopkeepers, craft workers, and boatmen not just only working in farms.


Generally, Brazil and México exhibit a lot of racial discrimination contrary to Canada who proves to be more accommodative to the different races in the country. Mexico has shown that still, they discriminate against gender as it is evidence in the difficulty of women securing employment. The similarities between these three countries are that they are all composed of more than one group of people. Another similarity is that the natives of the countries are not always accommodative to members of other ethnic groups due to the continued effort to make them live together. Ethnonational conflict is evident among the three countries since most of the clashes are within the countries territories and the conflict resolution is undertaken within the borders.

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