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Social Construction of Race - Essay Example

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RUNNING HEAD: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF RACE Social Construction of Race School Date Social Construction of Race Race as a Social Construct The concept of race has been around for several decades. The concept has been taken advantaged in movies and advertisements that promote a product, values or way of life…
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Social Construction of Race

Download file to see previous pages... The scholars themselves rebut this classification as without solid foundation since it does not truly reflect proper grouping of people. However, the US still utilizes this type of grouping in classifying the peoples living in the country, such as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, White, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Race - The Power n.d.). In this type of classification, a hierarchy is also created with the white race being at the top. People with white skin are then projected in the mass media as the ideal beauty. White values and lifestyle are projected in movies and advertisements as best that people from other societies and cultures should emulate. Thus, assimilation of western lifestyle and values in many Asian societies is regarded as westernization. This is referred in the current scenario as modern colonialism, which is conquering the minds and values of other people without actually occupying the “colonized” society. Classification based on race has been said to be skin deep and therefore, it is not an appropriate basis for grouping of people. The race concept has also created the subspecies of man due to some morphological and biological differences among them (Machery & Faucher, 2005). As a social construction, social constructionists say that it is a mode of classifying based on the color of the skin and other biological characteristics (Machery & Faucher, 2005). It is a social construct by a cultural group but perceived to be a reality (Critical Race Theory 2011). The Power of Race Race is a social construction and has no basis in science and biology. But it persists in society and in the minds of many white people. Groups or associations are even formed to foster the white supremacy concept with the colored people as inferior. Although without solid foundation, people that support the categorization act in pursuance of their objectives. Thus, some elements in society are created based on the actions, thoughts and ideas of the proponent of the concept. The changes in society include the relationship of individuals and groups belonging to different groups. This can be seen in some slides where white individuals would shoo away those from Asia and other countries. Race has been so powerful that even renowned Americans had upheld it, such as Thomas Jefferson (1781-1784) who insinuated the inferiority of the black people (Race - The Power n.d.). The power of the concept can be gleaned from the privileges that white people receive in the US as compared with those from other cultures. It is institutionalized through intentional actions that established social institutions and consequences, and served the different social objectives of the white people during the different periods of American history (Lipsitz, 1995). It is apparent in the political and economic structures in American society. Lipsitz (1995) said that ethnic groups are denied equal access to citizenship, property and spaces. Thus, the Wagner Act and Social Security Act leaned toward investing possessions to the while people by excluding minority farm workers and domestics from social coverage and benefits (Lipsitz, 1995). In 1790, non-whites cannot avail of naturalization while the native Indians were displaced from their lands in 1830 (Race - The Power n.d.). The native Indians were the original inhabitants of the present America before the white colonizers arrived. Other government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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