Understanding the word race
How has the concept of race changed over time
Under what conditions can we imagine panethnic formations developing, and when are ethnic-specific identities maintained or evoked? This use of racial categories is frequently criticized for perpetuating an outmoded understanding of human biological variation, and promoting stereotypes. While race is understood to be a social construct by many, most scholars agree that race has real, material effects in housing discrimination, in the legal process, in policing practices, in education, and many other domains of society. By the mids, Huxley was considered one of the leading antiracist and committed much of his time and efforts into publicizing the fight against Nazism. Racism is an expression of culture, passed on through enculturation and socialization. His book, The Races of Men set out to prove that race determined behavior, culture and even character of a person. He paved the way and established the framework of looking at humanity through the lens of analyzing differences of outward characteristics in people. The temptation, therefore, to read the Negro out of the human family is exceedingly strong. Our country, past and present, is not the global litmus test to determine and define hate and evil.
Current work in cultural studies looks at the often implicit and unconscious structures of racial privilege and racial representation in daily life and popular culture.
If so, how and where can we redirect our thoughts? Social Definition of Race Most social scientists and biologists believe race is a social construct affecting sociopolitical, legal, and economic contexts.
Racism is opposed by almost all mainstream voices in the United States. There might be some that will question the motive of looking at the origin of words, when historically, there have been some that have done serious harm to people of color.
Understanding the word race
The 19th century ushered in two main theories that revolved around the word race and people. Ideas of race and eugenics would become central to Nazi ideology in the s, s, and s. Race as a Social Construct The social construction of race has developed within various legal, economic, and sociopolitical contexts, and may be the effect, rather than the cause of major race-related issues. Both the debate over multiculturalism and the increasing salience of White racial identity are tied to changes in the meaning of race as a result of challenges to the logic and organization of White supremacy. Whiteness has lost its transparency and self-evident meaning in a period of demographic transformation and racial reforms. In the post-Civil Rights era, some racial minority groups have carved out a degree of power in select urban areas—particularly with respect to administering social services and distributing economic resources. Other than having our emotions operating on a chronic steady level of anger and frustration, ruminating, waiting for that next injustice, is there another way to respond? Racism today continues to contribute to the suffering of many people in the form of slavery, genocide, systemic oppression, and institutionalized discrimination. What matters are the social meanings that are attached to perceived physical differences, be these skin colour, hair colour, height, etc.
In line with an eye toward heterogeneity, different ethnic groups e. The dominant mode of biracial theorizing ignores the fact that a range of specific conditions and trends—such as labor-market stratification and residential segregation—cannot be adequately studied by narrowly assessing the relative situations of Whites and Blacks.
As a result of this understanding, some researchers have turned from conceptualizing and analyzing human variation by race to doing so in terms of populations, dismissing racial classifications altogether.
But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The challenge is to frame an appropriate language and analysis to help us understand the shifting dynamic of race that all groups are implicated in.
based on 117 review