A Sociological Issue On South Africa

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In South Africa race took a shift from biology to culture. Because is of its many diverse indigenous groups, race was no longer a difference between Afrikaners and the English but with Zulus, Xhosa and Tswanas. Language was used as a determinant of race. Dubow argues that not much scientifically constructed race has been done in South Africa despite the fact that race has deep-seated roots. This is because many dismissed race as being scientific as it began to appear to be a sociological issue. Science was then pushed aside and race was now seen as a “social and intellectual construct” (Dubow, 1995: 2-5) from natural science to solely social science resulting from everyday experiences. When we say race is a social construct we disregard any possibility of it being that of a scientific one. It is not something that we are “born with because of our culture” (Erasmus, 2005: 9), instead, simply out, race is a bunch of meanings that we attach to people. We do not dispute the fact that there are differences among people. Those differences just run much deeper. By saying race is a social construct this is not to say that it doesn’t exist seeing that it affects our lives; it determines our real life experiences. Saying it is socially constructed means that race is a learnt behaviour and what can be learnt can easily be unlearnt. We say it is constructed because it was used as a basis of division by powerful people who felt superior. Its implications as a construct are still very
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