To many people across a variety of different nationalities and cultures, race has been proven to be a key factor for how society views you in the eyes of those who are prominently in charge. The term race has been brought up in recent years, to be considered a form of identification, as the word race is used to describe physical characteristics such as a person’s color of skin, hair, and eyes. When in reality, the correct term they should be using is Ethnicity. As a result, the term race is used to separate people into sub-categories based on the color of their skin. This type of classification, is a man-made creation used by society to classify certain groups of people into lower classes, while keeping the predominate group in charge at the top.
When people think of the word identity they might think of several factors of identity such as their name, race, sexuality, religion or other things that define the person that they are. The concepts of human identity have been created to not only label ourselves, but to also label the people around us so that we can have an improved sense of structure and order within our lives and society. Labeling people affects how those people are spoken to or interacted with in society. These labels confine individuals to act or think a certain way, which limits creativity. Labeling also affects whether a person is treated positively or negatively by other people. When people label one another, they put them in categories based on several things about
THESIS: Scientists and other intellectuals recognize the modern concept of "race" as an artificial category that developed over the past five centuries due to encounters with non-European people. Even though people still attempt to organize humans into categories according to their race, these categories have been shown to have no scientific basis.
Race is a hot topic in our world. We all think we know what race is. After all, we are constantly being bombarded with it whether it be from media, politics, or sports. The truth is that race does not revolve around the idea of biological traits or characteristics. It is a modern concept that we as a society have created to divide people into categories. I will argue that race is socially constructed from a biological, political history, and sociological standpoint, and how it may impact other areas of our society.
Ethnicity and race are ways to differentiate a group of person from another; therefore, in the 21th century this terms has acquired a powerful meaning in society. A few months ago, I learned how significant this terms are.
The idea of race in society is truly that; an idea. However, one of the first things one notices about another human is their perceived race. Often, incorrect assumptions are made about a person, based on his race. In addition, many believe race can be determined by biological factors. However, there is no biological basis to race. Without a doubt, genes play a role in our skin, hair, and eye color; however, there are not certain genes present in an entire race and not another. Race is not clear cut; if one were to travel from either pole to the equator, a specific location could not be identified to separate any two races.
This article written by Mark Nathan Cohen, who is an anthropology professor in the State University of New York; talks about how race does not define human diversity. In the article, he also mentions that in school students learn the definition of race based on “biological variation” and not based on their culture. The professor Cohen says that studies on human family tree that were based on their genetic analysis of traits do not show any relation of who those traits belong to. He gives an example by stating that even skin color is not a god indicator of who it relates to because the “traits occur independently in several different branches of the human family.”
One of the most prevalent themes throughout the world’s history is the dispute over race and racial differences. But, there is a problem: the majority of the population doesn’t have a clear understanding of what race is. Race is a socially constructed grouping of people that was created in order for people to differentiate themselves from one another and has many sources of influence. While most people believe race is determined by biological characteristics (hair type, skin color, eye shape, etc.), this is not true. To make things more complicated, there is no cut and dry definition to race. Authors of Race and Ethnicity in Society, Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margret Anderson, claim that there are seven different distinct ways to define race. They begin with the popular belief of biological characteristics, and, as mentioned before, through social construction. They go on to note that race can be formed from an ethnic group, from social class rank, from racial formation by institutions, and also can form from one’s self-definition (Higginbotham & Anderson, 2012, p. 13). All of these ways to define race have been seen throughout our history, and many of them have caused problems for minorities, especially in the United States.
“Think about race in its universality. Where is your measurement device? There is no way to measure race. We sometimes do it by skin color, other people may do it by hair texture - other people may have the dividing lines different in terms of skin color. What is black in the United States is not what 's black in Brazil or what 's black in South Africa.”-Dr.Goodman, Race: The Power of an Illusion
The idea of race is real, but it is not biologically reality. Race is based on cultural perspectives that we as human beings use to identify persons around the world. “Science would favor Du Bois. Today, the mainstream belief among scientists is that race is a social construct without biological meaning” (Gannon) Meaning that there is nothing biologically real about race. And that it is strictly culturally developed.
In the United States it is not uncommon to hear the question, “What are you?” This seemingly simple question stems from the American belief that individuals can be divided into different biologically defined racial groups. However, anthropologists have long argued that U.S. racial groups are a product of American cultural constructions, meaning that racial groups are not genetically determined but only represent the way cultures (in this case Americans) classify people. For example, in the U.S individuals are classified into different races based on their heritage. However in Brazil, people are classified into a series of “tipos" based on their physical appearance. In the article “Mixed Blood”, Jeffrey Fish supports the claim that race is nothing more, but a social construct by demonstrating the cultural basis of race by comparing how races are defined in the United States and Brazil.
The English term ‘race’ is believed to originate from the Spanish word raza, which means ‘breed’ or ‘stock’ (Race). People use race to define other groups, this separation of groups is based largely on physical features. Features like skin color and hair don’t affect the fundamental biology of human variation (Hotz). Race is truly only skin deep, there are no true biological separations between two ‘racial’ groups. Scientifically speaking, there is more variation between single local groups than there is between two large, global groups; the human variation is constantly altering (Lewontin). The majority of today’s anthropologists agree that race is a form of social categorization, not the separation of groups based on biological
Race is a social construct that was created by the Europeans in order to minoritize different racial groups. In the reading by Bonilla-Silva, he defines race to be manmade, “This means that notions of racial difference are human creations rather than eternal, essential categories… racial categories have a history and are subject to change.” For example in a lecture by Dr. Aguilar-Hernandez, he stated that the Irish, Italians and Jews were called black before but are now considered white, Mexican-Americans were also considered white up until the 1980s. These ideas lead to the racialization of racial groups.
The subject of race, within the field of sociology, can often be viewed as both a fluid concept and a cultural experience. Contrary to popular belief, race is not biological, but is a socially constructed category of people that share the same biological traits. Race can often change over time and is formed primarily by our personal views and the views of others. These can range from ethnicity to self-presentation and feelings of place within society. One example of the fluidity of race can be seen based upon the classification of the White or Caucasian race. In today’s culture, this race has been drastically increased to include a vast array of “white” individuals.
Due to scientist’s interest in human genetic variation, human racial classification became a focus of scientific investigation by evolutionary biologists attempting to categorize individual humans based on presumed patterns of biological difference. Scientists had hoped to classify humans in the same way that they classified other species. These scientists attached hierarchical titles to these categorizations; they claimed that differences in skin color, physiognomy, and geography were associated with scientifically measurable differences in character, aptitude, and temperament (Smedley, 1998). However, studies supporting these claims have been unsound (Gould, 1981). Categorization of humans by racial and ethnic groups continues, as researchers must remain aware of this historical legacy of the science of heredity as the genomic era continues to develop (Bonham et al., 2005).