Racism And The Social Structures Of Race Essay

1700 WordsOct 1, 20157 Pages
The idea of race has been constructed over hundreds of years, with numerous cultural implications arising from this construction. Since Johann Fredrich Blumenbach’s racial hierarchy, the inventor of a “…modern racial classification" (Gould 1994:66), the idea of race as a scientific truth justified slavery, colonisation and other existing racial structures. We see these racial hierarchies with notions of white superiority affecting events around the globe everyday; regardless of the fact that race has been proven as a flawed biological concept, with racial categories a result of ‘pseudo science’. The events following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 are evidence of the racist attitudes that linger in our society, institutionally and in everyday life – racism is more than simply individual attitudes, and is embedded in the social structures of society. The idea of race has been disproved due to lack of genetic variation within humans. There are not genetically distinguishable differences between humans, contradicting the idea there are subspecies as suggested by Carl Linnaeus’ theory of racial taxonomy (later taken up by Blumenbach in 1779 and expanded upon to categorise five races instead of four). Subspecies within the human race would require much greater genetic variation between ‘races’, whereas it has been determined that there is more genetic variation within a group of people than between groups of people. This can be attributed to the amount of time homo sapiens have

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