The Social Construction Of Race

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Esinu Abadjivor AFAS 304B Professor Machibya 30 March 2015 The Social Construction of Race The underlying characteristic of race concepts is found in its use of phenotypes and physical differences in order to gain an understanding of why there are different people that exist in the world. These differences have been used in understanding the behaviors, intellect, and the value of humans through connecting different characteristics to different classified races. Using phenotypical differences to understand certain characteristic differences is a popular theme in the theories on race. The significance of the concepts of race that have been present throughout history comes from the fact that important events in history have occurred due to these understandings and various communities or nations have incorporated these concepts into levels of government. A common example is found in slavery. Race concepts and the use of assigning certain characteristics to the ‘Negro’ race made way for a period of time that rationalized racial slavery. Here, slaves were not insiders, or members of the community they labored for. Instead, these slaves were from a different territory, a difficult culture with a different appearance. Their differences in appearance, specifically skin color, was a major factor in justifying their status of slavery. Furthermore, race concepts play a large role in racism. Because certain characteristics were given to different groups of people, there became a

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