preview

Race: Social And Social Construction Of Race

Good Essays
When observing race with a sociological outlook it is clear that it is a rather complex matter. This is because race is a socially constructed category. Meaning that contrary to initial belief, racial groups are formed on the basis of much more than biological differences alone. Instead racial categories are assigned to an individual based on social and historical experiences. Within society, racial classifications continue to have an overwhelming impact on an individual’s life opportunities. Displaying how race is one of the several social constructions that affect the entire social structure by maintaining inequality.

The idea of race is very real and ever present within society. However a majority of those within society view it simply
…show more content…
However it is clear that race is a social construction that effects an individual’s standing within society. It has real consequences and effects which in turn mold how people view and judge themselves and people around them. Since immigration began, there has always been a superior group and the minority groups. Over time how people were categorized in these groups has changed drastically. The changes within racial classifications further supports how race is not a natural concept. It is also clear that there is nothing natural about the concept because the definition and meaning of race as a hole constantly changes over time (Conley 328).

Race is a social concept that changes over time. Racial classifications are not solely based on genetic patterns or scientific fact. One sociological theory that really supports the argument of race being a socially constructed category is the racial formation theory. The racial formation theory generally encompasses the idea that
…show more content…
In his explanation of the evolution of racial classification, Zuberi presents these social origins of racial classification. First off there was the Chain of Being which arranged all the world’s beings in a hierarchy and in turn creating a racial hierarchy since people of African descent were closest to the animals and people of European descent were closest to the Creator, or God (Zuberi 78). Later came the nineteenth century idea of social Darwinism which argued that people of certain races were best fit to be dominate and survive over the more inferior races (Conley 332). With the evolution of these ideas came the racialization of enslavement, which resulted in settlers considering Africans the ideal slaves and Europeans as the ideal citizens, and also the formation of the ideology of racism (Zuberi 80). Racism ultimately began with the birth of the term “whiteness.” Before other cultures and non-European people were even brought sound there were separation between the original British settlers and the other European immigrants (Conley 327). Racism is the idea that there are groups superior to other groups based the different and unequal traits the different races possess (Conley 327). This is far different than white privilege which is what puts those who are socially classified as white at an advantage over all the other inferior races (McIntosh 1).
Get Access