My participants are both male and they both pledged historically black fraternities. Participant A, crossed the burning sands in Spring of 2003 for Alpha Phi Alpha, and Participant B crossed recently in Fall of 2015 for Phi Beta Sigma as the first white male member of the Divine 9 (National Pan-Hellenic Council) on the campus of UALR. They differ in race, and in major.
Race as Culture
Both respondents characterized race as strongly cultural. Participant A said that it had ‘no valid context’ and explicitly tied it to ethnicity:
Participant B equated it with culture while bringing in elements of historical traditions. He said that ‘race defines what you do culturally in your community’, which also concerns the environment around you.
In Morning’s findings about race as culture, her subjects explained ethnicity when asked about race, which suggests confusion about the two terms.
Only one of my subjects agreed that race was culture. The other, although did not deny that it was tied to culture disagreed that it had any valid context. In this way, the conceptualization separates race from biology, avoiding the association with racism. Some of Morning’s participants alluded to self-identification or in other words volition. Unlike her participants, mine did not include volition into their definition of race, implying that they agree that to some degree race is a set characteristic of person but they begin to differ when they start talking about the application of said race.
Race as Biology
Generally my participants had constructivist answers, but many times, when asked directly about biological features of race they tended to veer in the essentialist and anti-essentialis...
... middle of paper ...
...entioned the depiction of this ‘rags to riches’ story as well. From this, one could deduce that the media has a strong impact on our conceptualization of race.
In conclusion, my results were not as similar to Morning’s as I would have initially imagined. There were some concepts my participants mimicked from Morning’s sample like race as a culture, and race defined by physical characteristics. However there were also concepts where my subjects disagreed with majority of Morning’s sample or introduced new ideas such as when they described birth differences using cultural explainations or talked about personal determination as a factor in social mobility. Both of my participants harbored constructivist, essentialist, and anti-essentialist views. They were both inconsistent and consistent with Morning’s results, but more times inconsistent than not.
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