Racial Identity and Socially Constructed Race Essay

Racial Identity and Socially Constructed Race Essay

Length: 1823 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s arguments from “Racial Formations” are about how race is socially constructed and is shown in Caucasia by Danzy Senna. Michael Omi and Howard Winant believe that race is socially constructed in society; therefore, the meaning of race varies within different cultures and societies. According to Omi and Winant, influences such as, media, school, politics, history, family and economy create society’s structure of race. In Caucasia, media, family and school are forces that create race by stating how one should conform to social norms for different racial groups.
In Caucasia, the theme of ‘racial etiquette’ plays a big role in the society that Birdie lives in and this proves Omi and Winant’s claim about how race is socially constructed ( Omi and Winant 4). For example, “Rules shaped by our perception of race in a comprehensively racial society determine the ‘presentation of self, distinction of status, and appropriate modes of conduct” (Omi and Winant 4). In this statement, Omi and Winant meant that people tend to make rules for classifying a racial group based on one’s physical features and disregarding their true ‘race’. An example from Caucasia that proves Omi and Winant’s argument is, “Who’s that is she Rican? I thought this was supposed to be a black school” ( Senna 43). This quote from Caucasia shows how people makes judgments about Birdie because of on her skin tone, and in the school, environment rules are often created through one’s perception; Birdie is seen as ‘white’ and her sister is seen as ‘black’, people create such rules to grouping one based on their skin tone because it is what they know so they assimilate races by physical appearance. Also, Omi and Winant states, “Everybody lea...


... middle of paper ...


...o portray races and how they would act and society might take in the idea and conform to it. Also, family today, plays a huge role in racial identity because some one may look like one specific race but may be mixed with other races. Also, environment such as school can change a person’s racial identity because the person may choose to be friends with a group of specific races and would have to change their way of dressing or speaking in order to fit in. Today’s society very much proves Omi and Winant’s ideas of how race is socially constructed and it is similar to the way society is constructed in Caucasia.









Works Cited

Omi, Michal, and Winant, Howard. "Racial Formations." Racial Formation In the United States: from 1960s to the 1990s. Second ed. New York: Routledge, 1994. 3-9. Print.

Senna, Danzy. Caucasia. New York: Riverhead, 1999. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Gendered Spaces Are Socially Constructed Locations Essay

- Gendered spaces are socially constructed locations commonly defined by their utility to service a particular gender. They are founded by historic common and continual performative usage upon which specific designs are built and a collective understanding and expectation is attached and is shared. Just as these identifying markers have come to legally and socially define a space as gendered, through signifying dynamics (i.e. - unfettered access, physical interaction with its utilities) the spaces themselves reciprocally identify their users as a particular gender....   [tags: Gender, Transgender, Gender identity, Sociology]

Term Papers
796 words (2.3 pages)

Gender Is Socially Constructed By Social Structures And Social Processes

- 1. When Durkheim argues that gender is a social fact, he means that “gender is socially constructed” (Parkhouse 2016). While gender is something external to individuals, it constrains our behavior at the same time. Gender cannot be defined, as it “varies by place, culture, time, and age, and over a person’s life course. It is also structured and mitigated by other identities, such as race, ethnicity, social class, education, sexuality, geography, ability, and religion” (Parkhouse 2016), otherwise known as social structure and social processes....   [tags: Sociology, Gender, Gender identity, Gender role]

Term Papers
915 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Race : Race And Identity

- What is “race”. When some people use the term “race” they attach a biological meaning, yet still, others use race as a socially constructed concept. Race is used to describe a group of people who perceive themselves and are perceived by others as possessing distinctive, hereditary traits. The concept of race gives the ability to classify people, while showing the biological foundations of humans, and expressing how the genetic foundation is passed from generation to generation. Race is a term used to understand where a person comes from....   [tags: Race, Ethnic group, DNA, Human skin color]

Term Papers
719 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Intersectionality : Gender, Race, And Individual Identity

- The identities have tended to be divided into some different categories, such as gender, race, and class, and these sources have been judged in the different ways. In other words, the different determinant factors of the individuality have been considered separately, and these components have been regarded as a unrelated simple category. Under these points of view, however, it is hard to recognize the problems of interrelated individual component of the identity. Thus, to solve the disregarding crossover point, the new theory of the “intersectionality” are essential....   [tags: Race, White people, Black people, Sociology]

Term Papers
1601 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about Race : Race And Prejudice

- As a child, race did not affect me. This statement seems like a bold fallacy, but surprisingly, with a careful explanation of how race came to be, it can be shown why race does not affect young people. As previously stated, race is a socially constructed idea and term. This said, before society could teach me this idea, I was unaffected by this idea. My interactions with others were not racially prejudiced by an underlying assumption of the hierarchy of race. As I entered elementary school and began learning skills such as reading and writing, factors of race and prejudice began taking hold in my young mind....   [tags: Sociology, Race, Gender, Stereotype]

Term Papers
1541 words (4.4 pages)

The Fanonian Conception of Race Essay

- ... It was not clear if Beloved was an incarnation of the infant, spirit of a dead baby, or just a ghost. People assumed that she was the dead infant in a grown woman’s body. She represented as a baby in many ways, cannot walk, impaired speech, and no control over her body. She was identified as a baby and that her mother is her only possession. As Beloved is there, Sethe tries to forget the past or leave it behind, but it’s very difficult as she is there. Sethe tries but fails to remember the African language that was spoken by her mother to remember her mother....   [tags: racism, human, socially, culturally]

Term Papers
1718 words (4.9 pages)

Sexuality is Socially Constructed Essays

- The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sexuality as a) the quality and state of being sexual, b) the condition of having sex, c) sexual activity, and d) the expression of sexual receptivity or interest especially when excessive, and it cites the first use of the word at around the year 1800. Human beings experienced their own sexuality prior to 1800; however, it was not until the late nineteenth century when the ideas heterosexuality and homosexuality were initially formulated. As sexuality is the result of social interactions, one’s sex, class, and race all play large roles in defining sexuality, whether it be to others or simply on a personal level....   [tags: Heterosexuality, Gender Hierarchy]

Term Papers
1874 words (5.4 pages)

Race And Racism By Michelle Alexander 's The New Jim Crow Essay

- Modern society’s understanding of race and racism developed as a socially constructed concept. Race arises as a form of self-identity that must be appropriated or denied. It is a type of personal responsibility because it becomes the individual’s decision to accept or reject the identity that society deems adequate. Similarly, racism is another socially constructed concept. However, racism differs because it is a societal invention of social identification. It forces blacks to band together against the supposed superior whites....   [tags: Race, Racism, White people, Black people]

Term Papers
1062 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Importance Of Gender Identity

- Identities are an important part of the human experience. One of the many identities that creates a person is gender. Society, being the entity establishing social norms and social roles, plays a part in effecting the individual’s gender, and how they choose to express themself. The underlying or overlying identities also have the same effect. Gender is not only an identity, it is a lifestyle inside and out. Gender, like race, class, and sexuality; is not limited to the binary scale, and that is normal, natural, and human....   [tags: Gender, Transgender, Gender identity]

Term Papers
1884 words (5.4 pages)

Social Construction Of Race Essay

- Social Construction Of Race In society, race clearly affects one’s life chances. These are the chances of getting opportunities and gaining experience for progression. The social construction of race is based on privileges and availability of resources. Looking at society and the formation of race in a historical context, whites have always held some sort of delusional belief of a “white-skin privilege.” This advantage grants whites an advantage in society whether one desires it or not. This notion is often commonly referred to as reality....   [tags: Race Racism Ethnicity Essays]

Term Papers
733 words (2.1 pages)