Social Construction of Race and How It Affects Society Essays

Social Construction of Race and How It Affects Society Essays

Length: 749 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Humans define race by how they conceive and categorize different social realities. Thus, race is often referred to as a social construct. The differences in skin color and facial characteristics have led most of society to classify humans into groups instead of individuals. These constructs affect us all, and they often result in situations where majority racial groups cause undue suffering to those that are part of the minority. The understanding of race as a social construct is best illustrated by the examination of racial issues within our own culture, specifically those that have plagued the history of the United States.
Although race as a physical condition has likely occurred in societies from the beginning of human existence, it was through early European influence that race as a physical description arose. As Western explorers and settlers came into contact with native people of color, they found it necessary to define these people as inferior so that they could retain their position as the dominant social group. Anyone who did not look like or engage in the same cultural practices as a “white” European, was considered insubordinate or uncivilized. Ronald Takaki mirrors this suggestion in his book A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, in which he proposes that “race is a social construct produced by the dominant group in society and their power to define.” As this ideology spread throughout Europe and sub sequentially into the North American colonies, the concept of racial inferiority became the rule in early American society.
Native Africans were initially brought to America to serve as indentured servants. They were offered the status of a “free man” upon completion of the terms of their serv...

... middle of paper ...

...tion, the idea that race is a byproduct of one’s social environment; however, it insists that social learning is an evolved concept that has developed throughout human existence. According to this, although many might believe that the racial division of our past has slowly diminished, it is actually just in an evolutionary state of flux. In The Social Construction of Whiteness: White Women, Race Matters, Ruth Frankenberg argues that “our daily lives are affected by race whether we are aware of it or not.” No matter how hard we try to make our society racially neutral, the concept of “race” is so engrained in the minds of human beings that it has become the structure of society itself. As much as we would like to eliminate its concept, history dictates that social construction of race will continue as long as physical differences among people are present.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Social Construction of Race Essay

- Social Construction Race Race has been one of the most outstanding situations in the United States all the way from the 1500s up until now. The concept of race has been socially constructed in a way that is broad and difficult to understand. Social construction can be defined as the set of rules are determined by society’s urges and trends. The rules created by society play a huge role in racialization, as the U.S. creates laws to separate the English or whites from the nonwhites. Europeans, Indigenous People, and Africans were all racialized and victimized due to various reasons....   [tags: social construction, colonization, natives]

Better Essays
1345 words (3.8 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]

Better Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Race As A Social Construction

- The concept of race and what it means to people today varies from place to place. Despite the increase in global contacts, scientists are skeptical about the concept of race as a social construction. There is an ongoing debate about what “race” actually means and how is it used in terms of categorizing people. As the biological variations increase, differences among people of the same groups are visible. Over time people began to show more and more similarities in different ways. Race is only used in terms of the appearance of people and what they have in common biologically....   [tags: Human, Race, Race, Human skin color]

Better Essays
1214 words (3.5 pages)

An Interpretation Of The Social Construction Of Race Essay

- An Interpretation of the Social Construction of Race The United States is becoming an increasingly diverse country in regards to race and ethnicity. However, there are many misunderstandings and stereotypes regarding different population groups and the issue of race. Race has many definitions and one description given by Rose is that race is a “biological variation including genetic differences in stature, skin color, hair color, facial shape, and other inherited characteristics that may or may not be mutually exclusive in each individual”(Rose, 2013)....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Better Essays
1285 words (3.7 pages)

Race: A Social Construction Essay

- Throughout our lives, we’re faced with this idea of “race.” We want to deny it, but every one of us is racist in some way or another. We don’t mean to be, but it’s just something that was passed down through generations and generations and eventually became somewhat of a culture. If we’re being honest, do any of us truly even know what “race” is though. In this paper I will argue that the completely scewed meaning we’ve come up with for the word “race,” is entirely made up. We’ve strayed so far from the reality of what race really is, and now just use it as a defining characteristic of a person....   [tags: Racism, Cultures]

Better Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Social Construction of Race Essay

- There is perhaps no bigger and more expansive social construction known to man than the construction of race. In earlier times race meant a tie to national origin, Greek race, Roman race, etc. race underwent a big change in meaning to it’s more contemporary form to distinguish biological differences of physical features and skin color (Wiegman 157). Film and television in this century and the twentieth century have aided and perpetuated stereotypes of race. These stereotypes have been most associated with minority or non-white groups in particularly, and most discussed pertaining to African-Americans in these mediums....   [tags: sterotypes, minority, experience, films]

Better Essays
1853 words (5.3 pages)

Race and Ethnicity Has a Social Construction Essay

- The chief lesson to be taken away from this semester’s class is that race truly is a social construction. This sounds a bit cliché but a deeper analysis of American history in regards to race and ethnicity cements the fact that race would not exist if it did not serve as a method of maintaining power and control on numerous occasions regardless of time or area. Internal colonialism has served as one of the most dominant processes involved in the exploitation of subordinate populations throughout the history of the United States....   [tags: method, power, economic]

Better Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

The Social Construction of Childhood Essay

- While all societies acknowledge that children are different from adults, how they are different, changes, both generationally and across cultures. “The essence of childhood studies is that childhood is a social and cultural phenomenon” (James, 1998). Evident that there are in fact multiple childhoods, a unifying theme of childhood studies is that childhood is a social construction and aims to explore the major implications on future outcomes and adulthood. Recognizing childhood as a social construction guides exploration through themes to a better understanding of multiple childhoods, particularly differences influencing individual perception and experience of childhood....   [tags: Social Issues, Children]

Better Essays
2204 words (6.3 pages)

The Social Construction Of Diversity Essay

- ... Another interesting point is when we think of people who are gender neutral, and transgender, many people have been judged tremendously for being either gender neutral or transgender. Some countries will not allow a transgender person to visit because this falls against what certain people believe in. All throughout history people have been criticized about their gender or what they believe in when it comes to gender and sexual identity. Nothing states that a person of a different gender or that a person who is different from everyone else is better or below anyone else strictly because of gender or sexual orientation, but society makes some people believe themselves to be above others a...   [tags: Working class, Sociology, Gender, Social class]

Better Essays
1715 words (4.9 pages)

The, Social, And Social Construction Of Fear And Risk Essay

- ... With such projections being placed onto the Muslim demographic, we have seen cases of individuals go on to embrace the hate and join extremist groups themselves. Despite being a rarity, the growing condition of racialization seen around the World is leading to a similar upward trend in internalized racism. This alarming trend must be eradicated from the spectrum of our society, as it negates a key point of sociology and promotes biased stereotypes. Continuing this paradigm shift would encourage such stereotyping similar to that have which plagued various demographics in history (i.e....   [tags: Sociology, Race, Extremism, Terrorism]

Better Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)