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11-2-06 notes - ISS 215 Race in the Contemporary US Race is...

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ISS 215 – 11/2/06 ---- Race in the Contemporary US - Race is socially constructed.  - It is defined and redefined through struggle.  - It’s meaning changes over time.  Constructions of Race across US history: 3 perspectives 1. race [constructed] as biological difference     : for most of US history,  dominant ideas about race asserted that people of color were biologically  different from and inferior to white.  2. “color-blindness”     : beginning in 1920s, some academics argues that  most human differences were a result of cultural, rather than biological,  differences.    promoted concept of ethnicity instead of race - advocated assimilation of people of color into US  ‘mainstream’  ** This vision shaped Civil Rights Movement 1) focus on desegregation – joining ‘mainstream’ 2) MLK Jr.: Men should be judged on the content of their  character, not the color of their skin. 
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