Lecture 32 - SOCIOLOGY 3AC Professor Brian Powers 11/07/07...

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Sharing or distribution of lecture notes, or sharing of your subscription, is ILLEGAL and will be prosecuted. Our non-profit, student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course LECTURE I am sorry for the delay this morning. I did not realize what was producing a blackout on the screen. Help seems to be on the way. I want us to clear the decks of some of our fuzzy thinking about race which is what the point of showing this video is. This three part series, Race: The Power of an Illusion , I want us to look at it because it clears our heads about a lot of fuzzy thinking in which we tend to assume that biology is social destiny. In fact, the relationship between biological characteristics of differences amongst human populations and the social consequences about beliefs of those differences are rather slight. In other words there is no imperative that says your skin destines you to any odds, nor do those biological differences in of themselves determine group differences. Those we do, those are products of human history, social beliefs and social arrangements. I said before that it is a little hard to get since we are so ingrained in our society to think that what you see is what you get and since our social lives are so patterned by race, it seems that there must be something going on. We have absorbed our sense of identity because of our skin color but that is a cultural thing and not a biological thing. In some ways the cultural thing is related to what has been done to you because of what you look like. When we talk about race we have to back off from a focus on folks and focus on the institutions that interpret our differences, put boundaries around us on the basis of shared characteristics and makes certain assumptions about what we in a particular group are useful for, should be doing and what our virtues are. Thus, race is always about power. I need to say this again, over and over again. Race is always about power. Race is not saying some people have blue eyes and some people have brown eyes. We use race to impose reality on people who share common characteristics that are understood as such in racial terms. I need you, if not to accept the thesis about the
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course SOC 3 taught by Professor Don'tremember during the Fall '04 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Lecture 32 - SOCIOLOGY 3AC Professor Brian Powers 11/07/07...

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