ASAMST 20A LeWeek Three - ASAMST 20A Lecture for Week Three...

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ASAMST 20A Lecture for Week Three 05/02/2008 17:09:00 Racial Formation  “the socio-historical process through which racial categories are created,  inhabited, transformed, and destroyed” o From the “Racial Formation in the United State,” Micheal Omi and  Howard Winant (new York:Routledge, 19860 Racial categories are dynamic, unstable, and changeable over time o Race did not use to be with us. In ancient time, class, status, were  more important. In the 17 th  century, America established a racial  system through slavery.  Although slavery did exist before the 17 th  century, it was not based on race but rather war, colonization, etc.  When a new concept of freedom “equality” in America during  Revolution created a contradictory paradox.  How could a country  founded on freedom, exercise slavery. Race was then made to  naturalized “blacks” as inferior.  Race is used as a justification for  oppression. In late 18-19 th  century, racists were separate species,  leading to generation of race understanding through biology. The  creation of race justified the suppression of African Americans and  Asians. Racial superiority for whites in the late 19 th  century was seen  as natural. o Race was seen as biological, innate but the more recent research and  understanding ( racial formation theory ) have lead to the  understanding that race is social construction.  Race is formed by  institutions, politics, popular culture, social attitudes. o Dynamics of race and how it changes over time: Example: Mexicans were considered “whites” until the 1930s  when successful lobbyists were able to change legality of the  category “Mexican” Document #10 (p.20): judicial treatment against other asian 
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