Unformatted text preview: Fall 2007 ES21AC – A Comparative Survey of Race and Ethnicity in the United States Parting Thoughts Within the short fifteen weeks of this semester, we have attempted to dismantle any basic assumptions that a discussion of ‘multicultural America’ should merely recover group histories subsumed by dominant racial discourse. I hope we have in fact been able to see that either being American or in becoming American, we each encounter structures of race, class, gender, sexuality and legal status. These powers of enclosure are intrinsic to our very particular multiculturalism. In the last two decades, there have been two seemingly contradictory trends in scholarship on race in the United States. The first is the import given to battling early twentieth century’s biological determinism, which asserted racial inferiority as a natural order of things. Indeed, most social scientists in exploring race as a ‘social construct’ note how social conditions and historical moments pre-assumed group differences and therefore worked to make those seemingly fixed ‘differences’ into the actual experience of the group. In moving away from this unreal category of ‘race’, many academics subsumed race underneath other categories such as class or ethnicity. However, category of ‘race’, many academics subsumed race underneath other categories such as class or ethnicity....
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- dominant racial discourse, exclusive racial trope