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RACE IN NORTH AMERICA Origin and Evolution of a Worldview Audrey Smedley PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION Explosion of materials on race published in last several decades Result is that Americans have been encourage/compelled to confront race as never before Changes 1) Latinos or Hispanics are now the lowest minority. Their backgrounds are very mixed including European, native American, and African ancestry. 2) People from the Doimla and Nuer peoples of East Africa. Scattered in areas like Minnesota, eastern coast cities. They are not physical distinguished from each other and do not share same languages, or common cultures. Added mixture to the African American category. 3) “Arab” phenotype. Sept 11, 2001 has led to a fear among these people. As a result, black and Hispanic men have been found being viewed suspiciously because of their resemblance to Middle Eastern men. This is showing people that phenotypic features are not a good clue to a person’s identity. With more and more people around the world, physical features are becoming more ambiguous as markers of “racial” identity. 4) Increase in intermarriage and admixtures of peoples have blurred those physical features that were traditionally cues to one’s racial identity. 5) 2002 – two groups of scientist finally sequenced the genetic material in human chromosomes, that reveled the patters of DANA in the human genome. (Genes are chemical materials in our bodies that are presumably the basis of our heredity) Many scientists declare the concept of race has no basis in the biological science. - Races are culturally constructed. Biological variations among people have no social meanings except what we humans give them. - Ideology of race has been used since the eighteenth century. - Race has been used to accord privileges, benefits, and rights to some and not to others, with the justification that the groups called races are innately unequal and that their differences cannot be transcended. - Race ideology is essentially a boundary-making and barrier-inducing force that is meant to be divisive and restricting. -When these beliefs have been linked to such natural features as skin color and other physical differences, race assumes the status of an indisputable truth. That is why the condition to the belief in the reality of race has been so powerful and so difficult to eliminate. - We think we see race when we see certain physical differences among us, skin color, eye color, shape, and hair texture. What we really see are the learned social meanings, the stereotypes, that have been linked to those physical features by the ideology of race and the historical legacy it has left us.
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INTRODUCTION - Whether one accepts race as a God-given conclusion of the complexity of an imperfect world, or as a misguided conception of group relationships – race is a prominent issue in Western though and experience. - Our interactions on a daily basis, whether we chose to believe it or not, are guided by race and our
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course WRA 125 taught by Professor Fernandez during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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