Prelim 3 Outline - Question 1: Social construct What does...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Question 1: Social construct What does it mean to say that race is “socially constructed?” Why is this important for the study of racial and ethnic inequality? In answering this question, be sure to give concrete examples of ways in which race is, or has historically been, “socially constructed.” Social Construct Explanation To say that something is socially constructed suggests that its’ meaning is derived from social practices and beliefs o Race as a concept can be difficult to understand ( Omi and Winant ) Not an essence – fixed, objective trait Not an illusion – purely ideological concept that would disappear in a non-racist America Can’t just get rid of it – continues to play a fundamental role in our society o “Race is a complex but empirically demonstrably stratifying practice that creates identity and hierarchy through social interaction” ( Sociologist Troy Duster ) Alternative: Biological construct Race is inherited, fixed, meaningful proxy for genetic ancestry Examples o Early 20c: Gall’s phrenology o 21c: drug/medical research, Bidill – heart medicine for blacks Assumptions are flawed o Physical traits and genetic ancestry are only weakly correlated o Blacks treated as very homogeneous, but demonstrate the most heterogeneity Importance in inequality studies
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Racial categories correspond to measurable outcomes o US poverty rate o Wealth o Inheritance o Home ownership o Test scores o Retention rates o College entrance/graduation rates o College-educated whites 4x as much wealth as CE-blacks o Whites 3x more likely to inherit money than blacks o Prejudicial attitudes persist Studying such outcomes can help us o Explain how race interacts with inequality o Suggest policy implications Importance in society ( Omi and Winant ) Macro level o Race infused in economic, political, and legal institutions o Influences policy making, state activity, and collective bargaining Micro level o Race infused in day to day interactions o Identity formation and perception lenses
Background image of page 2
Examples Historically o Irish immigrants of early 20c Considered black Occupied similar position as blacks in terms economic status and discrimination Disassociation with blacks through cultural practices to emphasize whiteness Now just another white ethnicity that people actively choose o Jim crow era: rule of hypo-descent “One-drop rule” Contemporary US o Susie Phipps 1982 case against the Louisiana records department Tried to change from “black” to “white” Court upheld the 1/32 nd rule and state’s right to classify and quantify racial identity How history of race continues to shape the present Reveals macro-level influence How individuals are shaped by race o Modern debates centering on affirmative action o Cultural fascination with race (Tiger, Obama) Conclusion Changing definition of race Importance
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Future
Background image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 16

Prelim 3 Outline - Question 1: Social construct What does...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 5. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online