response paper 6 - Many other aspects of race, however, are...

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Kevin Phipps March 25, 2009 TA: Sara Keene Response Paper #7 Race is defined as “a classification system that assigns individuals and groups to categories that are ranked or hierarchical.” Many people view race as physical characteristics possessed by individuals such as skin color. Scientists study biological differences to examine the implications of race. Among many others, Dr. Samuel Morton studied cranial capacity pertaining to different races. This becomes rather complicated, however, as race mixing affects genes that are reflected by such studies. This has resulted in many scientists abandoning such studies. Arthur Jensen has “suggest instead that the truth of race lies in the terrain of innate characteristics, of which skin color and other physical attributes provide only the most obvious, and in some respects most superficial, indicators.” Though it may be difficult to explain such traits, it is impossible to deny that they exist, suggesting that race is a tangible concept.
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Unformatted text preview: Many other aspects of race, however, are socially constructed, and may be viewed as myths. Our way of interpreting the physical differences and defining them as race is a large part of this myth. Americans ignore their greater physical variability, while assigning racial significance to lesser differences between them. There is such a range of physical traits that it makes it impractical to classify people by such strict racial classifications. We assume many physical traits belong to people of certain races while it varies much more then we believe. Other factors are assigned to the different races that may have little to no support in reality. These unfounded stereotypes, as well as race itself, are used to explain the myriads of physical differences that exist between people. While the differences are real, the explanations are in many cases, merely myths....
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