Soc 156 Assignment 1

Soc 156 Assignment 1 - Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Sociology...

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Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Sociology 156/Section 1D October 16, 2011 Take Home Assignment #1 America is a nation with a history based on race. After only 235 years of existence, America and its people have made great strides in many areas, from laws to technology and everywhere in between. Yet there are people with no biological or genetic difference who have a history of being racialized. Looking at Jews and Blacks in the United States, the racial experience of these groups show how racial divisions change over time and create changing social divides. Race, as we know it, is no more than social construction. Throughout the years, many scientists have sought to determine the cause of racial differences. Although there has never been any real biological or genetic basis for race, we still perceive race through certain physical characteristics: skin color, eye shape, and hair texture. As Melvin Oliver put it so perfectly, “Race in itself means nothing…unless [racial markers] are given social meaning and unless there’s public policy and private actions that act upon those kinds of characteristics.” (“The House We Live In”). For Blacks this racial marker is skin color. This racial marker has a history of public policy and actions to go alone with it. For instance, the concept of segregation based on race can have two forms, de jure and de facto. De jure segregation involves laws, such as those before 1954, which required the segregation of whites and nonwhites (Desmond and Emirbayer,
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course SOCIOLOGY 156 taught by Professor Susankim during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.

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Soc 156 Assignment 1 - Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Sociology...

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