RACE - RACE: Its Social Construction/Biological Dimensions...

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RACE: Its Social Construction/Biological Dimensions AGR 201 “Communicating Across Cultures” College of Agriculture, Purdue University October 19, 2010 Myron D. McClure Our RACE, My ETHNICITY http://newsreel.org/nav/title.asp?tc=CN0149 Social Construction – Race/Racism Race – like, ethnicity in general, is a matter of cultural categories and organization, not biological reality Race/ethnic groups derive from social contrasts, rather than from scientific classifications based on genes. Note: When ethnic groups are assumed to have biological basis, it is called - race Its Social Construction Benedict – pointed out years ago, that culture is not a function of race. Tendency to classify/stratify people by their appearance despites scientific evidence which contradicts “natural” and “absolute” divisions of humanity. Moral worth/virtue often correlated with race, economic and political status Its Social Construction Racism- rest on the notion that some groups are inherently inferior to others and should be dominated by presumably inherently superior groups. In U.S., domination of blacks was institutionalized and backed by government until 1960’s African Americans denied civil rights and full participation in economic, political, and social life. New legislation: Civil Right Act of 1964, Voting Rights act of 1965, and Fair housing act of 1968. Social Construction (Cont’d) Racism has not always existed!!!!! Snowden’s study of Greek and Roman culture demonstrates that Europeans and Africans coexisted in ancient world free of discrimination based on skin color/physical features. Covert/overt racism exist in today’s society, continues as a result of unconscious feelings of superiority/unconscious stereotypes.
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May be continuum of racism rather than strict binary opposition between racists/non- racists Brief Experiences of People of Color in America What could the European settlers have learned from Native Americans How did Africans come to America How was slavery addressed in the new nation Slavery Issues Slave owners with large numbers of slaves made enormous profits (spent $12-$13 annually on a slave who could produce $260 in profit) Black indentured servants became slaves Free and enslaved Africans protested against slavery How was slavery addressed in the new nation The constitution allowed slaves to be imported for 20 years Anti-slavery organizations lobbied to end the slave trade permanently People organized to help slaves escape (Underground Railroad) Was there a decrease in discrimination against Blacks after World War I 1920’s: Black soldiers were denied awards for military achievements Ku Klux Klan was revived 1930’s: Black agricultural and domestic workers denied social security and minimum wage
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course AGR 201 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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RACE - RACE: Its Social Construction/Biological Dimensions...

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