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Running Head: THE SOCIAL FUNCTION OF RACISM IN AMERICA 1The social function of racism in AmericaStudent’s name Institution affiliation Course Professor Date of submission
RACISM2Introduction Racism and ethnicity loom large in the United States of America. Racial ideology runs deep in American culture and history. The race is at the core of America’s political culture. It shapes the identities of Americans. Racism in the United States of America existed since the colonial era. Whites were given the priority over the people of color; legally sanctioned rights and privileges were given to the Americans and denied to all other races. European Americans were granted exclusive privileges and rights as compared to other races; they had exclusive opportunities in matters of immigration, voting rights, education, criminal procedure, and citizenship. People of color faced structural barriers when it came to accessing quality healthcare, quality housing, employment, and education. In modern society, there has been racial disparities permeate the criminal justice system in the US and undermine its effectiveness. People of color face unfair ruling as compared to whites for similar crimes committed. The current paper discusses the social function of racism in America. A review of the literatureThere are two distinct phases in the sociology of racism which explain the changing nature of race and racism in the United States as constructed by social forces and actors after World War II. The first phase of racism starts from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. It is the phase in which racism is viewed as the set of overt individual-level attitudes. The second phase of racism is from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The period considers racism as not just explicit attitudes, but also implicit biases and processes that are socially constructed, sustained, and enacted at both micro and macro levels. The first phase of racism considers the relationship between racism and inequality while the second phase
RACISM3considers the relationship between racism and racial bias and how traditional, unconscious, institutional, and systematic types of racism connect with other social forces to propagate racial inequality (Pager & Shepherd, 2008). In the 1920s, when the race came under close study, some sociologists viewed racism as adistinct social issue worthy scrutiny. After the devastating consequences of racism after WWII, racism became a significant issue of concern. The period after the Second World War is marked to be the first period in which the sociological study of racism began. Dominant theories on individual prejudice describe racism as a set of specific individual-level beliefs and attitudes that were a historical remnant.