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In fact humans are far more alike than they are

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Unformatted text preview: skin color. In fact, humans are far more alike than they are different, and share 99.9 percent of their genetic material. S Race does, however, have social and political significance. Social scientists call the term race a “social construct,” that is, it was invented and given meaning by human beings. Why? Answering that question requires looking at the creation of racial categories in history, and what those categories have produced over time. In the particular case of the United States, two primary racial categories—white Europeans and all nonwhite “others”—emerged early in our nation’s history. Beginning with the expropriation of Native American lands, a racialized system of power and privilege developed and white dominance became the national common sense, opening the door to the enslavement of Africans, the taking of Mexican lands, and the limits set on Asian immigrants. “Millions of Americans still think and talk about race in terms of fixed biological or genetic categories. A strikingly different way to view the concept of ‘race’ is as an unequal relationship between social groups based on the privileged access to po...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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