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Racism and Society - Essay Example

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Racism and Society

It should be stated that racial categories are variable and mostly depend on the meanings inserted by contemporaries. According to some scholars, it is wrong to consider the concept of race politically neutral. It always contain, even if just implicitly, the idea of conflict of interests. Omi and Winant state "race is a concept, which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests, by referring to different types of human bodies" (55).
Some sociologists state that the notion of race has always been filled with some socio-cultural meaning, demonstrating an attitude towards 'aliens' expressed through the emphasizing of their most observable physical differences. In other words, sociologists consider that physical marks reflect not the objective reality, but subjective attitude. According to Robert Park (237-239, 315), a racial mark has become the symbol of the suspense, in the ground of which has laid the sense of self-vulnerability. He writes that a sociologist is interested not in physical distinctions, differentiating one race from another, but in less evident lineaments of inner apprehensions. And physical distinctions are just the symbols of these inner apprehensions. Park claims that historical process in the issue is predetermined by the ideological factors, not by the biological ones. The more important is to realize what people believe in and look for, than to know who they are.
In other words modern sociologists, considering race as an artificial construct and one of means of creation and description the identity, emphasize that race remains to be rather important notion, which determines and legalizes social and political actions of people. At the same time they are sure that race is a product of racism, and not contrariwise. From this point of view groups, which are called racial, turn out to be 'racialised'. It means that social, political, or economical state of these groups is described with the help of racial categories.
A lot of scholars for decades have oppugned against scientific racism, which has tried to ground the idea of racial inequality. They have proved that human capabilities do not depend on the color of the skin or type of eyes. One of the most outstanding representatives of this stream is Ashley Montague, who from 1940s has insisted that race is just a scientific phantom.
However a lot of scholars as before consider race and ethnos as some biological reality, underestimating the paramount role of social factor. "While racism is necessarily rooted in biology, ethnocentrism is typically rooted in culture," says D'Souza (33). Nonetheless most of scholars have understood that race is rather social construct then the biological reality, and that the concept of race implicates relationship of dominance and submission.
Does racism still exist
It should be said that it is rather difficult to define the notion of racism. In fact this concept has an extraordinary ability to mimicry, changing itself in accordance with the circumstances. Besides ...Show more

Summary

Nowadays it is impossible to read a newspaper or a magazine or to watch news on TV and not to run against the information concerning the issues of ethnocentrism, racial or national stereotypes, discrimination, etc. These issues occur overall: from the sphere of international commercial activity up the wars caused by racial and ethnic distinctions…
Author : andersonruby
Racism and Society essay example
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