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Approach to Race and Racism - Essay Example

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Approach to Race and Racism

Jews suffered millions of deaths in death camps because their 'race', which was speculated to be lead by the Elders of Scion, was a threat to the supremacy of the German pure blood.
The term "race" in the not so distant past had a negative connotation associated with it because it was used as an instrument to justify violation of basic human rights. The term 'Racism' has been equated to Discrimination. We see in America reputed to be of high civility, Negroes sold and made to work in the cotton field and was given no election power or the basic right of Self Determination.
Yet, as the loom of time unwinds its thread, the concept behind Race has gradually transformed. Although the same notion of inferiority is still present today in some regions of the world, we now see that Race has become a classifying tool trying to rid itself of discrimination tendencies. Many nations today have mixed populations and are thriving. In The United States, for example, the colored citizen has as much right as the white citizen. This paper aims to determine how the anthropological nature of race has evolved thru time.
According to the brochure entitled "Race : The Power of an Illusion", all people tend to have a notion of race. The problem, however, is that their notions vary from person to person. This problem was also stated in the 13th page of the reading Chapter 1 Some Theoretical Considerations where each student had some characterization to the term different from their peers.
However, the author was able to find commonalities in the answers. Race is associated with the characteristics of each racial group. This includes not only physical features but also the culture practiced by the individual. By culture, we mean music styles, mannerisms, personality traits and the like. Race tends to become rather like classifying according to the nationality of the individual - Chinese, Russian, German, African and the likes.
Essentially, the term race tries to distinguish one population or group of people. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits especially skin color, facial features and hair texture and then one refers to genes and self-identification. Conceptions of race, as well as specific racial groupings, vary temporally. This characteristic is significant because of scientific reasons and its impact on social identity and identity politics. Some scientists regard race as a social construct while others maintain it has genetic basis.
Although classification of people can be found in as far back as the Ancient Egyptian sacred text the Book of Gates with reference to skin tone, we focus ourselves to the development of the idea of race starting in the 19th century where it has received much attention and fan fare. Our setting will mostly be in the United States where the academic development of anthropology from an exotic undertaking became an academic discipline.
The 19th Century
This period was characterized by attempts to change race from a taxonomic to a biological concept and where tribesmen where shown in fairs not only to show people the variety of men but also their supposed inferiority to the Western civilized world. There were many natural scientists who delved in the subject of race such as Georges Curvier, Alfred Wallace, Francis Galton and many more but none was more influential than Charles Darwin.
In his most ...Show more


Although only a four letter word, the term Race and the concept associated with it presents itself as a prime social mover especially during the era of imperialism. Early in our History subjects we learn that the American Civil War was fought because of the abolishment of Negro Slavery…
Author : angie09
Approach to Race and Racism essay example
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