Sociology and the Concept of Race
This paper posits that the concept of race is completely socially and historically contingent.
# 119520 | 2,783 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2010 |
Published on May 06, 2010 in African-American Studies (1870-1950) , History (U.S. After 1865) , History (U.S. The Young Nation 1800-1848) , Sociology (Multiculturalism)
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This paper supports the theory that "race" is a social construct based on hegemony and organizational hierarchies within society. It draws on the writings of DuBois, Wade, and Takaki and emphasizes the importance of historical context in analyzing race. Similar to the constantly changing perception of differences between male and female from the 18th century to the present, the definition of race includes a continuous series of contradictions throughout social history.
From the Paper:"Similar to Dubois, in "Iron Cages," Ronald Takaki analyzes the concept of race alongside the establishment of republican America. He elucidates the notion of race in terms of economic, political, and social developments rather than a history of common attitudes in 19th century America. Takaki emphasizes the importance of the political world in 19th century America, which was focused on separation from the King of England, and ideas of republicanism, Protestantism, and the Great Awakening as products of the American Revolution (Takaki, 4). Protestantism, mentioned earlier, insisted upon a strong work ethic and individual achievement, particularly in the newly adopted capitalist system. The ideology formed as an opposition to the luxurious and expensive habits of the King of England resulted in a need for a "virtuous people," who would not only separate themselves from the King but also exercise a government by the people, or a republican government (7). Takaki says, "A government dependent on the character of the people would be fragile. If people abandoned simplicity of manners and succumbed to luxury, the government would become corrupt and tyrannical" (9). The migration of Europeans to America stemmed from the oppression and domination employed by the English monarch and justifies the development of Protestant and republican ideologies that inevitably conflict with the Indians and African-Americans."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bois, W.E. Burghardt Du. The Conservation of Races. Little Books Of Wisdom: Book Jungle, 2009. Print.
- Takaki, Ronald. Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America. Revised ed. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000. Print.
- Wade, Peter. Race, Nature And Culture: An Anthropological Perspective (Anthropology, Culture and Society). London: Pluto Press, 2002. Print.
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