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Race as a Social Construct

Updated October 5, 2021
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Race as a Social Construct essay

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To completely define race, it can be defined as “subjective social, political, and cultural construct” (Guerrero, 2019, p.52). Race has been an idea that many people struggle to grasp a hold of and understand the meaning behind it. Often, people tend to unintentionally confuse race with other socially constructed term. Sometimes race can be institutionalized into exploitive political or economic systems. Racism is “the belief in the inferiority of certain racial or ethnic groups, often accompanied by discrimination” (Guerrero, 2019, p.55). Often, society thinks that race is a biological factor and it is not.

There is nothing that is biologically constructed to cluster other races together or separated. Race is always been and will continue to be a modern-day societal concept. Race is still running its course with identifying others in society. One concept that I found interesting is that other children in completely societies that are of a mixed race are less privileged than those who are not mixed. Race is assigned in completely different ways across the nation. A person’s parents, phenotype, socioeconomic status can determine what society is going to categorize them as what they want. A lot of things that people say and think are a racial term and sometimes they are considered a cultural term and vice versa.

To completely to define social construction, it is a concept that has been constructed and been accepted by society. Social construction is an ongoing process and will always be, no matter how society attempts to act like it is not a problem. Some people tend to think objective reality is a part of social construction when it really is just a part of society’s interaction. I think social construction only exist because society agrees that it exist. I do believe that society has an instinct to base social construction concepts off their own personal experiences. Sometimes social construct can have values and beliefs interpreted into them from society thoughts about the construct.

Society tends to alter social constructs as they continue to interact upon new situations. Social constructions alter our own individual lives whether you believe it or not. Some aspects that are social constructs are government, race, gender, femininity and masculinity, illness, marriage, family, religion, technology, deviance and education. Society has come to terms that a lot of concepts that we are familiar with, can and will be social constructed. Relatively I do believe that social construction is anti-realist on the aspects that are social constructed. Altogether, social construct is not inherently natural, it is was just created and manifested by society in the worst way. Yet if we did not have then society would not be same as it is now.

When analyzing the significance of race as a social construction you must think about a lot of factors. Race was a concept created by society, that we live in to justify what society considers inequality. For a long time, people have used “race” to determine why something is so common for years. For example, health is a concept that was social constructed. Society has approved certain medications for difference races, because some diseases commonly only occur in one race. I also believe race itself is just an illusion that will continue to be one. I think people together as a society have a lot to learn about race and social construction and race as a social construction when analyzing them.

Race is a social construction. Issues that present themselves today in society is a prime example why race will always be social constructed. Different races having money or the means to provide for themselves and their families is another example why race is constructed. I believe that is where a lot of perspectives come into the situation. Functionalist theorist believe that there is a “difference between racial and ethnic groups are largely cultural”, (Guerrero, 2019, p.56). Conflict theorist “focus on how the dynamics of racial and ethnic relations divide groups while maintain a dominant group”, (Guerrero, 2019, p.57). Feminist theorist focus their attention on different categories of race, class, sexual orientation, nation of origin, language, culture, and ethnicity.” (Guerrero, 2019, p.58). Interactionist perspective is where social construction is really formed at. The believe that “race itself is not a category but a practice” (Guerrero, 2019, p.58).

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