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Definition of Race

Race is a social construction supported by political realities.​

In a general understanding, race means differences of skin color and other physical attributes like religion, language and nationality. The categories of race are in most cases used as intensifiers of ethnic, with an aim of justifying exploitation of a group over another. In America, race idea has been fixed for so long that open mindedness has seized when it comes to challenging racial categories issue. Nevertheless, the use of the term ‘race’ is drastically changing with each year. Fundamentally, there has arisen a great difference between the social and biological race views (David, 2010).

How does this view compare with the traditional, biological view of race?

According to the biological view on race, race can be explained using three forms of explanation. One is the natural selection that was proposed by Charles Darwin. According to the natural selection, race is a survival of some habitat that has varying hereditary traits that pass the traits to their offspring. Gene flow is the second explanation which believes that gene flow occurs between people through mating hence causing a race.  The third explanation is called the genes drift which is a processes that is passed from one generation to another, or when people transfer from one geographical location to another. The people that drift from one place to another change compared to those that remains.

From a social perspective, which refers race as a social construction, race is based on artificial appearances. Saying that race is a social construction portrays race as a idea that is created by human interaction and thought, instead of something that is a material fact of living.  Social Imperatives like politics have changed the meaning of race over time.  Regardless of time or place, race is determined by resource and rights distribution and the ideas of race are apparent in social inequalities.

How did the traditional view assist or inhibit the assimilation of underserved groups into the overall American majority?

The traditional view of race indeed assisted in assimilation of the underserved groups into the overall American Majority. According to this view, affirmative action is not necessary since it is believed to lead to “reverse discrimination.”The traditional view also assisted in assimilation through encouraging people to stop talking about race since they considered that to be polarizing and divisive and instead ignore the issue of color differences. The traditional view considers class to be the real issue instead of race, insisting that people get what they deserve in life. The traditional view further has assisted the underserved groups to get into the overall American majority through encouraging them that there are no races that are superior to others, the differences takes place depending on how hard a person works (Wright, 2008).

People like George Lopez, Tiger Woods, and Oprah Winfrey are examples of Blacks that worked really hard and are now very successful in America. The traditional view of race suggests that racism is about obvious, deliberate prejudice. Nevertheless, with this enlightenment, the type of explicit racial prejudice and discrimination that was experienced in the past does not exist today.  Though there is still segregation in America where by the African Americans and people color prefer living on their own, they still make individual decisions and are succeeding depending on an individual’s effort



Which approach - assimilation, melting pot, fusion and/or pluralism - matches most closely to the new definition of race in contemporary America?

As a social construct, race is defined as a group of people that share distinct and similar physical characteristics. Race in contemporary America is defined by United Census bureau and federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as data items used for self identification where residents choose a race they want to closely identify with and indicate if they are of Latin or Hispanic origin (Richard, 2014). According to OMB race is not anthropological or scientific related, rather it is influenced by cultural and social characteristics that have no reference whosoever to genetic or biological influence. The approach that closely matches this new definition of race in contemporary America is the Assimilation approach.

Assimilation is the practice through which a group's or a person’s language and culture begin to resemble those of a different group. The phrase is used to refer to individuals as well as groups, and in the case of group it can also refer to either native residents or immigrant Diasporas that appear to be dominated in terms of by another culture. Assimilation can involve also a gradual or quick change depending on the situation of the affected group. Total assimilation takes place when new society members become impossible to differentiate from the original members of the society (Helloed, 2002). Whether it is desirable for the immigrant crowd to assimilate or not, it is frequently disputed by both group members and members of the dominant society. Assimilation is closely identical to the contemporary definition of race in America today since in both cases it is a choice made by a group or person to have some resemblance with another culture or group.

The definition of race I support

I support the sociological definition of race. According to Sociologists, race is a concept that is used to mean varying types of human beings. Even though there lacks a biological basis for classification of race, sociologists identify a long account of trials to organize groups of individuals based on the same skin color and physical look. The lack of any biological base makes race frequently difficult to classify and define, and therefore, sociologists view racial groups and the importance of race in society as unhinged, ever changing, and thoroughly connected to other communal structures and forces. Nevertheless, Sociologists emphasize that though race is not a tangible, fixed object that is necessary to human bodies; it is goes beyond just a simple illusion. While race is socially constructed through human communication, and through other relations that involve people and institutions, as a social strength, race is quite real in its outcomes.

I believe that race is a social construct that affects legal, sociopolitical and economic context. Like most of the social scientists, I also believe that race does not have any natural foundations, but instead it is an artificial distinction created by people. The race social construction has grown within a number of economic, legal, and sociopolitical perspectives, and it can possibly be the effect, instead of the cause of chief race-related problems. In general, a race of a person is majorly determined by the environment as well as individual choices rather than by some natural powers or divine interventions.

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David, S. (2010). What's the Use of Race? Modern Governance and the Biology of Difference. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press

Helloed, G. (2002). "Race in Biology and Anthropology: A Study of College Texts and Professors". Journal of Research in Science Teaching

Richard, T.  (2014). Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the USA. DePaul University; SBN-13: 9780205181889

Wright, S. (2008). Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. 4, Variability Within and Among Natural Populations. Chicago, Illinois

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