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Critical Analysis of Attached Article, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 399

Essay

“A social Construction of Race” by a legal scholar Ian F. Haney Lopez discusses a disproved notion that “racial divisions reflect fundamental genetic differences.” (Lopez)  The author emphasizes the idea that racial division is primarily based on social integration of competing forces through the history of humankind rather than differences between physical characteristics of this or that racial type.

The recognized social beliefs that have given birth to numerous racial prejudices, have been long accepted as those justified by science. However, the exhausting attempts to define clear biological criteria to differentiate between representatives of diverse races in terms of their physicality, are now finally regarded as failed, Haney Lopez declares. Belonging to this or that race should in no way be declared with regard to one’s skin color or hair texture, since physical characteristics are no longer viewed as sufficient basis for racially dividing people.

However, even though “the rejection of race in science is now almost complete”, modern society including political authorities and legislative bodies are not yet ready to give up the notion of biological race. Seemingly refusing to define race by referring to physical characteristics only, Supreme Court and Congress, however, seem to fail to practically employ the fact that race is constructed socially, not biologically.

According to Professor Haney Lopez, races are produced due to human social interaction rather than natural differentiation.  Discussing the phenomenon of social formation of race the author concludes the theory into four major aspects of the process. He states that racial categorization is primarily provoked by humans, which results into race being no more than an integral part of the whole of social construct, equivalent to gender and class relations. Professor also claims that racial systems of meaning are not constant once defined but are rather changing continuously being influenced by numerous social forces. “Races are not rocks, they are plastics”, he declares, implying the specific nature of transformation races are continually going through.

Questions

  • If there is no scientific argumentation for intergroup race differences, why is than children born in multiracial marriages tend to be more gifted and of better physical build?
  • How some obviously typical physical racial characteristics could be explained if rejecting the notion of biological race?
  • Is there any possibility the phenomenon of racial division will eventually die out if the scientific rejection of race is popularized?

Works Cited

Haney Lopez, Ian F. “The Social Construction of Race.” The Making of Race, Sex and Empire.

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