Race as a Social Construct

894 words 4 pages
Race as a Social Construct

Omi and Winant’s discussion from “Racial Formations” are generally about race being a social construct and is also demonstrated in the viewing of Race - The power of an illusion. Omi and Winant have both agreed that race is socially constructed in society. Ultimately this means that race is seen differently in different societies and different cultures. Media, politics, school, economy and family helps alter society’s structure of race. In the viewing , also media as well as history seemed to create race by showing how social norms have evolved in different racial groups. For example, “Rules shaped by our perception of race in a comprehensively racial society determine the presentation of self, distinction
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“Differences in skin color and other obvious physical characteristics supposedly provide visible clues to differences lurking underneath” (Omi and Winant 23). The existence of racial ideology helps create racial sterotypes and myths. For example, in the viewing it was pointed out that American Jews reportedly dominated basketball during the first half of the 1900s. However , now it seems as if African Americans dominate the NBA. Concepts like ‘Black athletic superiority’ is the belief ‘black’ people have traits that have been acquired through genetic or een environmental factors. These factors help them excel over all other races in athletic competitions. The theories of racial differences and their possible effect on athletic ability have been noticed since the nineteenth century. More interests were attracted to the subject soon after the 1935 Track Championships, were Jesse Owen’s record breaking performance had shocked white Americans. “Temperament, sexuality, intelligence, athletic ability, aesthetic preferences and so on are presumed to be fixed and discernible from the palpable mark of race” (Omi and Winant 23). The dominant group in society has always defined race which sets every other race inferior. Race creates many differences in social status. Status is indicated by race. This can either include or exclude people from more social constructs. This can also prevent or allow certain powers or privileges. Race is a social construct fueled by


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