Essay about Analysis Of Omi And Winant 's ' Racial Formation '

821 Words Oct 31st, 2016 4 Pages
In Omi and Winant’s “Racial Formation,” the authors argue that racial formation is the “sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed” (DOC Reader, 21) and that there are two components of racial formation: social structure and cultural representation. Social structure includes state activity and policies about race, like the economy, segregation, the criminal justice system, citizenship, or anything considered official. Cultural representation is how race is understood or expressed in society, including stereotypes, media representation, news outlets, and more. Throughout the 19th century, an increase of Chinese immigrants arrived in America after hearing about the “Gam Saan, ‘Gold Mountain,’” (Takaki, 178). Many were also fleeing the hardships back in China, which included British colonialism, environmental disasters, starvation, and poor economic conditions. Because of the labor demands of the railroad and agricultural expansion, the Chinese were a welcomed addition. They were perceived as “quiet, peaceable, industrious, economical – ready and apt to learn all the different kinds of work” (181), which resulted in a preference of Chinese workers over whites. Eventually, previous sentiments of acceptance soon changed as white Americans began to compete against the Chinese for gold and employment. Thus, laws, like the “1790 federal law that reserved naturalized citizenship for ‘whites’” (180), the 1852 Foreign Miners…

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