Historical Origin, Functions, And Implications Of Race Essay

1127 Words May 4th, 2016 null Page
To understand our place in society, we interact with others and develop a set of shared notions, institutions, and structures. Sociology, the systematic study of human society, helps us understand these interactions. In particular, applying the sociological imagination to the social construct of race yields insight into its fallacy and utility. In this essay, I examine the historical origin, functions, and implications of race in the United States. I also connect race to sociologists Barbara J. Fields, Kingsley Davis, Wilbert E. Moore, Marianne Bertrand, and Sendhil Mullainathan. In a larger context, the social construct of race is a system of schematism; race is a socially assigned grouping based on human appearance. Although the notion of race seems innocuous, it is in reality an insidious and overly simplified social construct that alienates minorities. If we define a social construct to be an artificially created notion that seeks to represent reality, then race is a social construct. Although we use the notion of race in our day-to-day lives, there is a general consensus among scientists that races do not exist. For example, evolutionary biologist Joseph Graves argues that "the measured amount of genetic variation in the human population is extremely small." Although we often ascribe racial differences to genetics, there is no significant scientific proof that suggests genetic differences between racial groups. Thus, the belief that races are legitimate…

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