Racial Categorization Of Race

1300 Words 6 Pages
Humans have the propensity to categorize friends, peers, and strangers. We naturally label people, classifying them through social groupings—class, gender, age, and race. This action, often thought to be an automatic cognitive process, attributes to people’s interpretation of the individuals around them (Stangor). With race at the forefront of political debates and social movements, racial categorization of individuals has become an influential topic in today’s society. Recently, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, a campaign that was created in response to police brutality and advocates for the empowerment of Black communities, exemplifies the prominence of race in society (“#BlackLivesMatter: The Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement”). …show more content…
From the theory of social Darwinism—a now discredited conjecture of the late 19th century that misused evolutionary ideas to promote European superiority—to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, racial classification has had monumental consequences in society (“Social Darwinism”). Furthermore, the understanding of how race is perceived in regards to psychological, social, and biological aspects can allow insight into the basis of racial divides and discrimination. Research in perception of race reveals that it greatly impacts the formation of prejudices and racial bias, and it is often the most significant factor providing the foundation for racism. While the natural perception of race cannot necessarily be altered, examining and understanding the relationship between race perception and prejudice allows us to adequately address the problem, creating a more tolerant, cultivated population through education and …show more content…
For example, in an interview with the National Public Radio, Shankar Vedantam discusses how widespread racial stereotypes impact the identification of a person’s race in surveys. Vedantam, a social science correspondent for the National Public Radio, predominantly focuses on the findings of Aliya Saperstein, a sociologist at Stanford University who examined the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. This survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, follows the life changes of thousands of young Americans for extended periods of time. Saperstein, while analyzing this survey, found that racial grouping of individuals changed over time, even after removing the changes in mixed-race individuals who identify as multiple races. In fact, Saperstein learned that people’s racial classifications changed in response life occurrences that played in stereotypes; people who previously identified as White suddenly identified as Black after going to prison or becoming unemployed (“Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions of Race). Like Freeman’s study and Wilson’s research, this illustrates the intertwined relationship of stereotypes and perception of race. The way people perceive race generates stereotypes; nevertheless, these same stereotypes can also change self-identification of race, as shown in the National Longitudinal Survey of

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