The Dynamics Of Racial Fluidity And Inequality Article Analysis

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In the article “The Dynamics of Racial Fluidity and Inequality” by Saperstein and Penner (2012), supports on the notion that race is a “flexible” tendency that changes throughout the years and across backgrounds, rather than being a characteristic that is attributed at “birth” and “fixed” (as cited in Grusky & Weisshar, 2014 p.692). In order to better understand how racial classification plays an important role over the life course of an individual this paper will analyze the article of Saperstein and Penner (2012), discuss two major concepts that are affecting social inequality, and point out two strengths/weaknesses that helped or hurt the article.
Article
The study by Saperstein and Penner (2012) focused on how race is typically treated
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According to Saperstein and Penner (2012), at times two or more racial group’s boundaries will “shift” together in order to form a larger group (Grusky & Weisshar, 2014 p.688). In other words, the boundary line that separates a racial group from another will fade away to form a single racial group. Also, Saperstein and Penner (2012), mentioned that people can “cross” existing racial boundaries if they start to experience a change in the personal characteristics that is not usual to their native race (Grusky & Weisshar, 2014 p.688). For example, if a “white” individual becomes a victim of unemployment and consequently this leads him or her to get incarcerated, it might make them perceived themselves as a “black” person. For the simple reason that, he or she will usually get treated unfairly and unequally by its society, because “black” people in America stigmatize as the group who causes all of the problems that occur in society (Saperstein & Penner, 2012). To put it another way, the race of a person does not change from being “white” to “black” as consequence of developing Afrocentric features, rather it’s because his or her social position has change from being a high or middle class to a poor class individual. This example, can also work vice versa, because in the article of Saperstein and Penner (2012), it mentions of an individual known as “Anatole Broyard” whose racial characteristics were “black,” but during his adult life he was perceived as “white” person due to his “wealth,” “prestige,” and “income” (Grusky & Weisshar, 2014 p.688). With this in mind, one can understand how the social position of an individual takes a major role in the racial identification by others and

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