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Lecture 2

SOCY 235 - Race & Racialization Readings Week 2 - 4
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCY 233
Professor
N/ A
Semester
Winter

Description
SOCY 235Week 2 13012014Chapter 2 The Politics of Race Introduction Perceptions as Reality The classification of colonized people into racialized others secured a simple yet selfserving explanation during the era of European exploration capitalistic expansion and imperialist adventuresRace mattered for various reasons such as 1 a tool for justifying social inequality 2 an excuse for doing the inexcusable and 3 a framework for explaining human differences and 4 a rationalization for salving guilty consciences Race concept may have been a little more than a fiction a socially constructed discourse in defence of white dominationbut its capacity to inflict injury was anything but fictitious Perceptions of race exert a pervasive influence at many different levels of realityfrom where people live to whom they hire to what they can expect from lifePublic participation and political decision making are influenced by prevailing stereotypes and racial prejudices Race profiling remains a major problem in the policing of young black and aboriginal males Race continues to matter for the same reasons as in the past to explain or to rationalize for purposes of control or exploitation Race in colourconscience society represents a tainted status that is deeply discrediting and shamefula stigma of incompetence that hinders and hurtsRace matters because people perceive others to be racially distinct and rely on these perceptions to discriminate or differentiate The reality of race is rejected however because people perceive it to be real it continues to matter in effect reaffirming WI Thomass prescient notion that things do not have to be real to be real in their consequencesRace may be skin deep but remains an infallible marker of a persons worth and predictor of successReactions to race scorn or criticism regardless of the position OR those who endorse race are laughed upon OR those who dismiss race as fantast are criticized for compromising a peoples identity by tramping on social history group solidarity or cultural aspirations When it comes to race perception is realityRace matters because a persons perceived racial location in society will influence identity experiences opportunities and outcomes its presence is deeply ingrained that dislodging it from peoples mindsets would prove a tricky affair AND because of its embededdness is settler societies Canadian society neither color blind or race neutralprofoundly racialized and Eurocentric in its foundational principles constitutional order and governance structures that dominant interests agendas are invariably secured and advancedThe race concept marks relations of privilege and exploitation for some it also serves as an indicator of identity community and history for others The Origins of RaceConcept itself originated with European expansion conquest and settlement including the expansion of the crossAtlantic slave trade crude evolutionary theories the appearance of human and biological sciences and international competition Races were assigned particular economic functions based on their physical appearances local resources power to resist geographical location and cultural proximity to EuropeExploration and EnlightenmentPrecise systems of classification were formulated and aligned hierarchically on the following assumptions that each life form1Occupied a distinctive and specific place within the natural order of things2Embodied a singular and defining essence that left no room for ambiguity 3Possessed a distinctive set of identifiable and fixed characteristics that distinguished it from othersthe race concept bolstered an enlightenment commitment to classifying the diversity of the worlds plants animals and peoples into a single grand schemeancient peoples possessed an intense aversion to those who were different
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