SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 42: Ethnocentrism, Racialization, Eugenics

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Paradox: race as we know it has no deterministic, biological basis: all the same, race is so powerful that it can have life or death consequences. The sociological study of race treats it as a social phenomenon that seems natural but isn"t. Race is a real social distinction- us and them . But as a biological, genetic, geographic, or cultural category, race has fluid and changeable boundaries. Race can be defined as a group of people who share a set of characteristics - usually physical ones - and are said to share a common bloodline. Race is termed a myth because it is largely a social construction that we use to make sense of the world rather than a biological or natural reality. Race is a social construct that changes over time and across different contexts. Racism is the belief that members of separate races possess different and unequal human traits. Racist thinking is characterized by three key beliefs.

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