SOAN 2290 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Social Darwinism, Human Genome Project, Eugenics

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Race: culturally defined as a biologically based social construct involving the classification of persons (typology) into hierarchal categories (taxonomy) on the bass of real or imagined characteristics. Race has no empirical validity or scientific justification; nevertheless, people continue to believe it does and act accordingly, thus reinforcing the sociological axiom that phenomena do not have to be real to be real in their consequences. Race mattered for primarily these reasons: a tool for justifying control and inequality, an excuse for doing the inexcusable, a framework for explaining human differences, a rationalization for salving guilty consciences. It has been built upon centuries of racial division and discrimination. The race concept: the power of an illusion. The focus of race has shifted from being a thing (a biological entity) to being a social construct. Racialization: involves a process in which individuals or activities are identified, labelled (or stereotyped), and infused with negative racial connotations.

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