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Race Social Construct

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Malakas15
Words 464
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Omi and Winant (1986) argue that race is a social concept. They refer to Max Weber in explaining that “racial conflict” is not a result of biological factors, but social and political reasons (as cited in Rothenberg & Mayhew, 2014, p. 14-15). Indeed, if we look at the world today, there are many conflicts among ethnic ethnic groups that seem physically indistinguishable, for example Jews and Arabs, Indians and Pakistanis, and the like.

Omni and Winant further argue that racial categories and their meanings are defined by specific contexts of society and history and that they vary over time and between different societies. They point out that in the United States, there exists a rigid line between “whites” and “nonwhites”; whereas in countries such as Brazil, there exist many “intermediate” racial categories (as cited in Rothenberg & Mayhew, 2014, p. 14-15). In some societies, the categorization itself is different. For example, according to Navarro (2012), whereas the US Census categorizes people by race, Latinos identify themselves more in the context of cultural characteristics, such as language and customs.

According to Omni and Winant, one of the first things we notice when we meet someone is their race. From which, we draw preconceived notions of who the person is. They further add that in modern times, film and television have played a vital role in defining and disseminating racial stereotypes of minorities (as cited in Rothenberg & Mayhew, 2014, p. 16-17).
In her article, Sethi (1994) recounts how an American audience reacts with appreciative laughter during a scene in the 1993 film “Falling Down”, in which they showed a Korean-owned store is being destroyed with a bat. Sethi adds that Asians are often portrayed as privileged, greedy merchants and somehow it makes it more acceptable to make fun of cultural and linguistic differences because of that…...

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