Sociology Race and Gender - Assignment Example

The word race means human-constructed categories that assume great social importance. The categories are typically based on observable physical traits, or where the person is from. A person who is ninety percent Chinese and ten percent African American, but lives in the United States and has dominantly black features, he would be considered black. This goes along with racial common sense, which is “knowing” what race someone is by looking at them. Race has no biological characteristics, but can easily change the outcome of one’s life.

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Many people in society today categorize the race of someone by the color of their skin, and if that person is this color they are considered uncivilized, on the other hand the stereotype of the people with different physical traits is that they are prestigious, and very civilized. Society uses the race of a person to allocate their position in society. Race makes it easy to categorize humans, and make other have power over ones that are different from them. Racial division is used to maintain power and social exclusion.

How one is seen affects various aspects of their lives and the lives of others; from the types of jobs, the amount of money earned, the kind of friends made, the places they live in, the foods they eat, the schools they go to, and more. The fact that people agree and accept that race exists allows it to. Having race acknowledged in society shows positions or roles in life that one must fulfill. In the past if a person was black in America that person was a slave.

Then as more and more slaves were being freed the white men did not know how to react with the African American men on the same level as them, so the roles of the black men were demoted. These men were forced to do the lowliest of jobs, even though they were free. Race definitely is socially constructed, so that people can help with deciding factors to determine their role in society, not just by how equipped one is, but by the physical traits as well.