Race and gender provided the foundation for the colonization and enslavement of Native American and Africans, and class worked in consequence of these constructs. Through American colonization, our understanding and adoption of these social constructs altered completely. Before, neither Native American, Africans, or Europeans truly identified with ‘race’; emphasis was mainly put on gender and class. After colonization, the intersection of race, class, and wealth becomes truly apparent through the enslavement and maltreatment of African women. The subordination of African women supplied the British with the “legal foundation for slavery and the future definitions of racial difference.” This is seen in the Virginia Slave Codes, in which black femininity was harshly policed through laws that outlined racial differences and stripped black women of privileges, effectively blocking them from power.
1. What does the social construction of race and ethnicity mean? The social construction of race and ethnicity deals with the need to have a hierarchy based on skin color, phenotype, and the poking and prodding of humans to scientifically justify their claims that White is the superior race. Though the basis of the conversation of race and ethnicity as a social construct is based on biases, prejudice, and misconceptions about minorities, it was believed in society for many decades because of the rhetoric that was pushed into institutions that helped to further oppress people of color. Many opinions about the racial hierarchy that was prominent in society were based on colonization, slavery, and in more recent times, scientific racism.
Critical race theory is a discipline that engages in the discussion and analysis of race, its evolution and social impacts, emphasizing the need to understand race as a consequence of the dynamic social processes and challenging the ways in which race and racial power are represented and understood in the American society. Hence, the work of critical race theory seeks to question the traditional ways of studying race providing consistent analysis on the multiple dimensions of this concept. One of the most diligent analysis is provided by Michael Omi and Howard Winant in the book Racial formation in the United States, a book in which the authors explain the transformation of race and its multiple approaches and manifestations through U.S. history, from its early conception in which it was strictly related to biological features to the current understanding of race as a social construct. In this context, the authors argue that race is a fundamental component of the U.S. society since it influenced the construction of social structures and contributed on the establishment of a system of inequalities. Throughout the book, the authors analyze and criticize the different conceptualizations of race and the ways in which this concept was historically created.
Symbolic Ethnicities “What do these ethnic identities mean to people and why do they cling to them rather than just abandoning the tie and calling themselves American?” Waters. America is known as the melting pot, although we are known to be a mixed nation, we tend to categorize ourselves in specific race groups. Moreover, when we categorize ourselves we tend to create hierarchy, which is stating which race or ethnicity has more power over the other. With this being noted, it develops a social structure of society, which is what people think is acceptable. Clarifying some of the reasons of how America characterizes races and ethnicities, instead of individuals just classifying themselves as Americans will be answered by the definition of symbolic ethnicity.
Slavery existed in Western Europe and in Africa, however, it was fundamentally different from the Americas, as it was not centered around the color of one’s skin and how one looked. The colonization of the New World was built upon the principles of European financial and cultural hegemony over the rest of the world; African enslavement was a necessity that would allow this grand plan to reach fruition. While the act of slavery itself is inhumane, racial slavery is truly wretched and devalued human life to such an extent that millions needlessly died in the European pursuit of wealth and power. Europeans simply categorized everyone in West Africa as the same, to justify slave trade, ignoring culture, customs, and differences between tribes. Even though, Africa was already developed, Europeans lied about them as savage backwards people when such a reality did not exist, “In complexity and prosperity, many African societies compared with those of Europe and Central America” (Clark, pg.
Racism is the reliance of social status on the social importance connected to race; colorism is the reliance of social status on skin color alone (Hochschild and Weaver, 2007). All together for a type of discrimination to be viewed as colorism, differential treatment must not come about because of racial classification, but rather from
In Balibar’s (1988) opinion, racism had three forms: anti-Semitism, colonialism, and racism against black population in the USA, as Räthzel (2002, p. 12) states. Despite the fact that racism had a lot of forms, Balibar’s theory is still arguable. We can improve this argument by changing the order of the factors and making it more relevant for today by mentioning the problem of immigrants. Additionally, different types of racism such as cultural racism and differential racism emerged during the 1980s in Britain and France. Räthzel states that according to Martin Baker (1981), racism in Britain was based on cultures which were unassimilable and different, and for this reason, it was called cultural racism.
This helps in diversity-sensitive counselling which introduces the concept that includes age, culture, disability, education level, ethnicity, gender, language, physique, race, religion, residential location, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation and trauma (Corey et al., 2010). From this perspective, practising counsellors should be able to be multiculturally competent professionals in order to recognise their practices as ethical. In order to provide proper aid American Psychological Association has established specific guidelines in 2003 Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists (APA, 2003). Besides from being an ethical reference, these guidelines are also published to aid psychologists to increase their knowledge and skills in multicultural education, training, research, practice and organisational
Race, ethnicity and class are all integrated in different ways throughout American history. Race refers to groups of individuals who have similarities and differences in biological traits believed to be socially significant by society. This ultimately means that individuals treat other individuals different due to these biological traits. For instance, differences in skin colour would be viewed as socially significant, whereas similarities or diversity in eye colour have not been seen as socially significant. “The state-sanctioned and/or legal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerabilities to premature death, in distinct yet densely interconnected political geographies”.
We can talk of prominent sociologists Max Weber and Franz Boas, who attributed on the refutation of the biological concept of race, dedicated to remove the ambiguous racial aspect from fundamental social, political, or economic determination. Years ago, white viewed “any racial intermixture makes one ‘non-white’” because they put white in a category of “pure,” which meant “white as “havin’ a little Negra blood in ya’-just one little teeny drop and a person’s all Negra.” Here came with a principle of social concept: hypo-descent. Thus, “black” turned out to be a word with different meanings in society, and faced the racial difficulties with stereotypes. "Micro-level" of racism mention in the writing, in which was drawn with social concepts by Omi and Winant. The concept is more likely separates two people by a noticeable factor- race.