Race Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

Thalita Marcial
COM 5205
Keyword Essay


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

The world has implemented segregations amongst our societies for millennia. Simply by observing society it is evident that it is drawn to isolate and divide itself into subgroups depending on distinct factors. Some of these are more crucial than others, and some have even become taboo in our culture. Race is one of the most essential partitions ever determined due to the controversial and ambiguous nature of the word itself (Andreasen 664). The word race comes loaded with differing meanings that are debated by numerous prestigious anthropologists, sociologists, and authors such as Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Eric Williams, Franz Boas…etc. The key factors when analyzing the background and ongoing trend of race and racial terms are, firstly, the biological and scientific explanations of racial subdivision (Andreasen, Templeton, MacEachern, Rushton, Hall); secondly, the social and cultural aspect of race and how this contrasts with the biological definition (CLR); and finally, the political side to race and how it is debated that race ultimately emerged from Capitalism and that racism can be abolished with the implementation of socialism(Cohen, Bannerji, C.L.R).

Despite the wide variety of arguments surrounding the taboo, modernized topic of race, two essential anthropological debates take into consideration the biological and sociological aspects of the term race. On one end, it is argued that race is used to define the taxonomic hierarchy of the population through biological characteristics (MacEachern, Hall, Templeton, Rushton). This often categorizes the word ‘race‘ as a synonym for subspecies (Templeton, 632). Scientists and prestige professors continuously defend the biological subdivision of races such as J. Philippe Rushton, Charles Murray and Robin O. Andreasen. Andreasen argues, that although it is undeniable that there are biological differences in our population, one cannot state that race is a defined biological construction alone; hence cladism promotes a new and improved spectacle in analyzing race as a biological reality (655). J. Rushton argues that the stereotypical racial divisions are not only an accurate taxonomy of society but also serves as a key divider of human species into a hierarchical community (Rushton, 41). It was mostly during the 19th through 20th centuries that race was widely known as a biological construct, and this was often referred to as biological realism (Andreasen, 653). In today’s time theorists, such as Franz Boas (Boasianism) and Stuart Hall, argue to abolish racial segregation due to biological standards, rather they see race as a discursive and social construct. Templeton said during a panel discussion on National Public Television’s “Race: The...

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