This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Culture And Race Essay

1316 words - 5 pages

Culture and Race

Anthropologists have always had their discrepancies with the word culture and its background significance. There have been numerous definitions that have filtered through the field, yet not one that everyone can accept or agree with. Franz Boas, an anthropologist in the early 20th Century, and his students, had a difficult time figuring out the objective of what culture is. Culture is about learning and shared ideas about behaviour. Although Boas and his students had a slightly different idea in mind. They ultimately reached a conclusion, a definition of culture in their view that is a contradiction in terms. Boas sates that, “ culture was expressed through the medium of language but was not reducible to it; more importantly, it was not race.
Culture became everything race was not, and race was seen to be what culture was not; given, unchangeable biology,” (Visweswaran, p. 72).

Not only focusing on culture, but anthropology has a substantial connection as well.
Anthropology is the field in which the study of cultural and biological variations among human groups is studied. The difficulty that some people have with characterizing culture is that they associate it with race, whereas that is not the case. The two are remarkably distinct. Race is something biological, a genetic trait that is innate, while culture is something that is educated and experienced.

Kamala Visweswaran and Lila Abu-Lughod are two well distinguished anthropologists that are currently teaching at Universities in the United States. In their own articles, they speak about culture through an anthropologists view and detail their own opinions within. They may have some different opinions but each has their own strong arguments that prove their points.

Lila Abu-Lughod’s article “Writing Against Culture,” was written in 1991, and was published inside the book, Recapturing Anthropology. Within the article, she discusses culture and many problems with it. The title of her article speaks for itself, writing against culture. There are many issues that she brings up about culture, and various influential strategies for shifting over from the culture concept. She reflects on culture and its need to be redefined. In her discussion of culture and difference she opens with, “ most American anthropologists believe or act as if ”culture,” notoriously resistant to definition and ambiguous of referent, is nevertheless the true object of anthropological inquiry,” (Abu-Lughod, p. 143). She illustrates how essential culture is to anthropology and how anthropology helps to balance culture, as well as its ties with race. She considers culture and race as opposites. “Culture is learned and can change,” (Abu-Lughod, p. 144), and race is something inborn. Although she can only depict and explain the concept of culture, and how it has become necessary and not the reasons behind it.

Lila Abu-Lughod also writes about feminism in regard to culture....

Find Another Essay On Culture and Race

"Culture, Not Race" by Mark Nathan Cohen, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 17, 1998, pp.B4-B5

529 words - 2 pages Summary PaperCulture, Not Race,Explains HumanDiversity"We... have to stop teaching or accepting the idea that humans are dividedinto three races - Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid- an idea that is at least 50 years out of date."Culture, Not Race, Explains Human Diversity, Mark Nathan Cohen,Chronicle of Higher Education, April 17, 1998, pp.B4-B5.The term race refers to a biological subdivision of a species. At one time, scientists held that

Article review 6

649 words - 3 pages 1. “Race and Nature: Culture, Biology, and Genetics”, Hartigan 2. Effect of the cultural dynamics in the shaping of the race. 3. Our race or human nature is not something we naturally inherit on the genetic level, but actually something we learn to do through our experience in particular culture. For example the way we organize work, eat, reproduce entertain ourselves is completely different for every race or culture. There is no ”natural” way

Race and Ethicity within Sociology

1089 words - 5 pages Although our culture is said to be completely removed from the idea of racial discrimination, this sense of inequality can be seen occurring behind the scenes within our society. Within the subtopic of race, several areas including our current culture, social psychology and the current format of our social institutions allow for the production and often the reproduction of racial discrimination in our day and age. Throughout this course, the

Does It Matter?

1120 words - 5 pages associate race by the color of their skin. The color of our skin can affect us in many ways because society expects certain standards based on color. The truth is that race should not matter and it will be here until the end of time. It is something we have no control over and it will continue to get passed on to future generations. Everybody was not born to be the same, but we all should be equal. In “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood

Your Race, Your Life : Whether it plays a role in your life

871 words - 3 pages and culture in order to respect one another understand that we are all part of the same human race and that we really don't need race to divide humans apart.Reference:White, Lynn K., Essentials of Sociology. 1995. West Publishing,

race

1127 words - 5 pages 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

Race: A Philosophical Introduction by Paul Taylor

855 words - 4 pages references from historical events, prevailing policy affairs, and even pop culture to explain that everyone capable of forming opinions ought to have some sort of grasp of the concept of race thinking. As Taylor will analyze, race and race-thinking “has shaped and continues to shape private interactions as well as the largest political choices” (p. 8). In other words, race-thinking encompasses everything we do and every interaction we have. In

Color Barriers

1022 words - 5 pages English B” by Langston Hughes, the author discusses the influence of dominant culture on a colored person in a school. Race is an aspect of dominant culture and the color of your skin is a barrier between dominant culture and lesser cultures, and it can be overcome by the use of education. Race is an aspect of dominant culture as it is a prejudgment of people’s classes and social standards by the assessment of their skin color. In “The Theme

Racism Deteriorates Civilized Society

908 words - 4 pages Racism is a serious factor that is a constant issue for all civilized societies. My pet peeve, somebody's constant issue or topic of complaint, is racism. Racism is a belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. I am completely annoyed by people that show animosity towards others because of their race. A civilized society is a highly developed society and culture, which

Biography of Malcom X

1304 words - 6 pages race here in North America is in extremely bad condition .You show me a black man who isn't an extremist and I'll show one who needs psychiatric attention" (Faragher 558). Audiences fell in love with him because he did not hold his tongue stating exactly what he felt. "Malcolm X pointed to a new black culture consciousness that celebrated black history, black culture, the African heritage, and black self-sufficiency" (Faragher 588). The

Life Will Never Be the Same

1145 words - 5 pages Will we ever let the past stay behind us and move forward? In today’s era, is it the peoples’ responsibility to defend the history of their race just because of the color of their skin? Based on the color of our skin, individuals will always be placed and categorized under a certain race. In the essay “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” by Kwame Anthony Appiah, he tries to explains why race doesn’t exist and the only race in

Similar Essays

Race And Religion In American Culture

2408 words - 10 pages Race and Religion in American Culture Race and religion are two concepts in American culture that can really tie people together, or clearly separate them apart. A group forged by strong common roots in both race and religion can be a powerful societal force, if it wants to be. The Nation of Islam is a small but growing religion in America that has become somewhat of a social movement because of its strong and radical ideas on race

Influence Of Race, Ethnicity, And Culture On Childhood Obesity

1261 words - 5 pages -Caucasian racial backgrounds have a higher change of being over weight than children who are of Caucasian background ("Influence of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture on Childhood Obesity: Implications for Prevention and Treatment" 2212). Many cultures rely on physical activity as a part of their daily lives to survive, therefore these cultures participate in significantly more amounts of physical activity than most cultures in developed countries

The Influence Of Race And Southern Culture On The Works Of Terrance Hayes

2639 words - 11 pages Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, and became a mentor to aspiring African American poets. (Alumnus Profile). Hayes incorporates his African American culture into his poetry in these three select poems: a Japanese styled Pecha Kucha titled, “Arbor for Butch,” a poem regarding race stigmatization titled, “What I am” and a final poem illustrating the power of the Black American voice, “Lighthead’s Guide to the Galaxy.” After Hayes graduated , he

Race & Culture: When Stereotyping To Prejudice To Discrimination

1097 words - 4 pages targeted because their racial and cultural differences. This created negative attitudes and behaviors towards them, which resulted in discrimination. Today, stereotyping, prejudice views, and discrimination still prevail. It is something everyone at sometime has experienced. I experienced stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination due to race and culture throughout myself. Being a black woman has resulted in me being placed in certain