Social Construction Of Racial Classification Essay

Social Construction Of Racial Classification Essay

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Social Construction of Racial Classification
When you type the word race into dictionary.com the first result defines race as, “a contest of speed, as in running, riding, driving, or sailing.” It is not until you scroll down that you find the definition for race used in a way to define origin of race. If the word race has such a large stigma surrounding it, then why do you have to scroll down to find the anthropologic definition for the word? Until the government decided to come up with a classification system to help separate people of different skin tones from each other there was no such term as race, racism, or racist. Racial distinguish as a classification system is a product of the government creating laws and their instruments used to help separate each human from one another.
The United States effort to classify each person into a generalized category of race is flawed one. This is demonstrated by the adding, dropping, and changing of racial classifications in each ten-year census. In Kenneth Prewitt’s article, “Racial Classification in America: Where Do We Go From Here?” he discusses the ongoing battle about racial categorization. Try imaging a time before the words race, racism, and racist had no meaning to them. “Classifications should not be interpreted as being scientifical or anthropological in nature. They have been developed in response to needs expressed both by the executive branch and congress.” (Prewitt, Kenneth) Since 1970 there have been policies enacted based on a wide range of characteristics to help the government separate people of different age, ethnicity, and backgrounds. The government created racial classifications to help distinguish who had control and who did not. The initial racial categorizat...


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...Dehli, India. My name is based off of my father’s name, which was Raj. With a name like Rajen Megha it is hard for me to “pass” when someone is judging me based off of my name. When I moved to the small town of Linton, Indiana the whole town perceived that I was that year’s foreign exchange student based off of my name and the fact that they do not receive new students often. It took up until my senior year, so three years, for people who did not know me personally to understand that I was not the foreign exchange student. Some days I do wish that I had a basic American name, but then others I am proud to be representing my heritage.
Racial classification is and will continue to be a part of America. It is a government created system implemented in order to show power. Racism branched out of this social construction in result of classifying the different races.


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