Race is considered a social construct because it is not based on objective or biological reality but on what individuals say or think. For instance, Tyler (2020) claims that human evolution and genetics studies have shown that individuals from varying races have over 99.9 percent DNA similarities compared to those of similar races, hence disproving the biological concept of race. Racial classifications have been used to justify inequality, prejudice, and discrimination in society, as certain races are considered superior to others (Chernega, 2015).
In the video “A Girl Like Me,” it can be seen that various African Americans have suffered the consequences of racial categorizations. Notably, individuals are categorized as blacks and are considered uglier than lighter-looking individuals. They are also less intelligent, obnoxious, big-bodied, ghetto (or uncivilized), and loud (Davis, 2020). Certain standards have been set for Africans. For instance, by generally categorizing Africans as unintelligent, it becomes easier for Africans not to perform well in schools to fit into this belief (self-fulfilling prophecy). Furthermore, African-American students might fail to receive the necessary help in school as teachers tend to enhance these beliefs and stereotypes about being unintelligent and requiring no help.
The concept of race enhances issues of racism and privileges in society. For instance, it is clear that being born white automatically grants individuals certain privileges in society, such as where one is born and the schools that they get to study in, as evidenced in the “understanding race” website. For African Americans, there is a higher probability of going to poor public schools and being stopped by police, as individuals generally perceive African Americans as aggressive and delinquent. This explains the high racial inequalities in the criminal justice system as minority races like blacks and Latinos, who only constitute a small percentage of the society, are the majority in prisons and jails. I feel the issue of prejudice in my education. Given my race, I am often perceived as unintelligent and with a lower probability of achievement in life. Most of my neighborhood friends are dropouts and feel no need to pursue education since there are no real opportunities for African Americans. In the US, institutional racism is common and deeply embedded in such sectors as education, employment, criminal justice, housing, and health care, and various policies and laws only enhance racism and racial discrimination.
Chernega, J. (2015, July 7). Let’s Talk about Race. TEDx Talks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf8q-8gbfrw
Davis, K. (2020). A Girl Like Me. Media that matters. https://understandingrace.org/AGirlLikeMe
Tyler, S. (2020). Human Behavior and the Social Environment I. University of Arkansas Libraries.
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For this assignment, you will select one of the following options. Respond to the questions for the selected option and share a reflection on the topic. Consider the course materials in your reflection as well, focusing on a sociological analysis of the topic in society. Also, share what has potentially impacted your views on those topics. Your journal reflection should be at least 1 1/2 pages in length.
1. What is meant by the statement that race is more of a social construct than biological? Visit the Understandingrace.org site and review several of the activities on the site, such as those under Lived Experience, then view the video A Girl Like Me (under “Lived Experience,” also available on Youtube A Girl Like Me). Next, share a reflection on the activities and video addressing race in the U.S. and relate it to topics in the chapter (such as prejudice, privilege, racism, etc.). What are areas where privilege and/or prejudice may impact your everyday life? What did you learn about race in the U.S.?
2. What are the distinctions in sociology between the terms sex and gender? What importance does the differentiation between the terms have in modern society? Also, discuss gender stratification and provide examples of gender stratification from the U.S. or other societies. Find a recent news piece (within the last year) related to gender or provide an example of how gender is portrayed in the media (such as advertisements shown on GenderAds.com). Share a link to your selected source or image and describe the connection to the course topics this week (such as sexism or gender roles). How is gender typically depicted in the media? What has impacted your beliefs about gender in your everyday life? How has the perception of gender changed in society?
3. Select a current event related to the readings from Week 5 (choose a report, such as an article, news video, etc., on a story within the last year). Examples include news related to race, gender, privilege, or aging. Briefly describe the event/topic and analyze it using the knowledge you have gained from the course, clearly addressing the connection of the current event to the course topics. Share a link for your source and discuss the connection to the course materials using the sociological imagination. What are your thoughts on the topic? What have you learned from the media and the course about this topic? How is this topic related to sociology and our everyday lives?
Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, with 1″ margins, in Times New Roman 12 pt font, and saved as .doc, .docx, .pdf.
Use APA format for citations and references.
View the grading rubric so you understand how you will be assessed on this Assignment.
Disclaimer- Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.
This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realize you submitted an incorrect or blank file or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment. Resubmission of an Assignment after it is graded to attempt a better grade is not permitted.
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