Discuss your race story as a product of social structure.
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22 June 2015
Discuss your race story as a product of social structure
We often blame humanity for the exploitation around the world due to racism but its first source can be found in very Old Testament when people were building a tower to reach God and out of fear he created variety of language to dodge the construction permanently as different language obstructed communication and interaction. Thus, it can be said that language is the first discriminating factor that human beings experienced. In this essay, several concepts and discourses will be contextualized to explain my own race, how I have lived with it and my experience for belonging to that race. Social structure is a culmination of a variety of theories centred on human beings, human psychology and their history. The evolution of human being makes them superior in the entire animal kingdom along with their survival within a society.
The concept of race has been developed to specify the origin, place, time, culture, behaviour and language of an individual. The common origin, place, time, culture, behaviour and language give rise to a race. Race indicates a clan who has their own lifestyle, language, cuisine, folklore, myths, behavioural pattern and philosophy. According to (Healey and O’Brien 16), there were misunderstanding in the past regarding race as it had an association with death and curse in the history. Basically, it was an environment in the initial phase of life on earth that creates the first sense of discrimination on the basis of race. Different climates conditioned human beings in a completely different way which resulted in different physical features, physical strengths, the capability of survival and most importantly. Racism is the discrimination on the basis of race. Additionally, racism has been and still is caused by the most practiced racial characteristic that is the colour of the sin. The colour racism is often strongly accompanied by racism on the basis of religion (Healey and O’Brien 18). In my case, I am a Russian and never has fallen a victim of racism and I am a Christian as well.
Race has an undeniable role in social construction. In the American social structure, people are significantly differentiated by race (Adam and Sigler 28). However, the race here is combined with gender identity. Slavery has been the main product of racism in America for quite a long period. As we know it very well, the Indians and blacks were subject to slavery only by the colonial rulers. The western idea of discrimination is very different from the oriental ones. There class and castes mattered most in discrimination. The outcaste people at least had their own way the deprived way of living. But in the Western world racism practiced heavy exploitation and tyranny in the name of superiority (Meer and Nayak 267). Basically, here there identity was denied.
The binaries in the concept of race are the majority and minority and to be dominated by the majority group is the natural inclination of the minority. The majority group in order to control the minority adapts a dominating strategy that is internal and external discrimination and prejudices (Reed et al. 525). I never experienced racism as might be I belong to the largest religion group of Christianity in the world. Besides, I belong to a middle-class family which does not really face any kind of wraths due to race.
Prejudice and discrimination are very much relevant in both the micro level and macro level of sociology. Both prejudice and discrimination are forms of strong apprehension and denial by the superior rather majority races. Europeans were the most successful people in conquering and retaining colonies all over the world and the colonised people from those colonies perceived them as they appeared to be that were very much civilized, educated, Christian, white skinned and administrating ruler (Tatum 382). Prejudice and discrimination bears different facets individually and collectively, that is on the micro level and macro level. The distinction between these two concepts on these two levels helps to understand the social structure overall. However, an individual from a minority group has to bear the pre discoursed narrative of his or her belonging race. The lingering effect of history is actually the definition of prejudice. For example, blacks still have to continue to bear the insinuation of their past. On the other hand, discrimination is the result of prejudice or it can be said prejudice causes discrimination (Rex 179). Drawing the same example, blacks are still imagined to primitive and barbaric as they were used to be pictured in the past.
Privilege is basically the advantages that a group or community get to practice in their daily lives and at the same time disadvantages which restricts the minority races to live same freedom. Majority or dominant group in the society does not really consider them to be advantages or privileges but their rights. It can be explained as female gender all over the world are generally underprivileged but in the context of colonialism the coloniser women were more privileged whereas the colonized women were denied of social identity and doubly suppressed. The apparent picture of privilege is very simple as a black being bullied or discriminated in a community of white. But, it could be reversed as well. Often, minority people preconceive whites to be racist whereas the situation is not always negative from the parts of white. Even, minorities are often seen to pet a sense of anguish against the majorities in the societies (Healey and O’Brien 20).
America since the time of world wars has been a melting pot of innumerable ethnicities and communities existed and exist in the world. Ironically, in the course of history, the natives or aboriginals of America had become the largest minority in American society. Discrimination in America is mostly driven by skin colour. Still, this discrimination is practiced heavily. It can be witnessed when the presidential election was won by Barak Obama. Many people protested just due to his colour of skin and they feared he might appoint coloured uneducated executives in his office (Tatum 235). For the majority of Americans, blacks and enlightenment can never be aligned with each other. Now, this is a prejudice, and the following discriminative protests are the result.Two more significant concepts that delineate race in the framework of social structure justifiably are functionalism and conflict theory. Functionalism defines the behavioural fluctuation among human due to differences of cultures, traditions, time period and communities. Social problems are categorized and dealt in according to social institutions by functionalism (Reed et al. 525). The core indication of functionalism is the beginning of all kind of chaos in a particular society is due to the existence of multiple ethnicities and communities. In a way, it criticizes the undue policies practiced in the society in the name of hierarchical racism and ethnicity. Moreover, the inclusion of any new community of people creates disruption in the entire social structure. Ethnicity is evolved by a very powerful social institution of religion. The history has witnessed many massacres as a result of ethnicity.
Conflict is the outcome of capitalist society. Karl Marx categorized the people of society in the context of conflict as oppressor and oppressed. Inevitably, oppressed are deprived of deserving wages and oppressors relish the outcome of the labour of those oppressed ones. This inevitability is not the characteristic adapted by the individuals but attached by the social structure (Meer and Nayak 267). Conflict is seen in the utilization of resources. In fact, the theory of conflict perceives ethnicity and race to be responsible for social inequality and chaos. Oppression is a prime objective to execute confliction. For example, the white Americans practices racism heavily to oppress the African-Americans and snatch the major portion of the wealth created in the society.
My own systematic and symbolic narrative is quite different and somewhat easy to deal with. Indulging in no sensitive social problems is a characteristic of middle-class and additionally being a Christian I never have had faced any kind of racial blow or I personally harmed anyone with such means. Race from a secular point of view depicts the history and continuing flow of a community from the beginning whereas ethnicity combines religion, culture, language, etc. Race does talk of religion, culture and language but for the sake of telling the history, those are not focused here. On the contrary, ethnicity perceives history from those specific points of view. Thus, the implication of the topic of this essay has been to show how a society is constructed by the individual accounts of race and ethnicity.
Adam, Heribert, and Jay A. Sigler. ‘International Handbook On Race And Race Relations.’. Contemporary Sociology. 1989. Print.
Healey, Joseph F., and Eileen O’Brien, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, And Class. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Pine Forge Press. 2003. Print.
Meer, N., and A. Nayak. ‘Race Ends Where? Race, Racism And Contemporary Sociology’. Sociology. 2013. Print.
Reed, Jean-Pierre, and Bob Carter. ‘Realism And Racism: Concepts Of Race In Sociological Research’. Contemporary Sociology. 2003. Print.
Rex, John. Race And Ethnicity. Milton Keynes, England: Open University Press. 1986. Print.
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. New York: Basic Books. 1997. Print.
Winant, Howard. The Souls of Sociologists: Equality vs. Freedom in the 21st Century. American Journal of Sociology. 2000. Print.