Research Paper: Fiction of Race

Pages: 6 (2065 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Race  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] One trait infrequently predicts for another. (One cannot read deeper meanings into physical cues)" (Goodman 1998). Above all "there is greater variation within than among purported races" and members of different racial categories show more similarities between one another than differences as human beings when compared with other animal species (Goodman 1998). It is not 'race' that is useful in understanding the evolution and continuing biological and other needs of the human community. "What we should be studying instead are the complex ways in which biology and culture co-produce one another in the human species" (Marks 2012: 29). Aspects of human biology have been given great significance above and beyond their original roots in skin pigmentation but it is better to study the phenomenon itself rather than to classify diseases as 'racial' diseases.

Of course, some might argue that people want to define themselves by race and it is their right to do so. But in serious questions have arisen as to whether such traditional identity politics are feasible in the 21st century. Celebrities such as Barack Obama and Tiger Woods, although identified with the African-American community, also proudly proclaim their multiethnic heritage, which includes mothers who are not classified as African-Americans. The 'boxes' people must check on applications must grow infinitely more complex as intermarriage and changing cultural ideals transforms our society. Today, it would be surprising to ask if one's race was Irish or Italian on an application in a manner that would not be shocking to a resident of the 19th century. In another 100 years, as scientific advances and cultural changes coalesce, being asked to identify as Latino may seem equally strange and narrow. This does not mean that national identity and pride in one's heritage will go away. In fact, it may increase, as people are allowed to celebrate the diversity and multitudes which exist within them, rather than feel pressured to categorize their personal complex histories along the fiction of 'race,' a concept that is not biologically sound and has produced so much suffering, historically speaking.

References

Duster, Troy. (2005). Race and reification in science. Science, 307 (5712). 1050-1051.

Retrieved:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/307/5712/1050.full?ijkey=CrQywbf6JKCIs&keytype=ref&siteid=sci

Garcia, Richard. (2003). The misuse of race in medical diagnosis. The Chronicle of Higher

Education, 49 (35): B15. Retrieved: http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-01-y.htm

Goodman, Alan. (1998). The race pit. Anthropology Newsletter. Reprinted:

http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-01-10.htm

Marks, J. (2012) Recent advances in culturomics. [Review of Sense and Nonsense, by Kevin N.

Laland and Gillian R. Brown; Darwinian Sociocultural Evolution, by Marion Blute; Cultural Evolution, by Kate Distin; Cultural Evolution, by Alex Mesoudi; Human Evolution and the Origins of Hierarchies, by Benoit Dubreuil; Ancestors and Relatives, by Eviatar Zerubavel; and Social Anthropology and Human Origins, by Alan Barnard.] Evolutionary Anthropology, 21:38-42. Retrieved:

http://personal.uncc.edu/jmarks/pubs/2012%20ea%20culturomics.pdf

Marks, Jonathan. (2003). Scientific and folk ideas about heredity. In The Human Genome

Project and Minority Communities: Ethical, Social and Political Dilemmas.

Raymand A. Zilinskas and Peter J. Balint (Eds). Westport, CT: Greenwood, 53-66.

Retrieved: http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-01-12.htm

Race: The Power of an Illusion. (2003). PBS. Retrieved:

http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm

Smedley, A., & Smedley, B.D. (2005). Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives on the social construction of race.

American Psychologist, 60(1), 16-26. Retrieved: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.16 [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/fiction-race/1247788.