Race as a Biology Is Fiction Racism as a Social Problem Is Real Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (861 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Smedley, a. & Smedley, B. (2005). "Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real." American psychologist 60(1), pp. 16-26.

Despite what my be perceived in societal attitudes at large, a large debate still persists among certain researchers and theorists in the psychological world regarding the issue of race. As Smedley & Smedley (2005) note, some researchers still insist that there are measurable racial differences in aspects of personality such as intelligence that cannot be explained merely by social circumstances and upbringing, but in fact suggest or even require a genetic explanation. Most researchers do not find such conclusions accurate or scientifically meaningful, but their dismissal of the issues of race is, according to the authors, equally misleading and possibly destructive. As the authors themselves say about their intent in this article, "Our aim is not to review the psychological literature regarding the construction of race but to bring anthropological and historical perspectives to the study of race" (Smedley & Smedley 2005).

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The authors begin the main substance of this article by defining culture in anthropological terms, which essentially includes all of the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of a given people. This understanding of culture negates the idea of biogenetic causes of behavior, placing the culture itself as the source and causal agent for all of these things. This relates to the idea of ethnicity, as well, which should not be confused with a racial difference but instead reflects differences in culture that have grown to the point of ethnic identification. Ethnic conflicts are actually usually between peoples that would identify the same racially, such as the English and the Irish or Indians and Pakistanis. In fact, language and religion were more important factors than perceived race in establishing identity until the 17th century.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Race as a Biology Is Fiction Racism as a Social Problem Is Real Assignment

Even after the racial criteria of identity had been established, it was still clearly an entity quite apart from ethnicity, as the varying treatment of white American immigrants and minority groups in the United States demonstrates. Ethnic and cultural variations were expected to disappear by assimilation, but racial qualities were quite consciously permanent and impermeable. The nineteenth century saw race becoming a scientific subdivision of humanity, and in the mid-twentieth century genetic evidence for this division was claimed to exist. Subsequent research has shown that humans are 99.9% genetically the same, refuting such claims. The term "race" itself did not acquire the connotations of separation and identifications with geographic origins or the social division that it now implies until the Revolutionary era. Race, then, is an ideology rather than a biological fact,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Race as a Biology Is Fiction Racism as a Social Problem Is Real."  Essaytown.com.  September 28, 2009.  Accessed September 18, 2021.