About the Course
Race’ is now commonly referring to a cultural construct that groups people together based on perceived biological similarities. Emphasising the word ‘perceived’, as it is proven by biologists and population geneticists that there is no one characteristic, trait, or gene that distinguishes members of one so-called ‘race’ from another, and most variation is within not between ‘race’.
It is important to note that even though people are usually described as being ‘black’ or ‘white’ etc. when mentioning different races, it is not synonymous with skin colour. Skin colour has no biology and evolutionary unity to identify what it means to have ethnic skin. Furthermore, some people suffer from skin disorders, such as Vitiligo or Albinism, which makes their skin colour different from the specific ethnic origin or prescribed racial classification they belong to. Therefore, skin colour is just a matter of pigmentation.
Karen and Barbara Fields clarified that ‘racism’ is something an aggressor does, and ‘race’ is something the target is. They analyse how society has transformed racism into race over the years by disguising collective social practice as inborn individual traits, entrenching racism in a category to itself to allow aggressors to justify racial oppression on targets. It is evident that racism is the initial process that promotes racial hierarchical thinking, thus creating the folk classification of ‘race’. Therefore, it is further proved that race is a social construct rather than a biological entity.
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