Race Is Real

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Human, Anthropology Pages: 4 (1360 words) Published: November 26, 2007
In society, people socially construct institution based on sensory perception. Race is in fact a social construct made from systems of constitutive rules. It is used to generalize people into specific groups characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics. Although humans have created this entity, there are many sources that provide proof that race is impossible to define biologically. Since colonization began, humans have been given racial identities which continue to cause uproar in nations and states. People simply assuming the existence of race makes it real. Despite this, the assumption of the existence of race does not make it valid. Race cannot be objectively specified, and it should be seen as a whole. There is only one human race.

D'Andrade classifies a constitutive rule as "an entity created by the social agreement that something counts as that entity" (91). A simple understanding of a constitutive rule is a rule that exists only because society believes in it, and adheres to it. Marriage is a clear example of how constitutive rules create a social entity; it exists solely on the fact that a culture agrees that it exists, and agrees on the general guidelines in which it exists. Generally speaking, constitutive rules rely on people's adherence and shared thoughts to exist. D'Andrade explains the differences between constitutive and regulative rules. Regulative rules are those which provide guidelines and restrictions for existing forms of behavior. A regulative rule is not involved with the creation or elimination of an entity, whereas a constitutive rule does exactly that through social agreement. D'Andrade said that "Institutions are systems of constitutive rules. Every institutional fact is underlain by a system of rules of the form ‘X counts as Y in context C'" (91). In this formula, X is the ideas that a culture believes in, Y represents the institutions and rules that those ideas count as, and C is...
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