Racism In The Workplace
The term racism derives from credence placed on the concept of race, for inherent in the concept is an acceptance of the validity of racial distinctions. Racism, in fact, implies that superior or inferior behavior is determined by race. In scholarly works, the term scientific racism is employed to describe a racial interpretation of history, or the belief that peoples of different races have different histories and cultures as a result of their race. However, the vast majority of anthropologists who study both race and culture conclude that culture affects race much more than race affects culture. Despite this, in common parlance, the term racism connotes discrimination and prejudice. Races, however defined, are not fixed entities with precise boundaries. Topologically defined races based on phenotypical likenesses do not correspond to genetic reality. In the light of modern genetics, races can best be defined as inter-breeding populations sharing a common gene pool (Brown, 1973). In a consideration of racial matters, a much more practical dictum, and one too often unobserved, is that all people belong to one and the same species and that the similar characteristics within the species are much greater than any differences that may be called "racial." In any attempt to understand racism in the workplace, distinctions need to be made among: (1) institutional structures and personal behavior, and the relationship between the two; (2) the variation in both degree and form of expression of individual prejudice; and (3) the fact that racism is but one form of a larger and more inclusive pattern of ethnocentrism that may be based on any number of factors, many of which are nonracial in character. A review of American cultures clearly shows that the historical sources of American race relations are infinitely complex, and there is little doubt that racial bias and discrimination have been built into most American institutions. The United...
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