Key Concept of Racism

Topics: Racism, Race, White people Pages: 3 (771 words) Published: November 10, 2010
Race is one of the most complex concepts in Sociology. It is a social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly color), ancestral heritage, history, economic and political needs of a society at a given period of time. Science theories of race arose in the late 18th and early 19th century. The father of modern racism, Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau proposed the existence of three races: white (Caucasian), Black (Negroid) and Yellow (Mongloid). According to his theory, blacks are least capable whereas white race possesses superior characteristics. In the year following World War 2, ‘race science’ has been discredited since they are no clear cut ‘races’ in Biology.

The concept of race is fundamental to the existence of racism-prejudice based on socially significant physical distinction (skin color or race). A racist is someone who believes that some individuals are superior or inferior to others due to basis racialized differences. More precisely, racism is a system of advantage based on race and is supported by institutional structures, policies, actions of individuals, cultural norms, values and practices that creates and sustains advantages for the dominant group while systematically subordinating members of targeted racial groups. In European countries, racism is visible as open or implicit hostility including: * Routine negative stereotypes in the media and in the conversations and ‘common sense’ of the population’s dominant group * Discrimination in employment and recruitment practices, and in workplace cultures and customs * Language and physical attack on minorities in public

* Minorities’ holy places are attacked and desecration of cemeteries. * Bureaucratic delay and inertia in responding to minorities requests for cultural sensitivity in education and healthcare; in planning applications for social and cult places; in language...
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