Race as biology

Topics: Sociology, Racism, Anthropology Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: April 21, 2014
The idea that race is biological, emerged back in the 17th century with all the great discoveries found in that decade. However this idea continued spreading in the 19th century especially among the different cultures encountered through colonialism. Thus, white settlers claimed themselves as a “superior race” and justified the slavery, which was performed against what they called “inferior race”. Moreover, the term “race” still existed even after the end of colonialism. To what extend then, the racism could be considered as a social problem and not as a result of simple biological differences?

Audrey Smedley, an American social anthropologist and a professor of anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University defines the race as an ideology or a human concept. In fact, Racist ideology has a specific history, and started in a time where being “colored skin” is considered abnormal. While being white was the norm, at that time biology was important and science was influencing the population. Indeed, there were, are and will be physical differences between people. Yet, what is significant about these when it comes to race is not the biology of those differences, but the social weight we attach to them. Therefore, the race still exists not because it is biological or normal, but because society kept on emphasizing on the differences and even went on by pointing out these. On the other hand, if race is not really considered as biological, why do we keep on hearing expression like: “Oh my god, that’s racist! “, or, “That is so ghetto!” on a daily basis? The fact is that race remains a significant predictor of which groups get access to goods and resource and which groups face barriers. An article on the Racism Review website, published on December 2010 by Jessie Daniels, indicates that “Unemployment among blacks in the U.S. is...
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