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Posted on May 1st, 2014, by

As you complete this assignment, think about the following:

How is race socially constructed?.

How do we socialize children to recognize race and ethnicity?.

How do we define racism, prejudice and discrimination and how do they relate to privilege?.


Race is socially constructed as there are no biological or other scientific evidence that people with different skin colors have some varieties in mental or physical abilities or that one race is superior in something than the other ones. However, skin color may be successfully used as a tool of maintaining the dominance of one group over another group of people. It is beneficial for some group of people but offensive for others and definitely unfair.

Children should be socialized to recognize race and ethnicity by their parents and their teachers at school. One of the opportunities may involve game forms of socializing them. However, the best way is to make them experience some kind of discrimination. As after they have gone through such experiences themselves they will be aware of the insult and pain they can cause other people by judging them based on the skin color.

Racism may be explained as a socially established belief that race determines some human capacities and traits which become the ground for one race priority over another one.

Prejudice is a preconceived judgment of an individual based on some stereotypes or other factors which insults or injures a person.

Discrimination may be defined as an act of prejudice against an individual based on his certain traits or other characteristics.

All the definitions relate to privilege. Racism is based on the privilege of one group of people over another one. Privilege may be often based on prejudice. And discrimination is explained as the act of prejudice.

After viewing the various segments of the Blues Eyes, Brown Eyes videos, answer one (1) of the following sets of questions.

One of the goals of the civil rights movement was to ensure equal opportunity for every US citizen, irrespective of race. When the civil rights movement began, the legal system did not grant the same rights to blacks and other minorities as it did to whites. Today, those laws have been changed, leading some to argue that the US has achieved a level playing field for all. Is the field level? Is success based exclusively on merit and luck, or is race-based \”privilege\” still a factor? How was affirmative action policy crafted to address issues of privilege? Has it been successful?


The Americans are making various attempts to show that they are a civilized society and there is no place for racial discrimination and prejudice in their community. However, a great number of publications and discussions observing the evidences of racism and racial profiling speak for the opposite situation. Many things have changed since the times of Martin Luther King. Legislation has been changed to guarantee the rights of both dominated ethnicities and minorities. But looking closer at legal area we will see that there is still place for racial profiling left here. Siegel (2011) provides a number of evidences how race and ethnicity is used to divide people on privileged and non-privileged groups. He states that the research shows that defender’s colour of skin affects the outcome of the trial directly. Criminals who represent ethnic minorities often are judged and kept in prison without even observing their cases in trials. Other similar incidents have also been described by the author to demonstrate that the problem still exists. It used to be the matter of both legislation and people’s prejudice and stereotypes. Discrimination has probably changed its character and direction, but the essence remained the same. Discrimination fell onto Arab people which in most cases are associated with. Unfortunately legislation and cannot guarantee the absence of racial prejudice and equality in attitude to people of different nationalities, skin colours etc. Page and Risser (2008) put a special emphasis on still hesitating status of black people in US society and provide research data which reveal a great difference between white and black people life and opportunities in the society. Their research shows that race based privilege remains a factor.

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