Constructing race and race socialization




Assignment #1


Watch the video, The Story of Race, or review RACE – The Power of an Illusion, from the PBS website to help you prepare for this discussion.

There are many examples of how the science of human difference contradicts ordinary ideas of race. Rather, race is socially constructed. It is a system of thought and human behavior not directly based on nature or biology.  Instead, racial categories are the result of social ideas and practices. In other words, race exists because people believe it is real and important. Furthermore, certain groups have historically decided who belongs to a given racial group, as well as the characteristics that get attributed to these groups.

Using what you learned from this week’s readings and external sources, please respond to the following questions:

  • How has race been socially constructed in the United States?
  • Which groups are harmed, and which groups benefit, from these constructions of race?
  • Does race matter if it is not a biological concept? Defend your answer.

Your initial post for each discussion should be a minimum of 250 words. Use scholarly sources to support your responses. Include citations and references in APA style. Review the posts of your peers, focusing on the social construction process. In particular, focus on examples of the ways in which race been defined


video links-

video link-



Assignement #2


From 1877 to 1954, schools in the United States operated under a system of segregation. This meant that White children and African American children were not allowed to go to the same school. Instead, every state was required to operate separate schools for White children and African American children. Many people fought to end the segregation system in U.S. schools, arguing that it violated the United States Constitution. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was in fact unconstitutional. When the Court made this ruling, the judges made reference to a doll study, similar to the ones shown in the Doll Test video.

After watching the video, please respond to the following:

  • How would the results from these Doll Tests be used by the Supreme Court judges as evidence that racial segregation was unconstitutional and had harmful effects on children? 
  • The many different doll tests in the video all show that children form opinions about race at a very young age. How do you think they form these opinions (i.e., are they explicitly taught these ideas or do they pick up on subtle cues from the world around them)? What do these experiments tell us about how racial stereotypes are formed? Support your answer with examples.

Your initial post for each discussion should be a minimum of 250 words. Use scholarly sources to support your responses. Include citations and references in APA style. Review the posts of your peers, focusing on ways that we are socialized to form opinions about different racial groups.



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