The major foundation and the cornerstone that binds a given people together, aside from the tribal affiliations is the race to which each of us belongs. Stereotypes aside, the perceptions that we hold or believe in to a large extent determine our attitudes towards a certain group of people who fall within the brackets of these labels.
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In the movie “Race, the Power of Illusion”, a rather uncommon path of argument is explored on one issue that has been rather fundamental to the whole human race yet it is ignored much of the time it come to light. The movie explores race and the assumption human beings behold in relation to this aspect of our social life, and explores the possibilities that lie beyond these daily perceptions(Money, 1994).
Questions abound though, is there any slightest possibility of the existence of the idea that human beings can be categorized and handled differently depending on their racial affiliation? Are whites generally at an advantage as a result of our institutions taking heed to the perceptions that white people are superior?
A difference in opinion over what race is superior above the rest has resulted to mayhem in any two wrangling societies with different races. This is evident in testimonies that bear stories of tribal cleansing, war and even in sensitive areas such as the rules that affect immigration among different countries.
The debates about race have dominated almost all spheres of our social lives yet all of us, whether racist or not do not question the truth behind this.
Scientific evidence discards the whole behind “race” as a myth, one that is not at par with the times or rather Neanderthal. A long history of research and analysis of the differences among the different races has yielded only one result; that racial differences go only skin deep (Buss, 2001). The intrinsic delicate features that comprise the human DNA do not show any difference between people of give races.
Gender identity, on the other hand is another aspect of social interventions that influence our interactions. It s not a state of inexorableness, rather it is just an attitude that people link to certain qualities that comprise character.
The differences, though they come out through the biological standards that define the different sexes, are far apart and their classification goes deeper than the biological constants that are male and female (Gould, 1996). A break down of this scenario would to put into perspective this thought; that people inherit their sex, and not their gender.
For instance, biologically, one’s sex is determined by the result of the interplay of the chromosomes physically expressed through the reaction of hormones and other organs such as the reproductive organs. Contrary to this, somebody’s gender is to a large extent determined by the society and the norms that define the lifestyles of a given people (Gould, 1996).). The societal perception about masculinity and feminists is to a large extent dictated by their social behavior and what the different cultures practice as norms.
One school of thought advocating for this idea purports that had people’s characters and behaviors’ be dictated by the differences that arise out of their biology, then the differences universally would widen. Higher hormone levels would lead to increased activities, and that in many places their reactions would be alike irrespective of the geographic locations. If ones’ sex would automatically determine their gender then it would subsequently follow that all men and women would have uniform characters.
Buss, M. D. (2001). ‘Human nature and culture: An evolutionary psychological perspective’. Journal of Personality, 69, 955–978.
Gould, S. J. (1996). The Mismeasure of Man. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
Money, J. (1994). ‘The concept of gender identity and Racial classification. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 20, 163 – 77. Web.