Race and Racialization

Race and Racialization

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  • Race
  • Social Darwinism
  • Social Evolution
  • Stereotypes
  • Hey, I like your glasses! Does that mean you're smart?
  • Who does she think I am? Beyoncé? Because of my skin colour?
  • Wait, does she think I'm a nerd? Just because of glasses?
  • I bet you are an amazing singer! Can you sing the Single Ladies song?
  • "Race refers to different groups of people who are distinguished, physically and genetically, from other groups" (Whittington-Walsh, Power Point). This concept is completely constructed by society, leading to the formation of majority and minority groups that can determine the treatment or quality of life that an individual may experience (Whittington-Walsh, Power Point).
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Social Darwinism is a combination of Social Evolution and Darwin's Theory of the Evolution of the Species. Herbert Spencer linked these two theories, believing that Species Evolution theory correlated to human societies and their economic growth and development (Little, Chapter 11). Spencer proposed that human societies begin primitive and for these societies to successfully progress and survive would mean to become more complex through the development of science and technology (Whittington-Walsh, Power Point).
  • Example One
  • Stereotyping involves using  oversimplified characteristics to label a certain group of people that share the same genetic or physical likeness (Whittington-Walsh, Power Point). This generalization happens everyday, and limits a person from being seen as an individual, instead being viewed as a group (Little, Chapter 11). Stereotypes can include both positive and negative traits (Whittington-Walsh, Power Point).
  • Example Two
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird shares many examples of discrimination and limitations between races. This novel shares the story of a small town trial through the eyes of a young girl, Scout, who learns the harsh consequences of racism when her father, Atticus, attempts to defend a black man from being wrongly accused of criminal offence against a white young woman.
  • The novel demonstrates the social requirements of minority groups, in this case the black community, who must always allow the dominant majority group, the white people, to enter the courtroom first. The black people must also sit in the upper balcony, which was extremely uncomfortable and hot during Maycomb, Alabama summer days (Lee, p166).
  • Another example of racism and discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird is the 'guilty until proven guilty' mindset of the majority group. Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape and abuse of a white woman, is falsely accused of the crime; however, this man is treated like a criminal because “in [Maycomb's] courts when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins” (Lee, p224).
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