Racial formation is a process by which race becomes a social construct. It is a dynamic and ongoing process that is always happening, sometimes in ways that are visible and sometimes in ways that are not. Racial formation can happen through laws, policies, or practices that establish different racial categories, or through everyday interactions and experiences that reinforce existing racial hierarchies.
Racism is one manifestation of racial formation. It is the belief that one race is superior to another, and it manifests in discrimination and violence against members of races deemed to be inferior. Racism can be directed at any number of groups, but it is most often directed at black people.
Black people have experienced racism throughout history. In the United States, racism has been institutionalized through slavery, Jim Crow laws, and mass incarceration. Black people have also experienced racism in the form of individual discrimination and violence.
Racism is just one example of how race can be used to oppress and advantage certain groups of people. Racial formation is a complex process that happens in many different ways, and its effects can be felt throughout society.
In “Racial Formations,” Michael Omi and Howard Winant explore how race is viewed in society, using myriad examples from everyday life. The article begins with Susie Guillory Phipps’s case regarding Louisiana Bureau of Vital Records not changing her racial designation on her birth certificate from black to white (Omi & Winant, 2014, p. 13).
The Louisiana Bureau of Vital Records told her that she could not change her racial designation on her birth certificate because, according to them, “race is a matter of lineage” (Omi and Winant 2014, p. 13). Susie Guillory Phipps then took her case to court in order to try and get her birth certificate changed, but she lost her case. Omi and Winant used this example to show that the idea of race has changed over time and that it is not just about lineage anymore.
They also said that the way we view race changes depending on our social context. For example, in the United States, race is usually seen as a black/white dichotomy, but in Brazil, race is seen as a black/white/yellow/brown dichotomy. This is just one example of how race is socially constructed and how it changes depending on the context.
Omi and Winant also talked about how racism is used to justify inequality and how it is perpetuated through institutions, such as education, housing, and the criminal justice system. They gave examples of how black people are disproportionately affected by these institutions and how they are often seen as criminals or inferior to white people.
Omi and Winant said that racism is not just about individuals discriminating against others, but it is also about institutional discrimination. They ended their article by talking about how race is constantly being renegotiated and redefined. They said that race is not static, but it is always changing.
I agree with Omi and Winant that race is socially constructed and that it is constantly being renegotiated and redefined. I think they did a good job of explaining how racism is perpetuated through institutions and how it affects black people. I also think they did a good job of showing how the idea of race has changed over time. Overall, I thought this was a well-written article that successfully explained racial formation.
The Phipps argument stated that classifying people based on race was unconstitutional. This went against what the court had said before, which was that it WAS constitutional to segregate individuals by race. The Phipps case showed that for centuries, America has been trying to figure out how best to deal with different races within our social framework.
Race has been a contentious issue in American society since the nation’s founding. The concept of race is intertwined with the history of slavery and racism in the United States.
Racial classifications have long been used by the government to track and manage populations. In the early days of the Republic, census takers simply listed how many “Free white males” and “Free white females” lived in each household. Beginning in 1850, however, the census began to ask more detailed questions about race. These questions were designed to help enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, which required that runaway slaves be returned to their owners. The census continued to ask about race through 1940, when the Supreme Court ruled that such classifications were unconstitutional.
Omi and Winant not only found that the struggle to define race is prominent in the United States, but also in other areas of the world, such as Europe. With Europeans exploring and conquering new lands, they believed that anyone who wasn’t white was less free than them and didn’t deserve to have any freedoms because they were seen as being inferior. Even now, people are still trying to find a “scientific” explanation for race.
Scientists have looked into this as well, and have found that there is no concrete scientific explanation for race. Genetically speaking, all human beings are 99.9% the same. The 0.1% difference in DNA cannot be used to clearly distinguish one “race” from another. Race is nothing more than a socially constructed concept, with no real basis in science or nature. However, because it is such a deeply entrenched part of our social fabric, it can be very difficult to dismantle racist attitudes and beliefs.
Racism is often perpetuated through institutional policies and individual attitudes and behaviors. Structural racism refers to the ways in which racial inequality is built into the very fabric of our society. This includes things like segregation in housing, education, and employment; unequal access to health care, credit, and capital; and disproportionate rates of incarceration. Individual racism refers to the ways in which individuals act in racist ways, often without realizing it. This can be something as simple as using racially charged language, or making assumptions about someone based on their race.
Omi and Winant (2014) argued that race is not just “social, political, or economic determination” (p. 15) but instead is something that can be identified through physical characteristics like skin color. They went on to show how race can also be seen as a social concept. For example, they explained how in contemporary British politics the term black is used to mean any nonwhites–something that doesn’t usually lead to outcry from said group.
In fact, this term has been accepted by many people and is now used to refer to a person’s skin color or ethnicity (Omi and Winant 2014, p. 15).
Racial formation can also be defined as “the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed” (Omi and Winant 2014, p. 8). This definition not only takes into account the changes that have taken place in regards to race over time, but also how different individuals experience racial categories in various ways. For example, while one person may see themselves as white, another person may see them as black. It is important to note that these categories are not static, but rather they are always changing and being transformed.
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the racial formation of an individual. One of the most important factors is skin color. Skin color is often seen as the most important physical characteristic when it comes to race. This is because skin color can be used to easily identify someone’s race. For example, someone with light skin is typically seen as white, while someone with dark skin is typically seen as black.
Another important factor that can contribute to the racial formation of an individual is their ethnic background. Ethnicity refers to a person’s cultural heritage or identity. For example, someone may be of Italian ethnicity even if they were born in the United States. Ethnicity can often be used as a way to identify someone’s race. For example, someone who is of Italian ethnicity is typically seen as white, while someone who is of African ethnicity is typically seen as black.
The final factor that can contribute to the racial formation of an individual is their country of origin. Country of origin refers to the country in which a person was born. For example, someone who was born in the United States would be considered to have an American country of origin. Country of origin can often be used as a way to identify someone’s race. For example, someone who was born in the United States is typically seen as white, while someone who was born in Mexico is typically seen as Hispanic or Latino.