RACE AND THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
Race can be defined as a category of humankind that possesses distinguishing physical characteristics, most commonly the skin color. Throughout history, society has attached labels to races, spurring hatred among people of different races since most of the time the stereotypes are negative. This paper will explore racial experiences as viewed in a particular milieu and in relation to the society at large. It will also cover a brief history of racism and how this history has shaped the current society’s attitude towards race.
Question 1: Racial situation from adolescence
While in high school, I experienced racism as I was shopping at a department store in our neighborhood. A Russian employee yelled at me, asking where I came from and whether I could speak English. I was in my traditional attire which he ridiculed, claiming that I looked like a joker who had just come from a costume party. The experience was both intimidating and horrifying as I was still young, and the man seemed intent on hurting me, even physically if he had a chance.
Question 2: Racial situation in the milieu
New York is home to people from different parts of the world. As a result, it is not uncommon to find people from difference races living in the same community and interacting in various social occasions. For instance, my parents migrated to New York and have a heavy accent which they picked growing up in a non-American society. Similar to most families in our neighborhood, we like to keep our culture through various ways such as attire and language. Most members of the community are blind to such cultural differences, leading to rampant incidences of racial discrimination and acts of racism.
Question 3: Racial situation in the larger society
Racism is also rampant in other communities in New York. Being a cosmopolitan state, instances of racism are entrenched in the society as people from different cultures come with their beliefs and practices which they perceive as superior to the rest. These cultures, coupled with negative stereotypes, make one race to look down on the other, resulting to a community that uphold matters regarding race in the negative sense. Children born in such societies also learn racial discrimination from their parents, making it difficult to eradicate racism from our communities.
Question 4: History of racism in the United States
The United States has a past of racism, spanning from the colonial era to the slavery era and is still rampant in today’s society. A survey by ABC News found that at least one in ten Americans held prejudices against Hispanic-Americans while four out of ten did the same regarding Arab-Americans (ABC News, 2007). Groups which have been discriminated against in the past include the African-Americans, Latin-Americans, Asian-Americans and non-Protestant Anglo-Americans such as Poles, Jews, and Italians. However, racial prejudice among Americans has reduced markedly over the past few decades.
Question 5: Race as a social factor
Racism is embedded in many countries around the world. Skin color has been used to discriminate …