"Race" and the Construction of Human Identity (Article, 1998) [WorldCat.org]
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"Race" and the Construction of Human Identity

Author: Audrey Smedley Affiliation: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2040.
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:American Anthropologist, v100 n3 (September 1998): 690-702
Other Databases: WorldCat
Summary:
Race as a mechanism of social stratification and as a form of human identity is a recent concept in human history. Historical records show that neither the idea nor ideologies associated with race existed before the seventeenth century. In the United States, race became the main form of human identity, and it has had a tragic effect on low-status "racial" minorities and on those people who perceive themselves as of  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Audrey Smedley Affiliation: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2040.
ISSN:0002-7294
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5156604669
Notes: Number of References: 40
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Abstract:

Race as a mechanism of social stratification and as a form of human identity is a recent concept in human history. Historical records show that neither the idea nor ideologies associated with race existed before the seventeenth century. In the United States, race became the main form of human identity, and it has had a tragic effect on low-status "racial" minorities and on those people who perceive themselves as of "mixed race." We need to research and understand the consequences of race as the premier source of human identity. This paper briefly explores how race became a part of our culture and consciousness and argues that we must disconnect cultural features of identity from biological traits and study how "race" eroded and superseded older forms of human identity. It suggests that "race" ideology is already beginning to disintegrate as a result of twentieth-century changes.

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