Select ONE of the following three essay questions and write an essay based on the material from the text and our discussions in class including our D2L sessions. YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ANSWER SOME PARTS OF QUESTION 1 AND SOME PARTS OF QUESTION 2 or 3. IF YOU DO THAT, NEITHER RESPONSE WILL BE GRADED. Be sure to answer ALL parts of the question that you select. Failing to do so will result in losing points. Your essay will be marked out of 30 points and will be based on the information provided in your answer. Do not base your argument on your opinions but on facts using the material that we’ve studied over the course of the semester. Feel free to use the films to help illustrate your point. You can include your opinions in your conclusion. You are not allowed to use your notes from class.
1. The United States has been described as a “melting pot” and more recently as a “salad bowl” with people from all races living together in a multicultural society. Having ‘come a long way’ when looking at race relations in American society, many argue that we no longer experience racism like we did in the past. When discussing race relations and racism, we must first start with the concept of race.
(a) Often times we use the terms race and ethnicity as if they mean the same thing. Define the concepts race and ethnicity and explain how the concepts differ. In your definition of race, explain what is meant by the ‘social construction of race’ and discuss the arguments used to support this claim. (10 points) Hint: The case of Rachel Dolezal (head of the NAACP) served as an example of one of the arguments in the social construction discourse. There are 4 arguments that we discussed in class.
(b) In an effort to explain the current status interactions between racial groups, define race relations and discuss the 3 potential outcomes of group interaction. Where do we find ourselves?
(c) It can be argued that racism exists in different forms in current society and that institutional racial discrimination is more prevalent than individual racial discrimination. (i)Define the term institutionalized racial discrimination and (ii) discuss some of the structural ways that racial inequality exists today by providing detailed examples of institutionalized racial discrimination in the housing or criminal justice system. (10 points)