Difference Matters Summary

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The root of race and its ideologies derived from the context of African slavery. Many people can argue that racism was prevalent even before the times of African slavery but that is incorrect. Looking back in history, people were more often divided based on their nationality, language, and religion than the hughes of their skins, deming race a much more modern concept of division and promotion of inequality. Starting in the 16th century, European explorers created categories of classification for the different people they ran into based on their physical features. Referring to Asians as Mongoloids, Europeans as Caucasoids, and Africans as Negroids, they used these concepts to justify their superiority. Categorisation of people is still prevalent in our society today whether conscious or subconsciously. …show more content…
In this model, one's physical features determined the status held in society. The more “undesireable” one is the lower rank one holds in the social system. This ideology influences the social, moral, spiritual and intellectual quality that is able to be possessed which is proclaimed by one's physical traits that is inherited and unalterable. With this
In Brenda J. Allen’s, Difference Matters, chapter one, she discusses how subconsciously, the human mind associates a certain role with a certain type of social identity (Allen 1). Asking her audience to imagine what a secretary, welfare recipient, gang member, CEO, etc looks like, she allowed her readers to understand her point in that exercise. Society has trained us to believe and see only a certain group holding the important and valued roles in workplaces and social settings while the other dwelled in the lower class region of professions, socially and