Gender and Race as Social Construction

Topics: Human, Gender, Male Pages: 2 (565 words) Published: October 29, 2013
Gender is referred to the different physical and psychological characteristics of male and female; race is a classification of human beings based on different physical, cultural, and geological features. When people think of gender and race, they often have embedded definition in their mind of what certain gender or race is supposed to behave and be like. In fact, different genders and races are like different colors—one has no superiority upon another. However more often than not, people give some stereotypes or labels to different genders and races and even attribute superiority or inferiority to different genders and races. As it says in Writing the Range, “The conquerors tended to think that their superior power was ‘natural,’ that different races possessed different qualities and abilities, that winners were obviously and naturally better than losers” (Jameson and Armitage 5), the roles of different genders and races are created by the society or by the dominant group in certain historical context. In this case, we say that gender and race are social constructions. When it comes to colonial formations, settlers are the ones who set up rules and therefore set up social conventions for different genders and races. By governing people according to the roles set by settlers, it is easier for settlers to form colonial. In Ann Laura Stoler’s article, she mentions the term “biopolitics”, refers to Foucault’s words and broadly defines it as a kind of “technologies of rule” that is “part of the political anatomy of states, governing techniques that relied on ‘the disciplining of individual bodies and the regulations of the process of aggregate human populations’ ” (Stoler 25). The term “biopolitics” is very interesting—while its literal definition is abstract and hard to understand, people can get a feeling of this term by breaking it into “bio” and “politics”. “Bio” refers to what inherited naturally in human beings – such as gender and race, and gender and race...
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