Racial Formation

From the article “Racial formations”, Micheal Omi and Howard Winant state that race is social concept instead of biological concept. They explain that everyone views race differently and how race influence the society, how it is classified. The important concern the order of race is force by society, politics and economy. They explain that race is social concept; it is process of racial formation. Society determines the meaning of race and it is a process during which racial identity is created. They explain this social concept by defining the terms racial identity, racial ideology and racialization.

Omi and Winant’s theory relates to the novel of Caucasia. Danzy Senna creates two different characters in the novel’s by the name of Cole and Birdie. Both are birthed by the same parents but they are treated differently through the eyes of society. Cole takes after her black father; Birdie takes after her white mother. The novel shows the how society views of race and how race influence society. Omi and Winant discussed racial identity to prove that race is a social concept. Hypo- descent is a part of racial identity. Marvin Harri gave an example of hypo descent to support this concept.

Hypo-descent helps society identify people’s race. It is identifying a person as the subordinate race rather than super-ordinate group and it is a rule that categorizes race. Omi and Winant give Susie Guillory Phipp’s case of racial identity and hypo-descent to prove that race is a social concept. She was categorized as black according the state law in 1970. Anyone with at least one thirty second “negro blood” was considered black. The law was made by people, people represents the society, society defines race, and race varies by society.

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