Essay on Racial Identity and Social contruction

Essay on Racial Identity and Social contruction

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Paul Haggis’ film Crash (2004), demonstrates how people can adopt a dominant and subordinate role concurrently, this is illustrated through the character Jean Cabot. When people look at Jean they see an affluent White female. As a result of the way a person looks their actions are scrutinized due to social construction. Jean is White, so people assume that she leads a charmed life. Although, Jean’s racial identity and class allows her to be a member of the dominant group, her gender she does not have as much power as White males; Jean builds her life around the racial identity that is assigned to her and participates in the social construction that plagues American communities.
Racial identity is often described as the color of a person’s skin and the race that is associated with that color. Jean Cabot’s racial identity places her above people of color and as a member of the dominant group. She allows this identity that the Los Angeles society has created to define who she is and how she should live her life. Jean’s husband has a well paying job and is in the media a lot, so it is assumed that she isn’t going to work and become a stay at home mom. It is not taken into consideration that she should work because her home and child are taken care of by a maid, therefore she is not needed throughout the day. As a member of the dominant group, it is expected for the dominants to keep a sense of normalcy (Miller 112), Jean encourages people’s viewpoint of her by being shallow and often self centered. When she talks to her friends on the phone after her car was stolen, her main concern is that she was violated by people who are less than her.
The main characteristics of being dominant stem from being White, however it is the...

... middle of paper ...

...nd unjust; however the actions of the people who surround an individual often affect the actions of the individual. The person must possess a strong sense of self or they will inevitably fall into the categories that their community places them in.

Works Cited

Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Sandra Bullock. Lion Gate, 2004. DVD.
Miller, Jean Baker. “Domination and Subordination.” Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. Ed. Paula Rothenberg. New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2010. 108-114. Print.
Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. “Racial Formations.” Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. Ed. Paula Rothenberg. New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2010. 13-22. Print.
Buck, Pem Davidson. “Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege.” Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. Ed. Paula Rothenberg. New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2010. 32-37. Print.

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