The Race is a Social construction

1) As you have read in this week’s material, race is a social construction and a biological fiction, but it is also responsible for real consequences in our world insofar as prejudice, discrimination, and negative stereotypes are concerned. For this week’s Discussion post, you will be sorting people based on the race with which you identify them. Please take the Race Literacy Quiz from California Newsreel.

Race is a Social construction

When you’re done with the quiz, complete the activity Sorting People found on the PBS website. After you’ve completed the quiz and activity, reflect on how you did and whether you were surprised by the results. For your Discussion post this week recall the reading material and engage deeply with what you read and respond to the following questions:

  • Why do social scientists consider race a social construction?
  • What is an example from news or social media that demonstrates how race is a social construction?

Please include a link to share in your post. Finally, reflect on the activities from this week’s lecture material and use a personal example from the sorting quiz results to discuss how race is a social construction.

2) Investigating language, arguments, and cognitive biases For your initial post, address one of the following:

Race is a Social construction

  • Watch Cohen’s video How can you have a fair argument?  (Links to an external site.)
  • In Cohen’s view, what is the true benefit of philosophical or academic argumentation?
  • Explain how we can go beyond argument as war, proof, or performance in academic discourse, or any discourse, in a spirit of collaboration rather than contention. How can we overcome the dominant war metaphor in our arguments?
  • After reviewing the interactive lecture this week and the reading Let’s think about cognitive bias (Anonymous, 2015), explain how vague or imprecise language can lead to cognitive biases. Can you point to an example?

Explain how we can address imprecise/vague language and associated cognitive biases in our own thinking. Review Arguing with other people (Lau & Chan, 2019) and How to criticize with kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett and the four steps to arguing intelligently (Popova, 2014).

Race is a Social construction

  • Explain how could you use Dennett’s four steps to strengthen your critical thinking when conversing with others.

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