Week 2 Analytical Post

Racialization is the process through which the idea of race and racial groups are constructed and shaped.  It shows how racial ideas are where they are now, and how different occurrences and attitudes shape racial groups and ideas, and racial identities that are given by the dominant group rather than the people the label is used to describe.  One example of racialization that has come under a lot of public scrutinies and outrage is police/authority figure violence and discrimination against blacks.   Police officers will see the color of someone’s skin, and through their personal beliefs, society’s depictions of black men, and they believe them to be a danger and therefore are more likely to act violent towards them, with less provocation than someone of another race.  All of the violence on every side is tragic, and hopefully, dialogues and research can be held to figure out how to combat everything happening.


The Gould/Morton controversy is one that in my opinion, has been made a much bigger deal of then it should be.  In the 19th century American physician, Samuel Morton conducted research into intelligence, cranial capacity and its relation to race.  He believed that the bigger the crania, the smarter you were.  He reported differences in cranial capacities in racial categories, saying Caucasian as the largest, and therefore smartest.  Many years later, in the late 1970s, a scientist Stephen Jay Gould published a paper and later book criticizing Morton’s results as an example of scientific biases.  Not long ago, scientists have come out criticizing Gould for that very same thing, that his results have a scientific bias as well.  I do not believe that Gould’s inaccuracies lend credibility to Morton’s claims about race and intelligence being that just because Gould’s numbers may not be accurate, it does not suddenly make Morton’s accurate.  To sum up, it is entirely possible for them to both be inaccurate.

5 thoughts on “Week 2 Analytical Post

  1. You made a very good point by bringing up the recent issues of police brutality towards minorities! This is something we are all witnessing every day and is a great example of racialization in our society. It is a shame that we still have to experience these great atrocities in our lives that is only appearing to keep worsening. Nearly every day we are exposed to a new unjust slaying all due to racialization.

    I agree with your conclusion of Gould’s inaccuracies not causing credibility towards Morton’s findings. Morton was a raging racist who was going out of his way to prove white supremacy over other races. Gould’s act of fudging numbers did not make Morton’s findings any more credible. Both were doing wrong, but the entire situation got incredibly blown out of proportion like you said.

  2. I think you hit the topic of racialization right on the head. We as humans are predisposed to attempt to organize and classify information in order to better remember it. When we began to classify ourselves within races with unalterable tendencies and qualities, we applied labels and characteristics without proper consideration or research. I think your example of the stigmatization of black males is perfect for your definition. Coming from Flint, Michigan my high school was close to fifty-fifty black to white, which gave me completely different idea of black culture than the common stereotypes would suggest. It was only after I got to MSU and met students who had two black students in their entire school that I understood how lucky I was.
    Tying racialization in with the Gould/Morton debate, it seems from the results of both studies that researchers can manipulate results to fit their hypotheses, which leads me to believe that we must continue to question our own work if we are to advance as a species. The Gould/Morton debate can be enlarged to encapsulate how we as a society perceive and define racism and racialization. We must constantly challenge and redefine the status quo, otherwise we may be left to interpretations based on biased opinions rather than true science.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. I share some of the exact same viewpoints as yours on racialization and how it is socially constructed and represented today. I too also used the Black Lives Matter movement/controversy around police brutality in black communities as my example in the media. As you mentioned, it will take a lot of dialogue, research, and planning to help resolve or at least help progress the delicate situation. There is a lot to be done as well as understood.

    I like how you presented Gloud/Morton’s arguments. Although I felt as if Gloud’s inaccuracies did lend credibility to Morton’s statements, your post showed me that they also could have been viewed as not giving credibility to Morton’s research. Morton’s idea that larger cranial sizes is equivalent to having more intelligence first came across as being bizarre to me. However, after Gloud’s inaccuracies were presented, I did feel as if Morton’s findings were able to be viewed in a more favorable light. Your post brought me to realize that Gloud’s inaccuracies did not help prove Morton’s argument to be true but simply were inaccurate.

    Great post!

  4. I completely agree with your definition of racialization. I agree with the fact the dominant race group are the only people that give other groups of people a race. All other groups of people don’t think of themselves as different because the only difference between them and the “dominant” group is the physical appearance. This one group deemed themselves as superior and said that all other group of people are inferior because they don’t look like them. This is a terrible way of thinking about a group of people. They shouldn’t be treated as less because of the color of their skin or any other physical features they may have that are different. I also agree that Gould’s inaccuracies made Morton’s findings credible. Both men were extremely biased in their discoveries and the facts that they had didn’t make any scientific sense. The findings weren’t accurate which makes the criticism meaningless.

  5. I would definitely agree that racialization is a process. I think in my post, I described it as, “the unjust categorizing of people into a group when they themselves don’t identify with that group and is used as a means to create inferiority.” It is very similar to what you said but slightly different because I described it as a way to compare people to other people that are similar. I guess the shortened way of describing it would be, ‘stereotyping’ or ‘overgeneralizing.’ I think both of our definitions are correct because we both describe it as a process. I really liked your post because you made it very relevant to what is happening currently with the black lives matter movement. There is a mass misconception that black men are dangerous. The system has racialized them to the point where policemen don’t believe they are capable of being noble and virtuous. It is such a pity that this is happening because we have made huge strides towards equality and now that this occurring, I feel we have more work to do as a nation.

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