The only book written for undergraduates about the social construction of reality that is also historical and comparative. In addition, it includes chapters on the social construction of time and space, as well as the more traditional chapters on race, class, and gender.
This book shows how these social constructions of time, space, race, gender and class intersect with each other to produce particular social phenomena that are enduring and significant for our society. No other book for undergraduate teaching has ever done this … this is a real first!
“If the goal of this series is to broaden the students” vision, no book is more ambitious toward attaining that goal than Making Societies. Roy helps students question the most “natural” of categories: time, space, gender, race, and class. Leading them through examples drawn from around the world, he shows how these categories are social constructions; historically formed, ideologically loaded, and subject to change. This may be profoundly unsettling, for students will be encouraged to question not only what they know but also the conceptual frameworks they use when they claim to understand anything. As Series Editors, it is our belief that this provocation will open new ways of thinking about the social world, how it is, and how it might be.”
—Wendy Griswold, Series Editor, Northwestern University, from the foreword
“I love the organizing concept of the social construction of reality and using a cross-cultural historical comparative approach to analyzing key themes: space, time, race, gender, and class. I particularly like the focus on space and time first because it illustrates how deeply embedded the social construction of reality is.”
—Joanne Defiore, University of Washington, Bothel
“The book is intellectually strong; it is driven by ideas and engages important processes of social life.”
—Lisa Brush, University of Pittsburgh
Chapter 4: Race
Newsweek magazine in 1984 carried a story about a political conflict in a California city where a former councilman representing a predominantly black and Latino district was accused of being white. His successor claimed that he was misrepresenting himself by posing as black. His blue eyes, reddish hair, and light skin made him appear white, and he was raised white but discovered his “real” race only when he was in his early 20s.
What does it mean to say that he would misrepresent who he is by giving a partially false impression about where his ancestors came from? Why do the origins of his ancestors constitute a matter of being rather than just the culture he was raised in? How does having any ancestors from ...