During the past 30 years, the study of racial and ethnic minority issues in psychology has evolved into what can now be considered a significant and rapidly growing field of study. This handbook presents a thorough, scholarly overview of the psychology of racial, ethnic, and minority issues in the United States. It covers the breadth of psychology viewed through the lens of the racial and ethnic minority experience. The stellar collection of contributing authors provide readers with a comprehensive work that focuses on the professional, methodological, social and developmental, clinical, and applied and preventive issues shaping the field today. Highlighting leading research and application in the area of ethnic minority psychology, the Handbook will help set the direction of scholarly work in the area for years to come.
Chapter 14: Constructing Race and Deconstructing Racism: A Cultural Psychology Approach
Constructing Race and Deconstructing Racism: A Cultural Psychology Approach
Whether race is considered a biologically invariant quality of human beings or a socially constructed taxonomy of human kinds, it captures the human tendency to form hierarchies of human groups and to enforce them. Furthermore, whether race stands for human differences associated with skin color, socioeconomic status, geographical region, cultural attributes, or even ethnic qualities (e.g., Jews in Hitler's Germany), its role in society is a stratifying one, with characteristics (however defined) of those in power on top and those who are subordinate on the bottom. DuBois (1903) captured this hierarchical reality famously in his dictum, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color ...