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ERIC Number: EJ889912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
The Social Construction of Social Facts: Using the U.S. Census to Examine Race as a Scientific and Moral Category
Townsley, Eleanor
Teaching Sociology, v35 n3 p223-238 2007
This article describes an exercise that explores how race categories and classifications are socially constructed scientifically. In an introductory sociology setting, students compare their perceptions of the size of minority populations with counts from the U.S. Census. In a series of debriefing sessions, students analyze both their perceptions and Census counts as social constructions of the moral phenomena we call race. In the process, students are introduced to Census data and the Census web site as well as to historical and theoretical literature on the social construction of race. Students are then asked to reflect critically about the scientific practices in which race is constructed as a social fact, and in particular, to consider their own roles in these practices as users and subjects of race categories. The larger goal is to help students to develop a critical sociological imagination that productively engages the analysis of race in contemporary society. (Contains 4 tables and 8 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A