Thursday, February 3, 2011
Locke: The Significance of Culture on Race
In class today we talked about Alain Locke, and his perspective of race as a product of culture. He thinks that race is a product of the culture in which we live, but we shouldn't deny the biological factors which we think determine race. On page 92, " The point that seems to be important to note and stress is that we do not need to deny the existence of these characteristics racial molds in denying that they are rooted in "inherent heredity traits either of a biological or a psychological nature ." Locke thought that the cultures of people are what brought about the stereotypes of particular races today. I personally feel that it is the other way around. We started with races and then began a culture through the commonality of people because of their biological similarities. Locke also states that race is what brings people together, and is the greatest commonality between people within a given culture. This commonality between the races and the bringing together of many peoples creates the stereotypes that are still with us today. I feel like Locke has it backwards, and I know that this was a big debate within class. What are your thoughts on culture being the producer of race?