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Help! (Does race exist?)

Posted by Amy Stretten on December 13, 2002 at 16:16:36:

Hi. I was wondering if you could help me with something. I am currently writing my final for Cultural Anthropology. All semester in Economics in Film we had said that race is only a social construct and does not exist at all. However, in my Philosophy and Anthropology courses the professors conducted lectures and spoke as if race is real. (As you can imagine this conflict in opinion has been very confusing for me.) And, now, as I have to write a paper on the problems of the study of race, I have no idea how to go about answering the question. I mean, if there is only one race-the human race, then obviously studying race is a huge concept because it means studying all of man kind. I know that that is not what my professor means-he must mean the study of race as in studying smaller groups. But, after learning so many conflicting ideas and opinions about race in my classes I have no idea how to go about this essay.

I would appreciate any help you could give me.

Thanks again!

ps- This is an open book exam and my professor said that he did not care how or with whom we study. (In other words, I don't think your helping me in this respect would violate the honor code.)

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