Determining Race pt.2

It’s been over two months since ‘Determining Race pt.1’ was posted so hopefully the suspense has well and truly set in and everyone is on the edge of their seats ready for part 2!

The last couple of months have been very busy and very exciting for me (I’m going to explain in more detail in a separate post), but I’ve actually missed writing and editing these posts.

Below is the introduction of the paper that I wrote, enjoy!


The rise of racial thinking came in the late 17th century when the term race first started to appear in writing and research (Smedley, 1997). Racial ideology is therefore a relatively new concept, used primarily to identify differences between groups and individuals from different regions and who engage in practices that are not in line with the majority norm. Although the terminology itself is new, by no means is the exploitation of those deemed inferior a new concept. The contention of this paper is concerned with showing that the most significant factor in accounting for genocide is racial ideology (Weikart, 2004).  While other factors are relevant to the study of genocide and can provide some insight to questions of motive, justification and in gaining popularity, racial ideology is the predominant and most complete explanation. Conflict continues to exist in regards to race and racial ideologies today, thus it is integral that society gain an understanding of the implications of this mentality – that is, genocide. Beginning with an examination of relevant literature, this essay will go on to explore the origins of race. This will include an analysis of the argument of whether race is a socially constructed, and what race looked like in the lead up to the Holocaust and the Australian genocide. By determining the historical context on which justifications for genocide were built, an understanding of the complexity of the Australian genocide and the Holocaust will begin to form. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that genocide can be explained almost entirely through the lens of racial ideology and while this paper acknowledges other factors such as motivation, it is beyond the scope of this paper to delve into much detail about alternate explanations. The complex nature of racial ideology and the ways in which these ideas can manifest will be explored in detail below.


The next installment of this series about race will examine the origins of race.

p.s. it won’t be two-and-a-half months in the making, promise



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