Communication has always been an important component of social life, it is what Sorrells (2012) refers to as “embodied experience” (51). The validity of this assertion becomes evident when examining how communication is marking differences existing between individuals. While studying the issue, this paper argues that communication is a reflected historical experience that shapes cooperation in the modern world.Historically, differences between people were reflected in communication, particularly written. With an aim to demonstrate this idea, Sorrells (2012) refers to Blumenbach (1775/1969) and Said (1978).
The former has created a hierarchy of differences, according to which all human species were divided into five races – the White, the Malay, the Americans, the Mongolian, and the Ethiopian race. Although Blumenbach attempted to provide a scientific explanation for differences existing between the races, Sorrells (2012) suggests that his major aim was to construct beliefs and practices that would justify “inequitable social, political, and economic systems” (59). Similar suggestions are found in Said (2003). The author of the famous Orientalism refers to the experience of white colonizers who resorted to different types of texts to draw a demarcating line between “we” and “they.” The former pronoun was used to refer to the white race, usually perceived as literate, refined, and endowed with great prospects. The latter was used to name people, who were not white, usually population of colonies.
The white colonizers had a special attitude towards them, a mixture of pity and contempt that is accurately reflected in all their texts. The examination of the latter gives Sorrells (2012) reasons to speak about “the power of texts” (59) involving “constructing, maintaining, and legitimizing systems of inequality and domination” (ibid).These days, the power of texts has not sunk into oblivion, and it is used to construct category of race evident in everyday communication. The validity of this statement is realized when examining the attitude of modern people to race.
Race is viewed as a social construct, and most college students surveyed by Graves (2005) believe that biological races exist. In order to understand the relation between social and biological construct of a race, it is recommended to approach the latter. It involves the belief that people with certain physical characteristics have specific features, for example “Brown-eyed people are more industrious than green-eyed people” (Sorrells 55) or “Right-handers are better at sports than left-handers” (ibid). Despite the apparent absurdity, these and similar statements are as popular among the public as they were hundreds of years ago. Sorrells (2012) notes that like in the past, the existence of racial hierarchies in the modern world is reinforced by the attribution of value-laden qualities socially constructed through communication.The accuracy of Sorrells’ (2012) statements can be easily tested by any individual who is not Caucasian.
When looking at me, a multicultural mixture with a round face, curly hair, and brown skin and eyes, many people want to know where I come from. I believe they want …