Essay Sample on Social Construction and Historical Formation of Gender, Race, and Class

Published: 2023-03-02
Essay Sample on Social Construction and Historical Formation of Gender, Race, and Class
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Race Politics Gender Judicial system
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1599 words
14 min read

Social construction and historical formation of gender, race, and class are of great importance when it comes to understanding the American political system and judicial processes. The social composition of the American community is diversified since it is regarded as a land of opportunities. Differences in gender, race and social classes create pitfalls facing women and other minority groups (Lorde 3). However, it is not possible to recognize the effect of social construction in the political system and judicial decisions. However, government regulations and laws have changed the systems to ensure equality in the political system and judicial system although these factors still have a significant role in society. The government should develop legislation to manage gender, social construction, race, and classes since they influence political and judicial systems denying equal opportunities to minority groups.

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The topic of social construction, race, and gender has been common in the American political and judicial system. The topic may seem unimportant in some cases, but it is of great benefit since it helps to understand its impact on the political and judicial structure in the US. It does not only affect the political careers of individuals, especially minority groups (Rubin 12). The sexual menace was common in the American community and the public was furious leading to the enactment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. The act increased the age of girls to give sexual consent from 13 to 16 years. However, the law gave the police greater powers over poor classes of working women and children. Also, it contained a clause making it a crime for male consenting to indecent or sexual acts. The enactment of the law was the genesis of a change in political and judicial systems since it did not treat all people equally.

Sexual orientation has been an issue in American politics and judicial processes. Those with powers in government would damage the reputation of their competitors by using propaganda and the judiciary made some biased decisions. For example, sexual orientation and propaganda targeted individuals holding public offices, including politicians. They were vulnerable to sexual issues since they could not hold such offices when their sex scandals emerge (Rubin 12). The strategy majorly worked against minority groups, such as women in politics and black women who were treated as prostitutes; hence, they were deemed not fit to fully participate in politics. However, the expansion of the gay economy in recent decades provided alternative employment opportunities to protect employees from job discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Currently, the US economy is diversified and there is a struggle to ensure representation of all races and social classes in elected positions.

The sexual stratification leaves victims defenseless since they do not have the power to fight for their freedoms. Also, they do not have a pre-existing apparatus to curtail their liberty. Sexual stigmatization makes them morally hopeless in defending themselves (Rubin 14). The political and judicial process targets minority groups, affecting their political careers. In the political arena, competitors use innocuous behaviors like prostitution, obscenity, and homosexuality to portray negative images of the victims. It was a norm in society to engage in such behaviors and individuals were deemed not fit to become leaders. As much as the victims try to vote their representatives, they have limited numbers and their votes do not significantly count to change the political and judicial system.

In their most traditionally constructed definitions, gender and sex have been used in history to understand the construction of political systems. Gender has been used in politics to describe monarch governments and the relationship between the leader and the followers. For example, people might wonder about the reigns of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici of France (Scott 21). The two leaders construct a debate regarding the suitability of women in national and international politics. During this period, there were discussions about the role of kings and kingship. In kingship monarch governments, there is hereditary of power and the structure considered male leaders. In this regard, the traditional definition of gender and sex shaped the politics of a country because of the differentiated roles and responsibilities of males and females in politics.

According to political theory, states have a responsibility in changing gender relationships and their role in society through feminist. In the conservative government, states could pass laws that enhance the control of women. During the crucial moments like the French revolution and the implementation of the Nazi policy in Germany, rulers emerged that legitimizing domination, central authority, as well as the ruling power that made the codes to become part of the literal laws and this prohibited the participation of women in politics (Scott 21). Also, the laws prohibited abortion and barred women from earning wages. They imposed dress codes on women without considering their human rights. In these contexts, sex and gender could be described in the context of power and control of women in various public activities.

In the 21st century, democratic regimes have changed from the traditional perception of gender, sex, and social classes by constructing unique political ideologies. The ideologies translate gender into policies, such as the welfare of state that illustrate paternal protectionism, which is directed to women and children. Traditionally, anarchy and socialists have denied the concept of dominance, focusing their ideologies on gender transformation (Scott 23). However, power relations between countries have made colonial subjects comprehensible by determining power relations between females and males, especially in the political arena. However, other conservative leaders are legitimizing war against gender imbalance by relying on the belief about the role of sons as being leaders to succeed their fathers who may happen to be kings. In this regard, gender means the establishment of roles between men and females. In this regard, governments and non-governmental organizations must advocate for equal rights policies that regard women visible in the political and judicial systems so that they can also actively participate in politics.

The composition of gender, sex and race has been influencing legislation in the United States. Although there has been a tremendous change in discrimination laws, minority groups continue to influence the political and judicial system. For example, public policies labeled War on Drugs established in the 1980s and 1990s largely target minority groups, based on gender, social, sex, and race (Scott 4). Politicians recognize these facts but they have done little to change the political system. The political class warned about the growth of drugs among minority groups. For example, war on drugs focused on African-Americans and males (Lott 2). Although the representation of minority groups as increased in various arms of the government, the policy-making process favors the majority process because of their large numbers in representation. Therefore, gender, social and social construction continues to influence the political and judicial system.

The police force is one of the arms of the government that maintains law and order to all people. However, there are incidences where race has influenced their decisions in their line of duties. For example, police brutally killed Abner Louima in 1997 who was an immigrant from Haiti. In 1998, four police officers killed a West African immigrant in New York (American Sociological Association, 13). Unfortunately, the judiciary shielded the crimes police committed and did not offer justice to the offended instead protected criminals in the police force. These are some of the examples, illustrating how race has contributed to the judicial system oppressing minority groups. The investigation by the police indicates that there is no systematic racial discrimination in the judicial service based on the evidence presented. The definition of race in this context is an individual who is not American Native. As a result, agencies and some powerful individuals in society feel that individuals from other races do not have equal rights like the Americans. Therefore, there is the need for the government and non-governmental organizations to engage in advocating for the rights of minority groups so that there is equality.

Gender definition, sex, and social construction have significant impacts on political decisions. The early gender work illustrates that women did not have equal voting rights like men. However, modern studies have changed this notion of gender has changed its meaning from referring to oppressive roles of females in society. In the context where education, background, and age are controlled, women and men have equal voting rights (American Sociological Association, 2). Also, in the United States, any woman running for an elective seat has equal chances of being elected just like men contenders. However, their social backgrounds hinder them from having equal platforms. For example, a significant number of males running for elective positions are better financially compared to females. Therefore, political parties consider volunteering male contestants at the expense of women (Becares & Priest 13). However, this does not mean that men can be better leaders than females but it because of their gender.

Additionally, the definition of gender, race and social construction influenced political decisions in the 1820s and 1830s when there was an extension of suffrage that denied African-Americans the right to vote. During this period, the Negroes were denied their rights to legal and political rights. It means that the political class decided to deny individuals rights based on their gender (Fredrickson). However, the civil war led to the use of black troops and this gave blacks a right to claim equal citizenship. The composition of individuals continues to influence political decisions. To date, the issue of gender and race has been used to elect party representatives. Since the majority of political representatives are whites, they rarely decide electing African-Americans. Even the electorates make a voting decision based on the gender or race of the aspirants.

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