Article Analysis Essay on Racial Attitudes or Racial Ideology

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1133 Words
Date:  2022-09-25


The article on "Racial attitudes or racial ideology, an alternative paradigm for examining actors' racial views" is instrumental in explaining the racial attitudes among various people. In this case, the article describes the reliance on surveys and researches to justify the beliefs of racism among individuals. Adorno and Allport assert that investigations have been on the forefront among social analysts to provide information on racial attitudes among actors (Bonilla-Silva, 2003). In this regard, there is a framework that is used to demonstrate their analysis of their work. In their explanation, they start with prejudice which translates to attitudes which late progresses to discrimination. The three stages show the stepwise effects of racial attitudes among people and the way it advances to causing harm. However, this analysis does not consider power dynamics which is a salient or significant feature in the ability to explain racial attitudes. Power dynamics are critical in defining how racial attitudes dominate among different groups of people. To understand this perspective on racial attitudes, it is essential to consider the racial attitude paradigm in a group-based approach rather than an individualistic approach. Furthermore, a framework is crucial to help in understanding the scope of the ethnic model as well as illustrating the specific components and leading social purposes linked with racial ideology.

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The Racial Ideology Theory

To explain this, it is critical to acknowledge that humans are social beings. Therefore, social life is part of the human way of life where social events are created from interactions that bring meaning to all people. Thus, when specific cases of racism are experienced, this represents a social force intriguing the mind of the racist or the one with racist thoughts. Additionally, racism is socially constructed, and thus it is prone to human manipulation to bring undesired effects of supremacy or even subordination (Bonilla-Silva, 2003). When these classifications are initiated, 'the supreme' race tends to attempt the 'inferior 'one to change and accept their ways of doing things. These ways could be social, economic, political, or even psychological ways of perceiving things.

The theory is essential in explaining the dominating aspect of racial views among social actors in society. A society is known to develop several hierarchical ways of classifying things. In this aspect, societal ideologies on class start from gender, race, and many other social classifications that happen in a society. The classification framework in the community is a vital one in explaining the dominant aspect of racial ideologies. At the same time, it is essential to understand the root of this framework. Using the ideological perspective, the structures emanate from the living conditions of human groups that exist in a society and their experiences with other races (Bonilla-Silva, 2003). The formation explains the attitudes that people hold against various groupings of people and the features associated with such individuals. Therefore, this view makes communities operate like dead generations having still operated with racist ideas embedded in their minds.

In another dimension, racial ideology not only crystallizes the wishes of the dominant race but it is also taken to be not constant, and that is highly interactive. By having a racial ideology that is not fixed, it means that it is instrumental in forming a robust ideological feature with a flexible dominant race. In addition, this flexibility of the racial ideology makes it possible to build real roles that are accepted in society. The legitimacy comes from the ability of dominant racial ideology to allow for penetration of contradictions that bring in new information. From the excerpt, Jackman explains that the more thinking is loose-jointed, the easy it is to be manipulated. Hence, the strength of a racial ideology can be determined from this factor to allow for the penetration of new information and ideas.

Another aspect that is related to the racial ideology is the emergence of racial traitors. It happens most to individual members of a race that is dominating who may opt to become ideological dissidents. The most prone individuals to this influence are those perceived or are moral, the learned and intellects, and the political class who challenge their people on racial supremacy. In addition, there exists an interactivity nature of the dominant ideology. When this happens, ethnic contestation between various races is deemed to occur (Bonilla-Silva, 2003). In this sense, it is imperative to demonstrate that although the dominant race tends to rule the prevailing beliefs in a society, this is not absolute. The reason behind this is that this rule over the subordinates partly varies and is contested at most of the times.

Racial ideology ought to be conceived as a repertoire interpretative if the ethnic ideology approach is to be used in research. In this case, the collection interpretative would be classified into three aspects of frames, style, and racial stories. The three elements are widely used by individual actors in the formation of communication patterns, and their looseness allows for the maneuvering of various contexts. In addition, racial ideology can be explained in another dimension as stated by post-civil rights. In this, they assert that racial ideology is a representation or a manifest of a new racial order. The order does not rely on beliefs that can be seen but adopts the new doctrine since it is indirect and also non-racial thus effective for safeguarding racial freedom.

The Social Functions of Racial Ideology

One of the functions of this ideology is to demonstrate the society subdivision along racial lines. Society members have been injected with the feelings of racial domination and contestation thus promoting this in among its constituents (Bonilla-Silva, 2003). The other function is that it provides rules of engagement among the ethnic actors to enhance making decisions on the subordinate races. Thirdly, racial ideology helps racial actors in getting the script needed to promote their racial subjectivity. The other function helps the dominant racial ideology in normalizing the aspect of racial inequality. It also global and thus affects all social actors.


All in all, racial ideology is essential to understanding how various social actors address this issue. Racial thinking is critical in the development of dominant and subordinate races. The dominant has subdued their subordinates to the extent of challenging them to join theirs through adopting practices and cultures that apply to them. In addition, it is essential to use the three stages of the frame, style, and racial stories if this aspect is to be used in research matters. However, racial ideology serves various functions such as dividing a society among racial lines. In addition, it works by instilling feelings of dominion by the dominant race over the subordinates. It is also vital in making the issue of racial inequality a regular thing.


Bonilla-Silva, E. (2003). Racial attitudes or racial ideology? An alternative paradigm for examining actors' racial views. Journal of Political Ideologies, 8(1), 63-82.

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