Omi and Winant – Racial Formations

Omiand Winant – Racial Formations

Inthe United States, race difference is still a significant reason fordiscrimination. The white population is dominates the population, andit is presumably superior to other people – collectively calledblacks or colored people. However, race stereotyping originated fromcolonists who wanted to justify the reason some people were supposedto be oppressed in ways such as being forced to provide free andcompulsory labor a given class should make political leadershipclass and deserves owning property at the expense at of the poor. Thehypothesis of this paper will focus on investigating Omi and Winant’sposition on the social formation subject.

Accordingto Omi and Winant, racial classification is derived from cultural andstructural base. European explorers originated with the concept ofrace many years back. When they came across people who appeareddifferent from them, they needed to develop a new strategy to justifyoppressing natives of the new land. For example, they used racedifference to determine people who could serve as slaves, work inplantations, own property and take senior political positionstherefore, racism is a worldview for differentiating Europeans ashuman beings and children of God from other persons. Essentially, thetheorists argue that racism is a socio-historical ideology thathumans use for justifying that a given group of people is superior toothers (Omi and Winant 2).

Boththeorists assert that racial background may also serve as a source ofidentity. Once an individual identifies a person’s gender, thesecond identity is based on his or her race. For instance, “white”,“Latino” or “black” (Omi and Winant 3). The society expectsblack people to behave, speak, appear and act in a given manner.Furthermore, the authors claim that racism do also serve as a sourceof “amateur biology” thus they explain the skin color,intelligence or disease vulnerability of a given category of people.For instance, stereotypes classify “whites” as mentally wise andcreative than the “blacks” (Omi and Winant 5).

Theauthors also claim that humans view race as something that isconfined to “nature” and that cannot be neutralized. A person’srace is a crucial factor in determining people’s politicalposition. The literature notes that the United States has alwayselected presidents with white descent because they believed thatblacks are a weak race that cannot rule the white superior society(Omi and Winant 5). Luckily, the stalemate that blacks are lesscapable than the adults is gradually changing across the globe sinceAmericans elected a president of African American ancestry (Omi andWinant 6).


Inconclusion, the authors argue that racism is historical concepts thatsome humans developed to justify oppressing others. Furthermore,stereotyping associated with some races are not central or naturallyengraved among human beings. Races can easily break from racestereotyping that the white colonists developed to justify enslavinga section of Africans.


Omi,Michael and Winant, Howard. Racial Formations in the United States.Second Ed. Pp. 3-13. Web, Retrieved on December 20, 2014 from