Forsyth Technical Community College The Power of an Illusion Questions


Video 1: The Difference Between Us: Race – The Power of Illusion (run time: 56:54)

APA formatted citation:

The difference between us: Race—the power of an illusion [Video file]. (2003). Retrieved from…

1. The video posits that there is no significant biological difference in the races. What evidence is presented to support the concept that race, therefore, is a “biological fiction”? (“Posit” means to put forward as a basis of argument.) (15 pts)

2. Describe Fredrick Hoffman’s “extinction thesis”. What was the basis of the theory? Why was this thesis flawed? (10 points)

3. Describe the eugenics movement, including the time period when this movement was popular in the US. What were some of the consequences of the eugenics movement in the US and the world? (You can do additional research on this movement, if you choose. Just be sure to cite your sources.) (10 points)

Video 2:

The House We Live in: Race – The Power of an Illusion (run time: 56:27)

APA formatted citation:

The house we live in: Race—the power of an illusion [Video file]. (2003). Retrieved from…

4. The video introduces the phrase “biology is destiny”. What does that mean in the context of this video? (15 points)

5. Both videos suggest that there is no meaningful biological difference between the races. Race, however, is very real in a society, because of the meaning attached to physical characteristics like skin color and hair texture. Your textbook calls this the social construction of race.

a) Define social construction of race. (Hint: **Use your textbook.) (10 points)

b) The video highlights two Supreme Court cases related to race and naturalization (the process of becoming a citizen). Describe how these cases demonstrate the “social construction of race” in U.S. history. (20 points) (*150 words required)

6. Describe how racialized government-sanctioned housing practices (such as redlining) have affected comparative net worth for blacks and whites in the US. What have been the long-term effects of those government-sanctioned practices? Use information from your textbook on income and/or wealth disparities by race to support your answer. (20 points) (*150 words required).