That's right, me and simona just got our Soci III essays back, and we both got an A! So, I am exactly 1% ahead of her, mark wise. Chuckle. I like to win, especially when competing against her raw genius.
Anyway mine was about Race and Ethnicity, and why sociologists don't use the term race anymore, and why they find the term ethnicity more useful. Now I wont recreate my entire essay here - but I wanted to relate some things I found really interesting.
The first was that 'race' is actually a social construction (I seem to use that term a lot at the moment) rather than a biological fact. There is, in fact, no biological or genetic basis for 'race'. There is not one gene that is found only in one 'race' - so there are no genetic 'races' and the difference, genetically, between two people in different 'races' is smaller than the difference between two people within a 'race'.
Lets put that into concrete terms. Take a Scotsman and Nigerian. The difference in their genes is smaller than the difference between two Scotsman, or two Nigerian. Interesting eh! So, when people talk about 'blood' or being half something or quarter something, it's actually very meaningless. Or, completely meaningless.
SO this leaves us with ethnicity. And this is why it's so ridiculous to say "oh well so and so isn't REALLY Maori because he's only half Maori" or "they can't say they're Maori becuase they're half Pakeha" or whatever. Because what are you saying? As far as blood is concerned, nothing. Ethnicity is about identity and culture. Our heritage gives us certian cultural and ethnic resources, which we can choose to use or not - depending on our circumstances or what we value.
Anyway, these are just two interesting points that I thought I'd share.
Simona's was about White Collar Crime. VERY interesting. I actually probably did beat her anyway.