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Have you ever considered a reality in which you had the ability to create an image of your liking? What body shape and height would you select? Hair color and texture? Eye color? Skin tone? In the 2009 science-fiction film the Surrogates, people do just that. They live their lives through surrogate robots of their choosing. If sociologists were to study this phenomenon, they would first observe the selections people made. Second, they would try to understand why people selected the features they did. How did they determine what their ideal characteristics should be? The explanations would be numerous, but one of them would probably include the significance of race. Race is a funny thing. We see racial diversity in mass media, yet as one observer pessimistically quipped, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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This document was originally published by Ashbury Publishing in Introduction to Sociology: A Collaborative Approach. Copyright restrictions may apply.

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