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CHYS 2P38 - January 26.docx

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Brock University
Child and Youth Studies
Kevin O' Neill

CHYS 2P38 January 26, 2014  Race does not exist  To use race comes from the 19 century  Poor idea of culture and biological species  The idea we had of race followed the concept of hierarchy  Human societies were evolving in a way similar to how higher species evolved – Herbert Spencer  He felt that the North American race was superior to all other races  During early years, every civilized man passes through that phase of character exhibited by the barbarous race from which he is descended. As the child’s features— flat nose, forward-opening nostrils, large lips, wide-apart eyes, absent frontal sinus, &c.—resemble those of the savage, so, too do his instincts. . . . The popular idea that children are ‘‘innocent’’ while it may be true so far as it refers to evil knowledge, is totally false in so far as it refers to evil impulses, as half an hour’s observation in the nursery will prove to anyone. (Spencer 1963 [1860]: 205– 6)  Dunn’s “Civilization and Cerebral Development” (1864) argues that (Nordic) Europeans enjoyed “whole brain development”, while the “Carib, Negro” and “Irish from Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo” experienced lesser development  Caucasian brain develops fully  Applied concept of recapitulation – “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” to child development as an explanation for racial differences  Our individual growth recapitulates the growth of species  The individual growth of a child is actually like rehearsing the patterns of evolutions – “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”  Physiological racial differences were minimal in small children, develop during adolescence  Difference between small children were very minimal in terms of development  During adolescence – they experience “arrested development”  Lower races exhibit development that stops  Anthropometry after the U.S civil war made the assumption that cranial structure development, particularly the ‘closure of the cranial sutures’, indicated ‘arrested cognitive development’.  Was believed that cranial size affected intelligence  Neanderthals had larger craniums than we do and they are extinct…  During U.S “Reconstruction”, this became a seductive idea  African American children believed to mature earlier, thus creating “ a conflict for existence between brain growth and reproductive organ growth at puberty”  Believed that African American’s were more likely to be sexually promiscuous, more likely to have children out of wedlock, etc.  Stereotype led to a fear of (and laws against) miscegenation  Racism is a political structure  Social prejudice produces “scientific knowledge”  We find things out about the world that tend to underline and reinforce the prejudice we already have about it  We are not likely to ask the questions that would lead us to another conclusion  Ex. Southern American states striking against going to mixed raced schools  Social identity and “in-group” theory – prejudice maintains boundaries of social groups  If we are prejudice against a specific group it reinforces our idea of being a part of a group  Gives a sense of being superior  Problem with the arbitrariness of these groups  How one group is deemed higher than another  How we decide which group is superior or inferior is based on culture and politics  “Jim Crow” laws refer to a set of laws aimed at segregating Whites and Blacks after the civil war and until the mid 1960s.  After 1950 (and in anticipation of the civil rights movement) childhood ideology applied to all children  African American schools separate but unequal, creating an education system in which they received an inferior education  Did not have the same access to resources, were not funding the same, the curriculum was not intended to bring students to post secondary education  Curriculum was made to bring African American’s educations to a halt  NAACP challenged segregation policies through the courts by arguing that segregation did psychic damage to African American children  Clarke’s ‘doll studies’ showed that African American children “suffered from self- rejection”  White doll and black doll – asked which one they thought was the good doll and the bad doll  Saw the white doll as superior and had negative image of their own skin colour  Wells - contrary to ‘common sense view’ that children oblivious to racial distinctions, studies showed that children understand “in-group” distinctions  Children understand that they are African American and that it means something to them  They knew that there were limitations to what they could achieve and they didn’t try to challenge those limitations  Most biologists and anthropologists have abandoned the notion of discrete racial groups  Discrete racial groups – Native Americans, Whites, Asian Americans, African Americans  Really doesn’t make any sense from an ethological perception  Genetic ‘variation within’ is greater than the ‘variation between’ these groups (94% vs. only 6%) (AAA 1998)  Most of our genetics we share with all human beings (94%)  Human populations always been on the move  Human geno
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