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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 230
Zoua Vang

Race 1112013 12700 PMNormative understandings of raceWhat is race o Skin colour o Family origin o Geography o Socially constructed tool used for categorization o Genetic similaritiesWhat informed your ideas about race o The notion of racism o History o Parentswe learn about our own group membershipWhy do we judge people based off of our definitions of raceSociological definition of race a group of human beings socially defined by itself or others as distinct on the basis of common physical and increasingly cultural characteristics that are held to be inherentHistory of racial thinkingRace as a biological difference o Types of mankind photopopularized theory of polygenesis belief that different races of humans categorize different speciesShows that most superior species are white humans th This idea prevailed until first half of the 20 centuryEx Out of Africa Thesis o DNA evidenceModern humans share 999 of genetic codeNearly all the genetic variation found in Asians and Europeans are found in Africans o 1 million years ago homosapiens ancestor of modern humans left Africa o 32000 years ago Neanderthals became extinct homo sapiens sole hominid species on earth o geological time too short for modern humans to have evolved into different species racesAge of Enlightenment o Scientific basis of racial thinking o Correlation between biology and race tho 18 centuryphilosophies of humans as distinct from and better than animals o race became a way to classify the people into larger order rankingbased on intellect culture and social progressionNormative notions of superiorityinferioritySomatic differences as shorthand to represent different typesEffort to classify humans o Homosapiens4 subcategories of homo sapiens done by LinnaeusAmericanus red choleric erectEuropaeus white ruddy muscularAsiaticus Yellow Melancholic inflexibleAfricaanus black phlegmatic indulgent th Context for 18 century racial thinking o European exploration and expansionismEuropeans were making discoveries in New World and Africaasked why these people were so different from people in Europe o Explanation for European Technological advancements and influence o Humans differ only to a certain degreeunder right conditions could be raisedExample Africans culturally not biologically Inferior but potential for salvation th Content for 19 Century Race as Type o Types of differing in permanent and heritable physical and cultural traitso Hierarchical Rankordering o God or natural forcescatastrophe responsible for racismExample of race as type by Blumenbach o Caucasian white race o Mongolian yellow race o Ethiopian black race o American red race o Malayan brown race th Late 19 Century Race as species o 1859 origin of specieschallenges monogenesis thesissurvival of the fittestdifferent species evolved to have particular biological traits or characteristicsthese were selected by nature to allow them to survive in the worldthose that didnt have proper traits were going to die out o Race as biologically distinct o Race is a justification for exploitation and subjugation of indigenous peoples during European imperialist expansion o Inferior are not even Human o Emerged 3 doctrines of racial superioritySocial Darwinism Human behaviourtraits rooted in biologyNaturalselectioncompetition applicable to human groups racesRacebased hierarchy of better adaptedless adapted peoplessurvival of the fittestWhite Europeans superior stock of humans selected to survive and propagateBio differences explained different culture fortunes and civilizationsCompetition and war naturaldesirablereproduction of most biologically superior human specimensWhite Europeans looked at self and said they were the superior race however there are strong limited resources in society and there are all these white people not doing anything and thus they are bringing down the white raceinternal dissatisfactionSD in action in Europe
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