SWRK 423 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Race Matters, Japan Today, Tiger Woods

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29 Jan 2013
Defining Race and Ethnicity
The Great Brain Robbery:
Dr. Samuel George Morton:
-collected and measured human skulls that came from various times and places
-their original occupants were members of different races
-believed he could show that the bigger your brain the smarter you were
-found that races ranking highest in the social hierarchy had the biggest brains while those ranking in lowest had
the smallest brains
-those w/ the biggest were white of European origin, then were Asians, native North Americans, and
lowest was blacks
-said that power, wealth, and intelligence were due to brain size and mental capacity
-thus people used findings to justify colonization and slavery
3 main issues compromise his findings:
1. Archaeologists today cannot precisely determine race by skull shape
-thus it is unclear whether his skulls belonged to whites or blacks
2. His skulls formed a small, unrepresentative sample
3. 71% of skulls he identified as “Negro” were women’s compared to 48% of the skulls he identified as
-women’s bodies are on average smaller than men’s
-thus Morton’s findings are meaningless but influential for a long time
Race Biology and Society:
-in medieval Europe, aristocrats called themselves “blue bloods” b/c they apparently could see blue veins
underneath their skin and none under the skin of tanned peasants
-~80 yrs ago, some scholars believed that racial differences in average IQ scores were genetically based
-ex. Peter Sandiford
-argued that Canada should keep out “misfits” and “defectives” from immigrating to Canada
-encouraged the recruitment of British, German, and Danish and discouraged Polish, Italians and
-said his data showed mental superiority in Northern Europe than Southern or Eastern Europeans
-Asians scored highest but he claimed they were only exceptions and should still be kept out
-in the US, Jews scored below non-Jews on IQ tests in the 1920s
-more recently, African Americans have one average scored below Euro-Americans
-these people who argued against Jewish immigration and education for inner-city African Americans ignored 2
1. Jewish IQ scores rose as they moved up the class hierarchy and could afford better education
2. Enriched educational facilities have routinely boosted the IQ scores of inner-city African-American children
-evidence shows that the social setting in which a person is raised and educated has a big impact on IQ
-considering sports, it seems like most blacks make up most of the NBA and NFL as well as hold top records in
-but no gene linked to general athletic superiority has yet been identified
-athletes of African descent do no perform unusually well in many sports such as swimming, hockey,
cycling, tennis etc
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