LEC11 Oct 25 2010
Race & Ethnicity
Pg 270-276 box 7.7 & 7.8
-Humanity (h. sapiens) one race, much variation
-Questions: how can human variability be explained?
How do we differ? Why do we differ? In which ways do these diffs matter?
-Sept 1997: AAA informed the US census bureau that race cld not be determined scientifically, BUT does
not mean that ‘race does not exist’ or that ‘race has no meaning’
-So… does race exist or not?
-if it exists, what exactly is it?
-if it does not exist, why bother using the term at all?
-a problematic classification of human beings based on skin colour and other physical characteristics
-a subset of the human pop whose members share certain distinctive inherited bio characteristics
-a criterion of social categorization that distinguishes groups of ppl on basis of particular secondary
-subspecies: a physical distinguishable pop w/in a species (NORTON)
-ID w/ a group of ppl who share a bio ancestor
-a relatively bio diff w/in one species
RACE: “THE FACTS”
-one species only (h. sapiens)
-there is variation w/in this single species BUT this variation is not sufficient (in bio terms) to say that
races ex subspecies exist (subspecies genetically distinct)
-bio diffs/variations = (isolations, environmental adaptation) –iso of one species from rest of the groups -human biologically variable species: variability results from natural selection in diff physical
environments, humans cannot be divided into subspecies or races
-therefore, race is not an objective fact ex it is unscientific
-the concept/meaning of race is socially constructed
-despite being ‘unscientific’ race has meaning and is accepted as a legit basis for analysis in a scholarly
Some additional thoughts:
“race (as socially constr