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SOC 103 Lecture Notes - Biological Determinism, Social Darwinism, Order Theory

Course Code
SOC 103
Kelly Train

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Lecture #2 Biological Determination & Eugenics
June 25, 2012
1. What is an instinct?
- Sigmend Freud One of the most famous biological determinants of all time. Argued that
you are your biology, nothing about you is socially constructed. Explained richness or
poorness by your genetics.
- But first what is an instinct?
o Something you are born knowing how to do, you know how to do it automatically
o It is not socially constructed
o Crying
o Suckling
- What is NOT an instinct?
o Survival is NOT an instinct. Why?
Infants and toddlers LEARN what to fear, have no sense of “hot stove
You have to learn how to survive
o Mothering mother-child attachment (Freud says that you know how to mother just
because you have a uterus false)
o Sexual instinct
2. The process of evolution
- These are all things that come up in Social Darwinism
- 1861 Darwin published his book called “Origin of the Species”
o About how certain species survived and other died out
o Adaptability
o Experimented to find out they were random and unplanned
o Mostly interested in WHAT made certain species adaptable looked at why
dinosaurs had become extinct and single-cell organisms had survived for millions of
o Certain species were able to change and evolve over time to adapt
3. The human package
a. Bipedalism & tool making
- Gave us an edge of others bipedalism allowed up to see greater distances, see our
- Tool making facilitated hunting, allowed to make baskets etc. to carry food
b. Meat eating
- Supplemented diets
- Social survival meant you had to do it with other people, had to hunt together
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