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Lecture 4

ANT101 - Lecture 4 (Human Diversity)

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Sherry Fukuzawa

ANT101 - Human Diversity • History of the study of human variation Linneaus 1758 • Classificatory • Linneaus is the father of modern taxonomy Separated humans into 5 categories: • Americanus – paints himself with red lines, black, ill tempered • Europaeus – white, serious, glowing blonde hair, blue eyes, very smart, etc. • Asiaticus – black hair, dark eyes, haughty • Afer - • Monstrosus • There was clearly a large cultural bias** Count de Buffon: • “Varieties of the Human Species (1749) • Descriptive • Rejected classifications • Emphasized unity of species • Behavioral & cultural biases • Why is Count de Buffon important? – Because he rejected classifications • The errors he made is that he still had cultural biases Problems in Classifying Humans • Humans are both the investigators & subjects • Inequalities & injustices Eugenics (as early as the 1800s) • Goal was for the betterment of the human species by the selective breeding for favorable traits • Eugenics applies the principles of natural selection to human reproduction; tries to manipulate the reproduction amongst individuals through scientific objectivity (think of Nazi Germany) • It suggests that individuals with favorable traits who breed amongst one another will have offspring with these traits, leading to the betterment of a society. • It promotes racism, stating that some people should not breed with one another Important Figures in Eugenics: Francis Galton • 1869 “Heredity Genius” • Prominence is inborn – science has proven that individuals of high socioeconomic status should breed with one another, and those of low SES should not reproduce, and eventually these genes will disappear and ultimately there will be a more successful society • Statistics (even used stats to prove his point) • Used biology to reinforce social prejudices Charles Davenport • 1911 “Heredity in relation to eugenics” • Established eugenics in US scientific program How was eugenics to be carried out? • Restriction of immigration (would not let those with unfavorable traits into the country) • Restriction of the propagation of undesirable heritable traits • Encouragement of breeding between individuals with desirable genetic traits • What was considered to be a favorable trait was highly biased – e.g. feeble-mindedness • Eugenics took hold in National Socialist Germany Ernest Hooton • Broke from eugenics movement (this is why he is important!) • Genetic variation within a group could be greater than variation between any two groups • Polymorphism – a species with alternative forms (alleles) of particular genes • Polytypism - The study of differences between groups (opposite of polymorphism) • Polymorphic species is divided into geographically dispersed populations • The expression
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