Lecture #9.docx

25 views4 pages
2 Apr 2012
School
Department
Course
Professor

For unlimited access to Class Notes, a Class+ subscription is required.

Today: The Mid-Century Critique of Natural Kinds
New scientific position on Race, post WWII
o Based on cultural anthropology and population genetics
Emergence of “culture” as an object of scientific study
o Culture rather than nature as major cause of difference
Culture as grounds for new racism
o Culture is rendered static and essentialist
KEY:
o Rise of internal critique of white primacy
o Rise of scientific anti-racism
The Career of Sex and Race as Biological Categories
18th and 19thc:
o Racial and sexual differences as natural
o Biological determinism enlisted to varying degrees of citizenship, colonialism, social
inequalities
o Hierarchies built around: physical differences, mental ability, evolutionary stages of
development, xenophobia etc.
First half of the 20thc: Creeping problems
o Countless typologies of supposed races
o No agreement on number of so-called races
o IQ tests disproved any link between ‘race’ and intelligence
o Anthropometric measurements and genealogies debunked notion of ‘pure races’
In short
o Scientists sought to discover fixed natural kinds within the human species but ‘race’
proved impossible to pin down
What are Natural Kinds? (theoretical side)
o Independent of humans
o Dictated by nature
o Independence provides justification for generalization
o Natural kinds are static and have essences
o A shared set of properties that all individuals in a group posses
o Example: the Chemical elements can be named and arranged in a very tidy way. Trying
to do this with people
KEY:
o The emerging critique of race within the sciences was based in large part on the inability
of experts to sort racial categories into a definitive classification system
Critique of race also result of post-1945 historical context:
o Europe
Britain, France, Germany devastated by WWII
Holocaust revealed eugenics as industrialized murder
Widespread horror at extremes of Nazi science
o Additional Developments:
Formation of United Nations (emphasis on universalism)
Beginning of Cold War (American race relations scrutinized)
USSR calling out US for segregation of blacks. Trying to discredit the US
Unlock document

This preview shows page 1 of the document.
Unlock all 4 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

Grade+
$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
Class+
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class