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Lecture #9.docx

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Brian Beaton

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Today The MidCentury Critique of Natural Kinds New scientific position on Race post WWII o Based on cultural anthropology and population geneticsEmergence of culture as an object of scientific study o Culture rather than nature as major cause of differenceCulture as grounds for new racism o Culture is rendered static and essentialistKEY o Rise of internal critique of white primacy o Rise of scientific antiracismThe Career of Sex and Race as Biological Categories th 18 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 etcFirst half of the 20thc Creeping problems o Countless typologies of supposed races o No agreement on number of socalled races o IQ tests disproved any link between race and intelligence o Anthropometric measurements and genealogies debunked notion of pure racesIn short o Scientists sought to discover fixed natural kinds within the human species but race proved impossible to pin downWhat 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 elementscan be named and arranged in a very tidy way Trying to do this with peopleKEY 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 systemCritique of race also result of post1945 historical context o EuropeBritain France Germany devastated by WWIIHolocaust revealed eugenics as industrialized murderWidespread horror at extremes of Nazi science o Additional DevelopmentsFormation of United Nations emphasis on universalismBeginning of Cold War American race relations scrutinizedUSSR calling out US for segregation of blacks Trying to discredit the US
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