SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism, Comparative Genomics, Brain Size

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31 Jul 2011
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SOC101
Jan. 19th, 2011
Race & Ethnicity
Prejudice & Discrimination
Prejudice: is an attitude that people employ to judge others on their groups real
or imagined characteristics
Discrimination: unfair treatment of people due to their perceived group
membership
Mortons Skull Study
Morton: measured human skulls from various times & places, believed that the
larger a persons brain was the smarter the person was, created a hierarchy of races
according to brain sizes
Races that ranked higher in social hierarchies had the largest brains whites of
European origin, Asians, American Indians, & then black people
Natural & biological hierarchies of races justification of colonization & slavery
Criticisms of Mortons Skull Study
Biologist from Harvard, Gould, found that:
1) Identifying the race of a skull imprecise even today.
2) Small, unrepresentative sample.
3) Controlling for sex reduces or eliminates race difference.
Brain size doesnt matter in determining intelligence, or that races have certain
brain sizes
Many people believe that biological differences result in certain types of
behaviour in particular races
Investing more in high quality education does produce results for the
underprivileged
Racial differences in IQ, athleticism, tendency for crime
Notion that Blacks make superior athletes are untrue because: 1) No gene found
linked to genetic superiority; 2) Have to do with geography & culture
People who face discrimination & prejudice drift towards professional sports
because avenues of social mobility are blocked, no other means of upward mobility
Higher the level of discrimination, greater tendency towards sports
Black youth idolizing athletes causes them to place a greater bet on becoming an
athlete, rather than focusing on education
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