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Lecture 16

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 3358F/G
Professor
Nigmendra Narain
Semester
Fall

Description
Defining Race and Ethnicity The Great Brain Robbery: Dr. Samuel George Morton: -collected and measured human skulls that came from various times and places -their original occupants were members of different races -believed he could show that the bigger your brain the smarter you were -found that races ranking highest in the social hierarchy had the biggest brains while those ranking in lowest had the smallest brains -those w/ the biggest were white of European origin, then were Asians, native North Americans, and lowest was blacks -said that power, wealth, and intelligence were due to brain size and mental capacity -thus people used findings to justify colonization and slavery 3 main issues compromise his findings: 1. Archaeologists today cannot precisely determine race by skull shape -thus it is unclear whether his skulls belonged to whites or blacks 2. His skulls formed a small, unrepresentative sample 3. 71% of skulls he identified as “Negro” were women’s compared to 48% of the skulls he identified as Caucasian -women’s bodies are on average smaller than men’s -thus Morton’s findings are meaningless but influential for a long time Race Biology and Society: -in medieval Europe, aristocrats called themselves “blue bloods” b/c they apparently could see blue veins underneath their skin and none under the skin of tanned peasants -~80 yrs ago, some scholars believed that racial differences in average IQ scores were genetically based -ex. Peter Sandiford -argued that Canada should keep out “misfits” and “defectives” from immigrating to Canada -encouraged the recruitment of British, German, and Danish and discouraged Polish, Italians and Greeks -said his data showed mental superiority in Northern Europe than Southern or Eastern Europeans -Asians scored highest but he claimed they were only exceptions and should still be kept out -in the US, Jews scored below non-Jews on IQ tests in the 1920s -more recently, African Americans have one average scored below Euro-Americans -these people who argued against Jewish immigration and education for inner-city African Americans ignored 2 facts 1. Jewish IQ scores rose as they moved up the class hierarchy and could afford better education 2. Enriched educational facilities have routinely boosted the IQ scores of inner-city African-American children -evidence shows that the social setting in which a person is raised and educated has a big impact on IQ -considering sports, it seems like most blacks make up most of the N
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