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Lecture 37

SOC 153 Lecture Notes - Lecture 37: Jesse Owens, Infant Mortality, Social StratificationPremium

3 pages48 viewsSpring 2016

Course Code
SOC 153
Steven Nelson

of 3
Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity make the lines that separate groups and create group identities
Ethnicity: is a grouping based on culture.
Defining characteristics
Shared history
Culture: Religion, Dress, Food, Practices
Kin or ancestry
Sense of shared destiny
○ Language
Identification with a geographical place
Race: is a categorical social classification based on physical features and presumed biological
Races is a means of categorizing the world population into a small number of
fundamental subcategories that suggest basic differences
Race is a means of social stratification
Race is socially constructed as biological, but this is an unworkable idea scientifically
Race does not exist on a biological basis, it was socially invented and given
In the U.S. we used to categorize people as Mulattos and Octoroons. Some states used the
“one drop rule.”
Differences between us and them:
We use visual differences to classify people into 4 or 5 groups, that we call races
We think race thinks internal complex differences such as athleticism and intelligence
No genetic markers that define race
Students start the workshop with similar assumptions as everyone else
People of similar “races” believe they are most alike
Need an absolute paradigm shift for people to understand that race is an idea
that we contribute to biology
Scientists have been looking for specific traits that can differ one race from another
The face of America’s power and prosperity was white
Native americans were forced to live on reservation
Death rates sored, and infant mortality was low
Negroes were forced to work on plantations and be at the bottom of our social
The extinction thesis: death rate were compared between Whites and African Americans
He ignored the simple effects of poverty on health, so his data was flawed
Saw attempts of improving their environment as worthless, because their race
was doomed regardless(obviously false)
Intermarriage was forbidden, so that the white race remained “pure”
Wanted to breed the best and brightest, always white
Didn’t want to mix races because it may bring the superior race down
Eugenics movement
Virginians mixed race and were able to pass for white
They were called the wind tribe for their White, African and Indian ancestry
Jesse Owens, disproved Hitler’s idea of the Aryan race
The white olympic athletes lost to a lower race
They believed because he was black, that he was closer to the primitive and that
running and jumping used to be a life and death matter
His winning was thought to be because of biology, not culture or circumstance,
Jesse Owens was picked apart for his outstanding track ability
When scientist picked apart his body and how it was formed, he
challenged that there wasn’t one single physical feature other than skin
color that would identify them as negro
There is no way to measure race. We do it by skin color, hair texture, other people may
have different dividing lines for skin color
American racial classification is totally cultural, being black has been defined as just
looking dark enough for people to think you are
In northern latitudes, people needed every bit of light they could captured to have
enough vitamin D, these people were a lighter color
Populations differ by distance, you would see a continuous change in skin tones as you
walked from place to place(tropics to Norway)
You would never find a place that you would be able to say “this is the place
where we go from the dark race to the light race”
People always talk about the “genes for thing” is not really accurate(you have genes that
contribute to some abilities)
There are strong cultural aspects that influence what sports people choose to play,
different groups get drawn into different sports
America’s dream team was almost all African American
10 years later 20% of players in NBA were foreign
NBAs top draft pick was Chinese
For race to be more than skin deep, then skin color has to reflect things that are deeper
in the body under the skin; but most don’t correlate with race, like hair texture or eye
shape or height or weight
Students found their their DNA was very similar to each other, there weren’t many
differences between those people of “different races”
85% among all variation among human beings is between a local population
There is as much difference between “races” as there are within the same “race”
Accumulations of one genes in one place in the world than in another(people tend to
group with people who are like them)
Sickle cell is the result of having ancestor who lived in malaria regions
The first lineages lead to genetically distinct differences carried with up today. Some
lineages just died out, all modern humans are products of the second migration

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