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Anthro 2A - Lecture Notes on Race Evolution and Culture.docx

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Shin Lin

Lecture – Race, Evolution, Culture Tuesday, January 22, 2013 Boas' response - trademark for american anthro Crux of historical method - insistence that each culture has its own history which means there're plural cultures and histories. Eachpractice(etc) must be understood in relation to total culture Key terms Race Scientific racism - arguments about"degeneracy" and "infertility", particularly concerning the wave of immigrants to US, caused by racial tensions that followed / during Great depression. Idea that interracial marriage would produce infertile offspring. Charles davenport, biologist and eugenicist, argued that the influx of blood from S.E. Europe would make everyone darker, smaller, and become criminals Nature vs culture Race as a social construct Naturalization Anthro as a social critique I. Understanding differences: from race to culture Tug of war between race and culture Development of concept of culture in American anthro 1. Resp to sociocultural evolutionism 1. The world ismade up of cultures w/ plural histories 1. A culture needs to be understood in its own terms 1. Cultural traits need to be understood within a total culture US: history of slavery Unique in which the extent of history of slavery survived Black vs white argument, but there are other racial problems besides that As an alternative to race Race in the US History of slavery History of immigration Europe: when there was famine or war there would be surge of immigration to US ~1880 - extraordinary surge to US Jan 1892 - US opens ellis island to handle new arrivals 1930 - more than 28 mill ppl immigrated to US (base pop = 15 mill) Peak of immigration - 1/5 of pop was foreign born In a lot of large cities, immigrants made up about 50% of the overall population During this time, American economy was booming. Workers came from Europe drawn by promises of jobs and of freedom and equality Franz Boas - one o
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