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Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

Race Ethnicity Gender LectureWhen we think about race gender and identity most important is the social construction of these things what people believe about racial differenceswhat people believe about gender differences what people believe about ethnic differences importance of difference ethnic groups points here to the gene culture interaction comes from albert hibben piece idea of behavioural genetics as it relates to these things idea is that there are differences between us that are between people that are attributable to genetic characteristicsInherited genetic characteristics that are attributable to physiological characteristics these are things that are not socially constructed that actually exist in a sort of empirical sense but given those characteristics theres a particular reaction to them in the broader social environment and its that reaction that refers to what we think of the cultural side the construction side of gender race and ethnicityth If you take intuitionally example of slavery in US existed up until middle of 19 century black people were enslaved and white people were considered to be free ask question to what extend is this example genetic skin pigmentation is entirely geneticfacial features are what we inherit and have no choice upon Doesnt effectively matter how society reacts to them in the physiological sense they exist then empirical senseTheres a reaction in society in form of treating people differently this reaction is he cultural side of this gene culture interaction So in broad existential sense thinly very broadly about it we can say that is it both the genes and the culture that mattersbut from social science perspective seems that most significant part is the social reaction social reaction is something that can changeGender socially constructed ideas about men and women ideas of how they should behave what lines of work they should be in What they are and arent cut out forRace there has been historically social scientists and natural scientists working to try and figure out racial differences and treating them as meaningful categories but obviously there are different racial ideas we have about people from different groups this forms race as a constructed identityEthnicity peoples backgrounds cultural traditions or nationalities Not just the case that certain people impose ideas on us about particular races and genders but rather that we often come to identify with these ideas by virtue of the characteristics that we have so if you are a man come and identify with ideas surrounding manhood as gender if from particular racial group you can come to identify with your fellow members of your racial groups so you construct this category that you identify with and whether or not people impose that on you or not you may identify with it So when that happens we can call these things identitys often this topic is referred to in context of identity politics So its politics of a pursuit of power surrounding peoples identitys a very core fundamental beliefs we have about ourselves and about the people around us and most times were often unconscious of what these beliefs are When our ideas of for example right and wrong are challenged we may not know that we have these ideas we may feel uncomfortable when they are challenged haidt example sex with dead dog incest what they are trying to get at was how people reacted to these things people react in utter disgust to these things and we wonder why are you reacting that way had no good reason it was like some natural visual reaction all kinds of problems with it dont know what the problems are its not top of head it more emotional its engrained effectively apart of us in a lot of ways identitys take this form when theyre challenged we may not recognize they are being challengedwe just feel a particular way whether its uncomforted disgusted and so onWhere do these identities come from Hard to figure out exactly where it is that these identities come from To some extent these different things are imposed on us by other peoples expectations Whether its our parents expectations when were young kids or just the expectations of the people we meet In some ways our identities with groups whether its race gender or sexual orientation may come from the fact that we share some common experience in broader society in which we are part of Also emerges often subtly and in ways that we dont even notice broom kit idea that girl helps wife clean house certain ideas about gender roles and gender norms in other words women primarily responsible for housecleaning and so on fact is women whether they work or not do far more house work then men do part of this is due to norms and expectations and also construction of male gender norms and expectations Role models young people want them to or not look up to people but have status in their communities and the behaviour of these people influences how we think we ought to behave example of girl growing up in country where there are no women in politics women in school teaching and nursing and other fields theres a better chance along probability
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