SOC101 2012 01 18

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Robert Brym

Sociology 2012-01-18 Race/Ethnicity Samuel George Morton (1799-1851) - Examined skulls of difference races - Believed that the bigger your brain is, more intellectual you are - “average brain size” of different races - Found that Caucasian skulls were bigger that Asian, African American, etc. - Used his ideas to justify colonization and slavery Criticisms of Morton - Small, unrepresentative sample (only used 72 specimens)- generalization - Even now, archeologists cannot precisely determine race by skull shape - Controlling for sex reduces or eliminates race difference - Although Morton’s findings are meaningless, the idea of biological race determining the intelligence of a person IQ test and Jews - Scored below average on IQ tests 1920s - Nowadays, they score well above average: IQ= not fixed - Not biological but a social factor: North American Jews worked hard and provided their children with education and resources needed to excel in school) Athletics and race - Are blacks better at athletics due to their biological makeup? - However, no gene linked to athletic superiority has been identified - Athletes of American African descends do not perform well in swimming, hockey, soccer and tennis, etc… - Different groups of people tend to excel in different sports due to the peculiarity of their society, culture, history and climate. More social reasons. Hockey is expensive to enroll in, to buy equipment for. Basketball= all you need is a ball - Sociologists identified a certain people who face wide spread discrimination enter sports, entertainment and criminal activities because other means of upward mobility are blocked Definitions Race- is an attitude that people employ to judge others on their group’s real or imagined characteristics. Discrimination- is unfair treatment of people due to their perceived group membership DNA snips - Definition of DNA - 99.5% of all DNA= identical in everyone - 0.5%= differences - Comparative genomics focus on this 0.5% - DNA is a chemical that contains the genetic instructions for all living organisms. When people have a child, the DNA of the mates combines and the child inherits the parents’ DNA. - DNA consists of 3 billion pairs of four types of molecules. Different sequences of molecules result in different characteristics (e.g., skin colour). 99.5% of the DNA of all people is identical. - The remaining 0.5% of DNA may differ between any two people; these differences (known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, SNPs or “snips”) are the focus of research in the field of comparative genomics. Comparative Genomics - Snips influence readily apparent physical differences such as skin pigmentation and less apparent physical differences such as the capacity to absorb and utilize v
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