Textbook Notes (362,734)
Canada (158,032)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 2

SOCA02- HSW; Chapter 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

SOCA02- HSW; Chapter 2 - biological determinism: any theoretical explanation of human behavior that focuses on biological/genetic basis for that behavior; has been discredited  began to expand at end of 19 century in US and Britain shortly after abolishment of slavery  in the mass media: sexual preference, intelligence, aggression, male dominance, celebrity worship, etc.  vs. "human nature"  supports idea of human instincts  only popular because they help maintain belief that our current social arrangements are unchangeable - Cesare Lombroso, an early biological determinist, claimed that criminals could be identified by certain physiological characteristics resembling to apes ("born criminals" were evolutionary throwbacks to our ancestors), and also some social traits such as tattoos; often called in as an expert at criminal trials - instinct: inborn complex pattern of behavior that must exist in every member of the species and cannot be overcome by force of will  "sex instinct", "survival instinct", "maternal instinct", etc. are all commonplace beliefs but instincts can be overcome by repression and giving up (argued by some)  above problem of knowing which behaviors are instincts and which are rejections  real question is how members of a species, all bringing same basic genetic matter, end up displaying a variety of behavior outcomes - racial profiling: people get targeted on basis of perceived membership in a group associated with particular stereotypes rather than anything they have done - social Darwinism: any theoretical approach arguing that social inequality is based on biological differences and is working out of law of nature  inspired by Darwin's observations  "survival of the fittest" (Herbert Spencer, early social Darwinist) used to explain relationships between social class and level of success or failure - another theme underlying biological determinism has been that human aggression, competition, and territoriality have a biological basis; population post-WW2 - eugenics (argued by Francis Galton): theory and later a social movement and government policy that believed in improvement of human species through selective mating  became basis for mass extermination by Nazis th  Model Eugenical Sterilization Law in US (20 century) advocated compulsory sterilization of all people judged to be members of "socially inadequate classes", sterilization on basis of criminality, epilepsy, and "feeblemindedness" most com
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