ALL NOTES

ALL NOTES - 8/29/2007 Race and Ethnicity in the United...

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8/29/2007 Race and Ethnicity in the United States Johann Blumenbach (1776)  Big into participation and discussion, class is about personal issues and not simply  regurgitating facts,  Quiz o We may not always be able to define race but we can always tell race when  we see it.  FALSE, can’t always tell when you look at someone,  but physical  characteristics because not everyone looks exactly the same o Race is a biological and scientific concept and does not change over time  or vary from society to society FALSE, evolution, mixed marriages, etc.  8-31-2007 Race/Ethnicity in the US Race is Socially Constructed: we as human beings began race as a way to subjugate  other people and it isn’t only about color but more about how we can make ourselves  better than someone else.  Definitions: o Race:  refers to socially constructed grouping among people that are understood  as having a physical basis  o Genetics:  Breeding populations, lineages, ancestry groups, geographic groups o Ethnicity:  refers to naturally constructed groupings among people based in  cultural difference- language, religion, customs
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People could adopt any culture (ethnicity) regardless of ancestry (race) o Blonde, blue-eyed, American, Buddhist People of common ancestry (race) tend to have similar culture (ethnicity) People of common culture (ethnicity) tend to marry each other and thus produce physically different ancestry lines (race) o This is how groups stay over time “Race” : The physical underpinnings o 99.9% of human genetic characteristics are common to all o There is a small proportion that varies and much of this variability is hereditary (I.E. people with more recent common ancestors will be more similar than those whose common ancestors are more distant) o Groups are more physically distinct when geographic or social barriers prevent their intermarriage across generations: this is physical basis of “race” Race is a social construction: cultural interpretation of underlying ancestry groups o Elements of this social construction There are 3,4,or 5 distinct non-overlapping “races” with well-defined differences People “really are” one race or the other These groups have physical differences which cause cultural differences These groups can be ranked o Race as the concept we use today created in the wake of European colonial conquest as justification for domination. In US, specifically as justification for African slavery and displacement of American Indians o Old contrast was Christian vs. infidel. Debate was whether baptized “Indians” had the rights of personhood. Old ideologies accept hierarchy; you could enslave or dominate others without needing to justify it.
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o “Race” drew on Darwin, used new Biology to create an ideological justification for  hierarchy despite Enlightenment ideals of equality: some people are “naturally”.
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ALL NOTES - 8/29/2007 Race and Ethnicity in the United...

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