March 11 (s2S06) - March 11th 2016 Theories of Race and Racism Introduction and Historical Overview Race The biological Perspective o Racial

March 11 (s2S06) - March 11th 2016 Theories of Race and...

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March 11 th 2016 Theories of Race and Racism Introduction and Historical Overview Race The biological Perspective o Racial Classifications: until the 1920s, most scientists believed that human beings could be divided up into real and objective categories called races Various subdivisions were created – based on physical and genetic characteristics (e.g. skin color, metabolic rates) Typology of so called “races”: “Caucasoid” “Mongoloid” “Negroid” A notion developed that some races were superiority and other were inferior o Current Conceptions: by the 1930s, scientists had started to raise some serious concerns about the concept of race, scientists began to question the typology, thinking changed over the next couple decades By the 1950s, scientists had reached a consensus that racial classification are arbitrary, that genetic differences between groups are small, and genetic differences are behaviorally insignificant Since this was the emerging scientific consensus, it was concluded that “races” are a biological myth Outside of academia there continued to be, and still is, a wide spread belief that there are at least three biological races The Sociological Perspective o Theoretical Explanations: sociologists have been interested in the continuing idea of race, they talk about race in terms of social constructionism Through this idea that there are biologically determined races human beings have socially constructed physical and genetic characteristics to be important

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