Racism Fall 2014 - Scientific Racism GIVING LEGITIMACY TO...

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Scientific Racism GIVING LEGITIMACY TO STEREOTYPES
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Biological Theories of Racial Stratification Stephen Jay Gould The Mismeasure of Man (1981) Pre-evolutionary theories: Monogenism: mono (“single”) + genesis “source” Polygenism: multiple sources Post-evolutionary theories: variations on a theme
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Craniometry: Samuel George Morton 1820s-1851 collected > 1,000 human skulls Hypothesis: Racial ranking could be established objectively by physical characteristics of the brain, esp. size
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Morton’s Findings (& Gould’s corrections) Race Mean vol. (Corr ) Caucasian 87 84.45 Mongolian 83 Malay 81 N. American 82 83.79 Black 78
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Problems with Morton’s Work Sample bias Rounding procedures Assumption that brain size intelligence Assumption of racial differences
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Intelligence Testing: The Beginning Alfred Binet (1904) Binet’s caveats: The score is not “intelligence” Not to be used on kids w/normal performance Ability vs. achievement Not a fixed limit
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Intelligence Testing Comes to the United States H.M. Goddard: advocated sterilization, immigration restrictions Lewis Terman: emphasized irreversible Robert M. Yerkes: testing army recruits C.C. Brigham: Yerkes’ student, published his results Effect on U.S. immigration policy
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The Power of Ideas What are the most powerful/dangerous ideas of our time?
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Prejudice HOW DO WE THINK AND TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER? ABOUT OURSELVES?
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What is prejudice? Ignore the definition in Kornblum & Julian (p. 115). A better definition: Prejudice is the tendency to think and feel negatively about the members of other groups. It has at least two dimensions: cognitive (e.g. stereotypes) affective (emotional) What about “positive” stereotypes? Where does prejudice come from?
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Individual-Level (Personality) Theories of Prejudice Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis (Dollard et al. 1939) Prejudice is deviant Frustration aggression Scapegoating : Displacement of frustration to a safe target Critique : How do some groups become targets?
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Power-Conflict Theories of Prejudice Prejudice is a product of competition/conflict between groups (for $$, power) Split Labor Market (Bonacich 1972) Two (racial) groups of workers, paid differently antagonism between two segments of working class Critique : People can be prejudiced against groups with whom they’re not in direct competition Theories of prejudice ≠ mutually exclusive!
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