10-10-06 notes - ISS 215 - 10/10/06 notes The Invention of...

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ISS 215 --- 10/10/06 notes –      The Invention of Race and Racial Differences         1. Aim of course: teach contemporary social science approaches to social  differentiation and inequality. 2. Contemporary social scientists do not assume that categories of social  difference are ‘natural’. Two kinds of evidence have demonstrated that they  are not a. Cross-cultural data: shows variability in classification systems and  evaluations of categories.  b. Historical data: shows change over time in the categories a society uses  (their definition and evaluation) Smedley 1. Scientists reject race as a biological concept: not supported by biological data 2. This is confusing to people who confront the social reality of race on a daily  basis. Confusion caused by failure to distinguish between a. Biological variations in the human species b. Social meanings imposed on those variations during the  construction of race.  3. Race does exist, but not as a biological phenomenon - race is a socio-cultural phenomenon - it exists because we use the concept to organize our  lives and societies  - race in a worldview - Worldview = sets of beliefs, values, and assumptions,  held on faith alone and generally unrelated to empirical facts, that act  as guidelines for individual group behavior. 
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Fall '06 term at Michigan State University.

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10-10-06 notes - ISS 215 - 10/10/06 notes The Invention of...

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