Response5 - of the time. Looking at the facts, however,...

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Amber Chambers March 27, 2008 Anthro 106 Response Paper #5 The sorting exercise was very interesting. At the beginning, the way I thought certain groups would be classified turned out to be very false. The conclusion of the exercise restates what was discussed in our video from class - racial categories are quite different than how they are commonly perceived. We tend to classify each other based on what we see (skin/eye/ hair color or texture) and what we hear (the way a person speaks). The reality is that we, as humans, are all almost entirely the same genetically. According to Goodman, race is an unreliable way to classify human remains because it is very hard to tell race from those findings alone. In his Oklahoma City example, he tells how a dark-skinned female was incorrectly thought to be a “white” male based on studies of her leg. He also tells us interesting findings about classifying human skulls. Physical anthropologists often believed they could accurately find out the race of a skull the majority
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Unformatted text preview: of the time. Looking at the facts, however, Goodman realizes that this is not as true as they thought. The scale, created by Eugene Giles and Orville S. Eliot, for measuring skulls can not be universally applied to all skulls. It is not always accurate. Goodman went on to say that he thought race would end as a social category long before now. It may persist, however because, as stated above, we tend to classify things based on what we see and not on genetics or those which are less likely to be noticed. Race leads to racism. This is a result of how people are treated based on what race they are perceived as. Race can also lead to the misdiagnosis of patients and misconceptions in forensic work. As stated by Goodman, as long as well-meaning investigators continue to use the concept of race without clearly defining it, they reify race as biology. In doing so, they mislead the public and encourage racist notions....
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course ANTHRO 106 taught by Professor Harper during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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