31 race & ethnicity - CHAPTER 31: GEOGRAPHIES OF...

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AND ETHNICITY CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The human race A. All humans belong to the same species 1. The term race focuses on differences rather than on similarities 2. Many anthropologists believe the whole concept of human "races" should be abandoned II. The geography of race A. Genetic makeup is the key 1. Within a species, chromosomes of reproducing organisms are identical in number and size 2. Regional differences in physical appearance a) Does not result from differences in fundamental genetic makeup of each group b) Does result from differences in gene frequencies among populations 3. Blood type differences a) Type O dominates in Native American populations b) Type A dominates in Western Europe 4. Differences occur within the human race, not between races a) Differences probably result from a long history of adaptation to different b) Use of the term "race" is in error B. Genetics and inheritance 1. Darwin failed to explain exactly how traits are passed from one generation to the next 2. Before the end of the nineteenth century the broad principles of genetics were understood a) The term gene introduced to signify the physical basis of an inherited quality b) Genes as units of inheritance for certain traits put together form a genotype c) The expression of those traits forms the phenotype 3. Today, it is known that all individuals except identical twins are genetically unique C. Culture and race 1. Many continue to see race as a simple way of dividing humans into a small number of groups based primarily on skin color 2. The idea that skin color is important is rooted in culture a) Skin color broadly correlates with environmental factors b) Sunlight stimulates production of melanin , which protects skin from damaging c) The more melanin the darker the skin 3. Skin color helps in the comprehension of past patterns of human migration a) Indigenous population of Australia has much darker skin pigmentation than indigenous people of the Americas b) Suggests Australian Aborigines diffused from a tropical area c) American indigenous people came from a higher latitude d) Important to recognize skin color is not a reliable indicator of genetic closeness 2. Example of Rwanda: a cultural not a racial conflict 3. Examples of Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland 4. It is culture, not the misused notion of race that often produces conflict III. The scourge of racism
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31 race & ethnicity - CHAPTER 31: GEOGRAPHIES OF...

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