lecture_7_key_ideas - AMS 30 Lecture 7 The Average American...

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2/2/10 – AMS 30 Lecture 7 - The Average American: Eugenics, Composite Photography and Sculpture, and Typical American Families Contests Go Over Paper 2 Assignment, due 2/16 (see syllabus) Goal for Today: To Show the Depth, Longevity, and Popular Influence of Eugenic Processes of “Averaging Americans” “Positive Eugenics” – goal to increase the birthrate of the “fit”; promoted through Fitter Family Contests (for educating white citizens mostly), tax laws favoring children for middle-class income brackets; the Lynd’s construction of white Middletown as “typically” American fits with “positive eugenic’s” general focus on whiteness as average/ideal. “Negative Eugenics” - federal anti-immigration law, state anti- miscegenation laws, state sterilization laws for the feebleminded and criminals; over 70,000 people involuntarily sterilized in the United States up through 1983, when the last sterilization law was removed from state legislation. Fitter Family Contests and Variations American Eugenics Society’s “Fitter Family Contests” at state fairs (1920s- 1939) NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Prize Baby Contests (1920s) “Typical American Families” Contest, New York World’s Fair (1939) Norma Contest, Ohio (sponsored by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, c.
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  • Winter '10
  • ChristinaCogdell
  • American Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Health Museum, Fitter Family Contests, state sterilization laws, Typical American Families

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