Anthropology Notes Week 5
Anthropology Notes Week 5 Anth 1030
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Braig Duck on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 1030 at Ohio University taught by Amr Al-Azm in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cultural Anthropology in ANTH at Ohio University.
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Date Created: 10/10/16
Cultural Anthropology Notes – Notes 5 – Braig Duck ---------------------------------------------(10-05-16) (Wednesday)------------------------------------------------------ Race and Adaptation Patterns of Variation in the Human Race Is race a meaningful concept in culture? Variations of classification - In 1340 BC, Egyptians classified people by Red (Egyptians), White ( Northern), Black (African) and Yellow (Eastern) in paintings, but otherwise did not discriminate between races - In the 16 century exploration of the new world; Natives sparked “interest” and awareness of different races; - Racism is amplified - Dark Skinned, Non-Christians are assumed uncivilized “New” or unknown populations offended the concept of “fixity of species” and the static world view – Belief that the world was created a specific way, and these people were not originally thought to be a part of it. - Are blacks from Adam and Eve? Are they cursed, and that is the reason for their skin color? - Were they later creations? Are they an entirely different species of humans? Ethnocentrism – Belief that ones culture is superior to others - Japanese considered Europeans to be barbaric and uncivilized; they even closed their borders at one point. (They are very different now, mind you) - Racial Classification systems tend to be ethnocentric, setting one’s own race as superior and comparing other races based off of their own superiority. Blumenbach’s Study of Skulls in 1775 - Racial Taxonomy - Classified humans based on shapes of human skulls - Four Groups - African - Asian or Mongoloid - Caucasian - American (Indian) Biological Determinism in 1850 AD - There is an association between race and attributes of intelligence, abilities, morals, values, social and communication. - Cultural variations were often inherited much like biological variations - Led to “natural” superiority of some races over others - Most people (including famous heroes) embraced biological determinism - Led to Eugenics (The idea of racial improvement through selective reproduction and sterilization) Modern Concept of Race - All races belong to the same species – Homo Sapiens - Races are considered social categories, not biological categories - Genetically we are near identical - All humans share approximately 99.9% identical DNA - That .1% of DNA change is responsible for all racial changes - People possessing specific combinations of physical traits and are local to a specific geographic location are considered a race Concept of Race: Social - Highly visible physical characteristics of race such as color of skin can have immense social connotations - Sex and Age are very important to social identity and are one of the first factors used in the initial assessment of an individual - Society has strong assumptions of character based off of one’s race; i.e “Asians are smart, Blacks are dumb” Concept of Race: Biological - Races do not make up different biological categories (Species) - This idea is a flawed concept Importance of Race: Forensics - Description of physical differences, especially in bones - Most important skeletal differences vary by sex, age, stature, racial and/or ethnic background - Using forensic means, population affinity (race) can be established with 80% accuracy - This info is then cross-examined with missing individuals How Race is Constructed in the United States - Black Africans were brought in droves to America primarily to work in fields - Considered better than the Natives - “Most Economically Efficient” - From a slave owner’s perspective, it is easier to justify slavery by claiming the lesser species are inferior; “This is the survival of the fittest” - Blacks survived harsh conditions better than any other form of slave Racial Segregation - Racialized opinions and stereotypes of blacks grew rapidly - These opinions are considered an informal system of control - The color divide was further developed by legal restrictions Rule of Hypodescent - A rule of racial classification system, informally known as the “One Drop” rule - If you had even “One Drop” of African Blood, you were black. - This was used to classify offspring of mixed parents - Often this would happen when slave owners had sexual contact with black slaves - Therefore, most of this occurred in the slave system - The children themselves were considered black slaves even though they may have been more white than black - Slave owners grew in wealth as their children became slaves - I.E., President Obama is exactly 50% White and 50% Black; but is considered Black by society Racism as a Cultural Phenomenon - Eugenics Movement (Who is allowed to breed?) - Racial Purity (Holocaust?) - Persecution - Genocide Race: A Product of Our Past - Race is created by prior events - Race is based off of precedence and ideas that no longer exist Types of Racism: Individual - INDIVIDUAL people have specific prejudices, I.e. “My grandfather hates the Chinese” - The racism can be expressed intentionally or unintentionally, actively or passive Types of Racism: Institutional - Racial Inequality that is structured by the government or cultural institution - I.e. “blacks aren’t allowed to go to school”; Jim Crow Laws - Education, Health, Legal, Etc Types of Racism: Ideology and Current status in US - The assumption of superiority over another race is common, but not always deliberate - Discrimination is illegal in the US, but Racist Ideology is technically protected by Freedom of Speech (You can think it, but can’t act on it)
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