AN 1103 Chapter 8 Notes
AN 1103 Chapter 8 Notes AN 1103
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Falyn Ruby on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AN 1103 at Mississippi State University taught by Professor Jean Marcus in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Mississippi State University.
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Date Created: 03/06/16
Introduction to Anthropology Chapter 8 Human Variation, “race,” and skin color What is race? o The term race is a broad term and scientists do not agree on how many races there are. o No genes specifically belong to a race. o Race is not a valid biological concept. Skin color o Differences of skin color is a better term and is explained in terms of pigment melanin, UV radiation, and distance from the equator and natural selection on our ancestors. o Skin color is a complex, continuous trait that is determined by several genes and environmental effects. o Skin color is determined by melanin Melanin is a pigment in the epidermis that protects from sunburn and skin cancer. Protection comes from folate. Folate is necessary for rapidly producing cells (a vitamin B.) o Problems with Folate deficiency: Interference with sperm production and fetal growth Neural tube defects in babies UV radiation breaks down folate o Darker skin protects from this, and that explains natural selection for darker skin Light skin? o Further away from the equator = less sunlight o In order to get enough Vitamin D, skin would’ve been lighter o Calcium is essential for life, but must have Vitamin D Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to: Rickets – bones soften and weaken Too much Vitamin D? Hypervitaminosis D – calcium deposits form Social Race: o Race is not visible, skin color is o Skin color – natural selection operating on our ancestors to protect them from the breakdown of folate and to increase intake of Vitamin D. o Race – cultural construct based on beliefs about biological differences “social race” o Both America and Brazil were populated with the same 3 groups: Native Americans, European colonists, and African Slaves o Race in the United States: Race is ascribed at birth and rarely changes. Hypodescent – social rule that states that if a person is of mixed descent, they are assigned to the minority race One drop rule – African American hypodescent rules Mixed racial heritage is defined as African American Even one African American ancestor is defined as African American 1 out of 32 African American great, great, great grandparents is defined as African American Blood quantum laws – Native American hypodescent laws Must be ½ Choctaw to be considered a member ¼ tribal blood: Navajo and other tribes 1/8 for the Apache Tribe 1/16 for the Sac and Fox tribes Hispanic hypodescent laws More flexible People have a choice in calling themselves white or Hispanic o Race in Brazil: No hypodescent rules Mixed race classifications – over 500 labels Race is fluid and can change easily “money lightens” wealthy people can fit into lighter skinned social groups easily
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