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 Ally_ss
Joined: 3/22/2012
Msg: 1
Socially Constructed Idea of RacePage 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
I keep noticing something and it has made me wonder, why is it that in this day and age we still categorize people on the idea "race"? The reality is there is only ethnical and cultural difference between different Homo sapiens, yes there is different skin color due to genetic mutation because of environmental reasons, but why do we still think there are races?
The word ‘race’ has been changed to fit our new definition of it but before it meant basically a subspecies that wont naturally interbreed due to biologically not wanting to. This was due to Europeans wanting to establish superiority over other cultures during a time when they were expanding their reach, so they changed that term to mean different physical characteristics. This was a psychological thing because it allowed them to feel like they were not slaving or killing another human being, but a different species.
We have come far from those times but we are still using that term, which I don’t think is helping society that much since it creates categories for people of the same species. What do you think? Is this hindering society? Or do you think this term should be applied?
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 2
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Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/26/2012 6:38:11 PM
OP,
The answer to your question is ^^^that guy^^^
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/26/2012 7:07:06 PM
A couple of things:

It actually is not known to be true, that differences in things like skin color has anything to do with an evolutionary response to environmental factors. That is a left over myth, like many we have to cope with. It is more likely that groups of humans became separated by environmental factors (mountains and deserts and such), and evolved independently, only by chance becoming so different looking from each other.

And that brings us to the best answer to your question. the reason why we still talk about race, and categorize people with it, is because there is always a long time delay between people starting to learn about reality, and people's culture and historic background catching up.

It's a little like water sloshing back and forth in a big tub, in a way. If the tub is rocking back and forth, the water sloshes from end to end. If the tub stops rocking (a new understanding!), the water keeps sloshing for a log time after, as it adjusts itself to the new reality of a still tub.

Society's response to things like race, gender, sexual orientation, and so forth is a very much more complicated version of that. For example, race used to play such a large role in deciding where people belonged, that the entire structure of our society was adjusted around it. When the races were suddenly declared equal, the entire rest of society had to be rebuilt to the new specifications. In addition to going too far in some ways, it caused tremendous confusion to all the people who had grown up knowing who and what they were, based on their race. Their struggle to find a new equilibrium and sense of place, was like a rocking tub. Today, we still have lots of people on both sides, who are either over-sensitive to having been treated badly as children; or who grew up expecting to be in top when their turn came, only to find that the turn taking has been cut off; and plenty of people who feel that they are being asked to pay for transgressions committed by those who came before.

In short, it will take many many generations of adjustments for the "water" to stop sloshing.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 4
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Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/26/2012 7:48:21 PM
You should read up on bears
http://www.bearplanet.org/
I can save you some time if you like, polar bears and black bears are different species.

Why?

Read up on species and breeds
http://animals.about.com/od/s/g/species.htm
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/breed - (scroll down to the noun definition, the verb breed is irrelevant)
I'll save you the time, polar bears and black bears cannot produced fertile offspring in their natural habitat. Humans can, regardless of skin colour.

And read up on Nazi Eugenics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_eugenics

And then realize we are not children and that the crap you spread (like your post above) helps prevent people from being properly educated.
 Kings_Knight
Joined: 1/20/2009
Msg: 5
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/26/2012 7:48:42 PM
It wasn't "that guy" ... it was THESE two guys ... blame them ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.tutorvista.com/content/biology/biology-iii/living-organisms/carolus-linnaeus.php

Carolus Linnaeus

He made an attempt to classify living organisms to two kingdoms - the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom. He divided each of these kingdoms into smaller groups called classes. Each class was split into orders. Each order was divided into genera and each genus into many species. Each of these groups was formed on the basis of certain specific morphological features. He described about 5,000 species of plants in his famous book Genera Plantarum. Similarly, he listed about 4,300 species of animals. He published his scheme of natural classification in the book Systema Naturae. His system of classification provided a firm basis for modern taxonomy.

This system of classification is used even today with some additions and modifications. The modern classification has units that are described under Linnaean hierarchy.

Another significant contribution from Linnaeus is the system of binomial nomenclature wherein Linnaeus initiated the idea of giving a scientific name to every plant and animal species. He proposed the idea of giving a scientific name consisting of two words - the first word describing the name of the genus and the second word describing the name of the species. He suggested that such a system would avoid confusion created by the use of vernacular names given to the plants or animals. This system has found universal acceptance today.

http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/AB/BC/Gregor_Mendel.php

Gregor Mendel

Mendel, the first person to trace the characteristics of successive generations of a living thing, was not a world-renowned scientist of his day. Rather, he was an Augustinian monk who taught natural science to high school students.

The impact of genetic theory is no longer questioned in anyone's mind. Many diseases are known to be inherited, and pedigrees are typically traced to determine the probability of passing along an hereditary disease. Plants are now designed in laboratories to exhibit desired characteristics. The practical result of Mendel's research is that it not only changed the way we perceive the world, but also the way we live in it.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 6
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/26/2012 7:51:16 PM
@Best


This is the difference between ideological race and biological race. Example, you want to teach evolution to every student in the United States but yet you want them to forget about evolution when it comes to humans. Suddenly you don't want those same principles to apply. Suddenly, humans aren't apart of the animal world. Suddenly ideology and political correctness trumps science.


^ so true! And this is typical of the PC crowd. When it comes to humans on different evolutionary paths; they suddenly clam up and come out with simplistic drivel such as "Oh, we are all the same on the inside".
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 7
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Posted: 3/26/2012 9:35:42 PM
Irregulator:

Nah, as far as I know this guy is an extremely recent development.
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 8
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Posted: 3/26/2012 10:26:03 PM

Too much reality huh. You need me to fetch an Exorcist priest before your head starts spinning in a 360 while your spitting up green pea soup?.


That comment was a bit off topic. I supose it is in reference to my comment referring to kohmelo's reference of the Dethklok song "Awaken" in the "to god or not to god" thread.

I hope that wasn't to confusing for you. What am I saying, of course it was.

Stay on topic man. Your doing a great job.

*literaly laughs his ass off* I love when they take it so literal.
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 9
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Posted: 3/26/2012 11:43:12 PM
Bestdateyet:

(Off topic)

What you are experiencing in these threads is in direct relation to everybody being fed up with your nonsense.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 10
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Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/27/2012 7:36:52 AM

I keep noticing something and it has made me wonder, why is it that in this day and age we still categorize people on the idea "race"? The reality is there is only ethnical and cultural difference between different Homo sapiens, yes there is different skin color due to genetic mutation because of environmental reasons, but why do we still think there are races?

The outmoded concept of 'race' is by no means universal - how powerful it is probably relates to either the quality of science teaching in any particular country or the direct ideological control any particular government might maintain over what is, or isn't, taught in the nations classrooms. Or both.

So, to answer your question, some people still think there are 'races' because that's what they were taught and (for whatever reason) they haven't discovered they've been misled.

I note you are from the US, so you should be aware the quality of science teaching in the US is... um... less than ideal?

In the latest ranking of student performance in science among 15-year-olds, compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks 36th.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-m-gentile/improving-science-teachin_b_213165.html



How could America rank in the bottom third among developed nations in terms of student performance, yet we spend more per capita than virtually any other nation?
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2011/01/14/best-and-brightest-teachers-key-to-solving-us-education-crisis


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=trust-me-im-a-scientist
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/6b989370-164a-11e1-a691-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1qJxwVVJ1

You would be aware, no doubt, of the American Anthropological Association Statement on 'Race' issued in 1998 to the effect that 'race', as applied to homo sapiens, is a purely social construct and is scientifically meaningless, which point has been reiterated by various related bodies at various times over the period since? Yet many people still reject it despite that there's no evidence to support a biological concept of 'race'.
 LYNCHMOB
Joined: 3/23/2012
Msg: 11
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/27/2012 8:42:31 AM
that a great question and it should be addressed by a so called civilized society. Race is important to discuss but it is really a smoke screen because the people of European decent who advance this ideal tend to be economically disenfranchised and instead of them looking to the White elites who are exploiting them, they choose to blame everybody else. That is pure cowardice, the masses are the working class poor and the wealthy make their money off of our labor. White supremacy is one of the strongest forces in the world and why? Because people have no faith or very little faith. If one believes in superior or inferior human beings then they do not understand one single thing about the concept of one supreme GOD. El-Hajj Malik El Shabbazz aka Malcolm X said that Sunday is the most segregated day i Amerikkka and it stands true even today. There are many people who will bring sexual orientation into this domain and they are completely out of bounds, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Once again White supremacy is so powerful, they question GOD.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 12
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/27/2012 1:21:28 PM

it would be appropriate to distinguish between black, white and so on.


No more than to distinguish between red-haired people and blond-haired people for purposes of identification, eh?
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
Msg: 13
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Posted: 3/27/2012 2:48:04 PM
There is no such thing as race. That isn't PC, that is science. The very concept of race requires clear, distinct differences where you could point to one person and say that they belong to this one clear race, and another person belongs to another clear race, etc. This does not exist with humans; there are no human subspecies. The few traits typically used to define "race" amongst humans (skin colour being the main one) form a continuous line from very pale skin to very dark skin, with no clear lines or divisions between them. Obviously there are clear differences in human appearance between people from different parts of the world, but these differences do not support the concept of race. Skin colour, height, facial shape, and other things typically used to define "races" are caused by very minor, small mutations that are closely tied with local environment. And of course very few human populations have ever been truly isolated for any length of time (in an evolutionary sense, as in enough time to develop into a different subspecies or race) so genes have always flowed quite readily throughout the world, keeping us as one big race.

What's really interesting, though, is that prior to the 19th century there really was no concept of race, period. It was only when Europeans really began exploring and classifying the world according to extremely rigid classification schemes that the concept of race was developed (and there were only five races identified), and it was of course furthered because it was very handy for Colonial Europeans to claim that they were the only race advanced enough to rule and to form civilization.

So yeah, racism certainly exists, but race is a scientific fallacy. As lyingcheat said, the AAA statement on race is quite an excellent read, written in a time when the AAA was still a scientific institution and based on the accumulated data of many great minds (I've added the link to it below). But don't blame the U.S. school system for failing to question the very foundations and idea of race. I'm Canadian and it was only in a 2nd year biological anthropology course that I first heard the argument that I have outlined above, and most people never take any anthro courses, let alone more advanced ones (but they should, because anthropologists are awesome).

http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
Msg: 14
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Posted: 3/27/2012 4:31:06 PM
People from certain communities commit more crime, yes. That has nothing to do with the colour of their skin (again, call me a liberal socialist PC person (I take pride in those things), but the facts are the facts). Poverty, lingering racism, decreased opportunities, and a whole host of other social issues are the cause of high crime rates. Those things have nothing to do with the colour of a person's skin. Wind the clock back on someone who is in prison and let that same person grow up in a completely different context and they will not be the same person or do the same things at all. Basically, most of our modern problems relate to colonialism and its lingering effects (not that colonialism has gone away).
 Ally_ss
Joined: 3/22/2012
Msg: 15
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/27/2012 4:31:18 PM
When I started reading responses at the begining of this I was feeling disheartened that people were making statements that was showing the lack of education on the idea of race when it comes to Homo sapiens, but by the end of the many post I started to feel a little better.
Bestdateyet: Bears of other species do not interbreed naturally, just like tigers and lions don’t breed naturally as well but we have a liger all the same but it is sterile, because it is not natural to the way of nature. Now Homo sapiens, regardless if they are of Africa, Asian, Native American or European decent can breed together, produce fertile children who then can also breed. They naturally do this without the intervention of science. Yes we do classify everything, it happens, but do we need to classify humans and make different subspecies? That is the big thing, the idea of subspecies. We all have evolved from Homo erectus and the other amazing Homo genus and we are still evolving (such as people are getting taller, there is more genetic variation going on, and the like). But the issue is that there isn’t different species within Homo sapiens.
Igor: (love the name by the way) When I was talking about environmental factors I was talking about the pigmentation of the skin, which has been said in recent physical anthropological articles as being caused from the body trying to protect the skin and the production of vitamin D and stuff. Lighter skin is good for the northern regions because we don’t get much sun, while in southern regions they are typically darker due to the overexposure to sunrays. I do agree that the issue is the lack of cultural understandings when it comes to education. In the U.S. we spend so much time on European and American history we don’t learn much of Africa, Asia, or even South America/Central America.
Lying: Sadly I do know the issue is the American education system, but it isn’t just America. When I was dating a Russian he dumped me because my sister is dating an African-American guy. That surprised me but I also realized it was a cultural difference between the two of us, I believe there is no subspecies and he did, just a simple fact. I take it in and around Australia it isn’t as bad?
Gwen: I agree, one might as well do that.
Thorondor: I agree Anthropologist rock! But I am biased since I am an Anthropologist major =). The idea of race is recent and it seems to be clinging on as time keeps going. If schools would teach more on this issue in Middle school or High school it might help the everyday person to have a better understanding that race is not real. We are all one species with minor genetic variation and that is all.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 16
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Posted: 3/27/2012 6:45:21 PM
And while we are generalizing, I'd just like to remind you two what people say about americans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 17
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Posted: 3/27/2012 6:52:24 PM

Lying: Sadly I do know the issue is the American education system, but it isn’t just America. When I was dating a Russian he dumped me because my sister is dating an African-American guy. That surprised me but I also realized it was a cultural difference between the two of us, I believe there is no subspecies and he did, just a simple fact. I take it in and around Australia it isn’t as bad?

Indeed, erroneous beliefs are not only the result of sometimes inadequate science teaching but, as I said, can also be traced to direct ideological (government) control of the education system. 'Racial' ideas are common in Eastern Europe (for instance) due, in part, to the propaganda the Soviet machine fed into the classrooms.

Here are two interesting studies on the phenomenon -
Current Views of European Anthropologists on Race: Influence of Educational and Ideological Background.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2009.01076.x/abstract

Whither Race? Physical Anthropology in Post-1945 Central and Southeastern Europe
http://oxfordbrookes.academia.edu/MariusTurda/Papers/372036/Whither_Race_Physical_anthropology_in_post-1945_Central_and_Southeastern_Europe


You might also be interested in this, it's a very broad study within which they first explore the definitions of 'race' (a step often overlooked by 'race' proponents), then systematically demolish the scientific validity of each one.

Conceptualizing Human Variation
S O Y Keita (1,2) R A Kittles (1,3) C D M Royal (1) G E Bonney (1) P Furbert-Harris (1) G M Dunston (1) & C N Rotimi (1)
1, National Human Genome Center, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC
2, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA.
3, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1455.html


It's worth noting that in opposition to (things like) the above, all the 'race' proponents can offer is facile and evidenceless accusations that it's all just 'PC' as they ramble irrelevantly about species other than homo sapiens and complain that because they don't 'get it' it must be all untrue. pfft.
 Maverick325
Joined: 5/1/2011
Msg: 18
Socially Constructed Idea of Race
Posted: 3/27/2012 10:16:34 PM
The phrase "race is socially constructed" is a little too imprecise and off the mark for me. There's a valid point in there, but the phrase doesn't make that much sense. Don't African people tend to have a certain skin color and certain facial features? True, there may be no clear borderline between different races, but there is no clear borderline between the color blue and the color purple and we still go around saying blue and purple all the time. I also know that the genetic variations between individuals are more significant than those between different races. It's also true there's a lot of stereotyping that is going on and a lot of illusions people have about others because their skin color happens to be different. That's "socially contructed", but it doesn't follow that the very idea of race itself is socially constructed.

Some stereotypes are can have some truth to them, but that doesn't have anything to do with race. More like culture.

I think American culture does like black people, even though there are still a lot of racists around. We sympathize with what they had to go through in our history. We admire people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King for standing up for civil rights.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 19
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Posted: 3/28/2012 9:02:04 AM

....understanding what is meant by race as a social construct is vital to understanding the capacity race has to intersect and affect other aspects and domains of life and society, as well as how to dismantle it.

To begin, a social construct is ontologically subjective, but epistemologically objective. It is ontologically subjective in that the construction and continued existence of social constructs are contingent on social groups and their collective agreement, imposition, and acceptance of such constructions.
There is nothing absolute or real about social constructions in the same way as there is something absolute and real about rocks, rivers, mountains, and in general the objects examined by physics. For example, the existence of a mountain is not contingent on collective acceptance, imposition, or agreement. A mountain will exist regardless of people thinking, agreeing or accepting that it does exist. Unlike a mountain, the existence of race requires that people collectively agree and accept that it does exist.
Franz Boas, a physicist by training, supports this view of race best in his work 'Race, Language, and Culture' where he observes that there is nothing biologically real about race. There is nothing that we have identified as race that exists apart from our collective agreement, acceptance, and imposition of its existence.
http://anthropology.net/2008/10/01/race-as-a-social-construct/

It can be seen from the above that the continued existence of social constructions like 'race' depend quite a lot on the inability of (some) people to even comprehend that anything meaningful exists outside their own cultural paradigm. Asking them to actually step outside it therefore is, obviously, beyond their ability.

Which is a pity. Because this expansion of the cultural paradigm is, in part, what is responsible for the advance of civilisation.
In earlier times our 'world' was the river valley we lived in and the only trustworthy inhabitants (us) of the world we lived in were the other members of our particular ragged community. All others (them), the denizens of the neighbouring valley for instance, were to be regarded with suspicion and dealt with cautiously.

Fast forwarding from there we progressed through village paradigms, town paradigms, region paradigms etc etc and the concept of 'us' necessarily expanded along with our societies - with plenty of 'them' (not us) always being outside, a vague threat, unfamiliar, operating on a different paradigm.

We now live in national groups, entire countries of 'us', and see ourselves as citizens of a nation, not inhabitants of a village. Our cultural paradigm has expanded as the 'type' of community we see ourselves belonging to has changed.

Some have proposed the idea that as more and more of us, as individuals, venture further - even into space, then our paradigm will once again necessarily expand. We will eventually, somewhat belatedly, realise we are all 'citizens of a planet' and the differences between us are insignificant compared to that overwhelming commonality.

No doubt, and we see it in this thread and here and there in the world, there'll still be a few timid holdouts trying to hang on to the outdated paradigm, wailing about difference and bleating that we can't trust 'other-not-like-us' people. But they'll die out, or just be left behind, as society advances without them.

Good riddance I say.
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
Msg: 20
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Posted: 3/29/2012 5:36:31 PM
I am an anthropologist (admittedly not a specialist in biological anthro, however) and the idea that race is socially constructed is a common theme in our courses. Yes, there obviously are some genetic differences between various populations; if there weren't, we would all look the same. The problem really is with the concept of race, i.e. a bounded, set biological profile that holds true for everyone of a certain so-called "race." This does simply does not exist. As others have pointed out, variation within a "race" is often greater than variation between different ones, and as I mentioned all of humanity is really one big continuum. Certain populations are at more or less risk for certain genetic issues, sure, but that doesn't mean that it's something that everyone in that population will have, or that it is never found outside of that population, etc.

The main point is that differences are far too subtle to hold by any definition of race, and historically the very concept of "race" is less than 200 years old, and is entirely tied to the Victorian obsession with classifying absolutely everything into nice, neat little packages (and that obsession still pretty much holds true today).
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 21
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Posted: 3/29/2012 6:04:16 PM
^^^^ amusing to see those 2 posts back to back
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
Msg: 22
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Posted: 3/29/2012 10:07:53 PM
Yes, well, he said that anthropologists would be surprised to see the way this discussion was going, but I only weighed in in the first place because I thought that this was a really interesting topic when we first discussed it in my biological anthro course.

Now, the real fun begins when we start to deconstruct the notion of gender (hint: there are more than 2 genders and gender is also socially constructed. But let's not get into that here).
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 23
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Posted: 3/31/2012 6:17:57 AM

What kind of thinking acknowledges differences in canine behavior i.e. trailing skills, then suggests a different set of biological laws for humans?

Biological taxonomy of humans isn't based on dogs and likewise, vice versa.
In what way are "a different set of biological laws" being applied? Which "biological laws" are you referring to?
Do you have evidence, or can you reference any, that specific "biological laws" that divide homo sapiens into sub-species or 'races' are being ignored? And bear in mind that you'll need to define what a 'race' is to answer that question.


Why do we have the National Negro College Fund? Bell Curve? Suggest googling "IQ of nations". Keep dreaming.

You are referencing social phenomena. These examples actually support the idea of 'race' as social construct without providing any evidence that it's biological.

An equivalent would be a 'creationist' pointing to the creationist museum thing as 'proof' that 'god' created the universe.

Suggest googling 'rational thought and deduction'.
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
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Posted: 3/31/2012 8:24:54 AM
I'll also add in the mandatory 'IQ tests are useless' comment. IQ was designed by and for white western cultures and so we tend to do a lot better at them than other cultures do, because they assume that the taker grew up in western Europe or North America and had a decent western-style education. The society and culture that you grow up in has a massive impact on your intelligence (which really is relative, anyway) and the way you observe and understand the world and how you act as a person, and that explains all of the supposed differences that you see between people of different "races." They are social differences, not biological.

To reiterate, there are no living sub-species of humans—if the neanderthaals were still around then they would probably be considered a sub-species of Homo sapiens, although we still aren't certain if they were a cousin or a sibling. If they were siblings, then they would be one race and all other anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e. every person on earth today) would be another race. As it is, there is no human race. With dogs, there are clear breeds that have rigidly-defined sets of characteristics that set them apart from all other dog breeds. That simply does not exist among humans, unless you construct (socially) classes of human and try to fit everyone into one, but it doesn't work because it is arbitrary and all humans traits fall along a continuum such that there are no clear divisions that can be sub-divided into "races." It's a 200 year-old concept that has outlived its use and must be abandoned.
 Thorondor
Joined: 8/13/2005
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Posted: 3/31/2012 8:38:48 AM

In the main, most sociocultural anthropologists are making a big gamble by insisting that races do not exist in an evolutionary-biological sense. Generally, their whole framing of the question is rather misleading and outmoded.

And if I'm going to be slightly uncharitable, I will remind you that the whole field of sociocultural anthropology has a long history of peddling views for little other reason than because those views are politically correct, and not necessarily empirically correct. And I regret to report that much of that still continues to this day.


Yes, sociocultural anthropology does have those issues to an extent (although I like to think that even they are more trying to piece together the world in a different light, and trying to express the lives and troubles of people in ways that no other discipline does, and I am sympathetic to that. But they* go off the rails a lot, too, and the AAA is rapidly abandoning science).

But the anthropological argument against race has been constructed by biological anthropologists, who do study human genetic and phenotypic variation and human evolution, and as such are using real-world "science" data (yeah, yeah, scare-quotes. Even science isn't as objective as we like to believe it is). So biological anthropologists have come to the conclusion that race is socially-constructed because they see no classification schemes or evolutionary clades that would lead to tangibly different races of people; we are all a big mix, separated for far too short a time to be very different (the argument that there were only 10,000 Homo sapiens sapiens alive 75,000 years ago, who then spread out of Africa, is compelling. Yes, there is clearly genetic variation among human groups, but it is very minor and not dichotomized).

*Disclosure: I am an anthropological archaeologist, not a specialist in sociocultural, linguistic, or biological anthropology, so these arguments are largely ones that I learned in undergrad or have picked up through my continuing years in grad school. I just have my own classification problems to deal with such as "what is culture?," "is there any such thing as culture?," and "can I really tell someone's culture from the pots they used?"
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