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Chapter 3 . Human Diversity and “race”. Humans have not be isolated long enough to develop discrete races No controlled breeding Gradual shifts – clines . RACE: a DISCREDITED BIOLOGY . Caucasoid , Negroid, and Mongoloid? Skin color is too vague

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races are not biologically distinct

Caucasoid , Negroid, and Mongoloid?

  • Skin color is too vague
    • EX: Native Americans, Polynesians, southern India, Native Australians, San (“Bushmen”) of the Kalahari desert
Races are not biologically distinct

Phonotypical traits cannot be used to classify race

    • EX: Nilotes – tall, thin bodies with narrow noses Scandinavians – tall, thin bodies with narrow noses
explaining skin color

Complex biological trait

  • Melanin – primary determinant of skin color, chemical substance manufactured in the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin
Explaining Skin Color


    • Skin color was very dark
    • Millions of years
    • Outside the tropics skin color became lighter
    • Natural selection’s role
      • Intense UV rays left severe sunburn making people more susceptible to diseases
      • Sunburn impairs the ability to sweat
      • Skin cancer

Vitamin D production

    • Unclothed: Produce your own vitamin D
    • Clothing interferes with bodies development of vitamin D
      • Rickets – softens and deforms the bones
      • Northern – light skin maximizes absorption; dark skin would be screened out
      • Skin color protects against over absorption
        • Too much vitamin D can lead to hypervitaminosis D
          • Calcium builds up in the soft tissue
race in the united states

American culture

    • Child born 50% black and 50% white would be called “black”
    • Rule of descent – assigns social identify on the basis of ancestry
      • Hypodescent – places the children of a union or mating between members of different groups in the minority
Race in the United States
race in the census

Why does the census ask for race?

    • Historically
    • Representatives
    • Monetary value
Race in the Census
not us race in japan


    • 10% minorities
    • Intrinsic racism – belief that a racial difference is a sufficient reason to value one person less
    • “Pure” is valued
Not Us: race in Japan
stratification and intelligence

The Role of Power

    • Minorities were inferior
      • Intelligence, ability, character, attractiveness
      • Passed across from generations
Stratification and “Intelligence”

Stratification - classification of people into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions

    • Inevitable
    • Enduring
    • Natural


    • Nazis
    • “White man’s burden”
    • Apartheid -a former social system in South Africa in which black people and people from other racial groups did not have the same political and economic rights as white people and were forced to live separately from white people

How did stratification come about?

    • Belief that people lack ability
    • Jensenism – blacks tend to perform poorly on tests

Problems with testing

    • Bilinguals
    • Reflect experience of creators
    • Phenotypical intelligence (learning history)
    • Administered by a particular type of person