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RACE Understanding Human Variation

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No biological basis, although there is often an assumed biological commonality ... Skin color is only skin deep. Most variation is within, not between, 'races. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: RACE Understanding Human Variation


1
RACE Understanding Human Variation
Adaptation
2
RACE
  • 1. CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION
  • No biological basis, although there is often an
    assumed biological commonality such as shared
    genes or blood
  • Race categories change over time and vary from
    place to place
  • 2. GENETIC EVIDENCE
  • Proves that there are more differences within
    so-called races than between them

3
RACE (cont.)
  • 3. PHENOTYPE (physical expression of genes)
  • Many societies define race by phenotype, such
    as skin color, hair form, facial features, eye
    color
  • But…the lines of distinction are not clear
  • The MEANING of the phenotypic features is
    culturally constructed

4
Putting Cultural Ideas into Practice
  • PREJUDICE
  • Devaluing a group because of assumed behavior,
    values, capabilities, etc.
  • DISCRIMINATION
  • Policies and practices that harm a group and its
    members
  • RACISM
  • Discrimination against a group assumed to have
    biological commonality

5
Skin Color Adaptation
No 2 people actually have true black, white, red,
or yellow skin-- commonly used terms that do not
reflect biological reality
  • Skin color is due primarily to the presence of a
    pigment called melanin
  • Individuals differ in the number and size of
    melanin particles. In lighter skin, color is
    also affected by red cells in blood flowing close
    to the skin.

6
Skin Color Adaptation
  • Melanin acts as a protective biological shield
    against ultraviolet radiation.
  • Helps to prevent sunburn damage that could lead
    to melanoma --a cancer of the skin. Melanoma is
    a serious threat to life. In the US,
    approximately 44,200 people get this disease
    every year, about 7,300 people die from it.
  • Those at highest risk are European Americans.
    They have a 10 times higher risk than African
    Americans.

7
Genetic Variation
  • Genetic variation within races is greater than
    genetic variation between races
  • 90 of human genetic variation corresponds to
    traits within a given race, such as height,
    weight, and protein types
  • 10 of human genetic variation accounts for the
    identifiable racial phenotypes

8
Craniometry a pseudoscience
Apollo
  • The unilinear scale of human races lower
    relatives (Nott and Gliddon, 1968)
  • The chimpanzee skull is falsely inflated, the
    Negro jaw is extended, to give the impression
    that black people might even rank lower than the
    apes (Gould, 1977, in The Racial Economy of
    Science)

Creole Negro
Chimp
9
Craniometry a pseudoscience
  • An unsubtle attempt to suggest strong
    affinity between black people and gorillas. From
    Nott Gliddon, 1854. Their caption The
    palpable analogies and dissmilitudes between an
    inferior type of mankind and a superior type of
    monkey require no comment.
  • (Gould, 1977, in The Racial Economy of Science)

10
10 Things Everyone Should Know About Race
  • Race is a modern idea.
  • Race has no genetic basis.
  • Human subspecies dont exist.
  • Skin color is only skin deep.
  • Most variation is within, not between, races.

11
10 Things Everyone Should Know About Race
  • Slavery predates race.
  • Race and freedom evolved together in the US.
  • Race justified social inequalities as natural.
  • Race isnt biological, but racism is real.
  • Colorblindness will not end racism.

12
Were more alike my friends, than we are
unalike (Maya Angelou)
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