What does Race mean? Race is a difficult concept to define. It is used in many different contexts: Defining different animals within a species Defining different Human groups There is no question that human beings are diverse and that there are different cultural groups… A Human race is a group of people who perceive themselves and are perceived by others as possessing distinctive hereditary traits. However, the socially constructed ideas that surround race have led to racism
Races in humans are arbitrary The physical and cultural features used to define humans races are random. Ex) Red-haired people are not considered a different race These two babies are twins. Are they a different race?
Race is a social construction Humans like putting things into categories Human races were categorized by a) physical appearance, genetic similarities b) language, culture c) Living area, place of origin They also liked to classify which race was better than another. This stems from scientific racism.
Scientific racism When humans began categorizing animals, and the word race was starting to be used, different groups of humans were considered inferior to European white people. Scientists are people too. Their findings reflected their socially embedded beliefs that some humans were inferior to white people.
Linnaeus Linnaeus created the first taxonomy. A taxonomy is the classification of organisms into groups based on their similarities: physical and (in the case of humans) cultural traits. Linnaeus decided to rank human races: 1) European (White) 2) Africans (Black) 3) Asians (Yellow) 4) American Indians (Red) * This sort of classification did not stop with Linnaeus.
Blumenbach He followed in the footsteps of Linnaeus. He found a “perfect” skull in a place called caucus, and assumed that it must have been of a white person. He believed that as people moved, they degenerated from the Caucasian race. He changed the names of races, some of which are still used today. 1) Caucasian (white) 2) American Indian 3) Ethiopians 4) Mongolian (Asian) 5) Malay (Australian)
Samuel George Morton and Robert knox http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSHZkXEQTqQ