• Non-changing, concrete, way of seeing ourselves and others seeing us (fixed identity)
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy of social rank and inferiority - ex: IQ tests
  • Imagination and imagined communities: Benedict Anderson
  • Subjectivity - subject position

o Ex: subject position = teenager , subjectivity = good student, rebel

Social Evolutionism:

  • Social forms change over time
  • Societies of the world can be ranked from high to low
  • This ranking is an actual sequence of historical events - it is real

Lewis Henry Morgan:

  • Evolutionary movement from simple to complex
  • BIG QUESTION: what has this got to do with colonialism? What does scientific race have to do with colonialism?

o Simple people have not evolved the way the complex have and therefore we can enslave them

o Monogenisism and polygenisism - every racial group created in a different spot in a different time - they are different than us therefore we can exploit them

Unilinear Social Evolution (Morgan):

  • The idea is that change leads to increased Sociocultural complexity

o One line (point A to B) - simple -> complex

  • Savagery:

o Bow and arrow

o Group marriage

o No sense of property

  • Barbarism:

o Pottery

o Polygyny

o Communal property

  • Civilization (these existed in Morgan's life):

o Phonetic alphabet

■ Problem: advanced non-phonetic languages (ex: mandarin)

o Monogamy

o Private property

  • Evolutionary change is unilinear - implying “progress”
  • Diversity occurs through differential maturation through evolutionary stages

o Not everybody progresses at the same rate

  • This implies the idea of a “living fossil”
  • Unlinear social evolution explains away human diversity - there is one basic social plan, just different stages

Critique of Unilinear Evolutionism (Boaz):

  • Empirical problems
  • Social change is multilineal - like a tree
  • Histories merge (ex: savages living next to civilized - no wall/boundary)
  • “Progress” is a value laden term
  • Since the end of colonialism, new classifications have appeared

o First, second, third, fourth world countries

o 1st: Western

o 2nd: states of former soviet union

o 3rd: any else - China, India

o 4th: indigenous groups within a country that they do not associate with

  • Developed/developing - (ex: US developed, Mexico developing)
  • Global North (developed) and Global South (less developed)

10 Facts About Race:

  • Race is a modern idea

o Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people according to physical differences, but according to religion, status, class or even language

o The English word “race” turns up for the first time in a 1508 poem by William Dunbar referring to a line of kings

  • Race has no genetic basis

o Not one characteristic, trait, or even gene distinguishes all the members of one so-called race from all the members of another so-called race

  • Human subspecies don't exist

o Unlike many animals, modern humans simply have been around long enough, not have populations been isolated enough, to evolve into separate subspecies or races

o On average, only one of every thousand of the nucleotides that make up our DNA differ one human from another

o We are one of the most genetically similar of all species

  • Skin colour really is only skin deep

o The genes for skin colour have nothing to do with genes for hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability, or forms of intelligence o Knowing someone's skin colour doesn't necessarily tell you anything else about them

  • Most variation is within, not between “races”

o Of the small amount of total human variation, 85% exists within any local population

o About 94% can be found within any continent

o That means, for example, that two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian

  • Slavery predates race

o Throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others, often as a result of conquest of debt, but not because of physical characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority

o Due to a unique set of historical circumstances, North America has the first slave system where all slaves shared a common appearance and ancestry

  • Race and freedom were born together

o The US was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal” but the country's early economy was based largely on slavery

o The new idea of race helped explain why some people could be denied the rights and freedoms that others took for granted

  • Race justified social inequalities as natural

o The “common sense” belief in white superiority justified anti-democratic action and policies like slavery, the extermination of First Nations peoples, the exclusion of Asian immigrants, the taking of Mexican lands, and the institutionalization of racial practices within governments, laws and societies o Alterity - people that are different than us are completely different moral beings

  • Race isn't biological, but racism is still real

o Race is a powerful social idea that gives people different access to opportunities and resources

o The government and social institutions of much of the Western world have created advantages that disproportionately channel wealth, power and resources to white people

  • Colorblindness will not end racism

o Pretending race doesn't exist is not the same as creating equality

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