A review on the book race in north america origin and evolution of a worldview by audrey smedley

In the eighteenth century, a prevailing belief in biologically exclusive and permanently unequal human groups, each with distinctive behavioral, moral, spiritual, and intellectual characteristics, led people to see biophysical and behavioral features as innate and immutable. In the nineteenth century, differences between whites, Indians, and Africans were magnified in the popular mind and in scholarly writings to the point that these groups were seen as separate species, justifying the preservation of "racial" slavery and the subsequent dehumanization of freed blacks. With the application in the late nineteenth century of the racial worldview to European peoples and the subsequent twentieth-century inhumanity and brutality of Nazi race ideology, the concept of race came under attack. Liberal ideology coupled with advances in science prompted criticism of "race" and efforts to eliminate the term from the lexicon of science.

A review on the book race in north america origin and evolution of a worldview by audrey smedley

In sports, as elsewhere in society, there is a tendency to explain differences in performance in terms of some alleged physical differences between races. Since then it has had a variety of meanings in the languages of the Western world. What most definitions have in common is an attempt to categorize peoples primarily by their physical differences.

In the United States, for example, the term race generally refers to a group of people who have in common some visible physical traits, such as skin colour, hair texture, facial features, and eye formation.

For much of the 20th century, scientists in the Western world attempted to identify, describe, and classify human races and to document their differences and the relationships between them.

Some scientists used the term race for subspeciessubdivisions of the human species which were presumed sufficiently different biologically that they might later evolve into separate species.

At no point, from the first rudimentary attempts at classifying human populations in the 17th and 18th centuries to the present day, have scientists agreed on the number of races of humankind, the features to be used in the identification of races, or the meaning of race itself.

Experts have suggested a range of different races varying from 3 to more than 60, based on what they have considered distinctive differences in physical characteristics alone these include hair type, head shape, skin colour, height, and so on. The lack of concurrence on the meaning and identification of races continued into the 21st century, and contemporary scientists are no closer to agreement than their forebears.

Thus, race has never in the history of its use had a precise meaning. Instead, human physical variations tend to overlap. There are no genes that can identify distinct groups that accord with the conventional race categories. In fact, DNA analyses have proved that all humans have much more in common, genetically, than they have differences.

Race in North America: origin and evolution of a worldview - Audrey Smedley - Google Books Aryanism was derived from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages constituted a distinctive race or subrace of the larger Caucasian race[ citation needed ]. Its principal proponent was Arthur de Gobineau in his Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races [ citation needed ].

The genetic difference between any two humans is less than 1 percent. Moreover, geographically widely separated populations vary from one another in only about 6 to 8 percent of their genes. Because of the overlapping of traits that bear no relationship to one another such as skin colour and hair texture and the inability of scientists to cluster peoples into discrete racial packages, modern researchers have concluded that the concept of race has no biological validity.

Many scholars in other disciplines now accept this relatively new scientific understanding of biological diversity in the human species. It derives its most salient characteristics from the social consequences of its classificatory use.

In the 19th century, after the abolition of slavery, the ideology fully emerged as a new mechanism of social division and stratification. Analysis of the folk beliefs, social policies, and practices of North Americans about race from the 18th to the 20th century reveals the development of a unique and fundamental ideology about human differences.

A person can belong to only one race. Phenotypic features, or visible physical differences, are markers or symbols of race identity and status. Each race has distinct qualities of temperament, moralitydispositionand intellectual ability.

Consequently, in the popular imagination each race has distinct behavioral traits that are linked to its phenotype. They can, and should, be ranked on a gradient of inferiority and superiority. Distinct races should be segregated and allowed to develop their own institutions, communitiesand lifestyles, separate from those of other races.

These are the beliefs that wax and wane but never entirely disappear from the core of the American version of race differences. From its inception, racial ideology accorded inferior social status to people of African or Native American ancestry.

This ideology was institutionalized in law and social practice, and social mechanisms were developed for enforcing the status differences.

South Africa Although race categories and racial ideology are both arbitrary and subjective, race was a convenient way to organize people within structures of presumed permanent inequality.

This body, unique to South Africa, adjudicated questionable classifications and reassigned racial identities to individuals. The difference between racism and ethnocentrism Although they are easily and often confused, race and racism must be distinguished from ethnicity and ethnocentrism.

While extreme ethnocentrism may take the same offensive form and may have the same dire consequences as extreme racism, there are significant differences between the two concepts.

Ethnicitywhich relates to culturally contingent features, characterizes all human groups. It refers to a sense of identity and membership in a group that shares common language, cultural traits values, beliefs, religion, food habits, customs, etc.

All humans are members of some cultural ethnic group, sometimes more than one.

A review on the book race in north america origin and evolution of a worldview by audrey smedley

Most such groups feel—to varying degrees of intensity—that their way of life, their foods, dress, habits, beliefs, values, and so forth, are superior to those of other groups.

The most significant quality of ethnicity is the fact that it is unrelated to biology and can be flexible and transformable. People everywhere can change or enhance their ethnicity by learning about or assimilating into another culture. American society well illustrates these facts, consisting as it does of groups of people from hundreds of different world cultures who have acquired some aspects of American culture and now participate in a common sense of ethnic identity with other Americans.

Ethnic identity is acquired, and ethnic features are learned forms of behaviour. Race, on the other hand, is a form of identity that is perceived as innate and unalterable.

Ethnicity may be transient and even superficial. Race is thought to be profound and grounded in biological realities.

Race in North America : origin and evolution of a worldview (Book, ) [metin2sell.com]

Racism is the belief in and promotion of the racial worldview described above.Book reviews; Abstracting and indexing Next Article New Biological Books. Reviews and Brief Notices.

Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview. Audrey Smedley. Irwin Silverman SHARE. ARTICLE CITATION. Irwin Silverman, "Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview.

Audrey Smedley," The Quarterly Review . “In this fourth edition, Drs. Audrey Smedley and Brian Smedley describe, in a scholarly but widely accessible and engaging manner, the evolution of the concept of race and the way shifting views of the meaning of race have shaped North America/5(14). Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview [Audrey Smedley] on metin2sell.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview - Kindle edition by Audrey Smedley. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.

Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a metin2sell.coms: Race, in its origin, was not a product of science but of a folk ideology reflecting a new form of social stratification and a rationalization for inequality among the peoples of North America.

New coauthor Brian Smedley joins Audrey Smedley in updating this renowned and groundbreaking text. Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, Technophilic Hubris and Espionage Styles during the Cold War.

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