Race is not a biologically meaningful way of classifying human beings but Western racial classifications continue to have significant consequences for the lived experiences of human beings. Why is it inaccurate to think of race as biology? What is race?
Fuentes argues in “How not to be racist” that pretty much everyone is a little racist some of the time. Why does he argue this? What does he argue we can do to counter this?
PBS has a great website called RACE–The Power of an Illusion (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Take a look around the site and see what kind of stuff you learn. What is most interesting to you?
Forced sterilization of tens of thousands of women and men was carried out in the United States as government policy throughout much of the 20th century. Using the website, “Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., discuss the history of forced sterilization in the United States of America.
While human beings are one of the most genetically unified species on the planet, all humans share about 99.9% of our DNA, we do see that there can be interesting phenotypic variation between human populations. Since we know that “race” is not a meaningful way to understand that variation, what is the framework we do use to understand that variation? What explains why human populations vary in some phenotypic characteristics? What are some of the differences?
The film, The Human Family Tree, traces human migration over the last 60,000years or so by looking at the ancestry of residents of New York. What are some of the interesting things you learned watching this film?
In the first lecture, I asked you to consider what you think about when you hear the phrase “human nature”. How have your ideas about human nature changed over this course? What is human nature? Do you define it differently today than you did at the beginning of class?
What are you going to take with you from this course? What are the most significant things you have learned about understanding what it means to be human?