IMW 300 Racial Fictions - Natural/Physical Sciences

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Author: twolf

Process Post 2

At the beginning, our group research was on multiple different topics. Now, since we are at the end of our research, it is obvious that our group has began to narrow our topics into three different sections. When searching for topics, we still refer to the Olins Library database and Google scholar. Now looking at our research page, it is evident that there are two main subjects for our research such as:    . Unfortunately, our group had a lot of trouble meeting with our science librarian Patti due to schedule conflicts. One member of the group was able to reach her via email, so Taylor and the librarian talked back an forth about furthering her research. The librarian still told us to narrow our topics and to use the same sources that are relevant to the natural sciences. As stated in our last process post, she told us to visit Academic Database Premier, Science Direct College edition, JSTOR, and web of science. We did take her advice and narrowed our topics. As well, we also typed in different key words to help find more research on our certain topics. One of the main things that we found in our group was the overall progression of science from the early twentieth century to present day. Scientists, physicians and researchers had very different opinions about race and biology in the twentieth century when compared to today. This will be a main point that we will discuss in our group class presentation Our group has done a great job collecting, analyzing, and interpreting all of the research. Fingers crossed for our presentations next week!

Permanent Sterility: Eugenical Sterilization

Oswald, Frances. “Eugenical Sterilization in the United States”. American Journal of Sociology, vol. 36, no. 1, 1930, pp.65-73. JSTOR. Accessed 29 March 2017.

This article is great research for my specific topic because it was written in 1930. It provides evidence of the actual time period and what doctors, psychologists and legislators were thinking about American health standards at the time this was written. The article explains how the process of eugenical sterilization was taken into a lot of consideration from many physicians and legislators. Another great aspect of this article is it discusses the types of “permanent sterility” that some of thee unfit population would have to go through. There were two different procedures such as: vasectomy for males and a salpingectomy for females. The Buck v Bell case is also another court case that allowed for the sterilization law to be constitutional in Virginia. As Justice Holmes says, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough” (68). One of the factors that makes this article different than other articles is that it discusses the three main obstacles that were in the path of eugenical sterilization. The three obstacles included: the intricacies of the law, the antagonism of the church, and the conservatism of American public opinion (68). The Catholic church was very against the practices of eugenical sterilization. Sadly, a lot of people did believe that sterilization was the best process to keep imbeciles, the insane, and many other people to stop from breeding. One last thing that I thought that made this article different from other was that it discusses how sterilization was a type of “freedom” for some people. Oswald says, “Patients have no fear of the operation; they regard it as a step toward normalcy and freedom” (72). Overall, this article gave me some new insights on eugenical sterilization.

Harry Laughlin’s Eugenic Crusade

Wilson, Philip K. “Harry Laughlin’s eugenic crusade to control the ‘socially inadequate’ in Progressive Era America”. Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 36, no. 1, 2010, pp. 49-67. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group. Accessed 29 March 2017.

This article not only discusses multiple components of the Eugenical Sterilization process, but how Harry Laughlin controlled a large part of the eugenical cleanse. Recently, I have been focusing a lot of my own independent research on the eugenics movement that occurred in the United States during the Progressive Era. This article is useful to my research because it goes into more detail about the man behind a lot of the laws and processes that occurred within this cleanse. It starts with how Laughlin gets his foot in the door and ends with him being completely jobless due to the outcome of World War II. At first, the article explains Laughlin’s background as a science professor and how he was interested in the study of genetics and breeding. Laughlin eventually becomes the supervisor for the Eugenics Record Office, the ERO, and is in charge of facilitating multiple missions. As more social awareness was brought to eugenics, there was also an increase internationally and also an appreciation for Social Darwinism. In 1923, Laughlin visited Europe to investigate emigrant-exporting nations. When he returned to the United States, he contacted the House Committee to discuss the new immigration law that would be enacted in 1924. Laughlin was also given an honorary doctorate award from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, but this was eventually frowned upon by many people. Towards the end of the article, it explains that the ERO is closed down because the Nazi regime adopted the American eugenic sterilization process from Laughlin and others. The end of the article discusses how a form of eugenics is still used today, but it is not as intense as the process found in the beginning of the twentieth century. Overall, this article supports all of my other research that I have found. Even though this article was not very detailed on the actual processes of eugenical sterilization it still is a great article to help further my research.

America & Germany: Eugenics Movement (racial hygiene)

Klautke, Egbert. “ ‘The Germans are Beating Us at Our Own Game’: American Eugenics and the German Sterilization Law of 1933.” History of the Human Sciences, vol. 29, no. 3, 2016,  pp. 25-43. SAGE. Accessed 09 March 2017.

The reason I chose this article for our research topic is because I found it to be tied to the start of racism in our society. I was doing a lot of research on the topic of Eugenical Sterilization, and a lot of resources popped up. This particular article discusses the American eugenics program with immigrants and how doctors/scientists encouraged the predominantly white race to procreate more “healthy, strong children”. The eugenical program started in the beginning of the twentieth century, and it began to be looked at internationally. After World War One, Germany looked at America’s eugenical system and agreed with a lot of our practices. Eventually, Germany and America became connected on the discussion of the racial hygiene movement, and created a large history of eugenics. The Nazi Socialist party began to take the moment a little too far, and began using it for more social political campaigns. At the time, Germany loved all of the eugenic sterilization practices and labs that were occurring in California and Virginia. Many of their original ideas stemmed from California. One of the most interesting parts in the article discusses how the United States had an entire museum in New York filled with the German social hygiene movement. Overall, there was a lot of given information in this article about the connection between American eugenics and Germany. I think it is important to understand how our country served as one of the main elements to Hitler’s awful reign. Sadly, history can be a little twisted and sad. 

Eugenical Sterilization: Nazi Medicine

Efstathiou, Sophia. “The Nazi Cosmetic: Medicine in the Service Of Beauty”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 43, 2012, pp. 634-642. ScienceDirect. . Accessed 09 March 2017.

This article is a little different than all of our other research articles because it has an international component. A lot of our research recently has been done on the Eugenical Sterilization movement that was done in the United States. Well, according to my article titled “ ‘The Germans are Beating Us at Our Own Game’ ”, it discusses how the American eugenics movement persuaded and served as the basis for the Nazi Socialist racial hygiene movement. I thought this article was important because it backs up the other article by Egbert Klautke. In this article, it discusses how the Nazi party practiced their forms of medicine and the racial hygiene movement. I am aware that this article is not directly related to the United States, but it does specify how the Nazi’s derived some of their genetic and racism from the United States. The Nazi party was more focused on the whole, rather than the parts (individuals). They “promote[d] the procreation of the ‘fit’ while refraining from counter-selecting the ‘unfit’ ” (636). Unfortunately, the Nazi Socialist party became more immoral with their racial hygiene movement and it eventually led to mass genocide to the Jewish population and other minority groups. Overall, I think this article is interesting to read to see what ideas were based off of America. Even though Klautke’s piece is more related to the United States ties with Germany, it still shows the aesthetic influences on Nazi medicine and practices.

Critique on Samuel Morton’s Cranial Capacity

Gould, Steven J. “Morton’s Ranking of Races by Cranial Capacity.” American Association for the Advancement of Science, vol. 200, no. 4341, 1978, pp. 503-509. JSTOR. Accessed 2 March 2017.

The reason I chose this article is because it is about cranial capacity and it was written in 1978. I searched for a piece of work written before the year 2000 because I wanted to see if the perceptions of Gould were different than today. After reading the piece, Gould’s overall interpretation seemed very similar to if someone would have written it in 2017. This piece discusses and examines Samuel George Morton’s scientific research cranial capacity. Morton had the world’s largest collection of skulls that represented various racial groups such as: Eskimo, Indian, Caucasian, African-American, etc. His skull collection was based off of a hierarchy system in which Anglo-Saxon/Tuetonic were at the top and Black were at the bottom. Gould looked over Morton’s work and realized that there were many problems that Morton did not fix. The first was that Morton chose to include and or delete large subsamples in order to keep his priori expectations the same. He also assumed that cranial capacity only reflected mental ability, so when he got his desired result he considered it complete. Morton also failed to make differences on the two sexes. Overall, the main reason for Morton’s scientific experiment was to show racial ranking and to confirm the stereotypes in his study. This article is important to my research because science can be proven to be false. Morton was basing his science off of pre-established racial biases, but it provided as a strong influence on racial ranking back in the 19th/20th century. Many of the misrepresentations and stereotypes that came out of this experiment can still be found in our society today.

Immigration, Public Health and Disease (20th century)

Markel, Howard and Alexandra Minna Stern. “Which Face? Whose Nation? Immigration, Public Health, and the Construction of Disease at America’s Ports and Borders, 1891-1928.” The American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 42, no.9, 1999, pp.1314-1331. SAGE. Accessed 2 March 2017.

Since this is my third post for research, I wanted to look up an article that was published before 2000. The reason I did this is because I wanted to read something from a different perspective in time. Articles written today are going to have a different perspective than papers written over 17 years ago. This piece by Markel and Stern discusses the major health concerns and stereotyping that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. The national health association was very strict on keeping America and its citizens clean from infectious diseases, deleterious genetic traits and chronic conditions/disabilities. The article focuses on four different ports/border patrols such as: Ellis Island (New York), Angel Island (San Francisco), Port Huron and Detroit (Michigan), and finally El Paso and Laredo (Texas-Mexico border). This piece is important to my research and the group research because it establishes how immigration was first treated in America. The large waves of Immigrants bombarded the American shores and the treatment at these health agencies determined how Americans would view immigrants today. Many of the inspections were based on the hierarchies of class and socioeconomic standing. As well, certain types of diseases were more common from other parts of the world, so immigrants would be examined differently depending on their geographical locations. Local/regional social, physical and cultural forces were all considered during the immigration inspections. Our country was basing a persons citizenship into the country by skin color, facial features, and associations with a particular illness/disease. Sadly, this is why there are still so many problems today because of all the negative stereotypes and connotations of immigration groups.

First Process Post

Overall, the process for our group started out a little unsure but we are now beginning to narrow our topics. When searching for topics, we always refer to the Olin Library database and Google Scholar. After our first research post, it was evident that our research was all over the board. Every participant searched up a different topic, but it provided a solid base for our overall research. Before meeting with the librarian, some group member were stuck on how to find more information about their topic. As well, some did not understand how to narrow our topics to find more information. After meeting with the librarian, our group felt way more confident in finding research for our WordPress site. She told us how to narrow our topics and where to find more sources that are relevant to the natural sciences. She told us to visit Academic Database Premier, Science Direct College edition, JSTOR, and web of science. Another thing she explained was for us to change our search terms and key words in order to find more results. One of the most beneficial tips she gave us was to look at the citation list at the end of our research articles to find closely related topics of research. At the moment, our big topics are Implicit Bias and Race, the Human Genome Project, Cranial Capacity, and Genetic studies. Over the next few weeks, our topics will begin to become more narrow and specific as we read more scholarly articles. Our group is doing pretty well in the overall process and hopefully we will have an “ah ha” moment soon”. 

Implicit Bias and Race (pt. 2)

Amodio, David M., Eddie Harmon-Jones, and Patricia G. Devine. “Individual Differences in the Activation and Control of Affective Race Bias as Assessed by Startle Eyeblink Response and Self-Report.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes, vol. 84, no. 4,  2003, pp. 738-53. ProQuest. Accessed 17 Feb. 2017 .

As I stated before, I am part of the natural sciences group, so I thought it would be important to have two articles discussing the psychological aspect of implicit bias and its effects on race. In this research study, the researchers David Amodio, Eddie Harmone-Jones and Patricia Devine assess the activation and control of affective race bias by looking at eyeblink response and self-report. In study one, the participants are to look at images of Black faces compared with White faces for six seconds. The eyeblink of the participant is recorded and the reaction-time measurement can revel automatic race bias. The researchers concluded that both short and long blink responses to Black faces reflected automatic levels of affective race bias. In study two, the researchers followed the model of study one but added a self-report format, so the participants would be aware of their potential bias. As before, a picture would be flashed for six seconds, but this time the participants also had to self-report. They would record their valence and arousal ratings immediately after the picture was shown. Overall, this study is important because it shows the readers how implicit bias is recorded automatically or in a controlled environment. Study two was more effective in understanding implicit bias, because self-report provides a more sensitive and accurate measure, due to the participants being aware of their bias. This study is directly related to the research study about “Longterm Reduction in Implicit Race Bias” because when the participants are aware of their biases, he or she is more likely to reduce bias in some manner.

Implicit Bias and Race

Devine, Patricia G., Patrick S. Forscher, Anthony J. Austin, and William T.L. Cox. “Long- term Reduction in Implicit Race Bias: A Prejudice Habit-breaking Intervention.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 48, 2012, pp. 1267-1278. Rollins Olin Library. Accessed 17 Feb. 2017. 

Since I am a part of the natural sciences group, I thought it would be important to discuss the psychological concept of implicit bias and race. When searching implicit bias on the Rollins Library database, I came across many different scholarly articles and research discussing the importance of understanding implicit race bias. Patricia Devine, Patrick Forscher, Anthony Austin, and William Cox developed a “multi-faceted prejudice habit-breaking intervention” in which they would face the reality of implicit race bias. Their invention was a twelve week longitudinal study in order to produce long-term reductions in implicit race bias. This study is important to our research because race has been socially constructed by history into many negative stereotypes. The researchers study implicit and explicit bias, also known as implicit/explicit social cognition, in order to understand why bias affects our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious or conscious manner. The researchers highlight that implicit bias can be compared to a habit, and habits can be broken. During the study, many participants recognized the implicit race bias within themselves. Once they noticed their own bias, there was a large decreases in bias. At the end of the study, the researchers noticed that there was a large increase of concern about discrimination, as well as, personal awareness of bias.  Overall, education and training is important when trying to produce a large change in implicit bias. The mind is a powerful tool!