Anthropology in the News Due 09272017

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Anthropology in the News Due 09272017
   I have adhered to the Honor Code in this assignment. The article I read was called “Current Views of European Anthropolists on Race: Influence of Educational and Ideological Background.” Published in  the  American  Anthropologist   journal in March 2009, it discussed research that Polish anthropologists Katarzyna A. Kaszycka, Goran Štrkalj and Jan Strzałko  conducted by asking questions of European anthropologists at three different points: during two anthropological conferences in 2002 and 2003, respectively, and through a follow-up questionnaire in 2003. The purpose of the research was to determine whether anthropologists educated in Eastern European countries (formerly part of the Soviet bloc, i.e., Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia), have a different view of the concept of race as a  biological factor than those educated in Western Europe (i.e., Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the European part of Turkey). In total, 125 people from over 20 countries responded. The research consisted of two questions: 1)   Do you agree with the statement: “There are biological races (meaning subspecies) within the species  Homo sapiens ? 2)   Do you support race in any other of its meanings (i.e., do you believe that human races exist? Additionally, the researchers asked respondents to indicate their sex, age, country of education, highest degree earned, institutional affiliation, and educational discipline. Nearly all of those  polled were physical anthropologists; in Europe, physical anthropology is taught as an offshoot of biology, while cultural anthropology is connected with the humanities. Because the two disciplines within the overarching discipline of anthropology are associated with two separate departments, as well as the historical differences in varying countries of education, the European view of race as a biological concept varies significantly from that view held by (American) cultural anthropologists. I connected this articl e to Jefferson Fish’s article, “Mixed Blood,” as well as to the discussion on Monday about how anthropologists maintain that race is not a biological concept. Towards the beginning of his article, Fish notes that anthropologists have determined the answer to the question “what is race?”, but social and behavioral scientists, as well as the public in general, seem to be missing that information, or at least do not agree with cultural anthropologists. I thought it was remarkable that most of the European anthropologists questioned through the research in the  American Anthropologist   article had a strong background in biology or another science, which likely influenced their answers  —  if they had had a similar education to an American cultural anthropologist, they might not hold the view that race is a  biological concept (and not a cultural construct). 50 percent of the people polled determined that human races do exist, while 48 percent disagreed. The anthropologists who had been educated in any of the Western European countries, also, rejected this concept of race from a biological viewpoint twice as often as they accepted it, and the opposite was true for those from Eastern Europe. It is interesting, at the very least, to note that those educated in Western European countries mainly agreed with the view maintained by Fish and by anthropologists as we learned in class  —  that race is not a biological concept. Also important to note is that in the Fish article, it specifically talks about American anthropologists ’ views, and the  generally-held American   I have adhered to the Honor Code in this assignment. culture’s view of race as a hereditary trait (i.e., hypo-descent); the article I chose gives an entirely different context, with anthropologists from various countries in Europe discussing their viewpoints on race as a biological concept.
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