Week 2 Analytic Post

The concept of racialization is the process in which groups and subgroups come to be identified as being a specific race, and then given traits and characteristics based solely on that assumption, regardless of its truthfulness. Now more than ever in the news media, religious ‘races’ are being racialized. Muslim is used as a blanket term for every person who comes from the Middle East, Christians are portrayed as Bible thumping southerners who have no room for tolerance, and still, hundreds of years later, Jews are still characterized as greedy and money hungry. Spurred on by the Red Scare in the 1950’s the government and media have systematically ingrained in the minds of a majority of Americans the racial and theocratic inferiority of non-Christians. The iconic reminders of this being, “In God We Trust” printed on every coin and bill, and the addition of the line, “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, which are referring to the Christian god, and excluding Allah and the Jewish God.

If I had to explain the Gould/Morton controversy to a friend, I’d give the entire story, how Morton used his study to justify racial superiority, and how Gould manipulated data to further his own agenda. Gould’s inaccuracies in no way lend credibility to Morton’s claims. Both scientists however prove a larger point, that being the innate politicality of science. Both the identity of the researchers and their specific production of knowledge are affected by their political biases. In Morton’s case he chose parameters in his experiment that gave him a desired outcome based on his racial prejudices. In Gould’s, he chose to exclude data that would have skewed away from his assertion. Doing this gave him his desired result, the publication of his research and the discrediting of work he deemed biased. In both cases, the influence of politics had a distinguishable effect in both publications.

4 thoughts on “Week 2 Analytic Post

  1. I think that your analytical post was really detailed and brought up some important ideas! I had a similar definition of racialization. I wrote how racialization has a lot to do with stereotypes, which I think goes with what you said! Also, I agree with you on that politics had a huge impact on both Gould’s and Morton’s work. I don’t think many people realize this because they think more about what they said instead of how they said it. When it comes to “race” there can easily be a bias because we all come from different ethnicities and are associated with them. These scientists let their biases overtake their writing because of politics. It was wrong on both parts even if you happened to agree or not agree with them. Our society needs to work towards a goal of not using bias with research on race, which is hard to do since our society uses racialization every day. Great post!

  2. Hello, I just read your post, and I find your idea rather similar to mine. From the way I consider it, racialization is domestic religious believers using specific actions to assimilate or reject foreign religions, which represents those who believe in distinctive gods compare to local believers, so that religious conflict can be resolved and eliminated. A perfect example close to me will be Li Shimin, a notorious emperor in Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was a true believer in Buddha, and there were various of religions such as Taoism and several western religions propagated thanks to the establishment of the famous “Silk Road”. Li wanted to praise highly of Buddhism, so he carried out plenty of laws and strategies to make his idea came true. This left behind various sorts and varieties of traditional Buddhism literacy and buildings to us nowadays. It’s not hard to see that just like the Christians and Catholics managed to assimilate and crowd out the Jews in Spain, Buddhism had priority on other religions in China during Tang Dynasty as well.

  3. Hello! I find our post to be very well thought out and very well written. I fully agree with you when you say that all people of Middle Eastern descent are generalized as Muslim (I would further argue “radical” Muslim). I fully agree with you about the theocratic inferiority of non-Christians, as well, being subtly (though lately, not so subtly) ingrained in to our minds. As you point out the uses of “Under God” and “In God We Trust” are exclusionary to any other religion or to those that don’t believe at all. The irony does not escape me that these phrases have become iconic to Americans when the Constitution was to be based on personal liberties that include “freedom of religion”.
    I also fully agree with you about the Morton/Gould situation. It could be argued that the racialization of each of them led them each to collect and analyze their data according to their racialized ideas.

  4. I found it interesting how you brought up the topic of the news coverage of Muslims today. I agree that it is being used as a blanket term. Your take on this topic is very interesting. I have noticed before, that during the pledge of allegiance we say God. I never thought about how on our currency we have “In God We Trust” printed. We are excluding different cultural groups by doing this as a country.
    I also agree with your take on the Gould/Morton controversy. I don’t think that Gould’s inaccuracies leave any credibility in Morton’s studies. I think that there are flaws on both sides of the scale. I do side more with Morton, only because there was so much prejudice on Gould’s end. Either way, I don’t think that the size of your skull will ever be comparable to how smart you are. Unless someone in the future can prove this without being biased towards a certain culture.

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