Reading #5: In Passage #5, I found myself grimacing at the information stated in it. How they denied an 8 year old girl an education because "Chinese were a danger to the well being of the state." In what way is an ethnic background a danger to the state? An 8 year old girl, a 31 year old man, an 87 year old woman, none of these people should be considered a threat to the state simply becuase they are of Chinese descent. I breathed a sigh of relief when the courts ruled in favor of the family. They stated to the school board the reasons certain children should be kept out of schools and none of them had anything to do with the ancestry. They were all quite plausible, If they displayed vicious behavior or had an infectious disease. I can't believe they made an entirely seperate school for the girl and any other children of Chinese descent to attend, that's segregating them on their race, which seems to happen a lot no matter what the race.
Reading #6: It seems like this whole "White man's burden" is playing tag with a lot of different cultures and races in the world. I liked how Mark Twain based his entire thing on the phrase from the Declaration of Independence "The hearts of men are about alike, all over the world, no matter what their skin complexions may be." That line really stood out because this whole "White man's burden" is saying the white men feel they are obligated to make every race like their own and if it isn't like theirs, it's looked down upon and attacked in order to "civilize" and "educate." Since the Flilipinos revolted when placed under American rule, I feel like America should have backed off because the Filipinos obviously don't want what they are offering, and by that I mean force feeding, them. Then, after all that, they had a Phillipine exhibition to profit off the Native people with tourism from all over the world.
Reading 5: The term "criminality" is constantly appearing in the text of reading 5 as well as the repeated mention about generations and children. From what this reading is saying to me, I'm getting that criminals who reproduce are bound to have babies that become criminals and so on and so forth. However, there was a brief mention about the 4th child having a "sexual immorality" in which means regardless, the 4th child of any parent will be a sexual deviant. A rather interesting theory might I say, but it's still strongly disagreeable.
Reading 6: This particular reading involving Deborah's successions and death was something that definitely needed to be analyzed. My personal analysis is how she claims to have done community activities - a rather proud statement might I say. My thought of this supposed speech is that Deborah is proud of the life she lived. She feels as if she was extremely involved in everything and everyone and wants to positively reflect on her life, even if she did die at 79 and wasn't able to live at least a few more decades. However, I do admire her supposed optimism.
Reading #5: I thought it was interesting how Charles Davenport blatantly ignored the research of both Morgan and Stiles, studies and campaigns that showed that something as simple as being afflicted with hookworm could change one’s intellectual capacity, and alter one’s behavior, and that there was no simple, singular recessive gene that was responsible for alcoholism or criminality--there were many genes that worked together to increase one’s risk of developing such a condition. This showed that he was not open-minded, and certainly not capable of sound, scientific research, and because of this, I think his ideas should be taken with a grain of salt.
Reading #6: Davenport insisted that intelligence (and other traits) were inherited, and, in 1912, Henry H. Goddard published The Kallikak Family: A study in the Heredity of Feeblemindedness, a crude generalization of an entire family based on intuition rather than logic. In fact, Goddard had almost no knowledge of some of the people labeled as mentally deficient, and thought that through interviews with their living relatives (or other nearly meaningless or biased information) was sufficient in slandering their entire family, and subjecting them to unfair mistreatment. I thought Goddard’s “research” completed disregarded environmental factors, specifically those relating to poverty, and that although some of his research had some merit (for example, there were likely some recessive genes linked to a higher risk of alcoholism), I don’t think it was valid as a whole.
Reading #5: Something I find very, very interesting about Davenport is how stubbornly he clings to his ideas when so many others are proving him wrong. Reginald Punnet, William Bateson, and Thomas Hunt Morgan proved that it is much more common for genes to act together to produce a specific physical traits. Yet Davenport insisted that they worked alone. It even said that he was aware of the other men's findings. Another thing I was a bit confused about was the fact that he sent people to orphanages to create family trees to map traits. How was this supposed to help if the children at these orphanages were orphans, and therefore had no family ties? In my mind, it makes no sense, but maybe I'm missing something.
Reading #6: As I was reading, I was having the exact same thoughts voiced by Abraham Meyerson. Goddard came to a "scientific conclusion" that feeble-mindedness was hereditary because one of his fieldworkers took one look at a girl and said she looked like she was? Not to mention, how is it that he could possibly know anything about this girls ancestors who lived over a century before? I have met many people who I judged at first one way or another, and almost every time I have been wrong. Even today, where there are records and websites and photographs I don't know what my ancestors from five generations back were like. My grandmother doesn't know what they were like. How could Goddard draw any conclusions about this girls family if even today we aren't able to? The most shocking part to me, at least, was that the public completely ignored these points. The book was a huge success, and it seemed that only a select few even thought to question it, because it was supposedly "scientific".
Reading Five: This reading was about how ethnicity and race is a social construct and some African Americans passed as whites so they could be accepted by society. I mainly agree that they are social constructs, but then again, it is also your ancestry, where you come from. Although I am completely against the idea of judging someone harshly, or really at all, because of their heritage or appearance, I do think that your race is an important part of who you are. At least, for me it is, I love the fact that we're all from so many different places. As for people hiding where they are from so they "fit in" I find the idea that this needs to be done depressing as it shows that these people feel uncomfortable in their own, or rather, how other people view them in that skin. I know this isn't right now, although people may still be doing this, but the fact that they ever had to is repulsive to me.
Reading Six: This reading mainly consisted of a letter written to the woman's daughter about racism and the racism today versus in the past, also about the hope for a "colorblind" future. I found the letter very lovely and it made me feel more melancholy than anything else as, although amusing and cheerful at points, it touched on the racism still happening and how children, no matter how young, are exposed to it. Although her daughter was only nine, she spoke of serious issues instead of surface ones and I feel this is important for even one so young to understand. I thought the letter was touching, sweet, and probably useful for her daughter (if she read and understood it).
In this passage, the family tree is created to track a "problem" with a person that might be hereditary. During this research, the term normal is used very often to describe a person. But what was normal? What is it now? Is a person like yourself or rather a person better or lesser than yourself. In the extensive amount work that was put into researching hereditary triats, it really makes one question what is normal and what should we be compared to (if we should at all).
Surprisingly there were thoughts to make these "academic" journals into a Broadway play. This causes my questioning of how legit these books were. How can a book used as a textbook for learning also be theatrical like a play? I am further seeing the horrifying thoughts of these scientists who believe in Eugenics.
reading 5: The thing that stuck out to me the most was all the crimes that were happening. It was absolutely crazy, i cannot believe it. Even children were committing ridiculous crimes, over and over at this time. There were also so many ethnicity based requirements to do certain things, and a lot of racism was also going around. I think it was just absolute chaos.
reading 6:The first thing that I read in this reading Henry Goddard claimed "feeblemindedness" to be a hereditary trait. What the heck is this? He released a book about super racist stuff and bluffing scientific research. He did many "tests" without taking important things into factor, thus making the results innacurate.
Reading 5: Though I find it strange for people to be observing poor and criminal aged class I feel that it is wrong the way they judge it. It's not fair to blame it on a "gene" for their behaviors. As Social Darwism states that everyone is in charge of there life, and the most fitted survive. Though there discoveries for genes are nice and do still prevail today, I don't think it's fair to judge someones actions for their genes. But what I do believe is changing someones lives for the better. Changing a poor man to a rich and powerful man will change his or her life and the offspring of him or her.
Reading 6: Once again touching on the topic of whether you inherit what is good or bad, I still don't feel like it's right to judge someone for this. People who come from from great families may or may not become a criminal, and it's the same with poor families. It is most likely that either will colide but it's still possible, based on what happens in their life! And blamming something such as "Feeble-mindedness" isn't fair to use as evidence to judge everyone, since it's just a theory. I find it a bit disturbing how people are trying to find ways to fix society, even when it's not broken. It all happens, and whether or not a person is a criminal or not, it all depends on what happens in their life, not if they are rich or poor!
Reading #5: I found this reading to be incredibly interesting that despite there being evidence disproving eugenics, Davenport continued his research and even published it without so much as looking at their research. I also found it amazing that they could come up with these connections between children and the crimes that they had and were growing up and committing.
Reading #6: I was struck in awe when they labeled "feeble mindedness" as something that could be thought to be hereditary. Or when these "scientists" had the nerve to label others as feeble minded. I was nodding my head with a smug smile on my face when Abraham had shown the illegitimacy of the "research" that they were doing.
Reading 6: Its interesting how, even when the people did not understand the actual symptoms of hookworm, they were still able to detect a pattern and dramatically reduce the amount of victims of it. In pretty much every single way, he did not understand what was happening with hookworm, but by noticing a pattern, he was able to fix a problem. It just seems remarkable how someone can be so sure of something, and how he never once seems to doubt his theory.
Whoops, forgot to post for reading 6
Its interesting how, throughout all of this, the people and subjects they talk about, they never once entertain the idea they might just be dumb. I feel like a lot of eugenics is just a big way of saying that all of the atrocities, all of the bad moments, all of the mistakes, had nothing to do with the people who did them, and that it was natures fault for all of this.
Chapter 5: The interesting thing about this chapter is that it shows how Davenport saw these people. He saw them as marks on a pedigree, either something wonderful or something flawed, there was no "just human" to it, no room for flaws. If there was an undesirable trait in your bloodline then you were deemed unfit to reproduce. That's what got me. The way these people were able to think of other human beings, just a spot on the chart. Then came these two men with an idea as valid as Davenports, maybe more so, they saw farther into the hereditary machine and saw the predictable and the unpredictable. And they were completely ignored and left out of his research. He spent so much time on his own theory that he could not accept another.
Chapter 6: When I read this section it really made me feel horrible about the way these people were treated. The biggest reason many of them were dubbed as 'feebleminded' was that they were in such an environment from such a young age that they had no actually chance of developing past the ability to speak and perform a few menial tasks. It was not their genetic code but their area code that had such a baring on their intelligence. The way I see it when Goddard's way of thinking was challenged it was almost impossible to actually be heard because of the popularity of his ideas. And because of this our society was set back because they never changed the education system just thought to change the parentage.
Reading 5: What I really got out of this section was some of the examples that he was using, like the "pyromaniac" kid. It just really struck me that he did all of these psychopathic crimes. Also as stated that his brother is full of devilish crimes. I personally don't think that this is a genetic "disorder", but rather that it has to do with how the individual was raised, and what type of environment they were born in.
Reading 6: Henry Goddard contradicts himself with some of the books that he's written. I think that he's done this in order to create something that is more up to date with the rest of society. I think that this is something that is very common today in modern day society.
Reading 5: I thought it was interesting how Davenport simply ignored the works of others when they weren't in his favor. Davenport was very stubborn and even though he was aware of the works of Morgan and Stiles he choose not to adores the information they found in any of his works. This man really clung to his belief that all bad traits were the result of a single gene that was passed from parent to child, and that if a parent was an alcoholic or a thief or had sexual immorality that the child of that person would inherit it and there was not a chance that the kid would be without these terrible traits. I think this is absurd! there are several times when a child's parent does have some of these traits and in the current world toady there are so many success stories of how kids came from these terrible backgrounds and they decide they didn't want to grow up to be like their parents who were thieves or alcoholics so they did something about it and changed their lives for the better. This is why I disagree with Davenports ideas.
Reading 6: This guy named Goddard published a study about feeblemindedness in one particular family. I think that his whole study was sorta a bunch of BS. Because the guy just focused on key members of the family and then went and labeled others that he hadn't really known much about as people of mental deficiencies. Even though Goddard's work was not all true and often times just made assumptions about embers of this family, his work remained popular among citizens and even scholars.
It is truly refreshing to see some good come from the largely antisemitic ideology of eugenics. While eugenics had some rooting in the idea that certain traits are inherited, the scientists which decided to further analyze and critique his pseudoscience actually ended up benefiting the cause for poorer members of society. The parallels between both eugenics and genetics are rather interesting, but the kicker is that eugenics research led to the idea that the rich and poor are biologically equal.
I think that in general, the idea of being feeble minded is looked down upon. While from a Darwinian standpoint this behaviour is viewed as beneficial for mankind's progression, the idea behind discrimination is primarily fear driven. Early humans would often drive away those who did not fit and even would attack outsiders. Those of the feeble mind often possess these characteristics and while having a lower intelligence can often lead to poor decision making, those people are still capable of making a positive difference as opposed to the ideas set in motion by the eugenics supporters.
I personally believe that it is outrageously obvious that Fredrick Douglas was correct in saying that the men were reasoning with prejudice rather than facts. They obviously didn't take much into account that environment also plays a huge part of a child's upbringing and characteristics. If they go to an orphanage, where there are kids who's parents have left them, they have been in a bad environment which would lead to things like criminality. Also, the kids in the orphanage would not be a fair mixture. All of the kids would be from what the scientists would think of as poorer genes while there would be no evidence of what would happen with a child with "genetically rich" parents who was put into the same environment. Although genetic traits are passed down through children, grandchildren, and so on, so parts of their theory were correct, the scientists were really just trying to find a way to rid the nation of what they personally thought were inferior races.
In this reading, it even states that Davenport knew that all of his experiments showed his hypothesis was false, but he still insisted that he was right. This once again proves Fredrick Douglas correct in saying that the scientists were reasoning with prejudice rather than facts. As an idea, I understand eugenics and see how the principle behind it could work. However, I do not support it at all and any idea that there could be a perfect person is completely preposterous in my mind. As I was typing the last two sentences, years of reading and being taught lessons from the bible came into my head and I caught myself thinking of Jesus and how he was the exception to that idea that no man is perfect because he was the son of God he died for us to wash away our sin so I've always thought of him as perfect.... Now however, thinking onto this idea more, even Jesus wasn't fit as a perfect person when he was alive. I mean, the Romans hated him so much they killed him so that in itself is a large group of people that obviously thought he was far less than perfect (Or even if they did think he was perfect, they were frightened by the idea of their even BEING a perfect person which is a completely different discussion all together). In the bible, Jesus was even called "a glutton and a drunkard" by religious men (Matthew 11:19) and some churches wouldn't let him in their door, or he was thrown out for blasphemy towards the religion. As a Christian, if even the Son of God wasn't perfect, or seen as perfect by society during his life, how can any human be? This is a VERY subjective analysis based on my religion and thoughts on religion as well as fact in the form of direct readings of the bible, but I thought it was interesting enough to share!
Part 5: I found Davenport’s stubbornness, as displayed in the reading, to be the most striking piece of information described in the passage. Here is a man who considers himself to be an “intellectual man of science”, and yet he pursues topics proven to be in vain by his peers. I think it is unfortunate that there were so many delusional and self-righteous “scientists” that plagued the scientific community during Davenport’s time period.
Part 6: I found the most startling piece of this reading to be the paragraph where it spoke of the popularity of Dr. Goddard’s book. The widespread, ignorant acceptance of Goddard’s text was due to the hive-mind acceptance of eugenics that had developed. I was relieved to read that some people were actually critical and not in favor of Goddard’s book. Unfortunately, Goddard’s book was widely regarded as a positive thing at the time.
Reading #5: What stood out to me was that the text continues to refer to the "tainted" individuals that Davenport is tracking as normal. Completely and utterly normal. If these people are defined as normal, doesn't that make society as a whole tainted? I'm curious as to what exactly were the social norms of society back then vs. society today? In today's society individuality is encouraged, and people who struggle with alcoholism, crime, etc. are offered help and rehabilitation. I still can't wrap my mind around the superiority complex Davenport clearly has.
Reading #6: "Dr. Goddard... founds an important theory of feeble-mindedness, and draws sweeping generalizations... How can anyone know anything definite about a nameless girl, living five generations before, whom no one has ever seen?" The answer is, no one can! I find it disgusting that these "scientists" claim to have all of the answers to the root of society's problems, furthering a personal agenda. Bringing such an important element of life and the world such as science into their supremacist ideals is just unethical.
(now, without trying to sound as biased) It's obvious that the time period and social norms were completely different. There were a lot more white people that were educated at the time, and i'm sure this is what began the whole idea of white supremacy. I'm sure this was also a connection to intelligence being based on nationality. Of course, in today's society we know that intelligence is based on the effort you put into your education, and let's not forget how easy it is to get an education in America! Therefore, we know can easily read this and understand how stupid of a concept this entire movement supported.
Reading 5: I found this chapter to be quite interesting and thought provoking. I think that Charles Davenport is rather selfish and close-minded to his fellow scientist and colleagues. I doesn't accept the truth around him and continues to believe the ideas he proposed, instead of being open to other ideas/points of view. Though he does believe he has found the way to make the perfect man, I think that he must really come to reality and realize that scientist like Thomas Hunt Morgan and Charles W. Stiles, have valid points, and are far in scientific research that could prove him wrong. "Even though Davenport was aware of the research of both Morgan and Stiles, he never addressed either man’s research in his own scholarly works, textbooks, or lectures."
Reading 6: I think that Charles Davenport, Henry H. Goddard and others were completely out of line to write such disgusting books and release them to the public for review and praise. While this idea that they propose might sound fantastic because everyone was racist and money driven, it was terrible for them to promote these ideas in ways that anyone could get their filthy hands on. Luckily, their were scholars like Abraham Meyerson to criticize these ideas and shed some much need light on the situation, even though Davenport and fellow associates still were fairly popular. Overall, I think that is rather astounding that people could reading these theories and believe any single word from them.
Reading 5: What is really surprising to me in this reading is at the beginning where it explained how many actions (criminality, alcoholism, etc.) can be passed down to generations at a early age. Age 8, children are already committing crime. It makes me wonder how horrifying actions be passed down right away, if the children haven't witness them in their family. What I find really interesting in this reading is also how Charles Davenport just focused just on his ideas and his research rather than just addressing the works of other researchers like Thomas Hunt Morgan who discovered the fruit fly and Charles W. Stiles who created a campaign for hookworm disease. A true researcher right there.
Reading 6: Honestly, this reading led me to so many questions and also made me sort of confused. After learning about the books written about feeblemindedness, it made me wonder: How did people at the time react about the books? How did it affect society? Were they accurate? The idea of eugenics started to make me feel more and more weirder I guess as scientists continues to make all these thoughts that could be judgmental and also very scary.
Reading #5: I felt that Davenport wasn't open to other people's beliefs. He was a stubborn man with his views and stuck to his own beliefs. I completely disagree with Davenport's belief that bad traits were linked to a single gene passed down from the parent to the child. If the parent is an alcoholic or thief, the child can't always become like their parents. Some children do follow their parent's steps and some change themselves so they do not become like their parents. People have the choice to choose who they are going to be. Becoming a alcoholic is avoidable by choosing a different path instead of giving up.
Reading #6: I believe that Goddard looked very lightly upon the family. He didn't even look deeper on how they were as people. It kind of connected to the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" because he had a extremely shallow understanding of the family. I believe that everyone has done something like this. Not something exactly like this but judging a individual. We first see physical traits and the emotions expressed by this person. We create a belief on who the people are right away. But once you get to know how the person really is, it can change your opinion completely. I know I have gone through this with many people, some of them became my friends and some of them not.
Reading 5: This reading really struck me because it basically tells the truth about race in society. It tells that race is, in fact, the creation of society itself, and therefore society is the one that depicts it in a certain light. This can be proven in the wild. Certain large cats do not dislike others for their different colored spots or coats of fur. Racism and race are a creation of man itself, and only man utilizes this. It also states that “Some geneticists claim that as many as 80 percent of black Americans have white bloodlines and that a surprising 95 percent of white Americans have some black ancestry.” This quote struck me because it shows how hypocritical people can be.
Reading 6: This article really struck me because it showed a story of a woman’s life and what she went through as a child. It also kind of showed that ignorance is bliss, showing that if people didn’t know about racism, such as the children did, it would not have been a regular thing to think about or discriminate against.
Reading 5: This reading could have been very controversial at the time because it was a fairly well know scientist when it came to the matter carrying out these studies. The studies of the predisposing of peoples lives before they were born or even before the parents decide to have kids was a very cruel study being done it seems like and the way he protrude it was very one sided it felt like. The story it told a little of the way in of the kid who stole something at the age of 3 then killed his mom by accident at the age of 4 was a very interesting point he brought out. He talked about the parents and how both of them had alcoholic fathers. These factors made this kid so bad. But it also talked about how his older brother had a past like that but is now doing better. So coming to the conclusion that this kid is a bad seed and must not reproduce is truly jumping to conclusions.
Reading 6: The second reading was about the same level of crazy because it still talked about the determination of people just by there heritage by none existent inherit ant qualities.
Reading 5: I thought this reading was very interesting, because the scientists firmly believed and found evidence to support their theories about how criminal tendencies, alcoholism and other negative traits can be directly caused by hereditary factors. I have heard that people whose parents are alcoholics have an 100% chance of becoming alcoholics themselves, and I think that's pretty crazy to think about. It's very interesting how the things that your parents became addicted to and relied on can carry through to the next generation, even if the child of those parents doesn't want to be an alcoholic. I also found it very crazy to think about how scientists could discover things about genetics and chromosomes by studying fruit flies, even though the genes and chromosomes are on microscopic levels.
Reading 6: I think I should start bu asking about what feeble-mindedness is. Is it just a lack of intelligence? Or is it more of a circumstance where people just don't have the capacity to learn as much as others? I thought it was rather interesting how the scientists thought that feeble-mindedness, where maybe someone is less intelligent or doesn't use common sense, is directly hereditary. They thought that people who were drunks, criminals and murderers were such because they were naturally driven to do such things because of genetics. They don't take into account that every person has a choice of what they want to become and how they want to live their lives.
Reading #5: I found this reading to be completely wrong and the exact opposite of my own opinion. As that sounded a bit to strong worded, I think of a different process in the way of eugenics and the history of them. In the reading it talked about Davenport and why he thought kids in orphanages were less of people based on the need to do crime, become alcoholism, or feel the need to become sexually immoral. This can be solved through help, not creating a new person to start with. Davenport wanted people to be perfect at birth. What dies look like? Everyone has a different idea of perfect.
Reading #6: I would disagree with what Davenport said. I believe that every human has the right to be who and what they want. A person who works hard, does good, and is different is perfect happy to me. I believe that we as a society don't have to make people perfect at birth. Besides, what is perfect when there are many definitions by many different people. I believe that everyone lives their own life, and as long as they bring the best in other people they are happy and perfect.
5: Something I found interesting in this reading was how they were able to learn about different traits and how to get them through experiments with fruit flies and how they found out that genes were not randomly assorted as they had originally assumed, but even though they had figured this part out, it didn't change what they thought about perfectness in humans, etc.
Reading 6: I thought it was strange how Goddard stated that being feeble minded was a hereditary trait. He did all this research, experiments, and even ended up writing a book on the topic, but none of it really seemed to be true and he didn't seem to have any actual backup/facts/evidence that this was the case. I guess he thought that some "hereditary" traits made people "imperfect" in his eyes, even if a lot of people had these traits, and even if a lot of the traits he found in his research to be hereditary, they weren't at all.
Reading 5: I found this reading very interesting. Despite some of the far fetched ideas of Eugenics it really isn't that different than some already applied Biology concepts of today. Hookworm was a perfect example of this. In today's society we undergo the same process to find a cure for a disease or ailment. I think this applies to all forms of the industrial revolution. Many people think that we have made many improvements since then, which we have. However, in a way I think we haven't changed anything at all. Instead we have just taken these crazy methods such as Eugenics and instead reshaped them into a stronger form that fits morals of society.
Reading 6: Goddard was very focused on proving something. Proving that "feeblemindedness" was hereditary. But why? Why was proving just one disease so important. I find that Davenport, Goddard, Galton were all very closed minded about their research. They were so determined to prove themselves and everyone around them that they were right, that they missed many obvious clues along the way. They were all using many tools that we have today such as pedigree charts, yet they can't seemed to get their mind away from their fixed ideas.
Reading 5: What Charles Davenport was saying is that people are genetically born with the same crime or sexually immorality that your mom or dad had, or even siblings that have past away. In my opinion this can not be true because everyone can change to be good or not to be a person with criminal records. Even a kid like it said in the reading can be a criminal or do something that can get you in jail and still change. This does not have to do with genetics and the way your parents or parent behaved.
Reading 6: In this reading I was sort of confused. I didn't know if Goddard was talking about eugenics being good or it being bad. When he talked about the 12 year old girl and how she should have been in school, but when one saw her face, one realized that it made no difference, this struck me because it's saying that the girl is pretty but isn't intelligent and can't make good decisions. She proves this wrong because later she says she was a wonderful lady and engaged in many community activities and then says I am not idiotic like some of the poor things around here. She is explaining that she isn't an unintelligent person and is smart and chooses to be .
Reading 5: I found it sickening how flawed his scientific method was. Not only were his beliefs illogical and racist, but his science was biased and inaccurate. Interview neighbors will most usually give a negative impression on the family being studied. Also when looking at "genetic traits" such as criminality or sexual deviancy, he only gathered data from the working class. If he had bothered to check the upper classes, there would have been just as many immoral, alcoholic, slutty, or devious people.
Reading 6: It struck me that there was talk of turning Goddard's book, Heredity of Feeblemindedness, into a broadway play. The upper classes were so emotionally removed from the feelings and concerns of the working class. They even wanted to make light of systematic discrimination of a whole class of people.
Reading 5: I thought it was unfair how the people who were for eugenicists thought that because poor people were poor they had had traits such as criminalism and such, when the reason that they were doing it was because they didn't have enough to support themselves and they had to make money or try and make something because they were literally given nothing. I also don't think that it was fair that they used a family tree and organized the past family members by category, all of those categories were by choice, it's not genetic, so that's what kind of gets me mad on the whole situation on it. I do believe that the way someone was raised is going to change the child to come because of the environment, but unlike what Charles believed, I do think that a child could break away from alcoholism or criminality. I do think that it is interesting how it talked about how they used fruit flies to try and figure out it's breed and what it would come out to be, it's what we read in the last reading, but I found it interesting because as Mrs. Clark brought up, now that we are so advanced is science is it possible that we could be headed down the path of eugenicists since we can now control certain things before a baby is born. I found it interesting that they thought that the reason that people who were poor had more diseases because they were poor, not by the fact that they probably couldn't afford medicine.
Reading 6: I thought it was super wrong that Goddard would discriminate people as "feeble mindedness." I think society was wrong to praise such things that Charles insisted were right. I know that people were racist at this time and they thought that the wealthy were the ones who were in the right place. Also, kind of what we were talking in class about how people needed a common enemy and they probably blamed it on all of the immigrants. I'm super surprised that not a lot of people followed Abraham Meyerson's thoughts and everything he had to say. I honestly thought that with such a strong argument people would want to join him and what he stood for, but it was weird to see that it didn't even bother Charles because he was having so much success.
The first thing that struck me when reading this was when they began to talk about the man observing the poor house. It stated that when observing the poor house he will find such traits as shiftlessness,” “criminalism,” and “feeblemindedness.” This is a very stereotypical statement that basically says people in a poor house struggle with these. Personally I believe that you could be poor and live in a poor house and still be a perfectly find human being not having to deal with any illnesses. The second thing that caught my attention was the statement about the family. It stated that two boys had a past with stealing, fires, and killings but their parents were perfectly fine, working adults. However, as kids both the mother and father had similar traits of stealing, setting fires, and alcohol abuse. Davenport believed that these behavioral traits were the result of a single recessive gene. Davenport eventually came to the conclusion that single genes are responsible for many physical and behavioral traits, including “feeblemindedness,” “wander- lust,” “pauperism,” and “criminality.” This belief is still very surprising to me thinking that one can inherit these traits.
The first thing that shocked me in this reading was the fact the Goddard's book about a the heredity of feeblemindedness was considered turning in to a Broadway play. This book was very bias and judgmental to society. It stated that not only were certain people in out society feeblemindedness but most of our society was. This book stereotyped many families and made others believe that they were mental even when they weren't. This book cause great consequences for Deborah Kallikak and other Americans who were stereotyped as feebleminded. They spent most of their lives in hospitals being watched over 24/7. It is amazing how one book influenced so many people opinions on their fellow Americans.
Charles Devenport and the other eugenicists had to prove their theory and one way they did so it was by the usage of family trees and the heritage of the generations. As they observed people by studying them and interviews, there must have been a great amount of personal opinion going towards the collected data. Such things as "criminality", "alcoholism", and "sexual immorality" were determined and looked at when collecting the data. It is very unlikely to be able to trace things like "criminality" and "sexual immorality" by genetics. Criminality is something that an individual develops on its own, whether it's due to the environment or and individual thought process. Same with sexual immorality, it is not determined through genetics and it cannot be "fixed" by genes and biology. Later in the reading, when Stiles researches on hookworm disease, he later on treats it. This is a great example why eugenics is not needed, many of the cases that is trying to be prevented by this idea, it could as well be treated and made better in a way. Devenport's work was selfish and not fully thought through, he ignored and tried to not acknowledge the data already provided for him to look at by others and solidly believed in his own work, he was unable to see facts and the truth right before his eyes.
As Devenport continuously did his research he looked more towards "feeblemindedness". Looking at a book by Goddard that gave more information on this with an example of a family helped him through his search. When it came to the idea of feeblemindedness, it was expressed in the reading that one could tell if someone is feebleminded by looking at them. How could one just look at a regular twelve year old girl and think "oh yes, she's feebleminded"? They counted all different sort of regular based on society problems as not only genetic but as a mental disorder which is completely ignorant and misjudged. Many people during the time of Devenport's research were poor and due to the lack of opportunities they had, they ended up in the wrong places, doing some wrong things. When later on in the reading, it is described that some were constitutionalized, and so if they did not have had mental issues, they were bound to have some later in life due to the situation they were put through. It seems as if the thought process going towards the research is mainly from personal judgment towards what is better and what is not.
Reading 5: Throughout this article, I found myself thinking back to a quote we discussed (I think in seminar) a few weeks back. I don't remember the quote, but it talked about race not really existing, and instead being a made up, social quality. I especially saw the connection in the paragraph talking about having "one drop" of black.
"Some would say these relatives have “one drop” of black
blood, so they are in fact black. But except in Louisiana all of the
“one drop” racial laws have been rescinded since 1986. So if you
look white, marry white, live in a white community, attend a white
church and a white school, join white associations, have white
looking children and grandchildren, you are “white,” as defined by
the majority in this country."
This supports the opinion that race is more of a social boundary than an actual concept. Which i think makes it even more interesting to think about how differently these two women must have been treated, even though they had the same family and skin colour.
Reading 6: This reading was so striking to me. We read a letter in which a mother has to explain to her daughter why she will not be considered equal and what that entails. It would be a difficult task to have to tell your child that there will always be people who look down on them. Segregation was over, but she knew that wouldn't stop white people from hating them because of their skin colour, nor would it protect them.
This chapter really struck me because it dealt with mixed identities. I am pure 100% Vietnamese and I know that. But for someone who is mixed races, what are they really? Are they what is most present in their blood or are they something different altogether. They could be like a number 3 for example 1+2=3 so white + black = gray? or maybe white/black. Thinking about this is really challenging but at the same time very interesting.
This chapter really struck me. Most of it was about a letter written to a little girl. It said how she was different but it was okay. After that, I started to think to myself about why racism exists. Why are people so proud of themselves to the point of discrimination. Everyone can be proud yes, but there is a limit to how far you can go with that pride. Why do people constantly ignore that limit and be racist?
Galton was unaware of how offspring inherited characteristics from their parents but his ideas were still popular and interesting until Mendel’s laws. Some scientists believed in natural selection whereas other came to believe in human adaptation. Mendel’s work focused on how traits were passed on through generations, rather than how they changed throughout time. He researched green pea flower and experimented with combining different breeds to create new offspring of the plant. The information showed the many different results and connected it with different human parents and their offspring. He discovered it was not the mingling with bloodlines that produced offspring but it was particles of specific traits that one had or didn’t have. His laws of inheritance were Principles of dominance, segregation, and independent assortment.
Eugenicists believed that traits such as insanity, criminals, and sexual immoral tendencies were hereditary and they relied on family history to track it. This method is still used today with pedigree charts to find diseases and medical history. On one family their data showed of boys who were criminals and mischievous at a young age, but then grew up to be gentleman and good citizens. Their parents were normal and good in society but they noticed that the grandfathers were drunks and vicious. British geneticists later discovered Davenport’s theories about genes and character traits were correct. In 1909 there were millions of people diagnosed with hookworm disease, which was mostly found in poverty. Even though Davenport saw studies of other scientists such as Stiles and Morgan, he stuck to his ideas.
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