Barbarian Virtues Paper

817 Words Oct 27th, 2013 4 Pages
Theories of Development:
Scholarly Disciplines and the Hierarchy of Peoples

In chapter four of his book “Barbarian Virtues,” Matthew Frye Jacobson connects the theories and beliefs used to interpret relationships to the development of humans over time. He states that scholarly methods in academics have been used to systematically rank different groups of people. Jacobson discusses many academic disciplines used in these theories such as, anthropology, genetics, biology, psychology, and linguistics. Throughout this chapter, Jacobson divides his research into three categories: cultures, genes, and minds. Together these theories of human development highlight the superiority and inferiority conflict between races in nineteenth
…show more content…
(Jacobson 145) Another method that can be used in the study of human development is the work of Lewis Henry Morgan.
Morgan works focused on evolutionist thinking, “Morgan ventured to classify the entire spectrum of human experience into seven different subdivisions.” (Jacobson 146) These subdivisions are categorized by savagery, barbarism and civilization. Savagery involves simple knowledge and findings, Barbarism starts the building of small culture with more complex inventions, and finally civilization is reached where literacy can be found. Another topic to be considered is the subdivision of human development called Genes.
Race is a peculiar topic that brings confusion between monogenist and polygenist ideas. People may arrange races into hierarchical form depending on different cultures. The theory of eugenics comes into the topic of genes that causes conflict between humans. Eugenics is a practice that is set out to improve the qualities of humans in the populations. (Jacobson 153) The conflict that arises from eugenics is arguments between individuals claiming to be a more superior race over others.
These disputes can be found throughout history such as the conflicts between Indian tribes, immigrants and others. A good example of racial conflict of superiority can be found in “Reading the American Past.” The white supremacists in the KKK rebelled against the blacks in 1898, “The white people of Wilmington,
Open Document