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Time Travellers Review

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A Time Travellers Review I am critiquing an article on ‘intelligence and race’ by Paul Popenoe. I will be using contemporary psychological knowledge including new style and critical histories. Some topics I will cover are subjectivity, how Marxist psychology may critique the article and the importance of language in Psychological writing. Critical approaches to Psychology often see prejudice and discrimination as socially constructed (Tuffin, 2005) and say prejudice is best viewed in text and speech in terms of what is and what is not said. Psychology is a normative discipline as it reflects norms and values of the time and reproduces power in society. Frosh (2002) looked at racism discourse and found much racism is implicit because of fear,…show more content…
This occurs through the text where Popenoe looks at the ‘north and the south’, ‘blacks and whites’. Language in which people are spoken about changes people’s views, causing issues like avoidance and exclusion which creates groups and categories. Tajfel (1971) looked at Social Identity Theory where he claimed social categories cause in-groups (in the article, this would be white people) to perceive the out-groups (the black people in accordance to the article) as different to them, which leads the in-group to treat the other group badly. This occurs in this article with Popenoe (a white person) feeling superior to black people and talking about them negatively. His intentions therefore may have been to categorise black people as the out-group and alternate how readers view them. Popenoe said that ‘white blood in black people improved their intelligence’ yet had no real evidence of this other than claiming those with lighter skin performed better in the tests. Critical approaches may criticise that theory as it presents stereotypes and racism as natural, whereas critical psychologists say they are constructed through…show more content…
Popenoe’s writing revolves around white supremacy, which Marxists would argue benefits writers like Popenoe in the middle/upper (bourgeoisie) class. Psychologists are generally viewed as objective writers, which gives writers such as Popenoe power to say things like it is ‘certain’ that whites are superior to the “negro”, which can have social impacts in terms of altering how black people are viewed and treated. This can cause discrimination and segregation. Popenoe’s writing may have influenced society to believe exploitation and oppression of black people for cheap/free labour is acceptable. Nearing (1929) asserted ‘white employers took advantage of black employees to lower wages’. Marxists therefore may argue that overthrowing the bourgeoisie and ‘situating the power in the proletariat’ (the poor) rather than in the bourgeoisie, could stop exploitation and improve black people’s quality of life (Marx and Engle
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