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Scientific Racism: the Eugenics of Social Darwinism Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Apr 20th, 2021

Scientific Racism: The Eugenics of Social Darwinism

It is my impression that the BBC documentary Scientific Racism: The Eugenics of Social Darwinism discusses the controversial issue of social domination that cannot be effectively resolved during centuries (“Scientific Racism: The Eugenics of Social Darwinism”). Despite it seems that our society is mostly based on the idea of equality, the consequences of proclaiming the ideas of Scientific Racism can be observed widely (Bergman 21). I think that the development of Scientific Racism and further Eugenics became the result of people’s attempts to justify their unethical behavior toward other individuals and to support their material goals to develop slavery, and then, to make slaves work hard after the slavery abolition.

My feeling on the subject is that people have no ethical right to decide who is better or worse, relating only to the physical qualities of persons and their races. The issue is not in the level of social development and society’s organization. The reality is in the fact that civilization often does not lead to survival, and ‘weak’ natives are usually more adapted to world changes than the social ‘elite’ (Mehler 22).

I would say that Scientific Racism and Social Darwinism are theories that work to develop uncertainty and aggression in society in addition to inequality, and these approaches cannot lead to the progress of civilization. The documentary is effective to demonstrate that social theories are often used to justify unethical activities directed against humanity, and such phenomena as colonialism and genocide are based on political grounds rather than on ideas of social progress and prosperity.

Commentary on Genie (Secret of the Wild Child)

In my opinion, the ideas presented in the documentary Genie (Secret of the Wild Child) support the vision that early contacts of children with their parents play a key role in a person’s psychological and social development, as well as language acquisition. Genie started her life in isolation, and the absence of human contacts had dramatic consequences for her further development (“Genie (Secret of the Wild Child)”). I think that the documentary provides significant case evidence to state the role of contacts and social interactions for people (Bales and Parsons 12).

My impression based on the documentary is that even if a person has problems with mental development, the situation can be improved with the help of close people’s attention and care. When a person has no mental problems, the absence of socialization and normal relationships with people can provoke the progress of communication problems (Curtiss 52). Scientists assumed that Genie could have problems with brain development, but the main problem was caused by her isolation.

I feel that the decision regarding researching Genie’s case and development is associated with an ethical dilemma because her first foster parents were mainly scientists, and they focused on the investigation of aspects of Genie’s development.

I think that the problem is in the fact that Genie needed more care and rehabilitation associated with normal relationships at home. The development of Genie was negatively affected by changing foster families. There was a shocking experience for Genie when she was punished for vomiting in one of the families, and the girl stopped speaking again. It is stated in the documentary that decisions about the further life of Genie in care foster homes were made to avoid further psychological stress. Still, I think that the reason was in the ceased funding for researches and signs of regression in Genie.

Works Cited

Bales, Robert and Talcot Parsons. Family: Socialization and Interaction Process. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Bergman, Jerry. The Darwin Effect: It’s influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. New York: New Leaf Publishing Group, 2014. Print.

Curtiss, Susan. Genie: A Psycholinguistic Study of a Modern-Day Wild Child. New York: Academic Press, 2014. Print.

Genie (Secret of the Wild Child) 2012. Web.

Mehler, Barry. “Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race, and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century North America.” History: Reviews of New Books 43.1 (2015): 22-23. Print.

Scientific Racism: The Eugenics of Social Darwinism 2015. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 20). Scientific Racism: the Eugenics of Social Darwinism. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/scientific-racism-the-eugenics-of-social-darwinism/

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Scientific Racism: the Eugenics of Social Darwinism." April 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/scientific-racism-the-eugenics-of-social-darwinism/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Scientific Racism: the Eugenics of Social Darwinism'. 20 April.

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