Website Evaluation Essay, Research Paper
Sociology Class Report Spring 2001
1. The Atlantic Monthly Group
+ The website provides extensive information on history of immigration and issues related to immigration. I narrowed down my choice to an interesting article by Matthew Connelly and Paul Kennedy, “Must It Be the Rest Against the West?”
+ The article discusses matters associated with Issue 2, “Are Greater Restrictions on Immigration Needed?” The authors suggest, instead of restricting immigration, to try to assist development of Third-World countries. They also suggest promoting agreement not just in the important sphere of human rights but also on the equally important issue of recognizing cultural diversity, both within countries and between technologically dominant cultures and the rest of the globe.
2. Department of Psychology, Northwestern University
+ This web page discusses the following issues:
1. What is the meaning of intelligence tests? What can they predict, and how well do they predict it?
2. Does ethnicity correlate to intelligence? And if so, how does it?
3. What issues remain currently unresolved concerning intelligence?
+ The issues discussed in this website answer to Issue 2, “Is the Discussion About Race and Intelligence Worthwhile?”. The site gives brief information about intelligence testing, and statistics.
+ While the authors do not give a definite yes or no answer to the issue question, they suggest that correlation between IQ score and race can not be concluded because:
1. Much of the results can be attributed to the socioeconomic differences among these ethnic groups.
3. There is little to no evidence of a biological factor that can be used to explain the discrepancies among these groups.
2. Although some claim that the intelligence tests that are used as a basis here are biased against certain cultural groups, there is no evidence to support that conclusion.
3. Dartmouth College
+ The article, “Curveball” argues whether racial differences in I.Q. are determined by genetic causes, and furthermore, whether I.Q. testing is a measure of human ability.
+ This article is closely related to Issue 3, “Is the Discussion About Race and Intelligence Worthwhile?”.
+ The author disagrees with a claim that racial differences in I.Q. are mostly determined by genetic causes — small differences for Asian superiority over Caucasian, but large for Caucasians over people of African descent. Furthermore, he writes that this claim is as old as the study of race, and is almost surely fallacious. The central fallacy in using the substantial heritability of within- group I.Q. (among whites, for example) as an explanation of average differences between groups (whites versus blacks, for example) is now well known and acknowledged by all. Take a trait that is far more heritable than anything — body height. Suppose that the heights of adult males in a poor Indian village beset with nutritional deprivation, and suppose the average height of adult males is five feet six inches. Heritability within the village is high, which is to say that tall fathers (they may average free feet eight inches) tend to have tall Song while short fathers (five feet four inches on average) tend to have short sons. But this high heritability within the village does not mean that better nutrition might not raise average height to five feet ten inches in a few generations. Similarly, the well-documented fifteen-point average difference in I.Q. between blacks and whites in America, with substantial heritability of I.Q. in family lines within each group, permits no automatic conclusion that truly equal opportunity might not raise the black average enough to equal or surpass the white mean. (GOULD)
4. University of Alaska Anchorage
+ The website presents opposing views on Death Penalty. The article I have chosen is, “Against the American system of Capital Punishment” by Jack Greenberg.
+ The article responds to Issue 6, “Does Racism Influence How the Death Penalty is Applied?”.
+ The author believes that US capital punishment system is an erratic, racially and regionally biased system. He states that, capital punishment system has been employed almost exclusively in a few formerly slave-holding states, and there it has been used almost exclusively against killers of whites, not blacks, and never against white killers of blacks. While forty-three percent of the victims were black, (35) the death penalty is so administered that it overwhelmingly condemns and executes those who have killed whites.
5. National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
+ This NAIC sponsored site provides legal and statistical information on transracial adoption.
+ This site does not give “yes” or “no” answer to Issue 7, “Is Transracial Adoption Cultural Genocide?”. The site is rather informative than argumentative. However, there are some suggestions for transcultural adopters that are correlated with Issue 7, such as:
1. In addition to your qualities and abilities as parents, it is important for you to understand your motivation for this kind of adoption. Do you feel you are doing a good deed for a poor, homeless child, who will perhaps be more grateful to you when he is older than if he were your birth child? This is poor motivation and not very realistic. If your primary orientation is to help the child become absorbed into your culture at the expense of his own, then transracial adoption is not for you. You must have an attitude of respect for the country and culture of the child.
2. Do you have the capacity to identify with this child, to see the world from his point of view and to lovingly supply his physical, mental, and spiritual needs? Do you want to learn more about the child’s culture and heritage? If you do, then you can consider further the idea of intercountry adoption.
These five websites “forced” me to think twice about each of the issues. The information was well presented, and interesting. The arguments were very convincing. Especially, “Must It Be the Rest Against the West?” has changed my opinion about restriction on immigration. The other article, “Curve Ball” had strengthened my beliefs about intelligence and race.
In conclusion, all these five sites provided me information that I was lacking to make my own standpoint on the issues and I have gained fresh insights on the issues.