In my Social Problems class we’re spending the next few weeks on race, racial inequality, and racial politics. Step one is this lecture on race and racism.
After a tangent on racial identity, idealism and its enemies, I address biology and race, describing the classic racist racial categories in relation to vast human diversity in Africa and the world overall, with discussion of biological evolution and the sources of human variation. Then I turn to the US and discuss social definition and self-definition, race versus ethnicity, definitions of racism and discrimination, and how the Census Bureau measures US race and ethnicity, before summarizing current and projected race/ethnic composition. And I used the new Zoom feature where your PowerPoint slides are the virtual background (which is harder than it looks because your image isn’t mirrored while you speak!).
A new paper in the British Medical Journal shows how AIDS is ripping the middle generation out of family support systems in Africa. Analyzing 22 countries over 15 years, the researchers found that countries with higher AIDS mortality have more elderly people living alone or only with young children.
This relationship — which holds after other demographic factors are controlled — is consistent with another recent study, which also found more skip-generation households in AIDS-afflicted countries.
Although a recent issue of Research on Aging has attempted to expand the focus of AIDS research “from the infected to the affected,” including the elderly, children orphaned by the disease have so far received more attention than “AIDS parents,” even though most adults who die from AIDS are survived by at least one parent. And the hardest-hit countries have weak social support systems in which family care for the elderly is essential.