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Global PopulationHistory, Geopolitics, and Life on Earth$
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Alison Bashford

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231147668

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231147668.001.0001

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The Species

The Species

Human Difference and Global Eugenics

(p.239) 9 The Species
Global Population

Alison Bashford

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the different issues of world population genetics, or a “human-directed selection” versus the antiquated notions of natural selection. Eugenics, as the human-directed option, became the more acceptable and often humane choice in weeding out undesirable genes in favor of “superior” ones. And of course, concerns of human difference were bound to acquire a political cast. Implementing eugenics came in a few hotly debated forms: birth control, immigration restrictions, and assimilation through intermarriage—all of which led to greater issues of racial difference and reproduction as a means of excising or replicating favorable or unfavorable genes. To that end, the question of human difference came to acquire both a geopolitical and biopolitical bent.

Keywords:   world population genetics, eugenics, natural selection, human-directed selection, reproduction, birth control, immigration restrictions, assimilation, intermarriage, racial difference

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