The Smart Culture: Society, Intelligence, and Law

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2000-08-01 Paperback New BRAND NEW COPY, Perfect Shape, No Remainder Mark, MH336-1108.

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2000-08-01 Softcover First Edition Never been used. Size: Octavo (20-25 cm); Brand New. Tight binding. No spine creases. Clean copy, no interior marks. In mint condition! Item ... ships within two business days. Read more Show Less

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Interweaving engaging narratives with dramatic case studies, Robert L. Hayman, Jr., has written a history of intelligence that will forever change the way we think about who is smart and who is not. To give weight to his assertion that intelligence is not simply an inherent characteristic but rather reflects the interests and predispositions of those doing the measuring, Hayman traces numerous campaigns to classify human intelligence. His tour takes us through the early craniometric movement, eugenics, the development of the IQ, Spearman's "general" intelligence, and more recent works claiming a genetic basis for intelligence differences. What Hayman uncovers is the maddening irony of intelligence: that "scientific" efforts to reduce intelligence to a single, ordinal quantity have persisted - and at times captured our cultural imagination - not because of their scientific legitimacy, but because of their long-standing political appeal. And while we are today formally committed to the notion of equality under the law, our culture retains its central belief in the natural inequality of its members. Consequently, Hayman argues, the promise of a genuine equality can be realized only when the mythology of "intelligence" is debunked - only, that is, when we recognize the decisive role of culture in defining intelligence and creating intelligence differences. Only culture can give meaning to the statement that one person - or one group - is smarter than another. And only culture can provide our motivation for saying it.
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Editorial Reviews

Legal scholar Hayman traces the history of intelligence, asserting that it is not simply an inherent characteristic, but reflects the interests and predispositions of whoever is doing the measuring. He describes several campaigns to classify human intelligence, among them the early craniometric movement, eugenics, the development of the IQ, Spearman's general intelligence, and more recent efforts claiming a genetic basis for differences in smarts. The appeal, he concludes, is political rather than scientific, and the whole notion must be dropped before anything approaching political equality can flourish. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
"A passionate attack on pervasive American cultural assumptions of natural inequality. The book provides a fine history of antiblack discrimination and of the racist and nativist bases of the developers of standardized intelligence tests."


"A painstakingly researched, scientific, psychological, sociocultural, and constitutional history of race, Smart Culture is one of our generation's most powerful indictments of insidious racism and meritocracies."

- Law and Politics Book Review


-Mary Frances Berry,Journal of American History

"Robert Hayman writes passionately and sensitively about our attitudes toward intelligence and how those attitudes shape the conditions of social equality in this country. . . . Intelligence is one area where Americans have remained relatively complacent about outmoded stereotypes and caste-like social structures. With this book, perhaps they will be no longer."

-J. M. Balkin,Lafayette S. Foster Professor, Yale Law School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814735343
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: Critical America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 414
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert L. Hayman, Jr. is Professor of Law at Widener University in Deleware and has taught at Georgetown University, Temple University, and the University of Missouri.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Smart People 1
2 The First Object of Government: Creation Myths 27
3 In the Nature of Things: Myths of Race and Racism 99
4 A Neutral Qualification: Myths of the Market 167
5 Creating the Smart Culture: Myths of Inferiority 215
6 The Smart Culture: Myths of Intelligence 253
7 The Constitution Is Powerless: Myths of Equality under Law 307
Epilogue: The Next Reconstruction 371
Notes 375
Index 391
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