"They cannot master abstractions, but they can often be made efficient workers": Race and class in the intelligence testing of Mexican Americans and African Americans in Texas during the 1920s

Authors
Citation
Ck. Blanton, "They cannot master abstractions, but they can often be made efficient workers": Race and class in the intelligence testing of Mexican Americans and African Americans in Texas during the 1920s, SOC SCI Q, 81(4), 2000, pp. 1014-1026
Citations number
35
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1014 - 1026
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200012)81:4<1014:"CMABT>2.0.ZU;2-0
Abstract
The performance of minorities such as Mexican Americans and African America ns became a central preoccupation of the American scientific community in t he early twentieth century. During the 1920s the state educational establis hment of Texas and its IQ researchers tested what they believed to be the i ntelligence of white, Mexican American, and African American children. They concluded that there existed a hierarchy of racial intelligence-whites at the top, African Americans at the bottom, and Mexican Americans in a tenuou s middle position influenced by class and skin color. Much like that of the ir colleagues in the national IQ research community, the work of the Texas researchers exhibited racist preconceptions and numerous methodological err ors. Ironically, the current reliance on standardized test scores in the se lection process for Texas schools and scholarships is now under legal chall enge by minority groups arguing that present-day achievement tests are raci st and serve to replicate educational inequality and cultural bias, much li ke the IQ tests of the 1920s.