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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN WORLD
in Provence, while a superficial anthropological observer from Mars
who had landed in certain corners of North Wales might, for a time,
easily imagine himself among a Mediterranean people, and even in
some spots among a people of an older, " palaeolithic " type. Samples
of the mixed population of the United States, formed from peoples
of the most varied origin, might give an even more distorted impres-
sion of the general social and material conditions of its inhabitants,
if the observations were confined to the east side of New York, to the
Scandinavian belt of the Middle West, to the Creole population of
New Orleans, or to the country districts of New England.
When, in fact, the differences which go to make up these commonly
accepted distinctions between "racial stocks" and nationalities are
more strictly examined, it will be found that there is very little in
them that has any close relation to the physical characters by which
"race55 in the biological sense can be distinguished. It is more than
probable that, so far as European populations are concerned, nothing
in the nature of "pure race" in the biological sense has had any real
existence for many centuries or even millennia. Whether it has ever
had, since the days when man first became man, is a problem which
is still unsolved.
Nationality depends on Cultural^ not Biological, Characteristics
In considering the characters of different nationalities it will gener-
ally be found that the distinctive qualities upon which stress is laid are
cultural rather than physical, and when physical, they are very often
physical characters that have been produced or influenced by climatic
and cultural conditions. Stature is certainly in part a function of
environment Pigmentation—fairness or darkness—unless submitted
to scientific record and analysis, is illusory. How many Englishmen
could give an accurate estimate of the percentage of dark-com-
plexioned or of short people in England?—which is in fact a country
whose inhabitants are more often dark than fair, more often short
than tall. Expression must obviously be determined largely by the
content and habit of thought. Men5s faces have, stamped upon them,
the marks of their prevalent emotions and of those subjects on which
they most often and most deeply think.
In point of actual fact, the most crucial factors on which most ob-
servers5 judgment will depend will be dress and behaviour. In dress,
the use, degree, and contrast of colour at once attract the eye. In
behaviour, facial expression, gesture, and speech attract much atten-
tion. These, however, are cultural factors, the results of fashion,
imitation, and education. It is true that attitude and movement
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