Thinking about ‘race science’

Thinking about ‘race science’

Does ‘race’ really exist? If it does, what are the things taken constitute it and how are they gauged? Are they invariate and a fixed given, or do they vary according to context and circumstances? Why should it matter anyway, and who does it matter for and in what ways? How best to respond to the sometimes weird or offensive things that are said in response to these and related questions?

An excellent book by Angela Saini (2019) helps sift the claims from facts, wild opinion from measured discussion. It is called Superior: The return of race science, and is published by 4th Estate, London. It focuses what is called ‘modern race science‘, and the more subtle as well as the quite bad as well as the outrageously awful claims about ‘race’ that are made are all interrogated in it. It is immensely readable and should be recommended reading for anyone working in this area or who comes up against so-called knowledge from this area of work. Superior is available both in paper and in e-book format and it does well the very difficult job of treading the borders between a popular or trade approach and being well grounded in excellent up-to-date research and interviews with those who produce it.

 

Last updated: 17 Jul 2020


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