Chapter

Racial Crossing and the Empire: Scholarship, Science, Politics, and Place

Damon Ieremia Salesa

in Racial Crossings

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604159
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729423 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604159.003.0005

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Racial Crossing and the Empire: Scholarship, Science, Politics, and Place

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Standard histories of race show the importance of the question of race crossing or hybridity in scientific arguments about human origins and diversity. However, outside these small scientific circles, arguments, ideas and discussions about racial crossing were far more diverse. Anthropological and ethnological understandings of racial crossing were important, but in official circles, amongst religious people, in diverse sectors of British and imperial society, they had limited or no purchase. Other historical, classically and religious, political and legal understandings of racial crossing were far more widespread, and these were attuned to the racial crossing understood to have happened, and be underway, in Britain itself. These views often held that racial crossing was a desirable or even necessary process under the right conditions, and this position was broadly shared by a wide variety of British people.

Keywords: race; empire; hybridity; science; radicalism; anthropology; humanitarianism; polygenesis; monogenesis; liberalism

Chapter.  17167 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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