Race, Science, and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century

Marius Turda

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373141
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Race, Science, and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century


This article aims to go beyond the existing scholarship on eugenics and to point out the complex intertwining of visions of racial improvement with eugenic hybrids during the twentieth century. It offers an insight into the convoluted relationship between race and eugenics. It contributes to the increasingly polarized current discussion about the eternal return of eugenics. It evaluates the degree and nature of conceptual transfers of eugenic knowledge and ideas and addresses eugenics' key components. Race is a central component in the eugenic imagination and this centrality provides an insight into a larger debate, known as the nature-nurture debate. The examples of eugenic thinking on race are provided in this article. It illustrates that the study of twentieth-century eugenics is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation and contributes in new and refreshing ways to our understanding of eugenics and race.

Keywords: eugenics; race; components; nature-nurture; twentieth-century eugenics

Article.  8962 words. 

Subjects: History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

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