Conclusion: The Redemption of Essentialism

Ann Morning

in The Nature of Race

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520270305
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950146 | DOI:
Conclusion: The Redemption of Essentialism

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A direct explanation of why essentialist concepts are more popular than constructivist ones might be simply that the former are true and the latter false. Many experts believe that there is a great deal of empirical evidence that refutes the biological model of race. Essentialist beliefs about race in the past have managed to prevail even though their empirical claims or predictions came to be widely contested. Theories of major racial differentials in crania and other skeletal attributes have been disproved. Racial boundaries have been found in neither blood type nor anthropometric statistics. Racial essentialism still exhibits a surprising independence from empirical data today. Current biology textbooks make claims about race reflecting genetic difference even when no evidence is offered of such difference, nor is any description provided of exactly the kinds of differences involved.

Keywords: genetic difference; crania; biology; racial essentialism; anthropometric statistics

Chapter.  10010 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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