seminal work, historian Joan W. Scott sheds light on how abstract universalism was an ideological mystification in the case of gender equality. 4 In the case of race, far from being an ideology of inclusion, abstract universalism allows one to
Abstract Universalism and the Unspeakable Making of Race
A Renewed Biological Imaginary of 'Race', Place and Identification
In the United States of America, use of DNA samples in criminal investigation and of genetic ancestry tests in 'personalised medicine', 'pharmacogenetics' and for personal consumption has grown exponentially. Moreover, use of such technologies is visible in the public sphere. In South Africa, DNA sampling for ancestry testing is the most publicly visible application of these technologies. This work has shifted constructions of 'KhoiSan' communities from yesterday's 'missing evolutionary link' to today's 'Edenic origin of humankind'. I question human biogenetics as a home for meanings of history, humanity and belonging. To this end, I read selected genetic genealogical studies of communities considered 'KhoiSan', 'Coloured' and 'Lemba' in South Africa against concerns raised in recent literature about the use of such studies in the United States of America. I ask why bio-centric conceptions of 'race', identity and 'the human' remain so resilient. To grapple with this question, I draw on Sylvia Wynter's (2001; 2003) adaptation of Frantz Fanon's (1986) concept of 'sociogeny' into 'the sociogenic principle'. I close by suggesting the code for what it means to be human is best located in the 'word' rather than the human genome.
Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service
between race, gender, class, safety, and convenience that complicate the South African transportation landscape, as well as the normative discourses of mobility that privilege some practices while restricting others. 1 My bus travel takes place in a
Kira Erwin and Gerhard Maré
This special issue emerges from a concern with academic practice around researching and theorising race, racialism and racism; particularly within the current theoretical climate in which race is, in the majority, accepted as a social construct. In public thinking and discourse, however, acceptance of the biological existence of races continues to dominate in many societies. Racial classification also continues in many state practices in South Africa such as the collection of racial demographics though the national census, and through countless private and public officials reporting towards government-stipulated race-based employment acts. These classification practices raise contradictions for the constitutional goal of non-racialism in South Africa. South Africa has also signed and ratified the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Professional Interest/Pages/CERD.aspx), which aims to eliminate racial discrimination in member states. The convention, to which member states are legally bound, raises a number of pressing issues that, to date, are not present in a wider national debate on the continued use of race in South African state policy. For example, there is little recognition by the state of the difficulties associated with identifying a targeted group based on race, nor clarity as to whether these groups are identified through markers based on phenotype, or socio-economic or cultural differences. Nor is there open discussion on the use of terms such as fair and unfair discrimination and how they relate to terms such as distinction and differentiation (see Bossuyt 2000), and the legal consequences of using such terms.
Alfred Métraux, American Social Science and UNESCO's Anti-Racist Campaign in 1950s Paris
Alice L. Conklin
accept a position at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as head of a new bureau on race relations, and he was wondering what books to buy to help him in his new job. Hardly an expert on race matters himself
Franco-African Conversations about Colonial Reform and Racism after World War II and the Making of Colorblind France, 1945–1950
In 1945, the first significant cohort of African, Caribbean, and Malagasy deputies were elected to the French National Assembly, where they participated in special parliamentary commissions tasked with colonial reform. This article traces the contours of postwar conversations about colonial policy, race, and racism that took shape in those commissions, as metropolitan and colonial deputies confronted these issues face-to-face, as ostensible equals, for the first time. Deputies of color tried to force frank discussions about racial inequality in their campaigns to reform political representation, working conditions, education, and compensation for Africans. Their metropolitan counterparts responded, however, by developing new code words and rhetorical strategies that deflected accusations of systemic racial inequality in postwar Greater France. The competing understandings and ways of talking about race and racism produced in this encounter helped consolidate a postwar speech regime of “colorblindness” that obscured the way racial logics were inscribed in the new institutions of the postwar Republic.
Neighborhood Poverty and Racial Composition in the Siting of Hazardous Waste Facilities
Michael Mascarenhas, Ryken Grattet, and Kathleen Mege
Environmental justice studies investigate the role of race, class, and other social attributes in the uneven distribution of environmental hazards. A major line of inquiry has been about the placement of toxic waste facilities and the demographic
Contested pasts and contemporary practices
Markus Balkenhol and Katharina Schramm
In this introduction to the special section on ‘Doing Race in Europe’ we take up the notion of race as an ‘absent presence’ to deal with two related issues. First, we consider the historically contested position of race in the discipline of anthropology. Second, we think through the notion of an ‘absent presence’ conceptually and methodologically so as to develop a relational approach enabling us to analyse race in practice. We take as a point of departure the idea that we cannot know race in advance, and that we therefore need to study how it comes about, and how it is made and unmade in specific situations. We therefore call for renewed ethnographic attention to how race is made absent and present in multiple ways. This special section is the first joint publication of the EASA network for the anthropology of race and ethnicity (ARE).
An American scholar is often struck by the absence of race in France as a category of analysis or the absence of discussions of race in its historical or sociological dimensions. After all, “race” on this side of the Atlantic, for reasons having to do with the peculiar history of the United States, has long been a focus of discussion. The notion of race has shaped scholarly analysis for decades, in history, sociology, and political science. Race also constitutes a category regularly employed by the state, in the census, in electoral districting, and in affirmative action. In France, on the contrary, race hardly seems acknowledged, in spite of both scholarly and governmental preoccupation with racism and immigration.
Physical anthropology in Hungary and Romania, 1900–1940
This article discusses the relationship between race and physical anthropology in Hungary and Romania between 1900 and 1940. It begins by looking at institutional developments in both countries and how these influenced the most important Hungarian and Romanian anthropologists' professional and research agendas. Drawing from a wide range of primary sources, the article reveals the significant role the concept of race played in articulating anthropological and ethnic narratives of national belonging. It is necessary to understand the appeal of the idea of race in this context. With idealized images of national communities and racial hierarchies creeping back into Eastern European popular culture and politics, one needs to understand the latent and often unrecognized legacies of race in shaping not only scientific disciplines like anthropology, but also the emergence and entrancement of modern Hungarian and Romanian nationalism.