Race is a polysemic concept with a long and contested history…

Race is a polysemic concept with a long and contested history. The term ‘race’ is dynamic and adaptable because it is not the core concept of racialised knowledge and thinking, that is to say ‘race’ has no causal properties. The concept and associated taxonomic devices, including categorisations of race, have no dynamic or processual power. The focus on ‘race’ misses both the production of knowledge about racialised things (entities, dynamics) and the locus of power in racial debates and theories. It is the active process of racism and racialisation that produce racist circumstances, situations, knowledge and beliefs. Racial categories are rather, abstract nouns that act as part of the linguistic architecture of racist knowledge by creating a set of artificial boundaries for knowledge and beliefs that are both fluid and contentious. The ‘new’ discourses of population ‘mixing’ are a reflection of these false population categories and their presumed borders, since both consensual and non-consensual assimilation/integration are a permanent feature of human history.

Hamish L. Robertson and Joanne F. Travaglia, “Racial ideology and the production of knowledge about health,” Darkmatter, Volume 9, Issue 1 (Post-Racial Imaginaries), (July 2, 2012). http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/2012/07/02/racial-ideology-and-the-production-of-knowledge-about-health/

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