Troublesome Science: The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-07-02 02:33Z by Steven

Troublesome Science: The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Columbia University Press
June 2018
216 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231185721
E-book ISBN: 9780231546300

Rob DeSalle, Curator/Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and Professor
Richard Gilder Graduate School
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York

Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York

Troublesome Science

It is well established that all humans today, wherever they live, belong to one single species. Yet even many people who claim to abhor racism take for granted that human “races” have a biological reality. In Troublesome Science, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall provide a lucid and forceful critique of how scientific tools have been misused to uphold misguided racial categorizations.

DeSalle and Tattersall argue that taxonomy, the scientific classification of organisms, provides an antidote to the myth of race’s biological basis. They explain how taxonomists do their science—how to identify a species and to understand the relationships among different species and the variants within them. DeSalle and Tattersall also detail the use of genetic data to trace human origins and look at how scientists have attempted to recognize discrete populations within Homo sapiens. Troublesome Science demonstrates conclusively that modern genetic tools, when applied correctly to the study of human variety, fail to find genuine differences. While the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any systematic attempt to recognize discrete units within it. The stark lines that humans insist on drawing between their own groups and others are nothing but a mixture of imagination and ideology. Troublesome Science is an important call for researchers, journalists, and citizens to cast aside the belief that race has a biological meaning, for the sake of social justice and sound science alike.

Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Evolutionary Lessons
  • 2. Species and How to Recognize Them
  • 3. Phylogenetic Trees
  • 4. The Name Game: Modern Zoological Nomenclature and the Rules of Naming Things
  • 5. DNA Fingerprinting and Barcoding
  • 6. Early Biological Notions of Human Divergence
  • 7. Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam
  • 8. The Other 99 Percent of the Genome
  • 9. ABBA/BABA and the Genomes of Our Ancient Relatives
  • 10. Human Migration and Neolithic Genomes
  • 11. Gene Genealogies and Species Trees
  • 12. Clustering Humans?
  • 13. STRUCTUREing Humans?
  • 14. Mr. Murray Loses His Bet
  • Epilogue: Race and Society
  • Notes and Bibliography
  • Index
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The Trouble with Post-Blackness

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-25 21:25Z by Steven

The Trouble with Post-Blackness

Columbia University Press
February 2015
288 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780231169356
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231169349
E-book ISBN: 9780231538503

Edited by:

Houston A. Baker, Distinguished University Professor
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

K. Merinda Simmons, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
University of Alabama

An America in which the color of one’s skin no longer matters would be unprecedented. With the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, that future suddenly seemed possible. Obama’s rise reflects a nation of fluid populations and fortunes, a society in which a biracial individual could be embraced as a leader by all. Yet complicating this vision are shifting demographics, rapid redefinitions of race, and the instant invention of brands, trends, and identities that determine how we think about ourselves and the place of others.

This collection of original essays confronts the premise, advanced by black intellectuals, that the Obama administration marked the start of a “post-racial” era in the United States. While the “transcendent” and post-racial black elite declare victory over America’s longstanding codes of racial exclusion and racist violence, their evidence relies largely on their own salaries and celebrity. These essays strike at the certainty of those who insist life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now independent of skin color and race in America. They argue, signify, and testify that “post-blackness” is a problematic mythology masquerading as fact—a dangerous new “race science” motivated by black transcendentalist individualism. Through rigorous analysis, these essays expose the idea of a post-racial nation as a pleasurable entitlement for a black elite, enabling them to reject the ethics and urgency of improving the well-being of the black majority.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Dubious Stage of Post-Blackness—Performing Otherness, Conserving Dominance, by K. Merinda Simmons
  • 1. What Was Is: The Time and Space of Entanglement Erased by Post-Blackness, by Margo Natalie Crawford
  • 2. Black Literary Writers and Post-Blackness, by Stephanie Li
  • 3. African Diasporic Blackness Out of Line: Trouble for “Post-Black” African Americanism, by Greg Thomas
  • 4. Fear of a Performative Planet: Troubling the Concept of “Post-Blackness”, by Rone Shavers
  • 5. E-Raced: #Touré, Twitter, and Trayvon, by Riché Richardson
  • 6. Post-Blackness and All of the Black Americas, by Heather D. Russell
  • 7. Embodying Africa: Roots-Seekers and the Politics of Blackness, by Bayo Holsey
  • 8. “The world is a ghetto”: Post-Racial America(s) and the Apocalypse, by Patrice Rankine
  • 9. The Long Road Home, by Erin Aubry Kaplan
  • 10. Half as Good, by John L. Jackson Jr.
  • 11. “Whither Now and Why”: Content Mastery and Pedagogy—a Critique and a Challenge, by Dana A. Williams
  • 12. Fallacies of the Post-Race Presidency, by Ishmael Reed
  • 13. Thirteen Ways of Looking at Post-Blackness (after Wallace Stevens), by Emily Raboteau
  • Conclusion: Why the Lega Mask Has Many Mouths and Multiple Eyes, by Houston A. Baker Jr.
  • List of Contributors
  • Index
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Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-12-12 21:18Z by Steven

Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

Columbia University Press
September 2014
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231168748
E-book ISBN: 9780231537995

Michael Yudell, Associate Professor, Interim Chair, Community Health and Prevention
Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Foreword by J. Craig Venter

Race, while drawn from the visual cues of human diversity, is an idea with a measurable past, an identifiable present, and an uncertain future. The concept of race has been at the center of both triumphs and tragedies in American history and has had a profound effect on the human experience. Race Unmasked revisits the origins of commonly held beliefs about the scientific nature of racial differences, examines the roots of the modern idea of race, and explains why race continues to generate controversy as a tool of classification even in our genomic age.

Surveying the work of some of the twentieth century’s most notable scientists, Race Unmasked reveals how genetics and related biological disciplines formed and preserved ideas of race and, at times, racism. A gripping history of science and scientists, Race Unmasked elucidates the limitations of a racial worldview and throws the contours of our current and evolving understanding of human diversity into sharp relief.

Contents

  • Foreword by J. Craig Venter
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. A Eugenic Foundation
  • 2. Charles Davenport and the Biology of Blackness
  • 3. Eugenics in the Public’s Eye
  • 4. The National Research Council and the Scientific Study of Race
  • 5. Coloring Race Difference
  • 6. Biology and the Problem of the Color Line
  • 7. Race and the Evolutionary Synthesis
  • 8. Consolidating the Race Concept in Biology
  • 9. Challenges to the Race Concept
  • 10. Naturalizing Racism: The Controversy Over Sociobiology
  • 11. Race in the Genomic Age
  • Epilogue: Dobzhansky’s Paradox and the Future of Racial Research
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy: Crossing Racial Borders

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work on 2014-11-03 17:55Z by Steven

Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy: Crossing Racial Borders

Columbia University Press
October 2013
280 pages
6 B&W Photos
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-13294-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-13295-4

Kyle D. Killian, Couple and Family Therapist; Associate Professor and Research Associate
Centre for Refugee Studies
York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grounded in the personal narratives of twenty interracial couples with multiracial children, this volume uniquely explores interracial couples’ encounters with racism and discrimination, partner difference, family identity, and counseling and therapy. It intimately portrays how race, class, and gender shape relationship dynamics and a partner’s sense of belonging. Assessment tools and intervention techniques help professionals and scholars work effectively with multiracial families as they negotiate difference, resist familial and societal disapproval, and strive for increased intimacy. The book concludes with a discussion of interracial couples in cinema and literature, the sensationalization of multiracial relations in mass media, and how to further liberalize partner selection across racial borders.

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Lines of the Nation: Indian Railway Workers, Bureaucracy, and the Intimate Historical Self

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-10-12 00:40Z by Steven

Lines of the Nation: Indian Railway Workers, Bureaucracy, and the Intimate Historical Self

Columbia University Press
June 2007
360 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-14002-7

Laura Bear
Department of Anthropology
The London School of Economics

Lines of the Nation radically recasts the history of the Indian railways, which have long been regarded as vectors of modernity and economic prosperity. From the design of carriages to the architecture of stations, employment hierarchies, and the construction of employee housing, Laura Bear explores the new public spaces and social relationships created by the railway bureaucracy. She then traces their influence on the formation of contemporary Indian nationalism, personal sentiments, and popular memory. Her probing study challenges entrenched beliefs concerning the institutions of modernity and capitalism by showing that these rework older idioms of social distinction and are legitimized by forms of intimate, affective politics.

Drawing on historical and ethnographic research in the company town at Kharagpur and at the Eastern Railway headquarters in Kolkata (Calcutta), Bear focuses on how political and domestic practices among workers became entangled with the moralities and archival technologies of the railway bureaucracy and illuminates the impact of this history today. The bureaucracy has played a pivotal role in the creation of idioms of family history, kinship, and ethics, and its special categorization of Anglo-Indian workers still resonates. Anglo-Indians were formed as a separate railway caste by Raj-era racial employment and housing policies, and other railway workers continue to see them as remnants of the colonial past and as a polluting influence.

The experiences of Anglo-Indians, who are at the core of the ethnography, reveal the consequences of attempts to make political communities legitimate in family lines and sentiments. Their situation also compels us to rethink the importance of documentary practices and nationalism to all family histories and senses of relatedness. This interdisciplinary anthropological history throws new light not only on the imperial and national past of South Asia but also on the moral life of present technologies and economic institutions.

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I consider racialized medicine to be the inappropriate use of racial categories in medical practice and drug development.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2013-09-30 21:57Z by Steven

I consider racialized medicine to be the inappropriate use of racial categories in medical practice and drug development. It often involves constructing practices around mistaken assumptions of some innate genetic difference among racial groups. For me, the important issue is not whether to use race in biomedicine, but how to use it–and when. There are very real health disparities in the country that are based on a long history of social, economic, and legal practices that have consistently and deliberately subordinated groups of people based on their race. As a social and historical phenomenon the health impacts of race are very real and can only be addressed by taking race into account. The key is to recognize that in these contexts it is the social and historical practices of racism that have become manifest in racialized bodies as the very real biological differences of health disparities. That is, it is history and culture that has created these biological differences in the incidence of disease across racial groups–not genes. —Jonathan Kahn

“An Interview with Race in a Bottle author Jonathan Kahn,” Columbia University Press, (January 16, 2013). http://www.cupblog.org/?p=8710.

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In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work, United States on 2013-03-24 02:09Z by Steven

In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees

Columbia University Press
October 2007
240 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-14136-9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-14137-6

Rita J. Simon, University Professor Emerita
Department of Justice, Law and Society
American University, Washington, D.C.

Rhonda M. Roorda

Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda’s In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories shared the experiences of twenty-four black and biracial children who had been adopted into white families in the late 1960s and 70s. The book has since become a standard resource for families and practitioners, and now, in this sequel, we hear from the parents of these remarkable families and learn what it was like for them to raise children across racial and cultural lines.

These candid interviews shed light on the issues these parents encountered, what part race played during thirty plus years of parenting, what they learned about themselves, and whether they would recommend transracial adoption to others. Combining trenchant historical and political data with absorbing firsthand accounts, Simon and Roorda once more bring an academic and human dimension to the literature on transracial adoption.

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In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work, United States on 2013-03-24 01:00Z by Steven

In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories

Columbia University Press
April 2000
480 pages
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-11829-3

Rita J. Simon, University Professor Emerita
Department of Justice, Law and Society
American University, Washington, D.C.

Rhonda M. Roorda


 
Nearly forty years after researchers first sought to determine the effects, if any, on children adopted by families whose racial or ethnic background differed from their own, the debate over transracial adoption continues. In this collection of interviews conducted with black and biracial young adults who were adopted by white parents, the authors present the personal stories of two dozen individuals who hail from a wide range of religious, economic, political, and professional backgrounds. How does the experience affect their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles? In addition to interviews, the book includes overviews of both the history and current legal status of transracial adoption.

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Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-12-07 05:18Z by Steven

Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age

Columbia University Press
December, 2012
336 pages
Charts: 4, B&W Illus.: 1
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-16298-2

Jonathan Kahn, Professor of Law
Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota

At a ceremony announcing the completion of the first draft of the human genome in 2000, President Bill Clinton declared, “I believe one of the great truths to emerge from this triumphant expedition inside the human genome is that in genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9 percent the same.” Yet despite this declaration of unity, biomedical research has focused increasingly on mapping that .1 percent of difference, particularly as it relates to race.

This trend is exemplified by the drug BiDil. Approved by the FDA in 2005 as the first drug with a race-specific indication on its label, BiDil was originally touted as a pathbreaking therapy to treat heart failure in black patients and help underserved populations. Upon closer examination, however, Jonathan Kahn reveals a far more complex story. At the most basic level, BiDil became racial through legal maneuvering and commercial pressure as much as through medical understandings of how the drug worked. Using BiDil as a central case study, Kahn broadly examines the legal and commercial imperatives driving the expanding role of race in biomedicine, even as scientific advances in genomics could render the issue irrelevant. He surveys the distinct politics informing the use of race in medicine and the very real health disparities caused by racism and social injustice that are now being cast as a mere function of genetic difference. Calling for a more reasoned approach to using race in biomedical research and practice, Kahn asks readers to recognize that, just as genetics is a complex field requiring sensitivity and expertise, so too is race, particularly in the field of biomedicine.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • INTRODUCTION: Race and Medicine: Framing [Is] the Problem
  • 1. ORGANIZING RACE: Paths Toward the Re-Biologization of Race in Modern Biomedical Research, Practice, and Product Development
  • 2. THE BIRTH OF BIDIL: How a Drug Becomes “Ethnic”
  • 3. STATISTICAL MISCHIEF AND RACIAL FRAMES FOR DRUG DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING
  • 4. CAPITALIZING [ON] RACE IN DRUG DEVELOPMENT
  • 5. RACE-ING PATENTS/PATENTING RACE: An Emerging Political Geography of Intellectual Property in Biotechnology
  • 6. NOT FADE AWAY: The Persistence of Race and the Politics of the “Meantime” in Pharmacogenomics
  • 7. FROM DISPARITY TO DIFFERENCE: The Politics of Racial Medicine
  • CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Notes
  • Index
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Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2012-06-03 15:12Z by Steven

Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture

Columbia University Press
September 2011
304 pages
1 illus; 4 tables
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-15697-4
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-15696-7

Edited by:

Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning; Adjunct Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine
Tufts School of Medicine
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Kathleen Sloan

Do advances in genomic biology create a scientific rationale for long-discredited racial categories? Leading scholars in law, medicine, biology, sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology examine the impact of modern genetics on the concept of race. Contributors trace the interplay between genetics and race in forensic DNA databanks, the biology of intelligence, DNA ancestry markers, and racialized medicine. Each essay explores commonly held and unexamined assumptions and misperceptions about race in science and popular culture.

This collection begins with the historical origins and current uses of the concept of “race” in science. It follows with an analysis of the role of race in DNA databanks and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Essays then consider the rise of recreational genetics in the form of for-profit testing of genetic ancestry and the introduction of racialized medicine, specifically through an FDA-approved heart drug called BiDil, marketed to African American men. Concluding sections discuss the contradictions between our scientific and cultural understandings of race and the continuing significance of race in educational and criminal justice policy.

Table of Contents

  • A short history of the race concept / Michael Yudell
  • Natural selection, the human genome, and the idea of race / Robert Pollack
  • Racial disparities in databanking of DNA profiles / Michael T. Risher
  • Prejudice, stigma, and DNA databases / Helen Wallace
  • Ancestry testing and DNA : uses, limits, and caveat emptor / Troy Duster
  • Can DNA witness race? Forensic uses of an imperfect ancestry testing technology / Duana Fullwiley
  • BiDil and racialized medicine / Jonathan Kahn
  • Evolutionary versus racial medicine : why it matters? / Joseph L. Graves Jr.
  • Myth and mystification : the science of race and IQ / Pilar N. Ossorio
  • Intelligence, race, and genetics / Robert J. Sternberg … [et al.]
  • The elusive variability of race / Patricia J. Williams
  • Race, genetics, and the regulatory need for race impact assessments / Osagie K. Obasogie.
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