“Slippin’ Into Darkness”: The (Re)Biologization of Race

“Slippin’ Into Darkness”: The (Re)Biologization of Race

Journal of Asian American Studies
Volume 13, Number 3
(October 2010)
pages 343-358
E-ISSN: 1096-8598 Print ISSN: 1097-2129

Michael Omi, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Berkeley

While the dominant mantra in humanities and the social sciences is that “race is a social construction, not a biological one,” in the wake of the Human Genome Project, a vigorous debate has emerged about whether race is indeed a meaningful and useful genetic concept. This essays argues that debates about the very concept of race—the system of classification we employ, the meanings we ascribe to racial categories, and their use in social analysis and policy formation—are rendered more complex, indeterminate, and muddy with the increasing re-biologization of race.

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