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Racism, Policy and Politics$
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Karim Murji

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447319573

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447319573.001.0001

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Racial reality and unreality1

Racial reality and unreality1

Chapter:
(p.17) One Racial reality and unreality1
Source:
Racism, Policy and Politics
Author(s):

Karim Murji

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447319573.003.0002

This chapter explores the debates on what race is. For some time, the dominant social constructionist approach in the social sciences has insisted that the only proper way to regard race is by refuting any connection with biology. Attention to the many ways in which race is socially constructed has been important; but, while a construction is not ‘unreal’, there is a common further step in which race is thereby deemed to be not valid. The rejection of race tends to treat race as something that would be ‘real’ if it were located in science and biology. The chapter then shows how recent developments in the natural sciences and changing views on the relationship between the natural and social sciences problematise that view. Yet in opposition to post-race views, critical scholars can then be seen to draw on conventional categories of race to show that racialised inequality still matters.

Keywords:   race, social construction, social sciences, natural sciences, post-race, racialised inequality, biology

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