Re: Anthropology and "Ra€€€€€

Thomas Kavanagh (
27 Aug 1995 16:53:20 GMT (ED EVANS) wrote:
>JM> >No, because Boas and his "school", that is, most of cultural
>JM> anthropology >today have given up on the concept of race altogether.
>JM> We do not know >what a race is, where one begins, where it ends, in
>JM> either time or space.
>This is an important point, and I would appreciate sources on this
>point. I know geneticists have also more-or-less cast this idea aside
>regarding humans.
>I would like to find some anthropology on it, besides Ashly Monteque.
> * RM 1.2 00153 * May wolves run at your side and not at your heels.

Whoever JM is, he was quoting from me in answer to a cross-post from
alt-revisionism. As for sources, you can go to any basic intro anthro
text, the one I have at hand is "Discovering Anthropology" by Daniel R.
Gross (this is not an endorsement, its just the only one I have here.)
who notes, page 207, after a discussion of the biological bases of
human population variation, that "although race does not have a firm
biological basis in our species, it does exist as a social construct..."
That is, we are told by others that races exist, and therefore act as if
races exist. But what would happen if others, as I do, taught in our
classes that races DON'T exist. Could we then get on with it?

By the way, don't get caught relating "race" with "ethnic group". As
with race, ethnicity is just as flimsy a social construct, but with
equal political power.