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Anthropology of Race

Genes, Biology, and Culture

Edited by John Hartigan

What do we know about race today? After years of debate and inquiry by anthropologists, the question remains fraught with emotion and the answer remains complicated and uncertain. Anthropology of Race confronts the challenge of formulating an effective rejoinder to new arguments and new data about race, and attempts to address the intense desire to understand race and why it matters.

2013. 360 pp., figures, map, tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Ron Eglash, Clarence C. Gravlee, John Hartigan, Linda M. Hunt, Christopher W. Kuzawa, Jeffrey C. Long, Pamela L. Sankar, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Zaneta M. Thayer, Nicole Truesdell

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“Anthropology of Race examines the often disregarded intersectionality of genes, biology, and culture in the formation of race. With bold and innovative analysis, the authors challenge us to consider and then reconsider its biosocial and biocultural foundations. This volume creatively adds to the field a complex and provocative interpretation of the anthropology of race.”
—Lee D. Baker, Duke University

“Mukhopadhyay and Moses urged anthropologists in the 1990s to look at the biocultural model as a way to unravel the racial paradigm in the United States. This exceptional, innovative, and carefully crafted volume follows that tradition and takes the notion of the biocultural model to a whole new theoretical and empirical level. It is a timely and very important volume for anthropology and for our society.”
—Yolanda T. Moses, UC Riverside

“A must-read for scientists and medical practitioners, this volume builds on the vitally important humanistic and social scientific work interrogating racial processes to deconstruct the popular categories that animate our understanding of human difference.”
—Deborah A. Thomas, University of Pennsylvania

“Especially for those readers most committed to biological authority, these papers that begin by assuming the existence of cogent biological effects of race, might provide a more compelling opportunity for destabliizing race than is the more dichotomous sociocultural critique of race as an impactful myth of racism.”
—Michael L. Blakey, NEH Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Historical Biology, College of William and Mary

“Race is a complex subject…and this book makes a good start in formulating ways to continue a dialogue within anthropology and across other disciplines.”
—John H. Relethford, State University of NY College at Oneonta, American Journal of Human Biology

“Hartigan and the contributors to this volume illustrate clearly some of the conflicting and diverse ways in which race is conceived and employed as a thing and a process, and ultimately, the work the different ways of knowing race does in science, health care, and everyday life…. This volume is useful for anyone interested in a rich biocultural mix of insights into race today.”
—Alan H. Goodman, Hampshire College, Journal of Anthropological Research, vol. 71, 2015


  1. Knowing Race
    John Hartigan
  2. Race, Biology, and Culture: Rethinking the Connections
    Clarence C. Gravlee
  3. Toppling Typologies: Developmental Plasticity and the Environmental Origins of Human Biological Variation
    Christopher W. Kuzawa and Zaneta M. Thayer
  4. Toward a Cybernetics of Race: Determinism and Plasticity in Ideological and Biological Systems
    Ron Eglash
  5. Observations on the Tenacity of Racial Concepts in Genetics Research
    Linda M. Hunt and Nicole Truesdell
  6. Genomics Research and Race: Refining Claims about Essentialism
    Pamela L. Sankar
  7. Looking for Race in the Mexican “Book of Life”: INMEGEN and the Mexican Genome Project
    John Hartigan
  8. The Political Economy of Personalized Medicine, Health Disparities, and Race
    Sandra Soo-Jin Lee
  9. The Aimless Genome
    Jeffrey C. Long
  10. Conclusion: Anthropology of Race
    John Hartigan

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.