Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview (Fourth Edition)

Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview (Fourth Edition)

Westview Press
July 2011
400 pages
Trade paperback ISBN: 9780813345543

Audrey Smedley, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African American Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University

Brian D. Smedley, Vice President and Director
Health Policy Institute
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

In a sweeping work that traces the idea of race for more than three centuries, Audrey Smedley shows that “race” is a cultural invention that has been used variously and opportunistically since the eighteenth century. Race, in its origin, was not a product of science but of a folk ideology reflecting a new form of social stratification and a rationalization for inequality among the peoples of North America.

New coauthor Brian Smedley joins Audrey Smedley in updating this renowned and groundbreaking text. The fourth edition includes a compelling new chapter on the health impacts of the racial worldview, as well as a thoroughly rewritten chapter that explores the election of Barack Obama and the evolving role of race in American political history. This edition also incorporates recent findings on the human genome and the implications of genomics. Drawing on new understandings of DNA expression, the authors scrutinize the positions of contemporary race scientists who maintain that race is a valid biological concept.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Some Theoretical Considerations
  • 2. Etymology of the Term “Race”
  • 3. Antecedents of the Racial Worldview
  • 4. The Growth of the English Ideology about Human Differences in America
  • 5. The Arrival of Africans and Descent into Slavery
  • 6. Comparing Slave Systems: The Significance of “Racial” Servitude
  • 7. Eighteenth-Century Thought and Crystallization of the Ideology of Race
  • 8. Antislavery and the Entrenchment of a Racial Worldview
  • 9. The Rise of Science and Scientific Racism
  • 10. Growth of The Racial Worldview in 19th Century Science
  • 11. Science and the Expansion of Race Ideology Beyond the US
  • 12. Twentieth-Century Developments in Race Ideology
  • 13. Changing Perspectives on Human Variation in Science
  • 14. Dismantling the Folk Idea of Race: The Election of Barack Obama and the Transformations of an Ideology
  • 15. The Health Consequences of the Racial Worldview
  • References
  • Index
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