Ordering the Human: The Global Spread of Racial Science


https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8159-2196>Dorothy E. Roberts 0000-0002-8159-2196

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Modern science and ideas of race have long been entangled, sharing notions of order, classification, and hierarchy. Ordering the Human presents cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholarship that examines the racialization of science in various global contexts, illuminating how racial logics have been deployed to classify, marginalize, and oppress. These wide-ranging essays—written by experts in genetics, forensics, public health, history, sociology, and anthropology—investigate the influence of racial concepts in scientific knowledge production across regions and eras. Chapters excavate the mechanisms by which racialized science serves projects of power and domination, and they explore different forms of resistance. Topics range from skull collecting by eighteenth-century German and Dutch scientists to the use of biology to reinforce notions of purity in present-day South Korea and Brazil. The authors investigate the colonial legacies of the pathologization of weight for the Maori people, the scientific presumption of coronary artery disease risk among South Asians, and the role of racial categories in COVID-19 statistics and responses, among many other cases. Tracing the pernicious consequences of the racialization of science, Ordering the Human shines a light on how the naturalization of racial categories continues to shape health and inequality today.

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