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This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Michael Banton's classic book reviews historical theories of racial and ethnic relations and contemporary struggles to supersede them. It shows how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century concepts of race attempted to explain human difference in terms of race as a permanent type and how these were followed by social scientific conceptions of race as a form of status. In a new concluding chapter, "Race as Social Construct," Michael Banton makes the case for a historically sensitive social scientific understanding of racial and ethnic groupings that operates within a more general theory of collective action and is, therefore, able to replace racial explanations as effectively as they have been replaced in biological science. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand contemporary debates about racial and ethnic conflict. This new edition is thoroughly updated and contains a new chapter on developments in recent years.Read more
- Reviews history of racial theories and place of race in history of science
- Proposes new social science of racial and ethnic relations
- Distinguishes racial and ethnic explanations and puts contemporary ideas in historical perspective
Reviews & endorsements
From reviews of the first edition:See more reviews
"The fascination of this book and subject lies in the complexities and studied ambiguities of Banton's taxonomy (of five racial theories)...I enjoyed this basic feature of the book. It taught me something about the uses of taxonomic ordering. It made me think about the subtle interactions of our ordering minds and nature's patterns. It provided an active metacommentary upon an important aspect of scientific history." Stephen Jay Gould, Nature
"The authority Banton brings to his subject is beyond dispute; he is admirably fair when examining the ideas of all protagonists, and he writes clearly, concisely, and engagingly. At once an insightful study in intellectual history and an exemplary analysis of sociological theory building." W.P. Nye, Choice
"Banton has written an excellent book. He traces the history of thinking on race and the evolution of the discipline of race or ethnic relations with considerable erudition and skill. His discussion of the different theories is invariably fair and perceptive, and clears up a good deal of muddle." Bhikhu Parekh, New Society
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- Edition: 2nd Edition
- Date Published: April 1998
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521629454
- length: 264 pages
- dimensions: 226 x 151 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Race as designation
2. Race as lineage
3. Race as type
4. Race as subspecies
5. Race as status
6. Race as class
7. Race as social construct.
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