Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective

Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective

Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective

Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective

Excerpt

The only legitimate excuse for writing a short book about a vast topic on which voluminous literature already exists is the belief that one can contribute, or at least suggest, a fresh approach to the subject. At the same time, such a belief, if not validated by the content of the book presupposes a great deal of presumptuousness, not to say intellectual narcissism. I have chosen to take the risk of facing that accusation rather than to write a safely eclectic and uncontroversial rehash of the theories and findings of the prevailing "schools" in the area of race relations. This work is thus unashamedly a statement of my personal approach to the subject rather than a textbook-like summary of the field.

A peculiar fascination of the study of "race" is the light it throws on one of the fundamental problems of science, namely, the possibility of an "objective" science free of ideology and values extrinsic to itself. Of course, all but the most naïve of social scientists accept the fact that scientific research has its own ethos or set of values that presumably affects the conduct of inquiry and the norms of scholarly discourse. Many men of science, however, still deny that ideologies and value's extrinsic to their discipline and present in the society and epoch of which they are members profoundly affect scientific findings and theories. At . . .

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