Man, Race, and Darwin: Papers Read at a Joint Conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Race Relations

Man, Race, and Darwin: Papers Read at a Joint Conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Race Relations

Man, Race, and Darwin: Papers Read at a Joint Conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Race Relations

Man, Race, and Darwin: Papers Read at a Joint Conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Race Relations

Excerpt

Some four years ago a reviewer said that a tentative venture of mine into the field of race relations might just as well not have been written; the subject was sociological and--he implied-- only a professional sociologist could make a valid approach to it. Hardly anyone would uphold that view today. There is now, on the other hand, a wide agreement that the historian, the psychologist, the statistician, the biologist and the geographer have contributions to make as well as the social anthropologist and the sociologist; help may also be derived from the economist, the lawyer and from experts in industrial welfare and public administration. The point is expressed by Dr. Michael Banton, himself one of the most distinguished sociologists working on race relations in Britain, as follows:

It is helpful... to consider the study of race relations as an applied social science... (It) has no pure theory of its own but exists to bring together all that other sciences can contribute to the solution of problems within its own special field...

But although today most of those interested in race relations would accept this kind of view, little practical expression is found for it in Britain. In the United States it is a familiar and everyday concept that a problem of race relations should be tackled by a team of research workers, each with a separate contribution to make; it is not so here. This is partly a matter of money. Most Englishmen at heart think it best that their country should muddle along and take problems as they come rather than think them out in advance; they do not really believe in research except in chemistry, engineering or medicine, where tangible results can be achieved. And because of this still profoundly empirical British attitude it is not easy to get money even for a modest research project by one scholar. Apart from finance, however, our scholars are themselves individualists, partly by temperament but partly because they are compelled in spite of themselves by alien forces; almost every one would ruefully agree that, if only time permitted, he would benefit by knowing more of what others were doing in connected fields of work.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.