Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: New Press/ORIM

ISBN: 1595586911

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 2197

An incisive, groundbreaking book that examines how a biological concept of race is a myth that promotes inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Though the Human Genome Project proved that human beings are not naturally divided by race, the emerging fields of personalized medicine, reproductive technologies, genetic genealogy, and DNA databanks are attempting to resuscitate race as a biological category written in our genes. This groundbreaking book by legal scholar and social critic Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of race as a biological concept—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics that “is consistently lucid . . . alarming but not alarmist, controversial but evidential, impassioned but rational” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). “Everyone concerned about social justice in America should read this powerful book.” —Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union “A terribly important book on how the ‘fatal invention’ has terrifying effects in the post-genomic, ‘post-racial’ era.” —Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of sociology, Duke University, and author of Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States “Fatal Invention is a triumph! Race has always been an ill-defined amalgam of medical and cultural bias, thinly overlaid with the trappings of contemporary scientific thought. And no one has peeled back the layers of assumption and deception as lucidly as Dorothy Roberts.” —Harriet A. Washington, author of and Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself

Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781595588340

Category: Science

Page: 388

View: 7571

Explores the ways science, politics, and large corporations affect race in the twenty-first century, discussing the efforts and results of the Human Genome Project, and describing how technology-driven science researchers are developing a genetic definition of race.

Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781595588340

Category: Science

Page: 388

View: 2274

Explores the ways science, politics, and large corporations affect race in the twenty-first century, discussing the efforts and results of the Human Genome Project, and describing how technology-driven science researchers are developing a genetic definition of race.

People's Science

Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier

Author: Ruha Benjamin

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804786739

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 3051

Stem cell research has sparked controversy and heated debate since the first human stem cell line was derived in 1998. Too frequently these debates devolve to simple judgments—good or bad, life-saving medicine or bioethical nightmare, symbol of human ingenuity or our fall from grace—ignoring the people affected. With this book, Ruha Benjamin moves the terms of debate to focus on the shifting relationship between science and society, on the people who benefit—or don't—from regenerative medicine and what this says about our democratic commitments to an equitable society. People's Science uncovers the tension between scientific innovation and social equality, taking the reader inside California's 2004 stem cell initiative, the first of many state referenda on scientific research, to consider the lives it has affected. Benjamin reveals the promise and peril of public participation in science, illuminating issues of race, disability, gender, and socio-economic class that serve to define certain groups as more or less deserving in their political aims and biomedical hopes. Under the shadow of the free market and in a nation still at odds with universal healthcare, the socially marginalized are often eagerly embraced as test-subjects, yet often are unable to afford new medicines and treatment regimes as patients. Ultimately, Ruha Benjamin argues that without more deliberate consideration about how scientific initiatives can and should reflect a wider array of social concerns, stem cell research— from African Americans' struggle with sickle cell treatment to the recruitment of women as tissue donors—still risks excluding many. Even as regenerative medicine is described as a participatory science for the people, Benjamin asks us to consider if "the people" ultimately reflects our democratic ideals.

What Is "Your" Race?

The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans

Author: Kenneth Prewitt

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140084679X

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 4051

America is preoccupied with race statistics--perhaps more than any other nation. Do these statistics illuminate social reality and produce coherent social policy, or cloud that reality and confuse social policy? Does America still have a color line? Who is on which side? Does it have a different "race" line--the nativity line--separating the native born from the foreign born? You might expect to answer these and similar questions with the government's "statistical races." Not likely, observes Kenneth Prewitt, who shows why the way we count by race is flawed. Prewitt calls for radical change. The nation needs to move beyond a race classification whose origins are in discredited eighteenth-century race-is-biology science, a classification that once defined Japanese and Chinese as separate races, but now combines them as a statistical "Asian race." One that once tried to divide the "white race" into "good whites" and "bad whites," and that today cannot distinguish descendants of Africans brought in chains four hundred years ago from children of Ethiopian parents who eagerly immigrated twenty years ago. Contrary to common sense, the classification says there are only two ethnicities in America--Hispanics and non-Hispanics. But if the old classification is cast aside, is there something better? What Is Your Race? clearly lays out the steps that can take the nation from where it is to where it needs to be. It's not an overnight task--particularly the explosive step of dropping today's race question from the census--but Prewitt argues persuasively that radical change is technically and politically achievable, and morally necessary.

Genetics and the Unsettled Past

The Collision of DNA, Race, and History

Author: Keith Wailoo,Alondra Nelson,Catherine Lee

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813553369

Category: Medical

Page: 370

View: 3621

Our genetic markers have come to be regarded as portals to the past. Analysis of these markers is increasingly used to tell the story of human migration; to investigate and judge issues of social membership and kinship; to rewrite history and collective memory; to right past wrongs and to arbitrate legal claims and human rights controversies; and to open new thinking about health and well-being. At the same time, in many societies genetic evidence is being called upon to perform a kind of racially charged cultural work: to repair the racial past and to transform scholarly and popular opinion about the “nature” of identity in the present. Genetics and the Unsettled Past considers the alignment of genetic science with commercial genealogy, with legal and forensic developments, and with pharmaceutical innovation to examine how these trends lend renewed authority to biological understandings of race and history. This unique collection brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines—biology, history, cultural studies, law, medicine, anthropology, ethnic studies, sociology—to explore the emerging and often contested connections among race, DNA, and history. Written for a general audience, the book’s essays touch upon a variety of topics, including the rise and implications of DNA in genealogy, law, and other fields; the cultural and political uses and misuses of genetic information; the way in which DNA testing is reshaping understandings of group identity for French Canadians, Native Americans, South Africans, and many others within and across cultural and national boundaries; and the sweeping implications of genetics for society today.

Race in a Bottle

The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-genomic Age

Author: Jonathan Kahn

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231162987

Category: Medical

Page: 311

View: 1593

Approved by the FDA in 2005 as the first drug with a race-specific indication on its label, BiDil was touted as a pathbreaking therapy to treat heart failure in black patients. Kahn reveals that, at the most basic level, BiDil became racial through legal maneuvering and commercial pressure as much as through medical understandings of how the drug worked. He examines the legal and calls for a more reasoned approach to using race in biomedical research and practice.

Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781595588340

Category: Science

Page: 388

View: 1805

Explores the ways science, politics, and large corporations affect race in the twenty-first century, discussing the efforts and results of the Human Genome Project, and describing how technology-driven science researchers are developing a genetic definition of race.

Shattered Bonds

The Color Of Child Welfare

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: Civitas Books

ISBN: 0786730641

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 9846

Shattered Bonds is a stirring account of a worsening American social crisis--the disproportionate representation of black children in the U.S. foster care system and its effects on black communities and the country as a whole. Tying the origins and impact of this disparity to racial injustice, Dorothy Roberts contends that child-welfare policy reflects a political choice to address startling rates of black child poverty by punishing parents instead of tackling poverty's societal roots. Using conversations with mothers battling the Chicago child-welfare system for custody of their children, along with national data, Roberts levels a powerful indictment of racial disparities in foster care and tells a moving story of the women and children who earn our respect in their fight to keep their families intact.

Has Feminism Changed Science?

Author: Londa Schiebinger

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674005440

Category: Science

Page: 252

View: 4020

"Has Feminism Changed Science?" is a history of women in science and a frank assessment of the role of gender in shaping scientific knowledge. Londa Schiebinger first considers the lives of women scientists, past and present: How many are there? What sciences do they choose--or have chosen for them? Is there something uniquely feminine about the science women do? Schiebinger debunks the myth that women scientists--because they are women--are somehow more holistic and integrative and create more cooperative scientific communities.

Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

Author: Dorothy Roberts

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804152594

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 4485

The image of the “Welfare Queen” still dominates white America’s perceptions of Black women. It is an image that also continues to shape our government’s policies concerning Black women’s reproductive decisions. Proposed legislation to alleviate poverty focuses on plans to deny benefits to children born to welfare mothers and to require insertion of birth control implants as a condition of receiving aid. Meanwhile a booming fertility industry serves primarily infertile white couples. In Killing the Black Body, Northwestern University professor Dorothy Roberts exposes America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies, from slave masters’ economic stake in bonded women’s fertility to government programs that coerced thousands of poor Black women into being sterilized as late as the 1970s. These abuses, Roberts argues, point not only to the degradation of Black motherhood but to the exclusion of Black women’s reproductive needs from the feminist agenda. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and timely, Killing the Black Body is both a powerful legal argument and a valuable aid for teachers, activists, and policy makers in creating a vision of reproductive freedom that respects each and every American.

Making Sense of Intersex

Changing Ethical Perspectives in Biomedicine

Author: Ellen K. Feder

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253012325

Category: Philosophy

Page: 278

View: 7589

Putting the ethical tools of philosophy to work, Ellen K. Feder seeks to clarify how we should understand "the problem" of intersex. Adults often report that medical interventions they underwent as children to "correct" atypical sex anatomies caused them physical and psychological harm. Proposing a philosophical framework for the treatment of children with intersex conditions—one that acknowledges the intertwined identities of parents, children, and their doctors—Feder presents a persuasive moral argument for collective responsibility to these children and their families.

What's the Use of Race?

Modern Governance and the Biology of Difference

Author: Ian Whitmarsh,David S. Jones

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262265710

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 6283

The post--civil rights era perspective of many scientists and scholars was that race was nothing more than a social construction. Recently, however, the relevance of race as a social, legal, and medical category has been reinvigorated by science, especially by discoveries in genetics. Although in 2000 the Human Genome Project reported that humans shared 99.9 percent of their genetic code, scientists soon began to argue that the degree of variation was actually greater than this, and that this variation maps naturally onto conventional categories of race. In the context of this rejuvenated biology of race, the contributors to What's the Use of Race? investigate whether race can be a category of analysis without reinforcing it as a basis for discrimination. Can policies that aim to alleviate inequality inadvertently increase it by reifying race differences? The essays focus on contemporary questions at the cutting edge of genetics and governance, examining them from the perspectives of law, science, and medicine. The book follows the use of race in three domains of governance: ruling, knowing, and caring. Contributors first examine the use of race and genetics in the courtroom, law enforcement, and scientific oversight; then explore the ways that race becomes, implicitly or explicitly, part of the genomic science that attempts to address human diversity; and finally investigate how race is used to understand and act on inequities in health and disease. Answering these questions is essential for setting policies for biology and citizenship in the twenty-first century.

The Social Life of DNA

Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

Author: Alondra Nelson

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807033022

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 4833

The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in America We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating. Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongst Americans, as well as the second-most visited online category. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites, and Internet communities, and a booming heritage tourism circuit. The tsunami of interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African American community has been especially overwhelming. In The Social Life of DNA, Alondra Nelson takes us on an unprecedented journey into how the double helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgent contemporary social issues around race. For over a decade, Nelson has deeply studied this phenomenon. Artfully weaving together keenly observed interactions with root-seekers alongside illuminating historical details and revealing personal narrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressing old and enduring issues. In The Social Life of DNA, she explains how these cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry. Nelson incisively shows that DNA is a portal to the past that yields insight for the present and future, shining a light on social traumas and historical injustices that still resonate today. Science can be a crucial ally to activism to spur social change and transform twenty-first-century racial politics. But Nelson warns her readers to be discerning: for the social repair we seek can’t be found in even the most sophisticated science. Engrossing and highly original, The Social Life of DNA is a must-read for anyone interested in race, science, history and how our reckoning with the past may help us to chart a more just course for tomorrow. From the Hardcover edition.

Social by Nature

The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics

Author: Catherine Bliss

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503603962

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 7369

Sociogenomics has rapidly become one of the trendiest sciences of the new millennium. Practitioners view human nature and life outcomes as the result of genetic and social factors. In Social by Nature, Catherine Bliss recognizes the promise of this interdisciplinary young science, but also questions its implications for the future. As she points out, the claim that genetic similarities cause groups of people to behave in similar ways is not new—and a dark history of eugenics warns us of its dangers. Over the last decade, sociogenomics has enjoyed a largely uncritical rise to prominence and acceptance in popular culture. Researchers have published studies showing that things like educational attainment, gang membership, and life satisfaction are encoded in our DNA long before we say our first word. Strangely, unlike the racial debates over IQ scores in the '70s and '90s, sociogenomics has not received any major backlash. By exposing the shocking parallels between sociogenomics and older, long-discredited, sciences, Bliss persuasively argues for a more thoughtful public reception of any study that reduces human nature to a mere sequence of genes. This book is a powerful call for researchers to approach their work in more socially responsible ways, and a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the scholarship that impacts how we see ourselves and our society.

Troublesome Science

The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Author: Rob DeSalle,Ian Tattersall

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231546300

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 9209

It is well established that all humans today, wherever they live, belong to one single species. Yet even many people who claim to abhor racism take for granted that human “races” have a biological reality. In Troublesome Science, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall provide a lucid and forceful critique of how scientific tools have been misused to uphold misguided racial categorizations. DeSalle and Tattersall argue that taxonomy, the scientific classification of organisms, provides an antidote to the myth of race’s biological basis. They explain how taxonomists do their science—how to identify a species and to understand the relationships among different species and the variants within them. DeSalle and Tattersall also detail the use of genetic data to trace human origins and look at how scientists have attempted to recognize discrete populations within Homo sapiens. Troublesome Science demonstrates conclusively that modern genetic tools, when applied correctly to the study of human variety, fail to find genuine differences. While the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any systematic attempt to recognize discrete units within it. The stark lines that humans insist on drawing between their own groups and others are nothing but a mixture of imagination and ideology. Troublesome Science is an important call for researchers, journalists, and citizens to cast aside the belief that race has a biological meaning, for the sake of social justice and sound science alike.

The Myth of Race

The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea

Author: Robert Wald Sussman

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674745302

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 5118

Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Robert Sussman explains why—when it comes to race—too many people still mistake bigotry for science.

Race Unmasked

Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

Author: Michael Yudell

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231537999

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 9315

Race, while drawn from the visual cues of human diversity, is an idea with a measurable past, an identifiable present, and an uncertain future. The concept of race has been at the center of both triumphs and tragedies in American history and has had a profound effect on the human experience. Race Unmasked revisits the origins of commonly held beliefs about the scientific nature of racial differences, examines the roots of the modern idea of race, and explains why race continues to generate controversy as a tool of classification even in our genomic age. Surveying the work of some of the twentieth century's most notable scientists, Race Unmasked reveals how genetics and related biological disciplines formed and preserved ideas of race and, at times, racism. A gripping history of science and scientists, Race Unmasked elucidates the limitations of a racial worldview and throws the contours of our current and evolving understanding of human diversity into sharp relief.

Race and Ethnicity in America

Author: John Iceland

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520286928

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 350

"This book examines patterns and trends in racial inequality over the past several decades. Iceland finds that color lines have softened over time, as there has been some narrowing of differences across many indicators for most groups over the past sixty years. Asian Americans in particular have reached socioeconomic parity with white Americans. Nevertheless, deep-seated inequalities in income, poverty, unemployment, and health remain, especially among blacks, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics. The causes for disadvantage for the groups vary, ranging from a legacy of racism, current discrimination, human capital deficits, the unfolding process of immigrant incorporation, and cultural responses to disadvantage."--Provided by publisher.