Genetic Essentialism

Genetic essentialism is arguably one of the most important social phenomena today, and yet scholars have given it only limited attention. This said, genetic essentialism can be understood to be a variant of a more general phenomenon that has received thorough investigation by scholars—psychological essentialism. This entry defines psychological essentialism and explains how a minor modification yields genetic essentialism. Also discussed is the relationship between genetic essentialism and the related concept of genetic determinism. The entry concludes with a brief discussion of some of the effects of genetic essentialism and determinism on attitudes and behaviors.

The concept of genetic essentialism can be understood as a specific type of psychological essentialism. Psychological essentialism has several well-accepted components. Probably the most critical component is reflected in its name: ...

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