This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 12: Race and Ethnicity: A Sociobiological Perspective
Race and Ethnicity: A Sociobiological Perspective
When Edward O. Wilson's tome Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (Harvard University Press) was published in 1975, many scholars believed that genetic analysis had turned full circle. Intellectuals had emphasized the necessity of analyzing cultural process and social forces as the influences that shape how we think, feel and act. Yet, in Wilson's work, there was a reminder that, without biology, phenomena such as culture and society are not possible: we should, argued Wilson, apply Darwinian evolutionary theory to the social behavior of animals, including Homo sapiens.
In one such application, van den Berghe explained racism as an extension of nepotism, itself a genetically based mechanism of animal sociality. It followed that racism, ...