The postgenomic politics of race

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter I reflect on new trends in racial politics in the postgenomic age. I highlight the ways in which struggles over the characterization of race and the amelioration of racial inequality have come to be a driver of large-scale global research programs and science activism has come to stand in for mass activism. Drawing on the analysis of in-depth interviews with genomic elites and content analysis of the body of literature on race and genomics published from 1986-2010, I show how scientists take on the banner of racial activism but ultimately fail to bring about a politics that can aid and abet mass movements. Instead, these postgenomic developments reinscribe a deterministic understanding of race, one that supports racial essentialism and inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137528797
ISBN (Print)9781137528780
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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