The Existence or Non-Existence of Race?: Forensic Anthropology, Population Admixture, and the Future of Racial Classification in the U.S.
In this book, Conrad Quintyn details the two intransigent sides of the race issue in biological anthropology and human biology in order to propose a ... Show synopsis In this book, Conrad Quintyn details the two intransigent sides of the race issue in biological anthropology and human biology in order to propose a common-sense compromise. This compromise is interesting because it does not derive from academic armchair philosophy. It takes into account practical issues in the social environment. This book is significant to the field, at this time, because it addresses the following issues, which form the basis for discussing the future of racial classification in America: 1) There is a high frequency of admixture in U.S. population caused by the steady flow of immigrants over the years, resulting in multiracial populations. Hundreds of thousands of these multiracial Americans are demanding visibility, acceptanceand in many cases an identity that is separate from black or white; 2) Officials in federal and state agencies as well as black and Hispanic political activists worry that allowing people to choose more than one race, or eliminating race altogether, would impact civil rights compliance and educational accountability for students by race and ethnicity; distribution of federal aid to minorities; and minority districting in congressional elections. It might also erode black or Hispanic solidarity and confuse law enforcement, since the FBI, state, and local police depend on race for much of their day-to-day work; and 3) Population admixture has increased the difficulty in determining race using the skull, which has implications for human identification in forensic science. Quintyn analyzes several critical arguments posed by both sides and propose a practical compromise which is integral to the future of racial classification in America. First, from the racialists perspective, they ask if there is no such thing as race, what would it look like if it existed? Furthermore, if the premise is accepted that there are no biological races, and there is much compelling evidence presented in the literature, then how is it that a person of European ancestry is easily distinguished from a person of African or Asian ancestry? In this book which brings us closer to answering these questions, Quintyn begins with a history of the race argument, with an emphasis on biological anthropology, to give the reader some critical background information. He gives in chronological order several biological definitions of race before discussing its meaning in contemporary society, and touches on race and medicine. In concluding his study, unlike current books on race, he argues that the academic consensus that there is no such thing as race is ultimately pointless.