Has social constructionism about race outlived its usefulness? Perspectives from a race skeptic

Adam Hochman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The phrase ‘social constructionism about race’ is so ambiguous that it is unable to convey anything very meaningful. I argue that the various versions of social constructionism about race are either false, overly broad, or better described as anti-realism about biological race. One of the central rhetorical purposes of social constructionism about race has been to serve as an alternative to biological racial realism. However, most versions of social constructionism about race are compatible with biological racial realism, and there are some race scholars who endorse both positions. Going a step further, David Reich has recently defended both social constructionism about race and racial hereditarianism. While Reich’s defense of racial hereditarianism is unconvincing, I show that most versions of social constructionism about race are indeed compatible with racial hereditarianism. I argue that we ought to replace the social constructionist “consensus” about race with the view that there are no races, only racialized groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Anti-realism about race
  • Biological racial realism
  • Hereditarianism
  • Racialization
  • Racism
  • Social constructionism about race

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