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What We Now Know About Race and Ethnicity

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What We Now Know About Race and Ethnicity

Michael Banton

Full Text PDF Made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

178 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-603-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78238-717-6 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (October 2015)

View CartYour country: - edit  Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Banton’s s book is very thought-provoking: it made me think harder about the theoretical aspects of race and ethnicity than most books I have read recently on the topic. His willingness to challenge taken-for-granted theoretical stances is very bracing. There is also a lot of interesting information in this concise book, including material on the history of race and ethnicity studies that is highly relevant to understanding the field, but is often overlooked these days. His impressive mastery of the field gives readers a very informative and synthetic long and broad view, along with a coherent critique, which while it engages specialist academic also suits the book for an undergraduate audience.” • Anthropos


Attempts of nineteenth-century writers to establish “race” as a biological concept failed after Charles Darwin opened the door to a new world of knowledge. Yet this word already had a place in the organization of everyday life and in ordinary English language usage. This book explains how the idea of race became so important in the USA, generating conceptual confusion that can now be clarified. Developing an international approach, it reviews references to “race,” “racism,” and “ethnicity” in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and comparative politics and identifies promising lines of research that may make it possible to supersede misleading notions of race in the social sciences.

Michael Banton (1926-2018) taught social anthroplogy in the University of Edinburgh 1954-65; political science in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1962-63; and sociology in the University of Bristol 1965-92. He was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 1987-89, and from 1986 to 2001 a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Chairman, 1996-98).

Subject: SociologyAnthropology (General)

A survey of Michael Banton's life and work at Edinburgh and elsewhere, including extensive work on race relations. Banton speaks of various people including Shils, Popper and Gellner. The interview, filmed by Alan Macfarlane, lasts around an hour. The sound is poor due to a defective microphone. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

What We Now Know About Race and Ethnicity by Michael Banton is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from Knowledge Unlatched.

Full Text PDF

OA ISBN: 978-1-78533-658-4


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