June 16, 2005

Why do we Think Racially? A Critical Journey in Culture and Evolution

"Many contemporary theories of racial categorization are encompassed by two research traditions social constructionism and the cognitive cum evolutionary approach. Although both literatures have plausibly some empirical evidence and some theoretical insights to contribute to a full understanding of racial categorization, there has been little contact between their proponents. In order to foster such contacts, we review critically both traditions, focusing particularly on the recent evolutionary/cognitive explanations of racial categorization. On the basis of this critical survey, we put forward a list of eleven requirements that a satisfactory theory of racial categorization should satisfy. We conclude that despite some decisive progresses, we are still far from having in hand a complete, satisfactory theory of why humans classify people on the basis of skin color, body appearance or hair style."
Jean Nicod Online Papers Posted by Martin Sewell at June 16, 2005 6:15 PM | TrackBack