What do we know about race today? Is it surprising that after a hundred years of debate and inquiry by anthropologists, the answer not only remains uncertain but the very question is so fraught? In part, this reflects the deep investments modern societies have made in the concept of race. We can hardly know it objectively when it comprises a pervasive aspect of our identities and social landscapes, determining advantage and disadvantage in a thoroughgoing manner. Yet know it we do-perhaps mistakenly, haphazardly, or too informally, but knowledge claims about race permeate everyday life in the United States. In addition, what we understand or assume about race changes as our practices of knowledge production also change. Until recently, a consensus held among social scientists-predicated, in part, upon findings by geneticists in the 1970s about the structure of human genetic variability-that "race is socially constructed." In the early 2000s, following the successful sequencing of the human genome, a series of counter-claims challenging the social construction consensus was formulated by some geneticists who sought to support the role of genes in explaining race.
This volume arises out of the fracturing of that consensus and the attendant recognition that asserting a constructionist stance is no longer a tenable or sufficient response to the surge of knowledge claims about race. Contributors: Ron Eglash, Clarence C. Gravlee, John Hartigan, Linda M. Hunt, Kuzawa W. Kuzawa, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Jeffrey C. Long, Pamela L. Sankar, Zaneta M. Thayer, Nicole Truesdell