The History of Racial Theories in China

Authored by: Frank Dikötter

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Race

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415711234
eBook ISBN: 9781315884424
Adobe ISBN:


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Human beings display endless ingenuity in devising ways of discriminating and abasing each other, whether this is done in the name of religion, culture, gender, class, or nation. Until recently, the notion of ‘race’ was one of the most effective barriers against equality, as human beings were classified into discrete clusters claimed to correspond to biological units, distributed hierarchically on a scale of evolution with winners at the top and losers at the bottom. Eye color, skin tone, cranial shape, or hair texture were seen as markers of profound biological differences between humans, justifying such diverse institutions as the transatlantic slave trade, apartheid, and the Holocaust. 1

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