The Postgenomic Politics of Race

  • Catherine Bliss


In this chapter I reflect on new trends in racial politics in the postgenomic age. I highlight the ways in which struggles over the characterization of race and the amelioration of racial inequality have come to be a driver of large-scale global research programs and science activism has come to stand in for mass activism. Drawing on the analysis of in-depth interviews with genomic elites and content analysis of the body of literature on race and genomics published from 1986–2010, I show how scientists take on the banner of racial activism but ultimately fail to bring about a politics that can aid and abet mass movements. Instead, these postgenomic developments reinscribe a deterministic understanding of race, one that supports racial essentialism and inequality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Bliss
    • 1
  1. 1.UCSFSan FranciscoUSA

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