Race by the Book: Depiction of Human Difference in U.S. High
Working Paper #25, Spring 2003
This study explores and describes the messages that high-school
textbooks convey about race. The paper finds that race and racial
labels continue to be discussed and used in biology and social
science high-school texts. Social science texts take a more “constructivist”
approach to race than do the biology texts, introducing the notions
of perception and social construction as relevant to understanding
race; whereas biology texts tend to reinforce essentialist conceptualizations
of race both through their definitions of race as genetically-grounded
and their linkage of race to hominid evolution and to contemporary
disease proclivity. However, the social science texts also make
biological characteristics a requirement of race in their definitions,
taking for granted that “real” physical traits are
merely translated into racial groupings.
paper is not available on-line.