“Race, Biology, and Culture: Rethinking the Connections” by Dr. Clarence C. Gravlee (University of Florida). Andrea Eller (Anthropology) will be the moderator.
Anthropologists and other social scientists commonly argue that race is a cultural construct, not a biological reality. But current debate over racial inequalities in health exposes a weakness in this formulation: If race is not biology, how do we account for biological differences—from birth weight to causes of death—between racially defined groups? Drawing from research on hypertension in the African Diaspora, I argue for moving beyond the critique of race as bad biology to show how race becomes biology through the embodiment of social inequalities. This shift requires as much attention to the concepts of biology and culture as it does to the concept of race.
Clarence C. Gravlee is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, with affiliate appointments in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, the African American Studies Program, and the Center for Latin American Studies.
This presentation is possible by the collaboration of the UO Department of Anthropology, the Association of Anthropology Graduate Students, the Department of Biology, the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC), the Department of Sociology, and the Center Multicultural and Academic Excellence (CMAE).