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The race concept

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conference race anthropology
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  ^ THE RACE QUESTION IN MODERN SCIENCE THE RACE CONCEPT Results of an: inquiry UNESCO PARIS  Published b the United Nations Educational. Scienti ic and Cultural Organisation s 19 uvenue KlCber, Paris-16’ Printed by Imprimerie des Arts et Manufacture8 Copyright 1952 by Unesco, Paris. Frinred in Fmna SO. 58 II. 9 A  CONTENTS Introduction . . . . . . . . . 5 Statement on the Nature of Race and Racial Dif- ferences . . . . . . . . . 11 Observations and Comments on the Statement as a Whole . . . . . . . . . 17 Comments and Criticisms on Different Items of the Statement . . . . . . . . 36 Other Suggested Statements . . . . . 71 List of Anthropologists and Geneticists Invited to Comment on the Statement . . . . . 92 Appendix. Text of the 1950 Statement. . . 98  INTRODUCTION Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the racial problem has been growing in importance A bare 30 years ago, Europeans could still regard race prejudice as a phenomenon that only affected areas on the margin of civilization, or continents other than their own. They suffered a sudden and rude awakening. The long-stand- ing confusion between race and culture has produced fertile soil for the development of racism, at once a creed and an emotional attitude. The virulence with which this ideology has made its appearance during the present century is one of the strangest and most disturbing phenomena of the great revolution of our time. Racial doctrine is the outcome of a fundamen- tally anti-rational system of thought and is in glaring conflict with the whole humanist tradition of our civili- zation. It sets at nought everything that Unesco stands for and endeavours to defend. By virtue of its very constitution, Unesco must face the racial problem: the preamble to that document declares that “the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place, through ignorance and pre- judice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races”. Because of its structure and the tasks assigned to it, Unesco is the international institution best equipped to lead the campaign against race prejudice and to extirpate this most dangerous of doctrines. Race hatred and conflict thrive on scientifically false ideas and are nourished by ignorance. In order to show up these errors of fact and reasoning, to make tidely known the conclusions reached in various branches of science, to combat racial propaganda, we must turn to the means and methods of education, science and culture, which are precisely the three domains in which Unesco’s acti- 5
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