January 28, 2007

Quotes for the day

Filed under: Foucault, race — ubikcan @ 7:35 pm

“What in fact is racism? It is primarily a way of introducing a break into the domain of life that is under power’s control: the break (coupure) between what must live and what must die. The appearance within the biological continuum of the human race of races, the distinction among races, the hierarchy of races, the fact that certain races are described as good and that others, in contrast, are described as inferior: all this is a way of fragmenting the field of the biological that power controls.”

Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended, 2003, pp. 254-5
(Lecture of 17 March, 1976)

“Human races, whatever they are conceived to be, cannot be objectively delimited in space; to a large extent membership within them is culturally rather than biologically defined. We don’t know how many there are, where to draw the boundaries between them, or what those boundaries and the people or places they enclose would represent. Human biological variation instead, is gradual and continuous.”

Jonathan Marks, Human Biodiversity 1995, pp. 273-4.


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