Jefferson M. Fish The Myth of Race

ISBN 13: 9780786754366

The Myth of Race

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The Myth of Race deals concisely with a wide range of topics, from how the concept of race differs in different cultures and race relations in the United States, to IQ tests and the census. It draws on scientific knowledge to topple a series of myths that pass as facts, correct false assumptions, and clarify cultural misunderstandings about the highly charged topic of race.

The book demonstrates that the apparently straightforward concept of race is actually a confused mixture of two different concepts; and the confusion often leads to miscommunication. The first concept, biological race, simply doesn’t exist in the human species. Instead, what exists is gradual variation in what people look like (e.g., skin color and facial features) and in their genes, as you travel around the planet--with more distant populations appearing more different than closer ones. If you travel in different directions, the populations look different in different ways. The second concept, social race, is a set of cultural categories for labeling people based on how their ancestors were classified, selected aspects of what they look like, or various combinations of both. These sets of categories vary widely from one culture to another.

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About the Author:

Jefferson M. Fish is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at St. John's University, New York City, where he served as Department Chair and also as Director of the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology. He is the author or editor of 12 books—most recently his e-book and paperback The Myth of Race—and more than a hundred other works dealing with race, culture, therapy, drug policy, and other topics. His articles have appeared in popular media (e.g., Psychology Today, Newsday, and The Humanist) and in academic journals (e.g., American Psychologist, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and American Anthropologist). Since leaving academia he has devoted his time to writing and languages (he speaks Portuguese, French, Spanish, and German). His website is jeffersonfish.com; on Facebook he is at facebook.com/JeffersonFishAuthor; and on Twitter: twitter.com/@jeffersonfish.

Review:

"Jefferson Fish illuminates and dissects the myths, misconceptions, and prejudices that color our attitudes and anxieties about race. Writing with stunning clarity, Dr. Fish poses profound and perturbing questions about race, such as: Are the physical differences that exist within the human species rooted in biology, genetics or geography? How can a Brazilian the color of caramel be judged to be white, while an American the color of cream be considered black? Why is President Barack Obama classified as black when he is half white? Does the shape of one's skull or the color of one's skin reflect a higher or lower level of intelligence? Does one's "gray matter" have a color? ...The Myth of Race is must reading."
- William S. Cohen, former Senator and U.S. Secretary of Defense

"Scientists and scholars around the world have concurred that the idea of race has no basis in science. The Myth of Race, is an admirable attempt to explain and explore this new perspective on human variation."
- Audrey Smedley, PhD, author, Race in North America

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