How Real is Race?: A Sourcebook On Race, Culture, and Biology

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9781578865611: How Real is Race?: A Sourcebook On Race, Culture, and Biology

A second edition of this sourcebook is now available.

How Real is Race? brings together biological and cultural information to help people make sense of the contradictory messages about race in the U.S. and elsewhere. How real is race? Or rather, in what sense is race real? What is biological fact and fiction? Where does culture enter? And what does it really mean to say that race is a 'social construction'? If race is an invention, who invented it? Why? For what ends? And can we eliminate it if we wish to? These are the key questions that frame this book. With accessible, clear language and suggested teaching activities in every chapter, it is designed as a sourcebook for anyone interested in addressing the questions above.

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About the Author:

Carol C. Mukhopadhyay (San Jose State University) has 40 years of experience teaching, consulting, researching, and publishing on issues of cultural diversity and education related to race, ethnicity and gender, in both the United States and India. She is a key advisor for the American Anthropological Association's public information project, RACE. Rosemary Henze (San Jose State University) has a background in education, anthropology, and linguistics, and has been an ESL teacher. She worked with K-12 schools for 14 years as a consultant, researcher, and curriculum designer on bilingual, multicultural, and antiracist education and has researched education in Greece, Alaska, and Hawaii. Yolanda T. Moses (University of California, Riverside) is an anthropologist and university administrator who has spent more than 25 years researching, writing, and teaching in the United States, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Brazil. She has held national leadership roles in the American Anthropological Association, City College of New York (CUNY), and American Association of Higher Education and chairs the National Advisory Board for the American Anthropological Association's Understanding Race and Human Variation project (RACE).

Review:

This book is an excellent beginning to fulfill the challenges that race, culture, and biology present in U.S. society. It certainly goes a long way in filling the void in social science standard and curriculum in terms of teaching youth about our society as well as how to cope with the problems of race in our society. (Dorothy Allen, co-chair, Ethnic Studies department, James Logan High School, Union City, CA)

For those seeking to understand the complex concept of race this book is an invaluable resource. It is a readable, insightful, and useful guide for educators seeking to provide their students with understanding of a topic that has long been a source of controversy and confusion. (Pedro A. Noguera Ph.D, distinguished professor of education UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies; author,"Excellence Through Equity" Corwin Press (2015))

This theoretically strong, useful, and practical book is being published at a time when it is greatly needed. It contains well-conceptualized and engaging teaching activities and strategies that teachers at all levels will welcome. I hope this book will receive the warm reception that it deserves. If used wisely and seriously engaged, it will help educational practitioners to create schools and classrooms that are just, democratic, and that foster equality for all students in the nation's schools. (From the foreword by James A. Banks, Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor in Diversity Studies and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the Universit)

Drawing upon a wealth of classic and cutting-edge anthropological research, How Real is Race? provides a clear guide for educators seeking to navigate through the contentious issues surrounding the concept of race and its socio-cultural meaning. The breadth of topics examined in this sourcebook―from race as biological fiction to race as a social and culture reality―is truly amazing. Solidifying its uniqueness is the authors' attentiveness to how race plays out in school settings. Overall, they highlight how students can develop critical thinking skills by interrogating human variation and understanding the connections, and disconnections, between race, culture, and biology. (Michael Omi, University of California, Berkeley)

This book takes seriously the power that teachers can wield in effectuating social change. By clearly laying out the biological fallacies of race and racial classifications, the authors lay the foundation for educators to dismantle historically constituted inequities based on race. The book communicates complex biological material within a framework that is both accessible and compelling. Teachers and Teacher Educators will find this book to be a repository of information that can constantly be tapped. (Norma Gonzalez, University of Arizona)

How Real Is Race? insightfully examines important and complex issues related to race from an anthropological perspective. By focusing on the cultural context, the text helps readers to better understand race as a factor that influences excellence, access, and equity in K-12 schools. The text is informative and interesting; the analysis and activities are invaluable for educators in many fields. Educators will appreciate the classroom applications and wealth of resources provided. This is an excellent and essential resource for educators in a democratic society! (Hilda Hernández, Department of Education, California State University, Chico)

The authors have done teachers a great service by providing a framework for addressing this sensitive but important topic, along with activities that help students investigate the things that divide and unite us. (Sandy Miller, science teacher, Morrill Middle School, San Jose, CA)

We in the scholarly community have not provided educators with the tools they need to openly and intelligently tackle issues related to race and human variation in the school and college settings. Yet these topics are often part of the undercurrent associated with events in school, in the news or within popular culture...Race has not disappeared as an issue; understanding the biological, social, cultural and historical underpinnings can enable educators to assist their students as they grapple with contemporary confrontations...I applaud [the authors'] efforts, especially to show [the] links to standards and to situate the book so that it is 'school ready.' (Shirley Malcolm, head, Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS))

This splendid and much-needed resource makes it possible for students (and educators!) to interrogate their own myths and misconceptions about race. Drawing from diverse fields-anthropology, history, biology, genetics, sociology, even literature―the rich readings and exercises help students adroitly manage a counter-intuitive two-step: Race is not biological. But that doesn't mean it's not real. Race, or more precisely, racism, resides not in our bodies but in our history, our social structures and our cultural beliefs, helping shape life outcomes and opportunities. (Larry Adelman, executive producer, RACE-The Power of an Illusion)

Mukhopadhyay, Henze and Moses's book stands to be one of the most important written about the illusory idea and enduring salience of race. Why so important? It is not only the first book to assemble an expansive series of teaching exercises about various aspects of race and racism, it also does so by brilliantly contextualizing race with exercises that lead to a deeper appreciation of ideology, power and human variation. How Real is Race? A Sourcebook on Race, Culture, and Biology, ought to be available in all school systems and to all teachers. (Alan H. Goodman Ph.D., president, American Anthropological Association; professor of Biological Anthropology Natural Science, Hampshire College)

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