‘All is race. There is no other truth.’ So claimed Benjamin Disraeli in his novel Tancred or The New Crusade. In the late Victorian era race indeed did seem to be all. ‘Scientific racism’ claimed to have an explanation for everything from the cause of criminality to the nature of Britain’s special destiny, from the origins of ‘savage’ people in Africa and Asia to the temper of class relations in Europe. Race explained the character of individuals, the structure of social communities and the fate of human societies.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics ( London: King, 1887 ) pp. 20–1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lancelot Hogben, Genetic Principles in Medicine and Social Science ( New York: Knopf, 1932 ) p. 123.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For an elaboration of the race relations paradigm see Michael Banton, Racial and Ethnic Competition (Cambridge University Press, 1983)Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    John Rex, Race Relations in Sociological Theory ( London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970 ).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    For a more radical perspective see CCCS, The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain ( London: Hutchinson, 1982 )Google Scholar
  6. 3.
    Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s ( London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986 )Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    For Robert Miles’ critique, see Racism and Migrant Labour: A Critical Text ( London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982 )Google Scholar
  8. 3.
    For Robert Miles’ critique, Racism after ‘Race Relations’ ( London: Routledge, 1993 ).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Michael Banton, ‘The Race Relations Problematic’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 42 no. 1 (1991).Google Scholar
  10. 7.
    Johann Friederich Blumenbach, The Anthropological Treatises of Johann Friede-rich Blumenbach, trans and ed. by Thomas Bendyshe (London: Anthropological Society, 1865 ) p. 98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 8.
    William Z. Ripley, The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study ( New York: D. Appleton, 1899 ) p. 111.Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    See Stephen Rose, R. C. Lewontin and Leon J. Kamin, Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature ( Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984 ) pp. 119–27.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Steve Jones, The Language of the Genes: Biology, History and the Evolutionary Future ( London: Harper Collins, 1993 ).Google Scholar
  14. 12.
    Robert Miles, Racism ( London: Routledge, 1989 ) p. 71.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    George W. Stocking Jnr, Race, Culture and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (University of Chicago Press, 1982 ) p. 45.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kenan Malik 1996

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations