Introduction: The Invention of “Race” in the Modern World System

  • Masaki Kawashima


The introduction surveys American history by investigating the significance of “race.” The term “race” is used in this book with quotation marks because of recently discovered facts that deny the concept of “race” as a scientific categorization following the international project to analyze the human genome in 2003. Slavery, in contrast to our general perception, is not an older system handed down from ancient and medieval times but is a product of the modern ages; “race” remains in present-day U.S. society as a social construction. A brief overview of each chapter is then given.


“Race” as a social construction Human genome analysis Modern world system Slavery Triangular trading Fairness 


  1. Jordan, Winthrop. 1962. American Chiaroscuro: The status and definition of Mulattoes in the British colonies. William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser. 19, 183–200.Google Scholar
  2. Marx, Anthony W. 1997. Making race and nation: A comparison of South Africa, the United States, and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Rawls, John. 2001. Justice as fairness: A restatement. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Kawashima
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanzan UniversityNagoyaJapan

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