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Conceptualizing Race in the Genomic Age
Abstract: My fundamental argument is that a collective concept of race that presumes that there are, or were at some point in the past, discreet genetic groups that have tracked along continental lines and that those differences are the fundamental basis for our folk and political groupings of white, black, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander is a fallacy that will always lead to social inequality. Such an understanding of race currently reverberates through genetic science, but for social and political reasons, and with good intentions. But if we want to move toward a social order that promotes social justice, all of us across the sciences, throughout health policy, and in the wider public will need to reconceptualize race in terms of legacies of discrimination. We will need to shift our focus from molecular differences to social and political differences, especially when we conduct gene-environment analyses.