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Why do we Think Racially?

Machery, E and Faucher, L (2005) Why do we Think Racially? In: Handbook of Categorization in Cognitive Science. UNSPECIFIED, 1009 - 1033. ISBN 9780080446127

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Contemporary research on racial categorization is mostly encompassed by two research traditions-the social constructionist approach and the cognitive-cum-evolutionary approach. The way people conceptualize race membership is strongly influenced by their cultural niche. However, it is underscored that the similarities between culture-specific concepts of race remain unexplained by this approach. These similarities suggest that racialism results from a universal cognitive system. Three cognitive-cum-evolutionary theories are reviewed in this chapter: all see racialism as a by-product of an evolved cognitive system. Although the literature from both approaches has some plausible empirical evidence and some theoretical insights to contribute to a full understanding of racial categorization, there has been little contact between their proponents. In order to foster such contacts, the chapter critically reviews both traditions, focusing particularly on the recent evolutionary/cognitive explanations of racial categorization. Despite some decisive progress, one is still far from having a complete theory of why humans classify people on the basis of their skin color, body appearance, or hairstyle. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd.


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Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Machery, Emachery@pitt.eduMACHERY
Faucher, L
Date: 1 January 2005
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Page Range: 1009 - 1033
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/b978-008044612-7/50101-3
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780080446127
Title of Book: Handbook of Categorization in Cognitive Science
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Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2013 20:53
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2019 14:55


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