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Why do we Think Racially? A Critical Journey in Culture and Evolution

Abstract : Many contemporary theories of racial categorization are encompassed by two research traditions — social constructionism and the cognitive cum evolutionary approach. Although both literatures have plausibly some 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, we review critically both traditions, focusing particularly on the recent evolutionary/cognitive explanations of racial categorization. On the basis of this critical survey, we put forward a list of eleven requirements that a satisfactory theory of racial categorization should satisfy. We conclude that despite some decisive progresses, we are still far from having in hand a complete, satisfactory theory of why humans classify people on the basis of skin color, body appearance or hair style.
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Contributor : Nicolas Bullot <>
Submitted on : Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:36:30 AM
Last modification on : Monday, June 15, 2015 - 3:07:41 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 7:02:18 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00000531, version 1



Edouard Machery, Luc Faucher. Why do we Think Racially? A Critical Journey in Culture and Evolution. H. Cohen C. Lefebvre. Categorization in Cognitive Science, Elsevier, 2004. ⟨ijn_00000531⟩



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