Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

2 Scopus citations


Race is a chaotic, yet powerful, collection of ideas and practices through which people and places have been organized and ranked across time and space. Organizing around race is based on a dynamic set of embodied and social characteristics that are often linked to skin color and always structured by unequal power relations. Central to human geographies across scales, race is overdetermined by other axes of difference and has influenced colonialism/imperialism, nation-building, industrialization, and other processes. Race works as both a purportedly fixed category whose content is so obvious as to require no explanation and a fluid social force whose form is malleable across time and space. This chameleon-like characteristic gives race its power, as it takes on different forms and meanings across scales, spaces, borders, and even geographic paradigms. Analytically powerful in understanding the world, race can be a problematic term when uncritically positioned as the primary category of analysis or examined without equal attention to the workings of racism. Human geography contributes to critical studies of race through attention to scale and multiple methodological and theoretical approaches. To do so effectively, however, geography must come to grips with its own institutional history and the present effects of whiteness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022955
ISBN (Print)9780081022962
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Class
  • Colonialism
  • Difference
  • Essentialism
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Identity
  • Nation
  • Place
  • Power
  • Racialization
  • Racism
  • Representation
  • Resistance
  • The everyday

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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