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 language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|
- The everyday
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)