The Body as a Substrate of Differentiation. Shifting the Focus from Race Science to Life Scientists' Research on Human Variation

Varia História. 33(61):109-133 DOI 10.1590/0104-87752017000100006


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Journal Title: Varia História

ISSN: 0104-8775 (Print); 1982-4343 (Online)

Publisher: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

LCC Subject Category: History (General) and history of Europe: History (General)

Country of publisher: Brazil

Language of fulltext: French, Spanish, English, Portuguese

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Veronika Lipphardt


Double blind peer review

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Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract This article suggests to focus on the history of human variation instead of focussing on the history of race science. It views the latter as a subset of the former, hence views race science as embedded into the larger field of life scientists' investigations into human variation. This paper explores why human variation is such an attractive and productive object particularly for the life sciences. It proposes that knowledge about human variation is incomplete in a promising way, and that it is of high instrumental value in the life sciences. I briefly illustrate the main points with an exemplary case, namely, population genetic studies of 'Roma'.