© Dillon Rockrohr 2015
In racial identification, certain known characteristics about a person, usually visible, morphological ones, are picked out and taken to signify the presence of other characteristics which are unknown or not visible and which mark a person as similar to or different from a particular set of people. Race, used in this way, often produces negative, discriminatory behavior where group identities are placed in relation to each other in the form of a hierarchy. This paper aims to synthesize Linda Alcoff’s descriptive accounts of race as an extant ontological category and of social identity as a location within a complex network of identifications with Anthony Appiah’s criticism of racialism and Sally Haslanger’s ameliorative definition of racialized identities to show that race, as it stands, is a reductively misrepresentative way of ascribing identity. By dismantling race as a concept in use we will better understand the actual complexity of social identity, and we will cultivate more justice in social relations.
Rockrohr, Dillon (2015) "Dismantling the Race Label," Res Cogitans: Vol. 6: Iss. 1, Article 19. http:dx.doi.org/10.7710/2155-4838.1136