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"Race": Still an Issue for Physical Anthropology? Results of Polish Studies Seen in the Light of the U.S. Findings

Katarzyna A. Kaszycka and Jan Strzałko
American Anthropologist
Vol. 105, No. 1, Special Issue: Biological Anthropology: Historical Perspectives on Current Issues, Disciplinary Connections, and Future Directions (Mar., 2003), pp. 116-124
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3567320
Page Count: 9
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"Race": Still an Issue for Physical Anthropology? Results of Polish Studies Seen in the Light of the U.S. Findings
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Abstract

The racial paradigm, which became rooted in physical anthropology at its very beginning, was, for decades, treated as a concept needing no verification. It was only in the mid-20th century that the first attempts were made to question the usefulness of the race concept in describing our species variation. Since then, an ever growing number of anthropologists, particularly in the United States, have rejected the concept (nearly seventy percent in 1999). In Poland, the situation is different--in the 2001 study, the race concept was rejected by only 25 percent; the remaining respondents differing widely as to the accepted meaning of race. Unlike the U.S. anthropologists, Polish anthropologists tend to regard race as a term without taxonomic value, often as a substitute for population. The discrepancy may stem from differences in the traditions of anthropological schools, the differing sociopolitical histories, education, semantics, and possible attitudinal factors.

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