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Final Report of Commission on Race and Racism in Anthropology

The Final Report of the Commission on Race and Racism (CRRA), chaired by Janis Hutchinson (U Houston) and Tom Patterson (UC Riverside), has been received by the Executive Board.  We encourage you to read the report available on the AAA website and use this blog as a forum for discussing its content and recommendations.  The CRRA was approved by the AAA Executive Board in October 2007.  You can review the CRRA charge at: http://www.aaanet.org/cmtes/commissions/rcc_information.cfm

3 Responses

  1. To summarize the report:
    1. Anthropology is a discipline brimming with racism.
    2. The (only?) solution is more extensive and more aggressive affirmative action.

    My question is this (old hat, but one which the report does not address): If we fight fire (racism) with fire (race-based policies), how do we avoid simply creating a greater conflagration? Is the goal to eliminate racism or rather to redistribute power, privilege and discrimination along racial lines? Affirmative action, of which I am in general a supporter, would seem to merely do the latter.

    Is there any way to teach ourselves to value the content of each other’s character? It seems we are still obsessed with the color of our skin.

  2. I see where Eric T. is coming from. Although the quotes from individuals are compelling and I despair for the respondents who reported those experiences, the report makes it difficult to assess the breadth and depth of the problem. The commission’s work can only be preliminary: the report does not provide a full survey analysis, or even instrument. We need more systematic data through a survey design that provides a comparison group, uses a more validated instrument, and moves beyond convenience sampling. If AAA is intent on improving representation in the discipline, substantive resources are called for to do the social science necessary as well as to identify effective interventions– this while we move ahead on functional issues governance and operations issues within AAA itself.
    I’d be very interested to hear other comments regarding the Commission’s recommendations.

  3. [...] Final Report of Commission on Race and Racism in Anthropology from American Anthropological Association by Angel Jackson-White [...]

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