Past events

Book Launch: Michael Banton
Wednesday 03 February 2016, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
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Mistakes About Race: a discussion

Michael Banton, Professor Emeritus, University of Bristol

Wednesday 3 February at 5.30pm

The expression `race relations’ was adopted by the London School of Economics in 1947. It was the title of a course, and a lectureship, in the Anthropology Department. At that time Michael Banton thought that there must be a mistake somewhere in this usage. Over the ensuing years he has tried to identify the nature of this and related mistakes. He pinpoints a failure to differentiate ordinary language and technical language. This is paralleled by the distinctions between emic (or folk) and etic (or scientific) constructs. His new book, What We Now Know About Race and Ethnicity, starts from a paradox in the 2002 statement of the American Sociological Society.  While denying the scientific validity of classification by `race’, it pleads for the collection of data based on the US Census question `What is your race?’ The statement’s appeal to the argument that `race is a social construct’ does not resolve the paradox.

Prof Banton's book, What we Now Know About Race and Ethnicity, is available from Berghahn Books here.

The event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to

Location 3