On Biologising Racism

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Abstract
To biologise racism is to treat racism as a neurological phenomenon susceptible to biochemical intervention. In 'Race on the Brain: What Implicit Bias Gets Wrong About the Struggle for Racial Injustice', Kahn (2018) critiques cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists for framing racism in a way that tends to biologise racism, which he argues draws attention and resources away from non-individualistic solutions to racial inequality. In this paper I argue the psychological sciences can accommodate several of Kahn’s criticisms by adopting a situated approach to cognition, where we take environmental features as integral to the cognitive processes that manifest racial bias.
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Archival date: 2021-03-29
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