Repositioning, not replacing, race: the case for concepts of descent-based difference

Marcello Maneri, Ann Morning

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


    In this response to the very thoughtful critiques of our book, An Ugly Word: Rethinking Race in Italy and the United States, we advocate for a comparative sociological examination of race that, while acknowledging and documenting its enduring centrality, also explores alternative notions of ancestry-based distinction. The framework that we propose for examining the full range of such “concepts of descent-based difference,” rather than obscuring social scientists’ comprehension of the enduring significance of whiteness or disregarding the role of race as a socio-political construct, serves to broaden and systematize our analysis. It facilitates a nuanced exploration of the perception and categorization of diverse groups in varied societies worldwide. We are also grateful for the critics' suggestions for further exploring our “race-conscious versus race-skeptic” binary and the public relevance of our research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
    StateAccepted/In press - 2023


    • concept of race
    • Descent
    • ethnicity
    • Italy
    • new racism
    • United States

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology and Political Science


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