Race or Ethnicity?
On Black and Latino Identity
"What is race? What is ethnicity? Should we think of them as identities? Can they be effectively individuated? How are they related? How do the relations between them influence pressing issues concerned with social identity, gender, racism, assimilation, exploitation, justice, the law, and public policy? And how are the answers to these questions affected by the Black and Latino experience in the United States"—From the Preface
This collection of new essays explores the relation between race and ethnicity and its social and political implications. Although much work has been done on the philosophy of race in the past century in the United States, the concept of ethnicity has only recently awoken the interest of American philosophers, and the relations between race and ethnicity remain largely unexamined.
The discussion is divided into two parts dealing, on the one hand, with the nature and the relation between race and ethnicity and, on the other, with the social consequences of the complex relations between them. Part I explores in particular the debated topic of racial and ethnic identities: Does it make sense to speak of racial and ethnic identities, and especially of black and Latino identities? And if it does make sense, how should these identities be conceptualized, and how are they related to gender? Part II examines how race and ethnicity have influenced the lot of some social groups in significant ways: How do racially defined institutions deal with racial assimilation? How do different conceptions of race and ethnicity influence public policy and various forms of racism? How can exploited racial and ethnic groups be effectively recognized? And what is the role of affect in social justice as dispensed by the courts?