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Race by Degree

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Race by Degree

According to race contextualism, there is no meaningful sense in which a person's race remains the same across contexts as different as the United States, Brazil, Senegal, and so on. Michael Root writes, "Race does not travel. Some men who are black in New Orleans now would have been octoroons there some years ago or would be white in Brazil today." Against contextualism, I argue that racial kinds are global. But to make sense of the global nature of race, we must radically rethink the nature of race. I claim that race comes in degrees; and while the degree of one's race remains the same across contexts, the exact social significance of one's degree of race will vary. For example: a person can be black, to some degree, in both the US and Brazil, but the significance of this fact will be interpreted differently in those respective countries. The degree-theoretic account of race makes sense of the global nature of race and its local interpretations.

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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.