Genealogy does not pose as political motivation, let alone moral imperative. It is a tool for those already engaged in resistance-not to dictate action but to enrich ongoing processes of analyzing and strategizing. With that understanding of genealogy's role, as I have argued (McWhorter 2009) and will argue here, Foucault's method can be extremely useful for confronting racism. In particular, his concepts of normalization and biopower are crucial for understanding how racism survived the demise of the nineteenth-century science that supported it and how it persisted throughout the twentieth century despite social, political, and economic change.
Copyright © 2017 Oxford University Press. This chapter first appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race.
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McWhorter, Ladelle . "From Scientific Racism to Neoliberal Biopolitics." In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race, edited by Naomi Zack, 282-93. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017