As we have observed in Chapter 2, the fabrication of race is a community matter, one that requires a momentous effort from a significantly varied population. Likewise, the fabrication of race is not intimately connected in a cause and effect manner to the proliferation of colonial conquest and the slave trade, as evidenced by the imperative role played by nations not participating in either matter, namely Germany. And so, the effort seems one that is both pan-European, and practically grounded in the grand empires which she nourished. As suggested in Chapter 2, Europeans were left wondering as to the reason for their growing, global preeminence. For this explanation, they turned to the imagined authority of scientific discourse. Because scientific discourse claims to merit dispassionate distance and objective observation, the legitimacy of its truth-claims are rhetorically imposing. To be sure, the reach and influence of this discourse certainly benefited from the channels, forced or otherwise, of exchange between previously disparate societies. But within this discourse there are competing avenues of authority.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Scientific Authority and Appropriation
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number