Does the concept of genetic ancestry reinforce racism?

A commentary on the discourse practice of archaeogenetics




ancestry, genetics, migration, race, racism


Genetic ancestry is seen as an alternative to the problematic concept of race and is positioned against abusive racist and nationalist perspectives. The concept of genetic ancestry is nevertheless not free of racial categorizations. Increasingly, it is becoming an integral part of identity politics. Genetic ancestry is promoted as a way to give identity and visibility to marginalized groups but is also rejected as a form of biocolonialism. In xenophobic and racist discourses of right-wing groups, the concept has found fertile ground. The field of genetics is partly to blame for this since it opens the door to problematic identity discourses through a careless use of archaeological, ethnic, and genetic categories.


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How to Cite

Burmeister S. Does the concept of genetic ancestry reinforce racism? A commentary on the discourse practice of archaeogenetics. TATuP [Internet]. 2021 Jul. 26 [cited 2022 Sep. 28];30(2):41-6. Available from: