New Publication! Thomas, James M. and David L. Brunsma (2014) “Oh, You’re Racist? I’ve Got a Cure for That!,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 37 (9): 1467-1485. (Lead Article)
ABSTRACT: It has recently been discovered that the beta blocker drug, propranolol, can potentially reduce implicit racial bias among its users. By acting upon the affective conditions associated with implicit racial bias functioning at the non-conscious and pre-conscious levels, researchers have expressed excitement about the potential of propranolol and similar drugs to decrease implicit racial attitudes, and, thus, potentially decrease racism. This study and others like it not only provide indications of an affective component to modern-day racism, but, more importantly, an epistemological shift in the meaning of racism within academia from a social and cultural problem to a medical problem. In this article, we examine this shift in academic discourse towards a pathologization of racism and the implications of this on the sociological study of race and racism.