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Race as a social category

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2011

John Rex
Department of Social Theory and Institutions, University of Durham


When the United Nations Organization was set up in 1945, one of its first intellectual tasks was to define the problem of racism which had been one of the major factors in Hitler's rise to power and the subsequent devastation of Europe. Hence UNESCO asked a group of biologists and social scientists to draw up a statement in 1949. The original statement and a further version in 1951 proved, however, to be ambiguous and unsatisfactory in certain respects and the Director-General of UNESCO therefore called upon biologists to meet separately in Moscow in 1964 and for their meeting to be followed by a meeting of biologists, social scientists and lawyers which would then address itself to the specific sociological problem of racism.

Sociological aspects
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1969

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