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H. J. Fleure: a paradigm for inter-war race thinking in Britain

Kushner, Tony (2008) H. J. Fleure: a paradigm for inter-war race thinking in Britain Patterns of Prejudice, 42, (2), pp. 151-166. (doi:10.1080/00313220801996006).

Record type: Article


In the inter-war years, the politicization of 'race', especially in Nazi Germany during the 1930s, produced a dilemma for race scientists in Britain. For the most part deeply unsympathetic to the Nazi regime, they nevertheless found it difficult to dismiss the concept of 'race' when analysing and classifying the peoples of the world. Kushner argues that the leading geographer and anthropologist H. J. Fleure provides an intriguing paradigm in the British case. He was a strong and genuine opponent of the Nazi regime who made great efforts to help its Jewish victims, both by providing refugees with support and by giving lectures and writing articles attacking antisemitism and the concept of 'Aryanism'. Even so, Fleure never fully abandoned race science, even after the Second World War. The failure of even progressive thinkers such as Fleure to leave behind racial categorization, according to Kushner, had a lingering impact after 1945. It led to confusion in the use of terminology well into the twentieth century and beyond, enabling the continuation and revival of race science in a direction opposite to that intended by Fleure and others who found racism morally repugnant.

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Published date: May 2008
Keywords: anthropology, anti-black racism, antisemitism, H. J. Fleure, Nazi Germany, physical anthropology, race science, racialization, racism


Local EPrints ID: 149451
ISSN: 0031-322X
PURE UUID: f8698560-9571-49f0-8121-e354dc6a161a

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Date deposited: 30 Apr 2010 10:08
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 19:29

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