chapter  23
14 Pages

Eugenics

WithCamisha Russell

This chapter describes the chief characteristics of eugenic ideologies and programs. It shows how some proponents of a new, liberal eugenics defend their aims. The chapter offers a critical account of the relationship between science and technology in the Modern era, focusing on the role that technological advances and ambitions played in the development of race science. It discusses some of the ways in which power and coercion operate in (neo)liberal reprogenetic contexts. The chapter addresses a few of the ways in which racism, broadly conceived, still haunts new eugenic programs. Liberal eugenicists wish to reclaim the word "eugenics," protecting its practices from past injustices by ensuring that all eugenic technologies are freely chosen by individuals only for use on themselves and/or their children. Beliefs in the power of human heredity to shape society and to be shaped in service of society are essential both to the race idea and to the support of any eugenic project.