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Blinded by Sight: The Racial Body and the Origins of the Social Construction of Race

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Osagie K. Obasogie's Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race through the Eyes of the Blind (2014) makes important contributions to both to the sociology of law and to critical race studies. The book challenges “colorblind” racial ideology by showing empirically that people who are blind from birth nevertheless “see” race, grasping it as a nearly omnipresent feature of social interaction and social organization. These insights, however, do not diminish the importance of the racial body. Beyond refuting colorblindness, Obasogie's book points to a neverending tension, embedded in what we call racial formation, between the social construction of race and the corporeality of race. This tension has been present since the dawn of empire and African slavery. Obasogie's achievement of falsifying colorblindness should not lead us to neglect the importance of the racial body.

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