The Medicalization of Race: Scientific Legitimization of a Flawed Social Construct

  title={The Medicalization of Race: Scientific Legitimization of a Flawed Social Construct},
  author={Ritchie Witzig},
  journal={Annals of Internal Medicine},
  • R. Witzig
  • Published 15 October 1996
  • Medicine
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
Use of race as a way to classify large divisions of Homo sapiens originated with Carl von Linne (Linnaeus) [1]. Johann Blumenbach [2] was the first to use the word race, and use of this word has remained largely unchanged in common and medical contexts. Von Linne, the Swedish taxonomist and botanist, was the first to place humans in a taxonomy of animals, in his Systema Naturae in 1758. He divided humans into four main groups on the basis of physical and psychological impressions: Europeans… 

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