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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4164.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 12:45 PM

Abstract #120600

Bio-politics of racial statistics: A critique of evidence-based policy

Luis A. Aviles, PhD, MPH, Sociology Department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Apartado 1177, Boqueron, PR 00622-1177, 939-640-3265, laviles@uprm.edu

The evidence-based policy approach rests on the positivist tradition of 19th century science with its multiple limitations, such as the universalization of knowledge, a firm belief on the neutrality of scientific endeavors, and the high regard of quantitative methods as the paradigm of science. Foucault's concept of bio-politics, the series of policies and practices regulating health and population that inevitably introduce a particular ordering of society itself, poses questions on the universality and neutrality of science and quantitative methods. This presentation takes as a case study of biopolitics the controversial 2000 U.S. Census conducted in Puerto Rico, the first one in decades to introduced questions on the racial classification of Puerto Ricans and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Survey on Racial Classification to demonstrate the weaknesses of the positivist paradigm in which evidenced-based policy is based.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Race, racism, and race-based medicine: Current issues

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA