What does race being a social construct mean? Just the opposite of biological essentialism?
We're mostly descended from people who came here from northern Europe about 4,500 years ago and who brought the Bronze Age with them. (Edit: the Bell Beaker culture, as droid says. But even that is a culture and not an ethnic group in the genetic sense, since it started in Iberia among people who were not Indo-European, and then spread NE through Europe and was taken up by people who did speak Indo-European languages, some of whom then settled - or invaded - Britain and Ireland.)so who were the Britons then? if we werent anglo saxons i mean and celts dont exist
droid + T's answers really cover it, but just to addWhat does race being a social construct mean?
absolutely. this NYRB piece discusses the earliest European interactions with West Africa, and the beginning of some of that discourse.I'ts largely emerging out of slavery as well. If you look at any histories of the slave trade, you can see these discourses emerging
for example, take the Huns. almost certainly there was no singular genetic "Huns". rather there was a group of disparate peoples grouped around an aristocratic warrior core, with a shared culture. in this framework, ethnicity is fluid and permeable. as previous answers indicate, even the slightest historical examination reveals this to be a more useful and accurate way of looking at ethnicity (and race) than immutable genetic categories. examples are innumerable. a famous one I mentioned in another thread is the Irish (and other European immigrants) "becoming white" when they arrived in America, where the defining cultural fact was race.
extremely grim, even by the standards of colonial violence, so bad that even at the time it appalled other Europeansthe atrocities committed by the Belgians