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Book: Fabricating Authenticity

Chapter: Is there Neo-Nazi DNA? Ancestry Tests and Biological Essentialism in American Racism

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40284


In this chapter, Smith considers how the notion of authenticity is employed in discussions and understandings of genetic ancestry testing. Drawing on various responses to ancestry testing—from overtly racist internet forums to commercials and programs aiming to frame cultural diversity in a positive way—Smith argues that these competing narratives and constructs of identity ultimately authorize their claims through a reification of biological essentialism.

Chapter Contributors

  • Martha Smith ( - mlsmith) 'Fullerton College'