The University Record, June 4, 2001

Book discusses how minorities come to be

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

How does a minority come to be? That’s the question tackled in The Construction of Minorities: Cases for Comparison Across Time and Around the World published by the U-M Press. The essays included range across six or seven centuries and several continents.

“All of these essays are about the ways that formal, public distinctions are constructed,” says editor Raymond Grew, professor emeritus of history. “And all reveal the operation of an almost manic logic, whereby differences—once they have been socially or politically defined—take on a life of their own.”

In addition to Grew, contributors include the following U-M faculty members: David D. Bien, professor emeritus of history; Juan R.I. Cole, professor of history; Todd Endelman, professor of modern Jewish history; Earl Lewis, dean, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; Sabine MacCormack, the Mary Ann and Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Professor for the Study of Human Understanding; and Ann L. Stoler, professor of anthropology.