Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology


Albanese, John




Many forensic anthropologists and law enforcement agencies are still using racial categories for identification purposes since it aids in narrowing the search for identifying an individual and also aids the public when a description of an unknown is given in hopes that someone will identify them. Forensic techniques have been developed based on biased race determination methods that do not work. Problems are then created when discussing the topic of race because race can mean many different things to any one individual, especially to anthropologists who cannot find a common methodology to determine “race” within these police investigations. Due to this, the computer software accuracy of AncesTrees and Fordisc used be forensic anthropologists in these investigations has come into question. This thesis explores the use of race within forensic anthropology and criminology (specifically police forces). The results from this thesis show that race is a social construct and promotes racialization for investigators and forensic anthropologists and does not prove to be beneficial in identification investigations.