Tracing the Ideology of Racialized Risk Management in the United States

This presentation charts the use of race in actuarial science, risk management, and individualized decision making across the long twentieth century in the United States. It shows how the practice of assessing risk through the variable of race flowed from the life insurance industry to the criminal justice system, social welfare programs, and finance. And though the connection between riskiness and Black Americans, Indigenous Americans, and People of Color was established in industry and government, this presentation will conclude by illustrating how these practices informed discourses of individualized risk management in interracial interactions in American life in the latter half of the twentieth century.