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Lecture 6

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Girish Daswani

ANTB20 Culture, Globalization, and Politics Lecture 6 Cultural Citizenship and the Body Politic Introduction Anthropology has two main themes, one is social anthropology-British school of anthropology and the other is cultural anthropology- American school of anthropology. Now we talk about social cultural anthropology. Race is one of the founding ideas in cultural anthropology, with founding father being Franz Boas. He measured the skulls of different races to determine if certain cultures fit into certain physical features. In Django unchained, Leonardo Dicaprio takes a skull and put it on the table of father’s African slave servant and ask why do you think they do not come together and rebel and kill us all, the answer can be found in this spot in the skull, this spot explains why the negro is more subservient and submissive to authority. Brain activity does determine aspects of our behavior but it is not as easily defined, the linking of a certain type of person and race to cultural qualification of inferiority and meant to oppressed, this moral judgment is quite powerful. Although we have realized now that is not true, race still exists as a category in many countries. Racial movement is being understood in ways that can restrict who can move across these boundaries, how those are treated who move with hospitality or hostility. The limit of hospitality is when the owner of the house says to the guests and stranger you are welcome on these terms but outside of these terms I will get hostile. Race exists as a category partly because it influences the way you are treated, how allocation of resources goes out to certain groups of people, believe we share physical similarities/attributes (this can be debated), race is not a biological construct. Still exits as categories produced by government. We see ourselves and each other through categories given to us. In London when professor was pursuing his degree, he was told he was Asian. In Ghana he was referred to as white. The categories used upon you depends on who you are talking to. Race is real, at its root, it comes down to ideas that hold on to assumptions that certain kinds of people behave in certain kinds of ways. M.I.A.  ‘Born Free’ video.  Think about the link between race and red-heads and what they have to do with each other.  White red-heads captured and transported on a box separating the driver and guards from the prisoners.  Walking in line to middle of desert.  Lined up horizontally and told to start running, while others are on their knees with hands tied.  Young red-head shot and boys start running. Being bombed.  M. I. A. is of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, grew up in London, and now lives in the U.S. She was making reference to massacre of Tamil people by predominantly Singhalese people.  Jokes are made about white red-heads but we do not generally see them as threats, the video increases the shock level in the West.  The state has the power to categorize people and deem certain people better or lower, higher or worst. There is not always a majority-minority web of connections.  The red heads are being identified as a threat in the video and then are being taken care of.  Structural violence is when the institutions you exist in create barriers for you not to move in a certain direction compared to other groups.  Anyone can be subject to discrimination. Whether by race, nationality, or religion, people can be deemed to receive more violence, ANYONE can be classified. Once the classification sticks and cultural assumption comes along, it makes it justifiable to deal with people in certain ways.  It is a powerful message shown by M.I.A.  Even if you all belong to the same nation state, there is a cultural discourse that allows people to speak about another race as a cultural discourse.  Professor was dating a Chinese girl and when her parents found out, her parents told her she must not go out with him, because Indian men get drunk and beat their wives and he was dark skin so they didn’t want her kids to look like him.  Cultural stereotypes are reinforced and depends on who holds the power. Aime Cesaire  Black French man of African descent and became a politician.  Was one of the founders of legatude movement – giving voice to the colonialism that affected Africa and the African colonies.  The metaphor Hitler is not dead is a reference to in this secular, post-religious world we claim to be, a nation that believes in God still, the idea of what Hitler represented is not dead and still alive in all these cases around the world. The force he created to persecute a group of people according to a certain type that put them in camps and allowed them to be killed. I only become aware of race when people look at me and try to figure me out. Even within race, there can be so many variations and differences within people. – said by Frantz Fanon Student brought up the idea that there may be so much variation with certain groups than actually between the groups. One can also perform a racial type as well- through speech, dress, and etc. ‘Race’ as Ideology  Not reflected in real
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