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ANTB20 Lecture 06.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Girish Daswani

ANTB20 Lecture 06: Cultural Citizenship and the Body Politics Nation discourse and cultural discourse –eg: Aimé Césaire: When I turn on my radio, when I hear that Negroes have been lynched in America, I say that we have been lied to: Hitler is not dead; when I turn on my radio, when I learn that Jews have been insulted, mistreated, persecuted, I say that we have been lied to: Hitler is not dead; when finally, I turn on my radio and hear that in Africa forced labor has been inaugurated and legalized, I say that we certainly been lied to: Hitler is not dead” Way of saying that “genocide” or the force that Hitler created isn’t dead. Ideology goes beyond Hitler! His disciple is Franz Fanon. His father was middle classed, trained in France. He said “I only become aware of race when I walk around.” Race was a force to colonize groups. Race is a way to create identity. Draw on readings example of Chinese getting together outside of China to talk about violence towards Chinese people in Indonesia. Nigeria: Yoruba (educated) and Northerners are violent- more past stereotypes than present. So totally: Race is an ideology: • According to Louis Althusser, ideology does not "reflect" the real world but "represents” the “imaginary relationship of individuals" to the real world. • In other words, we are always within ideology because of our reliance on language to establish our "reality”. • The main purpose of ideology is in "'constituting' concrete individuals as subjects”- or way to describe you. • Looking more closely at subjects: So pervasive is ideology in its constitution of subjects that it forms our very reality and appears to us as "true" or "obvious." Through "interpellation," individuals are turned into subjects…..Process whereby individuals acknowledge and respond to ideologies, thereby recognizing themselves as subjects. Althusser's example is the hail from a police officer: "'Hey, you there!’… Assuming that the theoretical scene I have imagined takes place in the street, the hailed individual will turn round. By this mere one-hundred-and-eighty-degree physical conversion, he becomes a subject. Another example for subject:- An excerpt from Franz Fanon’s (Black Skin, White Mask) book: “Look, a Negro!” It was an external stimulus that flicked over me as I passed by. I made a tight smile. “Look, a Negro!” It was true. It amused me… “Mama, see the Negro! I’m frightened!” Frightened! Frightened! Now they were beginning to be afraid of me… I could no longer laugh, because I already knew that there were legends, stories, history and above all, historicity… I subjected myself to an objective examination, I discovered my blackness, my ethnic characteristics; and I was battered down by tom-toms, by cannibalism, intellectual deficiency, fetichism, racial defects, slave-ships… He observes himself as a racial type or historicity. He brings with him a story that is heavily stereotyped. So is race a genetic condition or group? • ‘Race’ is a natural category that helps define humans according to shared phenotypical features (physical features) and/or biology (genes / ‘blood’)? It is a social cateogory • ‘Race’ is not a genetic transmission of essential characteristics or groups homogenous within themselves. • “Race”, as an interpretive category, did not become a household word in Europe until the 16 C. th • The distinctness of ‘Race’ developed out of an understanding of evolutionary theory and the association of certain people’s phenotype with cultural attribu
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