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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Race and Ethnography - September 25.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Saul Cohen

September 25, 2013. Lecture 3 – Race/Ethnography Queen Latifah’s got a headache  A few quick points about rave in contemporary North America o We are interpolated into our racial identities  Hailed or called into our racial identities  Don’t have these identities until we are “called” into them, and then the identity sticks  Someone says “Hey bitch” and you respond, you are now that “bitch” when you weren’t before responding  Queen Latifah gets looks in her office for an “ok” on racist jokes, so she is now the token black person in the office o Even liberal attitudes reproduce deep racist structures  Even an act of seeming liberal benevolence, including people in the culture and asking people about their own culture, promotes racist structure  When you ask a black person if they “know any good reggae clubs” you turn them from an individual into a member of their cultural group who must be the same as any stereotype o Everyday racism (“intimate violence”) has pernicious effects  Redefining Violence  B&S: violence as a continuum that spans: o Structural  Part of how the world works, violence inherent in the system o Symbolic  “the mechanisms that lead subordinated people to see their inequality as natural”  Leads these people to blame themselves for their unequal representation o Everyday/intimate  Story of little black girl on NYC subway train sitting next to white woman, woman cringes away from her, gives her a look of hate, gets up to move away from her; doesn’t want to be pressed up against a little black girl  Homelessness and disgust Affect and Racism  Audre Lord’s story  Homelessness and disgust  Inequalities are lived in our bodies o Women try and take up less space on the subway so as to not be in the way or inconvenience anyone, whereas men will assert their masculinity by spreading their legs as far as fucking possible or taking the armrest on a plane  Habitus o We reproduce bigger racial structures in seemingly insignificant habitual actions o In our everyday, little actions we don’t just reflect racist/classist/sexist structures but also create them The meaning we give to perceived differences  Race, like “human”: o Has no fixed meaning  Could even say it has NO meaning  “the meaning we give to perceived differences”
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