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SY389 Lecture Notes Lesson 8.docx

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Elaine Clark- Rapley

Lesson 8: Normalization and Racialization Your Notes - Be prepared to explain how whiteness is racialized and normalized to be a centre of power and privilege Lecture Outline Part I: Colonizing Bodies: Discourses of White Superiority Part II: Whiteness as a Practice of Power Part III: Hip Hop Culture: Conversations from the Margins PART I: Colonizing Bodies: Discourses of White Superiority Stereotyping - A method of categorizing and classifying people according to narrow cultural standards - Examples of gender stereotypes: o Pink for girls (femininity, soft, weak, Barbies, Princesses) o Men are better drivers than women (they are less emotional, assumed to have better hand-eye coordination) o Toys R Us shows gender stereotypes - Examples of race stereotypes: o All Asians are smart, good at math and Engineering o Jewish Lawyers - A means of perpetuating artificial divisions amongst categorized classes of individuals o Binaries, either/or (me/not like me (‘Other’)) o Classifications = basis for inclusion/exclusion o Assessments…I am superior/you are deficient or inferior ‘Other’ o Dominant groups represent themselves positively (as the social standard) - Means of producing an artificial sense of difference between ‘self’ and ‘Other’ Colonialism - Shaped social relations between European colonizers and non-Europeans - European explorers and colonizers label themselves as the standard for humanity o Different, morally superior, civilized versus non-Europeans as inferior, deficient, uncivilized Barbarians Discourses of Racial Superiority Sander Gilman (2003) - Offers example of how black bodies and black female sexuality is portrayed as different and inferior to white 1) Travellers’ Accounts, which are biased ethnocentric, and racist but presented as objective 2) Medical Science Accounts, which are biased, subjective and prescriptive (of European norms and values) but presented as objective 1) Travellers’ Account Jewish Traveler Benjamin of Tudela writes: “at Seba on the River Pishon…is a people…who, like animals, eat herbs that grow on the banks of the Nile and in the fields. They go naked and have not the intelligence of ordinary men. They cohabit with their sisters and anyone they can find…And these are the Black slaves, the sons of Ham” o This account reveals a process of racialization, a position of moral superiority, and an hierarchal bias in favour of whiteness 2) Medical Science and Sexuality Victorian Era: o Legitimate sex must occur in a monogamous marriage relation o Heterosexual sex in a missionary position o Sex is for reproduction only, not pleasure o Laws against adultery (but biased against women  only women can get charged with adultery) - Many of European men follow a sexual double-standard; sex with prostitutes, blacks, extra- marital affairs: o Question: how to curtail this behaviour? - Medical practitioners promote regulation of women’s sexuality o Good girls (the ones you marry) vs. bad girls (prostitutes, blacks) - Restrictive European sexual code of conduct sets stage for a new dysfunction amongst European women…‘hysteria’: psycho-somatic ‘disorders’ associated with diseases of the womb o They will often get their womb removed The Victorian Era - A time of colonial expansion - Anatomy of black women and prostitutes is said to be different from (and unequal to) morally upright European females o Size and shape of labia are said to mark some women (prostitutes and blacks) as ‘lascivious’ o Sarah Bartmann: icon for black women’s ‘different anatomy’ and hypersexualized ‘nature’ Hottentot - Medical discourse argues that the labia and buttocks are errors in female development/Sarah Bartmann o Which causes her to have hypersexualized behaviours - Bartmann was put on display in British Museum - Visual representations of her anatomy and racial stereotyping suggest Bartmann is different and inferior - Stereotyping: all black women’s anatomy and desire is said to be different from and inferior to White European women - Vested interests of dominant group: partial justification for what white European men are actually doing to black women and prostitution Hottentot Legacy - Modern black women today are encouraged to ‘shake their booty’ in order to gain favourable attention from heterosexual men o Example: music industry celebrities - Question: Does ‘shaking your booty’ demonstrate a form of internalized sexism? Is it promoting a narrow view of females that fails to move beyond looks and sex? ‘Cultural Hegemony’ - We must become aware of how gender and race is constructed in and through colonialism - We must assess how much celebrities (our role models) are participating in cultural forms of hegemony by being persuaded to see themselves through the lens of the dominant culture/centres of power…and by being willing to participate in it PART II: Whiteness is a Practice of Power Centres of Power - Whiteness involves the practice of power; it must be examined in relation to race, racism, and racialization - Whiteness is a position of power that is sometimes reinforced and/or contradicted by social class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, etc…other dimensions of social identity o Whiteness becomes standardized as the norm/the ideal Foucault on Power - Power is a practice that arises through everyday life activities and social interactions - Power can repress the possible and create new conditions of the possible…agency is possible - Power is productive…Example: whiteness creates privilege even as it oppresses Race - Is a consequence of power relations - Has no scientific meaning - Is used for the purposes of social control - Domination: o Genocide o Segregation o Colonization o Assimilation o Keeping people in their place Racism - A form of discrimination - A group of people are differentiated and (negatively) evaluated on the basis of alleged physical or social qualities - A form of exclusion; access to schools, immigration (head tax), housing, jobs - Occurs at the level of social institutions…and in everyday interactions Racialization - “Race” is attributed to a population - Labelling sets stage for the practice of racism - A ‘class’ of individuals is thought to be fundamentally different from the dominant group - Began with colonial control of non-Western civilization…results in subjugation - Science is u
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