Class Notes (835,073)
Canada (508,912)
York University (35,176)
HREQ 2010 (80)
Lecture 21

HREQ 2010 Lecture 21: March 27

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Human Rights and Equity Studies
HREQ 2010
Paul Brienza

What is Race? -race can be defined as the perception that significant taxonomic and physiognomic differences, that is differences in appearance, contribute to divergences in temperament, intelligence, trustworthiness and morality -race is generally connected to the idea of genetic or hereditary traits that are passed on from generation to generation -physiognomic differences that we associated with different races have no bearing on interior qualities (intelligence and other features) -no biological groundings for any notion of race -however, race for many has been taken as a biological difference, which can be attributed to various reasons: 1) Pseudo-scientific notion of race: connected to evolution -Charles Darwin: all life emerged from less complex forms to more complex forms, that for instance, human beings evolved from species of primates (assumed to be a scientific path that can be observed from one species to another) -ethnicity often overlaps with race and can be expressed in more cultural terms. Ethnicity does not assume a physiognomic difference -race is, for most who have practiced it, a biological difference -evolution and race: some assume that race distinction was a necessary and viable element in the evolution of human society -Richard Dawkins, for example, claims that race “could be interpreted as an irrational generalization of a kin-selected tendency to identify with individuals physically resembling oneself, and to be nasty to individuals different in appearance” (The Selfish Gene) -what he lacks is the understanding of the social systematic ways in which race is perpetuated -the creation of modern racism is connected to the modern event of the slave trade, immigration, mass migration, etc. -this is not a universal human property -it delimits or sets limits on this idea that racism is a property of a particular social system, which assumes that everyone is racist -is racism then a convenient tool of distinction that allows us to separate who is our group versus who is not? That is, by some (reflected in Dawkins’ statement), a universal element -these notions of race come into the human consciousness -part of what Dawkins’ statement is that: 1) Race as part of human nature: -to be racist and essentially concerned with distinctions between people, is part of human nature 2) Race as a cultural convention: -viable understanding of race Types of Racism: 1) Xenophobia: antipathy towards foreigners 2) Supremacism: -the entire notion of race and racism is premised on a hierarchy -the belief that one’s race or cultural group is inherently superior to others -this belief may be based in ‘biological’ or ‘cultural’ differences -supremacism may often lead to the mistreatment of those who are considered ‘inferior’ -often the category of ‘subhuman’ is used to describe the inferior group: common refrain of White supremacist groups -John Porter: Vertical Mosaic: in Canada, the hierarchy of ethnicities can be observed in terms of income and education 3) Segregation: -this is the separation of human racial groups on an everyday and practical level -fairly recent examples include the American south and apartheid in South Africa -the implication here is that groups should not intermingle or mix -of prime importance here is the idea that groups should not ‘genetically mix’ -it is described as a thing of the past, when, in reality, it is not 4) Discrimination: -this is the more general ‘race strategy’ to be found in modern societies -racial separation is not officially sanctioned or recognized, as in segregation models, but is based on an implicit social practice -therefore, it could involve people being hired based on the subtle indications of a ‘white- sounding name’ -this type of racism can often be ‘unconscious’ since it is passed on from long historical sources 5) Institutional/structural/state/systemic: -this is a type of racism that carried on by governments, corporations and large institutions -in this case, the organizational structure is set up in such a way that it favors people of one group while not provided the appropriate resources and opportunities to members of outside groups -perpetuate the power systems and the hierarchy as it is 6) Economic: -this is a type of racism that is based on the divisions of an economic system -class, in other words, intersects with race -a good example of this can be found in the ‘racialization of poverty’ in countries such as the United States -this often creates a racialized ‘underclass’ that are in a perpetual cycle of economic distress combined with a general lack of social access and opportunity -in these cases, what happens is that class and race evolve into something more akin to 7) Ideological: -this type of racism is largely based on the presentation of images in popular culture and news media sources -it is clear that we have ‘ingrained images’ present in our minds of what a particular race looks like, acts and behaves -we connect certain groups with crime, terrorism, mistrust, lack of hygiene, and so on -crime, for example, has become a racialized category—the racialization of crime and the criminalization of race -often this type of racism has a very powerful and sustaining affect and stays with us -deeply ingrained these perceptions can become, which can create real fears in people 8) Scientific: -unilinear theories of social progress, social Darwinism, Eugenics, miscegenation - example: Lombroso -slavery emerged and continued to thrive through a combination of these types. Race Nationalism: -race is often connected, in modern times, with an idea of nationalism -nationalism: is based on the idea that one’s ‘nation state’ is of
More Less

Related notes for HREQ 2010

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.