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Lecture 14

SOSC 1040 - Lecture 14 Notes

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Social Science
SOSC 1040
Claudio Colaguori

SOSC 1040 Jan 31, 2013 Race and Racism  Race and racism are “pervasive aspects of Western thought and experience” o D. Goldberg in Racist Culture calls the category of ‘race’ one of the most significant social constructions of the modern era. o A social and scientific category that did not exist in the same way in ancient times, and it continues to shape social power relations power in society. o Notion of biological inferiority: superior/inferior  Social Darwinism and the European colonial project - Racism: emerged from 19th century imperialism and the scientific biases of the times  Race is a category used to hierarchically organize people on the basis of biological and physiological characteristics, especially skin colour.  The human propensity for classification and organization creates hierarchies of inferiority and superiority – us and them, “others”  Tribalism – classifying other people as in-group or out-group members. Strong feelings of belonging to a group is part of our human nature as “social beings”.  Racial problems are complex and pervasive around the world, and are long lasting in their effects: WW II, anti-Semitism, poverty, genocides, everyday discrimination etc. o Genocide is done on the basis of racial differences; soldier must be convinced that small child isn’t human  Race is physiologically defined / ethnicity is culturally defined  Race and ethnic relations also often relates to how power and resources are unequally distributed among cultural or “racialized” groups  Racism is also the fear of difference, a hatred of ‘others’- based on the dehumanization or inferiority of the other  Racism as an ideology that justifies certain social practices such as daily discrimination, slavery, punishment, social exclusion, poverty, genocide and war  The myth of “races” as “separate breeds”: there is only ONE human species - “homo sapiens”  Scientific racism: P. Rushton for example  No such thing as different human “races” meaning distinct separate human groups – there is only
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