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SOCY 1089 (23)
Lecture

Representations of Race

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCY 1089
Professor
Sharlene Hesse- Biber
Semester
Fall

Description
SC089.01 (11.05.2013) Representation of Race The Nature and History of Racism ­Essentialism is the link: linking race to biology ­Reduces a group of people to a set of essential characteristics (often  negative) ­These characteristics are used as “proof” to generate that group’s  behavior, values, attitudes, cultural practices, and material  circumstances ­You are born that way, you look that way, you act that way *Stuart Hall says race is relational, not grounded in biology. What, then, is it  rooted in? ­Race can be invented to justify a certain system ­Done through language ­Categorization of “self” and “other”. What makes this  real? Power ­Politics and knowledge­building ­Expert power, dominant discourse ­Also: The oppressed take on the definitions and reproduce them ­We come to accept how others have defined us ­Some get benefits for accepting the definition and supporting the  binary system ­Hard to break out of the perpetuation and normalization New Racism: Often known as “cultural difference”—says we are different (no  hierarchy?) but frames the culture of the “other” in the new racist frame ­Claims that since institutionalized (legal) racism no longer exists, racism no  longer exists ­We blame culture instead, that these people are doing it to themselves ­This way of thinking ignores structural constraints  ­It is easier to swallow inequality this way, but 
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