[AFRICAM 27AC] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (12 pages long)

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AFRICAM 27AC
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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African American Studies 27AC Midterm Study Guide
Exam Guidelines
7 IDs, choose 5
Write 2-3 sentences
Identify term
Explain its larger significance w/in the context of this course
2 essay questions, choose 1
Write 3-4 solid, info packed paragraphs
Use examples and evidence from across course material
Theoretical Models from Readings
Omi & Winant: “Racial Formation” (1986)
• Race: concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to
different types of human bodies (Omi & Winant)
A social construct that explains the perceived differences b/t color, hair, bone
Not biological
We read people’s physical traits and make assumptions
A fiction w/ real historical consequences that comes from looking at people
Example: we use language of color to describe race race is about superficial traits
Racial formation: the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited,
transformed, and destroyed
Example: Africans tribes Africans blacks slaves (commodity)
Lesser whites (italians, irish) became white
Emancipation implies blackness different b/c ppl free
Whiteness also re-articulated when blackness changes
Racial project: simultaneously an interpretation, representation, or explanation of racial
dynamics, and an effort to reorganize & redistribute resources along particular racial lines
Examples: affirmative action, gerrymandering, busing (desegregation), white supremacy,
Nazism
Not all are hegemonic (they assert racism but never achieve political power)
Paraphrase: explains racial sorting & taking resources away from people
• Racism: a racial project can be defined as racist if and only if it creates or reproduces structures
of dominance based on essentialist categories of race
Nothing inherently white about racism all racisms, all racist political projects, are not
the same (Omi & Winant)
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• Essentialism: the belief in real, true human, essences, existing outside or impervious to social and
historical context
Racial dictatorship: norm against which all US politics must be measured
American identity = white
“Color line” = fundamental division of US society
“Racial dictatorship consolidated the oppositional racial consciousness”
Communities (blacks, Asians, Native Am) dictated by the dominant group (whites)
Racial dictatorship = hegemony of white supremacy
Gramsci:
Organic / traditional intellectuals
Out ideas come from material & social world, but new ideas come from intellectuals
“All men [and women] are intellectuals but not all men have in society the function of
intellectuals”
“One cannot speak of non-intellectuals, because non-intellectuals do not exist”
Example: students aren’t intellectuals, but professor does fulfill function of an intellectual
Organic intellectual
Activist & organizer
You speak to and for the class you come from
Example: entrepreneurs, b/c they have to be good at everything in the business
(Steve Jobs)
Frederick Douglass
Traditional intellectual
• Hegemony: the way economics, politics, and culture protect and advance the interests of the
ruling class
when all 3 (base, structure, & superstructure from Marxist theory of culture) work
together
Dominant culture assists dominant politics assists dominant economy
Example: white supremacy
Examples: only 2 instances of complete hegemony (according to Gramsci)
Medieval Europe under pope
Fascist Italy under Mussolini
Enforced either through consent of the ppl or state’s coercive power
Paraphrase: hegemony makes the interests of whites normal & natural
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