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Chapter readings 20

Sociology 2240E Chapter readings 20: soc 2240e


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2240E
Professor
Robert Nonomura
Chapter
readings 20

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Fear of small numbers
Sunday, April 29, 2018
7:01 PM
Fear of the weak
The idea of a majority is not prior to or independent from that of a minority, especially in the
discourse of modern politics
o Majorities are as much the product of enumeration and political nomination as are
minorities
o Majorities need minorities in order to exist, even more than the reverse
Predatory identities
Those identities whose social construction and mobilization require the extinction of other,
proximate social categories, defined as threats to the very existence of some group, defined as a
we
Emerge out of pairs of identities which have long histories of close contact, mixture, and some
degree of mutual stereotyping, violence may or may not have been apart of these histories, but
some degree of contrastive identification is always involved
o One of these pairs often turns predatory
o Identities that claim to require the extinction of another collectively for their own survival
o Almost always majoritarian identities
Sometime these are claims of religious majorities (christians vs. jews)
Predatory identities, I other words, are products of situations in which the idea of a national
peoplehood is successfully reduced to the principle of ethnic singularity
o So that the existence of even the smallest minority within national boundaries is seen as an
intolerable deficit in the purity of the national whole
Ex. German Nazis and jews
o The project of Germanness became defined in ethno racial terms and the logic of purity
came into play, a variety of minorities became sites of rage about incomplete impurities:
homosexuals, gypsies, and above all, jews
o Jews were painted as representing various kinds of social, political, and economic threats,
and were seen as a cancer for the purity of German blood
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