Contemporary challenges for anti-racism: issues and strategies

Babacan, Hurriyet (2007) Contemporary challenges for anti-racism: issues and strategies. In: Gopalkrishnan, Narayan, and Babacan, Hurriyet, (eds.) Racisms in the New World Order: realities of cultures, colours and identity. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 186-202.

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[Extract] Ideas of "race" have shaped social and political relations all over the world over centuries. Zelinka (1996, p. 1) defines racism as, "a belief in the superiority of one particular racial or ethnic group and, flowing from this, the exclusion of other groups from some or many aspects of society". Today, ideas based on "biological" or "scientific" racism persist but are increasingly discredited. In their place have developed new expressions of "racism" related to ideas about social and cultural difference. In other words, there has been a shift from "biological racism", based on physical differences such as skin colour, to "cultural racism" based on ideas of cultural superiority and the negative impact of other supposedly inferior cultures on one's own (EMCRX 2005; Hollinsworth 2006). Thus, "race" is socially constructed and has no existence outside of its social or ideological meaning (Hollinsworth 2006: 24-29).

Van Dijk (2005) provides a comprehensive overview of racism and points out racism is reproduced in many ways and has many dimensions. The author offers a useful framework for thinking about racism:

• Racism as domination - a specific kind of power of one group over others.

• Racism as discrimination - at the microlevel (socio cognitive) of discriminatory practices that reproduce racism in everyday life but also at the social, economic and political, which limits access to control over resources causing inequalities.

• Racism as Institution - that is the macro level of which penetrates the different levels of organisations and their procedures such as political and judicial institutions, the media, education systems and knowledge production (including research).

• Racism as racist beliefs - not just in discrimination but in beliefs which inform everyday interactions including prejudices, stereotypes, myths and racist ideologies

• Racism as discourse - which reproduces racism, learnt through literature, film, news, articles, gossip and professionalism. The access to discourse is one of key areas of inequality, and denial of a voice is a way of perpetuating racism.

Item ID: 17907
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-84718-223-4
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2011 03:23
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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