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Challenging a culture of racial equivalence

Song, Miri (2014) Challenging a culture of racial equivalence. British Journal of Sociology, 65 (1). pp. 107-129. ISSN 0007-1315. (doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12054)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12054

Abstract

We live at a time when our understandings and conceptualizations of ‘racism’ are often highly imprecise, broad, and used to describe a wide range of racialized phenomena. In this article, I raise some important questions about how the term racism is used and understood in contemporary British society by drawing on some recent cases of alleged racism in football and politics, many of which have been played out via new media technologies. A broader understanding of racism, through the use of the term ‘racialization’, has been helpful in articulating a more nuanced and complex understanding of racial incidents, especially of people’s (often ambivalent) beliefs and behaviours. However, the growing emphasis upon ‘racialization’ has led to a conceptualization of racism which increasingly involves multiple perpetrators, victims, and practices without enough consideration of how and why particular interactions and practices constitute racism as such.The trend toward a growing culture of racial equivalence is worrying, as it denudes the idea of racism of its historical basis, severity and power.These frequent and commonplace assertions of racism in the public sphere paradoxically end up trivializing and homogenizing quite different forms of racialized interactions. I conclude that we need to retain the term ‘racism’, but we need to differentiate more clearly between ‘racism’ (as an historical and structured system of domination) from the broader notion of ‘racialization’.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-4446.12054
Uncontrolled keywords: Racism; racialization; culture of racial equivalence; reverse racism; Ali Rattansi; racial formation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Migration and Social Care (RAE)
Depositing User: Lisa Towers
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 12:41 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:45 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49226 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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