This week we will focus on the concept and construction of race, and the production of racial knowledge. We will examine race as a contingent historical, social, political, economic and cultural construction that has not only served as a mode of human differentiation, classification or categorization, but has justified various historical practices from colonialism and slavery to contemporary forms of legal discrimination and exclusion.
Emphasis will be placed on the concept of racialization (how people are naturalized by seeing them as racial) and on race as a signifier (or how race comes to be used to stand for a whole range of characteristics associated with the other).
We will explore the practices that the concept and construction of race has justified, the relationship between the concept and construction of race and racism itself, the role and function of the racial ‘other’ within the construction of one’s own identity, culture and ideology, and how the concept and construction of race has changed over time. Finally, we will discuss and debate the viability of race as a concept in/for social, political, cultural and theoretical identification, classification and analysis.
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