Race and Racism

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  • Created by: maya
  • Created on: 27-04-17 20:09

questions

Which part of the film clips most impacted you and why?
How are the themes of identity, difference and exclusion developed in the film clips?
Select examples illustrating essentialist understandings of race and explain why you have chosen them
Select examples to build a relational understanding of race (e.g. place/time specific; self:other) and explain why you have chosen them
What do you understand by ‘scientific racism’ and note how the film traces its development?

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Race and ethnicity

What is Race as a cateogry of human difference? 

Colonialism è Science  (past & present) è Race doesn’t exist

2) Critiques of the category of Race (from Race è Ethnicity)

3) Exclusion è racism & ethnocide - 

examples of personal/group identities entangled in other discriminatory and violent socio-political-economic contexts

4)Examples of ‘self/group’ identity politics (in relation to ‘othering’) 5)And finally… Some case studies of how contemporary human geographers have engaged with these issues

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what is race as category of human difference?

Origin emergence of race - embedded polits & economics of colonialism and slavery

i.e. colonialism as a system produces race and forces category of sub-human

Examples of racism as direct rasult - racial cateogiring 

History of scientific racism - Eugenic (Namibia, USA, UK, Germany)

Black people smaller skull not formed- inferior to white people 

SCIENCE RACE RACISM 

can link to gender, **** and sexuality- a form of essentialising race - can link science to these things 

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role of science

.

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Today……. a big topic!!

1)What is Race as a category of human difference?: - where did that idea come from and what can we learn from 

Colonialism è Science  (past & present) è Race doesn’t exist

2) Critiques of the category of Race (from Race -> Ethnicity) - critique idea of race 

3) Exclusion -> racism & ethnocide -  moves from race to identity 

examples of personal/group identities entangled in other discriminatory and violent socio-political-economic contexts

4)Examples of ‘self/group’ identity politics (in relation to ‘othering’)
- main forms of exclusion that comes from this

5)And finally… Some case studies of how contemporary human geographers have engaged with these issues  . There can be times when these examples can be helpful, seeing a particular group is being discriminated or helpful for people to say I am THIS you need to take notice of me and consider my rights.

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What is race as a category of human difference?

You’ve seen the film clips: race is an idea, race is not something natural, the idea of race emerged from a political context  - colonialism 

History of emergence of category of race – embedded in politics and economics of colonialism & slavery

i.e. colonialism as a system produces race and forces category of sub-human
when the West encountered different people - they said it didn't matter that they were using their resources because they are a completely race alltogether - sub-human
Race emerged from this political/social context connected with imperialism 

Examples of racism as a direct result of racial categorizing

History of scientific racism -  Eugenics (Namibia -> USA -> UK -> Germany)- selective breeding movement. laws passed that said you can only marry people as the same race as you. 

even though slavery is in the past it still has implications for how we think about race today because this is where race originated from. 

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Science Race racism

Can link here to gender, sex, sexuality -> a form of essentialising race

can link science to these things.. (like how you link it to race racism)

science tried to essentialise the category of race 

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role of science in naturalising& normalising diffe

The role of science in naturalising and normalising difference & hierarchy

racial’ science and theories of evolution maintained that ‘discrete ‘races’ existed, which could be differentially ranked on the basis of heredity, physical characteristics and intelligence
(Ifekwunigwe 1999, 3) . 

idea of race, socially constructed

skull measuring, white brain had more space than *****... link in terms of intelligence, this is dangerous because era when science had a lot of authority

the idea of race was socially constructed criteria, but science provided the evidence for that. skull measuring, categorising different facial and other characteristics - skull size, idea that the white brain had more space than the ***** brain. if you can link races to biologial characteristics can link them in terms of intelligent capabalities. 

science was gaining a lot of authority, if you could prove something it was out of debate.

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Social Darwinism

Natural inferiority of subjugated races

John Lubbock (1834-1913) , first social Darwinist

‘The whole history of man shows how the stronger and progressive increase in numbers and drive out the weaker and lower races’ (Lubbock 1875:3)
people started applying Darwin's survival of the fittest to races.. dangerous because said should let black people struggle

natives- lesser beings - less able to fight... die out- created by whites 

Darwinism completely changed how people thought about the world- an interpretation of the world that was different to the Biblbe. this was a theory that had a massive impact across the whole of society, when you link this to race it becomes problematic. people appied survival of the fittest to races- white people doing better got resources, native people are struggling- argument was that we should let them struggle. genuinely beleived that the science was showing that native populations were lesser beings, less able to compete and as a result eventually they would die out. this is nature, can't intefere not going to help people who are struggling. white people had taken their resources that's why they were struggling 

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The retreat of scientific racism

… the very word “race” is itself a racist term not simply because it represents a congeries of errors, or that it is a spurious “reality” with no objective existence, but in addition, and most importantly, because its baleful influence constitutes a threat to the very existence of humanity, much of which has already vanished as a direct result of racism.

(Montagu 1997[1942]: 47)

thankfully these idea became  problematic, now the very idea of race is problematic idea of race is difficult, marking people out of different. 

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The retreat of scientific racism

… the very word “race” is itself a racist term not simply because it represents a congeries of errors, or that it is a spurious “reality” with no objective existence, but in addition, and most importantly, because its baleful influence constitutes a threat to the very existence of humanity, much of which has already vanished as a direct result of racism.

(Montagu 1997[1942]: 47)

the genetic difference between two races is minute, it is completely in contrast to what they thought in the era of skull measuring. we are biologically the same, most people accept that the idea of race is just an idea.

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One approach to ‘race’ now…

‘What is clear is that the genetic differences between the so-called races are minute. On average there is 0.2 % difference in genetic material between any two randomly chosen people on Earth.”
- completely in contrast to period of skull measuring
Hoffman (1994) ‘The science of Race’, Discovery 15(2):4
Race – are we so different: http://www.understandingrace.org/home.html
The idea of ‘race’ is just that – an idea (Wade 1997:13)

But jsut because we know that category of race has no basis in reality, scientific biology. the idea of race is still with us today and still has consequences. 
one example is Donald Trump, census/surveys <- have to fill out your race. socioeconomic data within business, job opportunities - all great examples  

 

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Whether or not category of race still taken seriou

Whether or not category of race still taken seriously in scientific terms….

The IDEA of race still has consequences
- census/surveys – education, can look at funding.. Policies initiatives to help
- social economic data – business (how many ethic minorities they have
- Donald Trump, BNP UKIP
- Job opportunities – how well represented

An ideology

These things can be important- good side about the essentialist approach to identity, if we know that women are underrpresented in higher education we can think why is that address this issue. if we know particular ethnic groups getting less access to resources, we can look at particular funding and have ways to support these groups make society more just.  UKIP, BNP race is not just an idea- particular groups more welcomed - Donald Trump building a wall

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racism

Racism definition: 

Racism refers to diversified practices of discrimination that are based on a belief that certain observable physical characteristics and bodily markers, such as skin colour and specific body features (hair, nose, etc), are essentially different between groups of people, and determine their social value and expected behaviour.

exclusion or discrimination on particular groups on the basis that they have immutable particular characteristics. 

you are a particular group you are like this, you cannot escape this so I am going to rank you.

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When is a society racist?

‘….a society is racist if some members suffer lower life expectancy, more disease and injury, greater poverty and higher unemployment as a consequence of  a racial identification’

(Gomberg 2007:6)

All these examples could show that particular groups are still having worse life chances in particular societies. 

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How fair is Britain? (2010)

Black African women who are asylum seekers are estimated to have a mortality rate 7 times higher than for White women, partly due to problems in accessing maternal healthcare.

Rates of stop and search for Black and Asian people suggest that there may be disproportionality; and Black people are much less likely than White people to believe that their complaints about the police will be taken seriously, and are more likely to worry about police harassment.

On average, five times more Black people than White people are imprisoned in England and Wales, where 1 in 4 people in prison is from an ethnic minority background.

We can see that there are still distinct differences and particular groups are still experience worse life chances than others within our scoeity in the moment. 

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How fair is Britain? (2010)

In relation to the experience of school life England, Asian children are excluded at a rate of 5 per 10,000 students compared to Black Caribbean children at 30 per 10,000 and Gypsies and Traveller children at 38 per 10,000.

Less than 10% of Black students are at Russell Group universities, compared to a quarter of White students.

Around a third of Black students get a first or upper-second class degree, compared to two-thirds of White students.

33% of working age Muslim women have no qualifications, and only 9% have a degree.

- Falr yrecent examples of how different groups in our socieites are experiencing different opportunities and life chances. 

Different groups experience different rates of education exclusion. 

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Stephen Lawrence (1974-1993)

-Stabbed to death 1993
-A ‘racist’ murder which had effect on changing attitudes to racism and police
-Perpetrators not convicted until 2012
-So not only racist motivation but Police and Crown Prosecution Service said to be affected by race -See MacPherson Public Enquiry 1999: Police Force Institutionally Racist
-Now subject to a new investigation from the National Crime Agency…

Eye witness accoutns people identified them straight away, it took until 2012 to convict the people 

The police way of handling it came under criticsm- public enquiry into the way the crime was investigated. the police force within the UK is institutionally racist 

This is an example of how something supposedly neutral like the police service was racist in how it approached the crime- led to reforms and rechanges in police force attitude towards crime. 

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Stephen Lawrence (1974-1993)

-Stabbed to death 1993
-A ‘racist’ murder which had effect on changing attitudes to racism and police
-Perpetrators not convicted until 2012
-So not only racist motivation but Police and Crown Prosecution Service said to be affected by race -See MacPherson Public Enquiry 1999: Police Force Institutionally Racist
-Now subject to a new investigation from the National Crime Agency…

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The job of social science (human geography)

  Race: a criterion of social categorization that distinguishes different groups of people on the basis of particular secondary physical differences (from skin colour è genes)

  We should be aware of this definition and problematise it

  – we need to think about it using our critical human geographical (sociological) tools –

 i.e. how, why has this come to be a category of identity?

Beware of ESSENTIALISM and its implications….

 Be aware race fictional, came about from colonialism ...does have impacts today D.T build wall arond Mexicans- based on false understanding fo race- dangerous thing to say , does have affects today

Be aware that race is a fictional category that came from colonialism context- it still has impacts today and means that particular groups are worse off in society. How social geography can play a rule to make a more nuanced way of thinking about this. how we can counteract race with more sophisticated argument sof how we can understand each other.

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Move to ‘ethnicity’

A criterion of social categorization that distinguishes different groups of people on the basis of inherited cultural differences (language, dress etc) <  ethnicity is generally thought to be a helpful way of thinking about social difference because a) not claimed to be on basis of biology b) ethnicity is more based on cultural differences. 

Encompasses how particular groups express themselves, how do they relate to the clothes they use how they dress themselves Encompasses both self-perception as well as social stratification (how a group seen by society and 'fits' within social structures) 

So ethnicity is:

•situational (experienced differently in different contexts) and
•relational (experienced in relation to how other groups perceive.. How other groups perceive each other )   More often to different groups- I claim allegiance with this group - more nuanced softer understanding of cultural difference

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Ethnic identity still has inclusion/exclusion impl

Ethnocide/ Cultural Genocide

Genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”

Legal definition 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG)

Ethnicity still not problem-free still has serious implications 

Mass crimes and killings done based on ethnicity 

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Rwandan genocide - case study of ethnocide

Genocidal mass slaughter of ethnic TUTSIS by ethnic HUTUS
Over 500,000 people killed in approx 100 days
Culmination of long standing ethnic tension
Minority Tutsis had controlled power until rebellion 1959-1962 & Hutus took power
1990- Tutsis (from exile) invaded Rwanda as Rwandan Patriotic Front supported by France & Uganda, initiated Rwandan civil war
Ethnic tensions exacerbated  - look up for all the details
RPF organised coalition government
 The current government prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race or religion.
The government has also passed laws prohibiting emphasis on Hutu or Tutsi identity in most types of political activity

Ethnic UTUS mass slaughtered the Tutsis- example of where this got out of hand. 

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From ‘othering’ to self/group identity politics……

e.g. Indigenous territorial rights and rights to self-determination
Declaration of Indigenous Rights (2007) People whose way of life was being threatened by globalisation - important for people to protect their identity. 

The Declaration sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.

- emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations

 - prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development"

Might be doing it on behalf of someone else, particular group underpreresented claim for help 
Might be helpful for particular ethnic groups to claim something for themselves, important for their rights to be respected rather than other people labelling them. 

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Fathering while black

More subtle accounts  of race, parenting and identity

Focus on subtle efforts to go beyond stereotypes to details of experience and performance-

case study took photos black men with children, counter bad press stereotypes- absent, lazy, dont cintribue to childs upbringing.. perpertuated in films, rap music <- predominant films 

Black males continue to be disproportionately impacted when it comes to racial profiling, lack of access to educational opportunities and meaningful employment, the deleterious effects of the ‘war on drugs’ and the prison-industrial complex.

This overall context is rarely taken into account when it comes to looking at the big picture of father absence

all these things impact black dads < whites

Particular groups can defend themselves 'I deserve better' case study - participatory photography with black dads and their children to conter the negative stereotype- black fathers getting a lot of bad press. 

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quote

My hope is that through visual storytelling of a broader range of black fatherhood, we can reclaim some of that lost ground of owning our own representation that photography traditionally offered us. It can certainly encourage pertinent conversations and research to move us to a more informed understanding of black fathers’ real lives.

It canencourage a more informed understandung you are perceiving us wrongly, you need to change this now.

 idea can be helpful  for paritcular/ difff groups to stand up for themselves - self identify strong identty

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finally…

How have contemporary Human Geographers dealt with race?

Shift in Geography’s focus:
Mapping
è experiencing
See Panelli chapter from your core reading

1970s/80s – emphasis on mapping ethnic ghettos – very literal & quantified accounts of spatial distributions of ethnic difference 
Shift towards exploring how different groups experience space and racialized social systems they encounter
Interest in intersectionality - how different categories of difference interact- e.g. experience of being female and coming from partcular ethnic groups- gender & ethnicity- how does that matter

Also a consideration of the positionality of the researcher and search to validate and engage with different forms of knowledge

And finally – an exploration of ‘whiteness’ also as a constructed identity - goes back to origins of race- Simeone de Beauvoir - we need to deconstruct and investigate idea of whitness- everyone else is other and different, actually whiteness can be a category in itself

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Some examples of this

Kobayashi and Preston: ‘Being CBC: the ambivalent identities and belonging of Canadian-Born Children of Immigrants’ (your reading list).- how they experience themselves, identities intersect with space and place 

Really nice, readable case study of how place and space intersect with the experience of belonging and becoming for Hong Kong immigrants in Canada

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Berg and Kearns (1996)

Colonial and nationalistic project of giving English (and masculine) names

This Anglicized landscape and contributed to Western drives to control and possess landscape [P]lace-names are important signifiers of meaning, providing symbolic identity to people, place, and landscape.

Identity, in this sense is not given. Rather, it is ‘made’ in the contested process of cultural (re)production. … Place-names, and the maps used to present them, are the outcome of the appropriation of symbolic production by hegemonic groups, who impose their specific identity norms across all social groups. (Berg and Kearns, 1996: 118, 119)

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on a similar subject…

“Maori geography is not something that is learned only from the written word. … Maori geography is another way of viewing the world, another dimension, another perspective on New Zealand geography. But – kiatupato, Pakeha. Be careful Pakeha. Tread warily. This is not your history or geography. Do not expect all to be revealed to you. … You must show respect for the tapu of knowledge. Do not expect that because you are an academic or experienced researcher in the pakeha world that all this will come easily to you. Your degrees, your experience, and list of publications, may be more of a hindrance than help. “ (Stokes, 1987: 121 in Panelli)

How a european perceives things in orders of dominance - moves to lots of different societies, revalue other ways of knowing. 

Maori geography- there are many ways of understanding the world and these are as important as Western scientific way of knowing the world

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Peter hopkins

explores connections between race, gender, age – all different variables of identity http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/staff/profile/peter.hopkins
Including intersectionality….
For some inspirational topics, see here! http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/staff/profile/peter.hopkins#tab_research

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TAKE HOME MESSAGES

1)From biology -> ideology, political

 2)Ideological  - has real consequences and effects people

 3)Geographers – from race -> ethnicity

4)But ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ equally tied up with exclusion, discrimination, violence

5) Ethnicity not just a form of ‘othering’ but also for  self/group political manoeuvring

race isn't biological and it has impacts on society/identity - but there are ways it can help

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(Kay, 2003)

Categories we use to divide the world and its people usually represented as uncontroversial and commesensical 'Asian' African' European- seems obvious

most explicitly racial terms white and black - relate directly body- connote most seemingly natural things - body- fixed.

geography as a discipline largely white and western- emphasis can slide into paternalism, altruistic concern about 'problem communities' eternally suffering victims - need to make it clear white people also produces of racialization - provide rigorous geographical education.

Stanton spatialization of race even more extreme within USA
'conceptually the city is left to the poor and racially marginalised.. the America city is now the black city' (Stanton, 2000) 
darkening of the city's image linked with devaluing of the city- hopeless, irrational place
Canal Street decribed as dead by white residents- African-American population 
recent years revitalization of many US urban core- hand in hand- return of white people-city

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Conclusion (kay , 2003)

Blackness should no longer be seen as alien, other and unBritish
however, rejecting concept of race as anything other than social artefact questions the whole basis of black identity.
If race is nothing more than a social concept mapped upon the bodies of black people through the process of racialization, how useful is it to politicaly organise around this collective identity in the first place? 

However, whilst whiteness was once treated as a natural and stable identity, it is now increasingly viewed as something that has a history and a geography, an impermanent social formation that can be changed and challenged

Only be understanding normative terms 'white & western' the ones against which others are defined as exotic- will lead to wider systems of racial priviledge that can be brought into view. 

make it clear categories such as whiteness also products of racialization and they too have a history and a geography thus changeable we can transform the critique of race and ethnicity from a subfield into an essential theme running throughout a rigorous geographical education, 

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