Racism In Cultural Studies: The Concept Of Race

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Simon During discusses the concept of “Race” in his book Cultural Studies: A Critical Introduction. He is talking about why there is a notion as race and why it is hard to remove it. Race differs from concepts such as gender, class and even ethnicity in that there is a question as to whether it is real at all. Nobody doubts that the difference between men and women has a biological basis. The category of class is necessary to an accurate account of modern societies and ethnicity too is generally assumed to be more simply a piece of ideology. But race, it seems, is nothing but a dangerous product of prejudice or, at least, of false thinking. According to Simon During, “Racism is, at its heart, the belief that the human species is constituted…show more content…
Certain Europeans, of whatever nationality or religion or class or gender or even culture, were joined together globally as members of the “white”race. However in cases where whites are under threat and/or in hard competition with people of different skin colours and ethnicities for example poor whites in the industrial USA or white workers today whose jobs are threatened by coloured immigrants or by job-flight to Asia, racism can help whites ascribe imaginary freedoms and superiority to themselves, and white racism can flare up. (Cultural Studies: A Critical Introduction,”Race” p.164). Most powerfully and typically, racism organises certain stereotypes: Notions such as “all Africans have got rhythm” or “Asians are brainy” are racist, although not as dangerous as notions such as “Jews are dishonest and mean”or “Indians are lazy”. Racial characteristics infuse gender stereotypes in particular: African American masculinity (hyper-virile and threatening), Asian femininity (hyper-feminine and submissive) being two key instances. This kind of cultural racism survives the downfall of institutional racism that is, racism that formally disbars some races from access to jobs, neighbourhoods, clubs, etc. And cultural racism is especially damaging in that it can so easily be interiorised by members of oppressed races
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