Race, racism, discourse

2016-04-28T11:21:35Z (GMT) by David Kaposi John E. Richardson
This chapter will examine race and racism and the relations between social ideas (e.g. the existence of races; the association of qualities/characteristics with particular racial/ethnic/religious groups), social stratification based on these ideas, and discourse. After introductory and contextualising sections, where we introduce the historic and conceptual bases of the subject, the empirical and analytic sections of the chapter will be structured in such a way that we gradually examine levels and details that the reader may not have initially considered. We start with the most obviously prejudicial texts, produced and circulated by European extreme-right political parties. Next, we will examine a case which appears to have a racial dimension without race being explicitly articulated: a televised interview with the actor Samuel L Jackson, in which the interviewer mistook him for Laurence Fishburne. Finally, we will consider British conservative broadsheet newspapers’ reporting of a conflagration of the Israel/Palestine conflict (‘Operation Cast Lead’), and the ways they related this act of reporting to acts of antisemitism. The chapter will thus progressively move to less conspicuous and more dilemmatic waters, and in so doing demonstrate the value of close analysis when examining discourse on this topic.