Racism

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U of Minnesota Press, 2000 - Social Science - 242 pages
2 Reviews
Racism: It is social, not "natural," it is general, not "personal"; and it is tragically effective. In a remarkable meditation on a subject at the troubled center of American life, Albert Memmi investigates racism as social pathology -- a cultural disease that prevails because it allows one segment of society to empower itself at the expense of another. By turns historical, sociological, and autobiographical, Racism moves beyond individual prejudice and taste to engage the broader questions of collective behavior and social responsibility.

The book comprises three sections -- "Description, " "Definition, " and "Treatment" -- in which Memmi delineates racism's causes and hidden workings, examines its close affinity to colonialism, and considers its everyday manifestations over a period of centuries throughout the West. His topics include bigotry against Blacks, anti-Semitism, the meaning of "whiteness, " and the status of the Quebecois.

For Memmi, the structure of racism has four "moments": the insistenc on difference; the negative valuation imposed on those who differ; the generalizing of this negative valuation to an entire group; and the use of generalization to legitimize hostility. Memmi shows how it is not racism's content -- which can change at will -- but its form that gives it such power and tenacity.

  

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Review: Racism

User Review  - Steven Salaita - Goodreads

A cogent and insightful analysis of racism in its many incarnations. Read full review

Review: Racism

User Review  - Josh - Goodreads

This should be a classic. I just don't know if it is. Read full review

Contents

APPENDIX A AN ATTEMPT AT A DEFINITION
169
WHAT IS RACISM?
183
THE RELATIVITY OF PRIVILEGE
197
THE MYTHIC PORTRAIT OF
205
NOTES
217
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Albert Memmi was born in Tunis in 1920. He has taught philosophy both in Tunis and Paris. Professor of English and Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, Homi K. Bhabha is the author of The Location of Culture.

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