Mapping the Language of Racism: Discourse and the Legitimation of Exploitation

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Columbia University Press, 1992 - Social Science - 246 pages
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The topics of 'race' and 'racism' are often treated narrowly and unimaginatively in social scientific literature; they are usually viewed as sub-categories of 'stereotyping' or 'prejudice' or 'social class.' In this exciting new book, Margaret Wetherell and Jonathan Potter extend their work on the use of discourse analysis to tackle racism and issues of social structure, power relations and idology.

Part I, Theory and Method, reviews and criticizes mainstream sociological and psychological theoretical approaches to the topic of racism and introduces the challenges to them posed by discourse analysis. Also examined are the ways in which some recent developments in literary theory, post-structuralism, semiotics and cultural studies might be applied to the social and psychological study of racist practices.

Part II, Discourse in Action, examines how white New Zealanders make sense of their own history and actions towards the Maori minoriy. The authors' contention is that, in order to combat racism, we need to address the commonplace forms of explanation used by ordinary people rather than concentrate on obvious bigots and extremist groups. They conclude that many 'liberal' and 'egalitarian' arguments can be used to sustain racism and exploitation.

Mapping the Language of Racism is a pioneering book which suggest genuinely new ways of thinking and acting on a topic of grave social concern.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
ix
Introduction
1
Issues for discourse analysis
4
Theory and method
11
Ideology and political economy
13
The falsity of race
14
The history of the racial account
18
The political and economic context
22
Race in 1960s New Zealand
125
The premises of culture
128
Culture as heritage
129
Culture as therapy
131
Pakeha positions
134
Culture as ideology
137
The premises of nation and nationalism
139
Mimicry and ambivalence
142

The social functions of ideology
24
The effectivity of ideology
26
Discursive representation reality and individual experience
29
Ideology in perspective
31
Cognition identity and personality
34
Reading cognitions
36
Representation and reality in social cognition research
40
Reading social identity
43
The ontology and epistemology of social identity theory
46
Reading motives
49
Discourse analysis as diagnosis
55
Discourse power and subjectivity
58
Discursive practice
60
Discourse and its objects
62
The status of scientific accounts of racism
65
Truth and antiracist practice
67
From ideology to ideological practice
69
Constructing social groups
72
Constructing subjectivities
75
Discursive power
79
Genealogy and ideology
85
Analyzing racist discourse
88
Discourses and interpretative repertoires
89
Rhetorical construction
93
Interviews and documents
98
Transcription coding and analysis
100
Understanding ethnography and discursive consequences
102
Putting discourse in context
104
Discourse in action
113
Preface
115
Constructing community race culture and nation
117
The premises of race
119
Victorian racial interpretation
124
Towards a South Pacific nation?
143
The practice of categorization
146
Accounting for the social stories of social conflict and social influence
149
Discrediting protest
150
Variable scenarios of influence
154
the organic society
158
Proper and improper influence
161
Susceptible masses and hysterical extremists
163
Formulations of the individual versus the social
164
Trickling down or trickling up conspiracies or coincidences?
167
Practical politics and ideological dilemmas
174
Some commonplaces of political discourse
177
The patchwork of resources
178
The importance of being practical
179
Equality freedom and individual rights
181
Imperial history
183
Mobilizing arguments
185
Ambivalent individuals or ambivalent discourse?
194
Towards a critique of the modern racism approach
196
The prejudice problematic
201
Prejudice in social psychological and lay discourse
202
Individual bigotry and collective guilt
204
Irrationality and prejudgement
206
The manifest and the latent
208
Tolerance and harmony
209
how to deal with accusations
211
Reforming the prejudiced
215
Discourse analysis and antiracism
216
Sample and procedure
221
Transcription conventions
225
References
227
Index
241
Copyright

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Discourse
Sara Mills
No preview available - 1997
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About the author (1992)

Margaret Wetherell is Professor of Social Psychology at the Open University, UK and Director of the Economic and Social Research Council Programme on Identities and Social Action.

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