Contesting �Race,� �Culture,� and �Identity� by RqNj93


									Contesting “Race,” “Culture,” and “Identity”

1.   Is “Race” an Essential Category?
2.   “Race,” “Culture” and “Identity” as
     Social Constructs
          - the origins of race theory
          - cultural performance
          - representing the “Other”: the social
Toni Morrison
“I have never lived, nor has any of us
  lived in a world in which race did not
  matter. Such a world, one free of
  racial hierarchy, is usually imagined or
  described as dreamscape” (“Home”
Frantz Fanon
“My body was given back to me sprawled out, distorted,
  recolored, clad in mourning in that white winter day. The
  Negro is an animal, the Negro is bad, the Negro is mean,
  the Negro is ugly; look a nigger, it’s cold, the nigger is
  shivering . . . . The handsome little boy is trembling
  becausehe thinks the nigger is quivering with rage, the
  little boy throws himself into his mother’s arms: Mama,
  the nigger’s going to eat me up” (Black Skin,White Masks
Frantz Fanon
“From the opposite end of the white world a
Magical Negro culture was hailing me. Negro
sculpture! I began to flush with pride. Was this
our salvation?”
. . . . So here we have the Negro rehabilitated,
“standing before the bar,” ruling the world with
his intuition, the Negro recognized, set on his
feet again, sought after, taken up . . . .” (Black
Skin,White Masks 127).
Carolus Linnaeus (1735)
Americanus: reddish, choleric, and erect; hair black, straight, thick;
  wide nostrils, scanty beard; obstinate, merry, free; paints himself
  with fine red lines; regulated by customs.
Asiaticus: sallow, melancholy, stiff; hair black; dark eyes; severe,
  haughty, avaricious; covered with loose garments; ruled by opinions.
Africanus: black, phlegmatic, relaxed; hair black, frizzled; skin silky;
  nose flat; lips tumid; women without shame, they lactate profusely;
  crafty, indolent, negligent; anoints himself with grease; governed by
Europeaeus: white, sanguine, muscular; hair long, flowing; eyes blue;
  gentle, acute, inventive; covers himself with close vestments;
  governed by laws (Smedley 164).
 Johann Blumenbach

1.   Caucasian/Caucasoid: white race,
2.   Mongolian/Mongoloid: yellow race,
3.   Ethiopian: black race, African
4.   American: red race, American “Indian”
5.   Malay: brown race, Asiatic
Manning Marable
“ ‘Race’ is first and foremost an unequal
relationship between social aggregates,
characterized by dominant and
subordinate forms of social interaction,
and reinforced by the intricate patterns
of public discourse, power, ownership
and privilege within the economic,
social and political institutions of
society” (Beyond Black and White186).
Hershini Bhana Young
“To be black is to have accrued a
subjectivity haunted by the spectral traces
of a social, political and ideological history.
Blackness is a historically and culturally
specific embodied discourse constituted in
and through a discursive tradition
mobilized by the reconstituted figure of
“Africa’ and brutal systems of oppression
such as slavery and imperialism (Haunted
Capital 25)
Stuart Hall
“Identity is the narrative, the stories
which cultures tell themselves
about who they are and where they
came from” (“Negotiating
Caribbean Identity”).
Stuart Hall
“…identity is not only a story, a narrative which we tell
  ourselves about ourselves, it is stories which change
  with historical circumstances. And identity shifts with
  the way in which we think and hear them and
  experience them. Far from only coming from the still
  small point of truth inside us, identities actually come
  from outside, they are the way in which we are
  recognized and then come to step into the place of the
  recognitions which others give us. Without the others
  there is no self, there is no self-recognition”
  (“Negotiating Caribbean Identity” 8).
Michel Foucault (1977)
“…the normalizing gaze [is] a
surveillance that makes it possible to
qualify, to classify and to punish. It
Establishes over individuals a visibility
Through which one differentiates and
Judges them” (Discipline and Punish
Defining the Social Imaginary
 The social imaginary is a discursive
 space in which communities are
 already constructed, imagined,
 positioned and created by hegemonic
 discourses and dominant groups.
Frantz Fanon
“. . . The white man . . . had woven me out of a
   thousand details, anecdotes, stories. I thought
   that what I had in hand was to construct a
   physiological self, to balance space, to localize
   sensations, and here I was called on for more.
   ‘Look, a Negro!’”(Black Skin 111)
“And so it is not I who make a meaning for
myself, but it is the meaning that was already
there, pre-existing, waiting for me” (Black
Skin 134).
Renuka Sooknanan
“The end result of a sedimentary knowing of Black
community is a homogenous, transparent identity
category, which offers entrenched and inflexible
boundaries. Black community becomes a finished
product in that it is thought in advance, and to call on
something called the Black community is to perform a
set of erasures. Among the disappearing acts…is the
Multiplicity and plurality of ethnic representations…”
(“Politics of Essentialism” 148).
Stuart Hall
“Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised
  past, they are subject to the continuous ‘play’ of
  history, culture and power. Far from being grounded
  in a mere ‘recovery’ of the past, which is waiting to
  be found, and which, when found, will secure our
  sense of ourselves into eternity, identities are the
  names we give to the different ways we are
  positioned by, and position ourselves within, the
  narratives of the past” (“Cultural Identity and
  Diaspora” 225).
Visible Minority Groups: 2001 Counts, for Canada

Canada                          Toronto
Total Population                Total Population
29,639,030                      4,647,960
Visible Minorities              Visible Minorities
3,983,845 (13% of               1,712,530 (37% of
   population)                     population)
Chinese                         Chinese
1,029,395 (25% of minorities)   409,530 (24% of minorities)
South Asians                    South Asian
917,070 (23% of minorities)     473,805 (28% of minorities)
Blacks                          Blacks
662,215 (17% of minorities)     310,495 (18% of minorities)
Manning Marable
“Our ability to transcend racial chauvinism
and inter-ethnic hatred and the old definitions
of “race,” to recognize the class
commonalities and joint social-justice
interests of all groups in the restructuring of
this nation’s economy and social order, will
be key to constructing a nonracist
democracy, transcending ancient walls of
white violence, corporate power and class”
(Beyond Black and White 201).

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