Racism and Civil Rights

Powerful Essays
INTRODUCTION
Racism is a concept that has been relentlessly explored and hypothesised on by many cultural theorists and critics. It is a wide subject area that branches out into many categories in cultural theory such as psychoanalysis, representation, and class among many others. There have been many books and papers written on the subject spanning over the entire topic and the different areas therein, all coming up with various conclusions and theories, be they similar or contradictory. This is because it is an issue that is still not completely understood, and this is partly due to the ever changing nature of racism and race relations. The word race itself has evolved in meaning over time, from being a simple denotation of origin, to a stronger more elaborate meaning after the birth of the civil rights movement, who related race, and more specifically the term racism, to mean racial prejudice and discrimination, as opposed to a simple differentiation of origin or doctrine. Racism also varies across the globe, been dealt with differently and also having varying levels of impact on the different societies it exists in. One could examine racism solely within the confines and context of the United States, and come up with differing attributes than in the United Kingdom for example. Whereas in some countries racism is not an issue that has a lot of attention placed upon it either because it is not considered as much of a problem, or there is no means by which to practice racial discrimination i.e. in a country with no minority population (everyone of the same race more or less) there is no target for racism. But that is if you look at racism in the classic sense of the word where it means discrimination between people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

It is these many faces that make the issue so hard to determine with any real basis or accepted theories, because mainly it is viewed in context and in relation to time and place. There is no real middle



Bibliography: Brah, Avtar (1992) Article- Difference, diversity and differentiation: ‘Race, culture and difference (Sage publications, London) Burns, Alan (1948) Colour Prejudice (Allen and Unwin, London) Donald, James and Rattansi, Ali (1992) ‘Race ', culture and difference (Sage Publications, London) Edwards, John (1995) When race counts: the morality of racial preference in Britain and America (Routledge, London) Fanon, Frantz (1967) Black skin, White masks (Grove Press, New York) Gale, Dennis E Goldberg, David Theo (1993) Racist culture: Philosophy and the politics of meaning (Blackwell publishers, USA) Mason, Philip (1970) Race relations (Oxford University Press, GB) Norton-Taylor, Richard (1999) The Colour of justice: based on the transcripts of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry (MPG Books Limited, Bodmin) Sartre (1960) Anti-Semite and Jew (Grove press, New York) Shipman, Pat (1994) The evolution of racism (Simon and Schuster, New York)

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