In contemporary societies, race is commonly connected to biology. Race, we are told - 'is in our blood'. In this topic we question what is meant by race, by exploring how it is socially constructed. How does race shape how we think about ourselves, and our identities? How is race connected to power? Which ways of 'knowing and being' are privileged in our societies, and which are marginalised? Firstly, we investigate how race emerged as a concept in different historical eras. Secondly, we explore how powerful hierarchies emerged based on the concept of race, hierarchies that privilege Anglophone, 'modern', 'civilised' ways of knowing and being. Thirdly, we think critically about how race relations are connected to gender and sexuality, to class relations, to religion and ethnicity, and to broader social processes such as globalisation, colonialism, war and conflict. Throughout the topic we draw on different sociological theories about race, as well as critically interrogating contemporary case studies that bring issues of race, power, identity and difference to the fore.
This topic aims to:
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