Racial states, anti-racist responses: picking holes in 'culture' and 'human rights'

Lentin, Alana (2004) Racial states, anti-racist responses: picking holes in 'culture' and 'human rights'. European Journal of Social Theory, 7 (4). pp. 427-443. ISSN 1368-4310

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This article seeks to re-examine two major assumptions in mainstream anti-racist thought of the post-war era. These are culturalism, on the one hand, and human rights on the other, both of which have been offered as potential solutions to the ongoing problem of racism. I argue that both fail to cope with racism as it has been institutionalized in the political and social structures of European societies because they inaccurately theorize ‘race’. Racism is treated as an individual attitude born of prejudice and ignorance and not as a political project that emerged under specific conditions within the context of the European nation-state. A re-examination of this legacy of modernity and a questioning of the structuring principles of anti-racism is necessary in the current context of racism against migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Alana Lentin
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:07
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2012 11:13
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29616
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