This is not a module which is about deciding whether something-or-other is ‘racist’ or ‘not-racist’. It is about helping you to think through the social and historical processes that have created structures of racialized inequality in the UK and beyond, and to think about how these inequalities are manifested today in our everyday lives.
With increasing numbers of people crossing international borders, and increasing hostility to migrants and migration around the world, the module relates understandings of racism and racialised power relations to new and emerging forms of xenophobia in individual lives, institutions, and government policy and practice.
The module is designed to help you to think through the connections between racism and xenophobia, and their links to other social divisions – such as those of class, gender and sexuality.
The module will help you to question and test traditional forms of academic knowledge – but this doesn’t mean rejecting ‘difficult’ theory; in the Racism and Xenophobia module, we will engage with social theory but relate this directly to empirical, real-life examples, and we will read the work of women and people of colour who are not always included in the traditional sociological cannon.
We will work with a unique collection of original documents about Britain’s colonial histories, and the treatment of migrants to Britain in the mid-twentieth century, using our access to the resources of Warwick’s Modern Records Centre archives.
By the end of the module, we will come right up to the present day, looking at the convenor’s, (Hannah Jones), current research project on UK government campaigns about immigration control, and how this relates to new and old processes of racialisation and racism.
Throughout the module, there will be an emphasis on thinking intersectionally about how different kinds of social inequality interact – including, for example, case studies of how patriarchy interacts with white supremacy to produce and reproduce oppressions. We will read authors such as Stuart Hall, Audre Lorde, Ann Laura Stoler, Sara Ahmed, Bridget Anderson, Les Back, and Paul Gilroy.
You will be encouraged to think each week about how experiences in your everyday life, and in current affairs and the news, relate to the concepts and examples we are discussing.