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. 427-423. ISSN 1461-7137

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This paper examines 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 institutionalised in the political and social structures of European societies because they inaccurately theorise ‘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
Keywords: Anti-racism, Culturalism, Human rights, Race, State
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Alana Lentin
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2019 11:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1282
Google Scholar:20 Citations

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