Race, Space and the Law: Unmapping a White, Settler Society

By Wilson, Elana | British Journal of Canadian Studies, May 2004 | Go to article overview
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Race, Space and the Law: Unmapping a White, Settler Society


Wilson, Elana, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Sherene H. Razack (ed.), Race, Space and the Law: Unmapping a White, Settler Society (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2002), 310 pp. Paper. £10. ISBN 1- 8963-5759-8.

The multiple contributors to Race, Space and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society engage with the idea of racialised spaces and examine the processes through which certain spaces are constructed to reflect and maintain unequal social relations. The premise of this book, outlined in Sherene Razack's introduction, is that Canada is a white settler society. Razack defines a white settler society as a society that, despite possessing and maintaining a national mythology of equality and fairness, was initially established by Europeans on non-European soil and continues to be shaped by a racial hierarchy in which white Euro- Canadians are dominant. Razack asserts that by 'unmapping' racist spaces, the world views, which are concomitantly constructed within and sustaining of such spaces, are denaturalised and opened to criticism and change. The geographical turn in critical theory is problematised, yet geographical theories of space, power and identity are dealt with clearly. Razack's theoretical introduction lays the foundation for the subsequent chapters, which provide thought-provoking analyses of specific case studies.

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