5
Symbolic Violence and Race

Karen A. Callaghan


MODERN SOCIAL ORDER AND CONTROL

Modern forms of social control must appear to be unobtrusive, politically neutral, and clearly lacking any brute coercion. In other words, societies that purport to practice pluralism can justify only forms of control that appear to preserve the integrity of individualism and personal freedom. However, modern social arrangements are also underpinned by social ontological dualism, which is best illustrated by the Cartesian understanding of truth and reality ( Murphy, 1989). Truth is defined as a pure (objective) view of reality, a perspective that is void of any temporal, relative, or personal characteristics. Furthermore, truth or factual knowledge can result only from the conceptual and analytical techniques commonly known today as scientific inquiry. In the modern worldview, then, knowledge derived from the application of scientific methodology must be granted primary or centered status. Other forms of expression are relegated to a marginal or peripheral status, since they lack the validity and truthfulness of "objective facts." Hence, a hierarchy of knowledge and expressions is established.

In the modern view, human agency as a "subjective experience" is considered suspect, too easily contaminated with misperceptions or personal interests to serve as a legitimate basis for social arrangements. Human perceptions can be made reliable only through the medium of scientific methodology. Only science can be trusted to provide a clear view of right and wrong, the reasonable and the irrational.

Modern sociological theories have typically stipulated the need for identifying an objective, and hence stable basis of social order. According to such social realist theories, stability and order are associated with supraindividual interests

-65-

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Postmodernism and Race
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - The Spiders of Truth 1
  • References 14
  • 2 the Importance of Social Imagery for Race Relations 17
  • References 28
  • 3 - A Brief Archaeology of Intelligence 31
  • References 48
  • 4 - Dialogue and Race 51
  • Introduction 51
  • References 64
  • 5 - Symbolic Violence and Race 65
  • References 76
  • 6 - What is a "Japanese"? Culture, Diversity, and Social Harmony in Japan 79
  • References 100
  • 7 - Community Control, Base Communities, and Democracy 103
  • References 112
  • 8 - Racist Ontology, Inferiorization, and Assimilation 115
  • Introduction 115
  • Conclusion 125
  • Notes 125
  • Notes 126
  • 9 Analyzing Racial Ideology: Post-1980 America 129
  • Introduction 129
  • Conclusion 140
  • References 141
  • 10 - Neoconservatism and Freedom in Postmodern North American Culture 145
  • Introduction 145
  • Conclusion 158
  • Notes 159
  • Selected Bibliography 163
  • Name Index 177
  • Subject Index 183
  • About the Editor and Contributors 189
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