Explaining One's Self to Others: Reason-Giving in a Social Context

By Margaret L. McLaughlin; Michael J. Cody et al. | Go to book overview

CONCLUSIONS

General knowledge of racism forms the conceptual framework for interpreting specific racist events. This holds for scientific research as well as for the 'lay person's' understanding of experiences of racism in everyday life. I have tried to show that accounts of racism are not ad hoc stories. They have a specific structure. The discussion above focused on the use of knowledge of racism by Black women. It was pointed out that without general knowledge of racism, individuals cannot understand the meaning of racism in their lives. This does not mean to suggest that general knowledge of racism is an issue only relevant for members of the dominated group. The method for analyzing accounts offers instruments for understanding the way individual dominant group members participate in practices through which structures of racial domination are reproduced. Finally, the analytical procedures presented provide a basis for more research into this area. In particular, more sophisticated techniques must be developed for sensitizing memories that would otherwise remain incomplete or missing and for questioning accounters efficiently when seeking for hypothesis consistent or inconsistent information. This can lead to the construction of a normative model for the assessment of racial events that may also be used for other purposes such as the assessment of gender situations.


REFERENCES

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Code L. ( 1989). "Experience, knowledge, and responsibility". In A. Gary & M. Pearsall (Eds.), Women, knowledge, and reality (pp. 152-172). Boston: Unwin Hyman.

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Essed P. ( 1990a). "Against all odds: Teaching against racism at a university in South Africa". European Journal of Intercultural Studies, 1, 41-56.

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