Registration 6.00pm / Lecture 6.30pm / Refreshments and Networking 7.30pm
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Series: Ethnic and Racial Studies Annual Lecture 2011
THE INVISIBLE WEIGHT OF WHITENESS:
The Racial Grammar of Everyday Life in Contemporary America
Racial domination, like all forms of domination, works best when it becomes hegemonic, that is, when it accomplishes its goal without much fanfare. In this lecture Bonilla-Silva will argue that there is something akin to a grammar, a racial grammar if you will, that structures cognition, vision, and even feelings on all sort of racial matters. This grammar normalizes the standards of white supremacy as the standards for all sort of social events and transactions. Thus, one in the USA one can talk about HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), but not about HWCUs (historically white colleges and universities) or one can refer to black movies and black TV shows but not label movies and TV shows white when in fact most are. Bonilla-Silva will use a variety of data (e.g., abduction of children, school shootings, etc.) to highlight how this grammar works and what it accomplishes. He will conclude that the racial grammar is as important as all the visible practices and mechanisms of white supremacy and, thus, Bonilla-Silva will argue, we must fight its poisonous effects even if like smog, we cannot see it clearly.
Department of Sociology and the Centre on Race, Ethnicity and Migration, City University London
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6.00pm - 8.00pmThursday 12th May 2011
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