1st Edition

Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology

By Colette Guillaumin Copyright 1995
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    First Published in 2004. This text argues that there is nothing obvious or natural about our ideas of sex and race and looks at the evolution of these ideas. The author contends that the slow crystallization of ideas on human races over the last few centuries can be grasped through the study of signs and their systems. However, race and sex are in no way purely abstract or symbolic phenomena. They are the hard facts of society. To be a man or woman, black or white are matters of social reality. To be a member of a particular race or sex does not bring with it the same opportunities, the same rights or the same constraints. The author examines how these constraints operate and shape our life experience. From a more theoretical standpoint, the text tackles the particular links between the daily materiality of social relationships and mental conventions. Materiality and ideology (in the sense of the perception of things) are two sides of the same coin. Relationships of sex and race follow an ancient history of physical right of the one over the other. Slavery and patriarchy are defined by direct physical rights which is not without its consequences.

    Preface Introduction: (Re)constructing the Categories of 'Race' and 'Sex': The Work of a Precursor - Danielle Juteau Part I 1. The Specific Characteristics of Racist Ideology 2. The Idea of Race and its Elevation to Autonomous Scientific and Legal Status 3. 'I know it's not nice, but...': The Changing Face of 'Race' 4. 'Wildcat' Immigration 5. The Rapacious Hands of Destiny Part II 6. Race and Nature: the System of Marks 7. Women and Theories about Society: the Effects on Theory of the Anger of the Oppressed 8. Sexism, a Right-wing Constant of any Discourse: a Theoretical Note 9. The Practice of Power and Belief in Nature: Part I The Appropriation of Women Part III 10. The Practice of Power and Belief in Nature: Part II The Naturalist Discourse 11. The Question of Difference 12. Herrings and Tigers: Animal Behaviour and Human Society 13. History, Nature and 'Materialism'


    Colette Guillanumin