Combating Everyday Racial Discrimination Without Assuming "Racists" or "Racism": New Intervention Ideas From a Contextual Analysis

Bernard Guerin


The aim of this paper is to open up new forms of intervention against everyday racially discriminating practices by analyzing more specific and localised interventions. It is first argued that conceptualising the area in the abstract terms of 'racists' who possess 'racism' is not fruitful, and a variety of reasons for this are provided. Several common situations that have been researched for everyday racial discrimination are then reviewed for the specific practices that have been found. These practices, in turn, are given very diverse analyses (Guerin, 2004) of their possible functions, to assuage readers against seeking only the most obvious 'cause'. In particular, it is emphasised that many practices can be done with 'good intentions' and that those cases need to be conceptualised differently from those with 'intent'. Finally, a variety of possible intervention goals are provided to deal with each strategy that arises in particular contexts to produce the racially discriminating practices. All the suggestions provided are meant as guides only and more detailed research documenting the full contexts for discriminatory practices is urged to guide our future interventions instead of trying just to globally 'raise awareness' of other cultures.

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