Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture
Race, ethnicity and culture are concepts that are interpreted in various and often contradictory ways. This Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture provides the historical background and etymology of a wide number of words related to these concepts, looking at discourses of race, ethnicity and culture from a broadly multicultural perspective. This new and up-to-date dictionary contains numerous references to both European and American concepts, debates and terms. Contributors to the dictionary include well-known anthropologists, biologists, lawyers, philosophers, sociologists and psychologists, enabling the Dictionary to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter, and a rich variety of voice and content that would otherwise
- Entries A-Z
- Subject Index
Guido Bolaffi, is Head of the Department of the Italian Ministry for Welfare and Columnist on Il Corriere delta Sera. He has written extensively on the governance of immigration in Italy.
Raffaele Bracalenti, is Vice President of the Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research – Rome and Paris. His latest work is Social Integration Strategies: A Study on the Successful Integration of Young Migrants [Psicoanalisi Contro 2001].
Peter Braham, is Lecturer in Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University. His most recent publication is Social Differences and Divisions, edited with Linda Janes [Sage 2002].
Sandro Gindro, was the President of the Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research. He wrote widely on the psychological dimensions of xenophobia and on interculturalism.
Attilio Balestrieri, Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Società Italiana di Medicina delle Migrazioni (SIMM).
Jochen Blaschke, Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research; Founder, Migration. A European Journal of International Migration and Ethnic Relations.
Meyer Burstein, Strategic Research and Analysis Branch, Department Of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada.
Carl Ipsen, Indiana University; American Historical Association, Società Italiana di Demografia Storica, Association for the Study of Modern Italy, Fulbright Association.
Robert Moore, Department of Sociology, University of Liverpool.
Emilio Mordini, Psychoanalytical Institute for Social Research, International Association of Bioethics.
Karim Murji, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University.
Anne Phoenix, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University.
Ali Rattansi, Department of Sociology, City University, London.
Charles Westin, Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations at Stockholm University.
Foreword by Bikhu Parekh, Professor Emeritus in Political Theory, University of Hull, Centennial Professor of Politics at the London School of Economics, Chair of the Report on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (The Parekh Report) and Member of the House of Lords.
© Psicoanalisi Contro di Lorenzo Rossi
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First published 2003
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The editors would like to record their profound debt to the many colleagues and collaborators whose work has contributed so much to this dictionary. It is impossible to thank all of them, but we would like to express particular gratitude to Patrizia Santoro of IPRS for her invaluable organisational and secretarial skills, Sally Titcomb and Francesca Pegazzano, whose contribution went far beyond their translating expertise, Kiren Shoman, Keith von Tersch and Ian Antcliff of SAGE for their patience and professionalism in solving the problems that arose and for encouraging us in this long project, and finally, Sarita Malik, for her critical reading of the first manuscript.
For Sandro Gindro, without whose love of life and humankind this book would have never been born, but who died shortly before its publication.
All science worth its name seeks to analyse and explain familiar phenomena by exploring their deeper connections, and expresses its findings in a precise and clearly defined language. Unlike the natural sciences, social sciences do not have a language of their own. While on rare occasions they invent new terms, for the most part they take over the familiar words of ordinary discourse, invest them with new and reasonably precise meanings, and transform them into concepts and terms. Since the activities they study concern us deeply, their conceptual vocabulary does not remain confined to academic discourse. It is taken over by journalists, politicians and ordinary men and women and used as part of a popular discourse. In the process it loses its preciseness, gets misinterpreted or oversimplified, and is invested with dubious and ideologically charged meanings.
This has several consequences. Since academic and popular speech use the same terms in quite different and even opposite senses, they become mutually unintelligible. In a recent report on The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, we used the term ‘post-nation state’ in its academic sense, and found to our horror that most journalists, politicians and ordinary readers took it to mean disintegration of the state into loose clusters of communities! Furthermore, those ordinary men and women who are seriously interested in knowing what social sciences have to say about different areas of social life have no means of doing so except by wading through the enormous and sometimes incomprehensible academic tomes which they have neither the competence nor the time to understand. Both the integrity of the academic and popular debates and their fruitful interaction require that academics should find ways of rendering their concepts and theories accessible to a wider audience.
It is in this context that we can best understand the emergence of the new genre of literature that is best called the professional dictionary. Neither like the ordinary dictionaries that are inescapably brief, insufficiently informative and largely concerned with the ordinary usage of words, nor like the bulky and diffuse encyclopaedias, these dictionaries provide concise and authoritative academic statements of the available body of theoretical knowledge within a manageable volume. They are either discipline-based (as in the case of such titles as the dictionary of sociology, politics, philosophy or economics) or subject-based. The latter genre is particularly relevant to areas that fall under several disciplines and can only be studied in an interdisciplinary manner. Professional dictionaries have to satisfy both experts and non-experts, render difficult ideas accessible without distorting them or appearing patronizing, and both assuage and arouse intellectual curiosity, and this is not at all easy. The difficulty is acute in the case of subject-based dictionaries, which should neither be dominated by a single discipline nor marred by a soggy interdisciplinary mishmash and which should alert their readers to national differences without losing the theoretical focus.[Page ix]
The Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture is a fine example of a subject-based professional dictionary. As its very title indicates, it recognizes that the often unrelated areas of race, ethnicity and culture are historically and theoretically inseparable. They feed off each other, and their study involves common conceptual and theoretical tools and forms a coherent area of investigation. The 200 entries cover nearly all the important concepts, and include terms borrowed from ordinary discourse and transformed into technical concepts as well as those specifically coined by social scientists. The entries are succinct but not oversimplified, are clearly written, long enough to be informative yet short enough for a quick reference, and are composed by distinguished and carefully selected contributors drawn from a range of countries and disciplines. Since concepts develop over time and are often differently understood in different countries, the Dictionary wisely deals with the entries in a historical and comparative manner. Many of its entries also bring to bear on various topics the complementary perspectives of psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology and social anthropology, and offer unusually rich and illuminating accounts of the relevant subject matter.
On many occasions I have had students desperately seeking reliable accounts of crucial concepts while writing essays on race, ethnicity and culture, and have also had journalists and political colleagues asking for intelligible explanations of terms they have encountered in academic writings. I can now confidently direct them to this excellent guide.
‘Race’ and ethnicity have long been central concepts for social scientific inquiry. Their meaning and import have, however, changed dramatically from one era to another. Much of the work of the late nineteenth century, for example, focused on issues like competition between ‘different races’, on ways to improve the health of ‘the race’ (one's own), on the problem of miscegenation, and on the impact of immigration on the ‘racial make-up’ and cultural identity of national populations. Nowadays, only the last of these continues to spark serious discussion.
Nonetheless, ‘race’ and ethnicity continue to play a fundamental part in the way people perceive the world, and so these concepts force themselves into the study of modern society. And how could it be otherwise in a world that is ever more cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, a world in which migration is a phenomenon that affects every metropolitan country, as all of them – at one time or another in the period since the Second World War – have required more labour than their internal resources could generate, and in a world where knowledge about conflict between different ‘racial’ and ethnic groups looms large and is more quickly available than it was even in the relatively recent past?
Although ‘race’ and ethnicity may be central to our view of the world, the concept of ‘race’ defies scientific definition. Social scientists therefore confront a social construct, but a construct that is replete with misinformation and distorted by what is believed to be self-evident about ‘racial’ and ethnic differences. It follows that part of our task in compiling this Dictionary is to challenge what is too readily accepted as true about ‘race’ and to complicate the seemingly uncomplicated.
We decided to include terms and concepts that are commonly encountered in relation to ‘race’ and ethnicity in everyday life, in politics, in the media, and in academia, but which nonetheless in our opinion require explanation, contextualization, illumination; often these are terms and concepts that need to be challenged as well. We believe that by taking everyday and familiar language as a starting-point, this Dictionary offers an innovative and user-friendly approach to a complex subject. Moreover, we think that this approach is not only accessible to the general reader with an interest in the subject, but also offers a comprehensive reference tool for scholars, professional workers and students engaged in the field of ‘race’ and ethnicity.
Underpinning a belief in ‘race’ are ideas not only about the importance of phenotypal differences, but also, increasingly, about the importance of cultural differences. Our subject matter then is not confined to beliefs about the importance of skin colour and physiognomy, but extends equally to beliefs about the significance of differences in social customs and religious beliefs. However, in our view it is not enough to eschew a biological approach that demarcates supposedly different ‘races’ and replace it with an anthropological approach that explores different cultures or religions. Our decision to link ‘race’ [Page xi]and ‘ethnicity’ with ‘culture’ is specifically intended to illuminate the complexity and multifaceted nature of the interactions of individuals and groups and to do so by taking account not only of the social, political and economic dimensions, but also of the psychological dimension. This is one reason why this Dictionary is multidisciplinary, rather than being discipline-based.
In this regard what we have attempted to produce is not simply a dictionary in the conventional sense, but a dictionary that serves as a guide to debates about ‘race’, ethnicity and culture. And it is precisely because such debates are so contentious and so often founded on flawed assumptions that there is a pressing need for this dictionary.
Clearly much more than a media issue – as encapsulated in news headlines – the extent to which ‘race’ and racism can be seen to ‘make news’ is inescapable and so must be addressed here. ‘Race’ is widely regarded as an explosive electoral issue, as evidenced in Britain by accusations of politicians ‘playing the “race card”’. Yet reports that dominate the headlines for a day or two may soon mean little or be forgotten altogether. Why then recall stories that seem so time-specific? Studies of the way the media treat ‘race’ and ethnicity sometimes survey hundreds, even thousands, of individual reports and, inevitably, most of these reports are rooted in a particular moment; but their impact is cumulative as well as transitory, contributing to what is generally taken for granted about the subject. For instance, from the 1950s until relatively recent times, despite the fact that there was substantial white immigration into the UK, the word ‘immigrant’ in a British newspaper headline was used to refer almost exclusively to black immigrants and this would have been readily appreciated by newspaper readers and journalists alike. In the news pages, as well as in the editorial columns, not only was immigration racialized, but ‘race’ became routinely associated with violence, threat, conflict and tension and in headlines the word ‘Race’ was often coupled with words like ‘Hate’, ‘Clash’ and ‘Riot’. By contrast, little attention was devoted to patterns of discrimination and disadvantage or to the competition for scarce resources that, arguably, caused the tension and conflict that was so widely reported.
Apologists for media coverage often claim that the media present news ‘as it is’, not ‘as we would like it to be’. This is disingenuous because it underplays the extent to which certain events are illuminated and others neglected or ignored, and it glosses over the way the reporting of issues and events is in many respects preconceived. By habitually portraying ethnic and racial minorities negatively and stereotypically, the mass media contribute to the complex processes of reproduction on which the ideological and structural dimensions of racism depend (Van Djik, 1991: ix). Indeed, from one point of view racism is perceived as a function of the scale of immigration, whereas from another it may appear to be one of the minority presence itself. Racism in Europe is therefore closely linked to the issue of immigration, both past and present, and this general context helps to shape the way specific events are reported and comprehended.
It is this connection between the particular and the general that was at the heart of the Macpherson Inquiry into matters arising from the murder in south London in 1993 of the black student, Stephen Lawrence. The publication of its findings dominated British news bulletins and newspapers for many days. The [Page xii]Macpherson Inquiry raised a number of critical questions for British society ranging from the way the police dealt with racial incidents, to ‘institutional racism’ and to wider – though contested – societal goals. For example, should everyone be treated equally irrespective of skin colour, religion or creed? Or, if society is composed of distinct groups, how far should such diversity be recognized in public policy? Although much of this debate was conducted in a positive spirit, whether Macpherson will turn out to be a watershed in the history of race relations in the UK is far from certain.
These issues take us quickly into the political realm, another area into which this Dictionary must delve. As a general rule, we need to take note of the extent to which discussion about ‘race’ and ethnicity, and about racial and ethnic injustice and the means to overcome it, continues to be influenced by the negative way that successive governments in various European countries have depicted immigration. For example, in the UK, official response to post-war immigration has been marked by references to ‘floods’ of immigrants and has been influenced by the belief (revealed in exchanges between ministers that were made public only much later) that would-be-immigrants were different, inferior and could not be assimilated by a society that was otherwise homogeneous. Accordingly, in recent decades governments of both Right and Left have attempted to control the arrival of more immigrants by a range of restrictive measures. Perhaps as a consequence of the social and political tensions underlying such control, immigration was largely divorced from its economic genesis. The role immigrant workers have played in supplying vital labour has therefore been overshadowed by the arousal of hostility and social tension that accompanied immigration – especially in relation to its perceived effect on certain localities, the exacerbation of housing problems within these areas and the potential electoral consequences of these developments.
These past perceptions have significant present-day consequences, in that current attempts to create social justice for minorities have to be constructed in the face of the assumption that their original presence was undesirable, an assumption that is replicated in the way that the issue of asylum seekers has generally been debated in recent times. In turn, the debate about asylum seekers reinvigorates negative perceptions of the pre-existing ethnic minority presence. For instance, the assertion that many asylum seekers are in reality ‘economic migrants’ suggests that many of them arrive under false pretences, taking full advantage of feelings of sympathy for the oppressed, and that in so doing they constitute a large and unjustified drain on public resources.
There is a second reason for being cautious about the impact that the Macpherson agenda might have. This is that there exists a substantial body of opinion which does not merely reject charges of institutional racism, but which actively resents criticism or questioning of British society that emanates from the perspectives of racial equality or multiculturalism. From this point of view particular exception is taken to the idea that concepts of Britishness, social cohesion or the way the national story is ‘imagined’ should either be reassessed to take account of the presence of ethnic minorities or be made somehow ‘inclusive’ of their aspirations and experiences.
The force of this opinion was especially evident in the furore that greeted the publication of the report of the Commission inquiring into The Future of Multi-Ethnic[Page xiii]Britain (Parekh, 2000b). This reaction was perceptively described by Shah as providing ‘vivid testimony to the continuing power of race to unsettle the nation’ (Shah, 2000). This phenomenon is visible in various countries and we can discern just such an ‘unsettling effect’ in l'affaire du foulard which began in France in 1989 and which, according to Parekh, has haunted French society ever since. This involved the right of Muslim girls attending school to wear the hijab or headscarf. The Conseil d'Etat delivered an opinion (avis) that the wearing of the hijab did not violate the laïcité of French state schools provided that this did not constitute an act of ‘pressure, provocation, proselytism or propaganda’, though this was to be decided by the appropriate local education authority on a case-by-case basis. The ambiguity of this opinion led to confusion and was soon followed by a ruling by the French Education Minister that whereas discreet religious symbols (such as the cross) could be worn, the hijab was ostentatious and embodied elements of proselytism and discrimination and was therefore unacceptable. Parekh concludes that the debate over the hijab ‘went to the heart of French conceptions of citizenship and national identity and divided the country’. The minority view was that it represented difference and celebrated plurality, but
For a large body of Frenchmen, France was a single and indivisible nation based on a single culture (and) The school was the central tool of assimilation into French culture and could not tolerate ethnic self-expression. (Parekh, 2000b: 250)
This conception of an ethnic or immigrant presence in an otherwise homogeneous nation can have profound implications for multiculturalism. For example, in the 1970s immigration policy in Sweden was designed to bolster the position of immigrant groups not through assimilation, but by promoting cultural diversity. However, since then there has been a marked rise in racist actions, discrimination, segregation and unemployment. Not only has the foreign-born population been particularly hard hit by this, but there is a growing feeling among the Swedish-born population that immigration and integration policies have been too lenient (Westin, 1998: 57). In part, this can be explained by the gap between myth and reality:
One of the nationalist myths is that Sweden used to be an ethnically homogeneous nation – one people, one race, one language, one church, one historically given territory, one common culture, and one recognised centre of power. Even those who refute nationalistic views usually accept this description. For nationalists, multiculturalism is the result of uncontrolled and encouraged immigration of ‘racially inferior’ and culturally alien elements. (Westin, 1998: 59)
Recent decades have also witnessed a huge outpouring of empirical and analytical studies of ‘race’ and ethnicity, especially in the UK, in other Western European countries and in North America. Given this abundance can a Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture make a useful contribution? Obviously we think so, for abundant as this material is, it is open to criticism insofar as scholars in this area have too often limited their vision to their own country and, perhaps, one other ‘parallel’ country. In addition, ‘there is an absence or inadequacy of research data in significant areas of public policy … [related to] race and diversity issues’ (Parekh, 2000a: xi). We hope to offer some corrections in that regard.[Page xiv]
Our first objective has been to provide informative, up-to-date, well-referenced and user-friendly entries about issues that are often extremely contentious. Our second objective is to refrain from privileging our own specific perspectives and to avoid the presentation of particular positions as ‘unchallengeable’. This is not to claim that this Dictionary is or can be completely value-free or neutral. Obviously, choices had to be made to include or exclude certain topics and to devote more space to some topics than to others. Instead we have tried to provide evidence of the debates – including the scientific debates – and the controversies that surround many ‘race’-related and ethnic-related issues and of the ways in which these debates have evolved.
Our next objective has been not only to draw on the contributions and perspectives that different disciplines offer, but also to encompass different cultural traditions and outlooks. We can learn a lesson in this regard from the now classic work Immigrant Workers and the Class Structure in Western Europe (Castles and Kosack, 1973). Writing in the early 1970s, Castles and Kosack identified immigration as one of the most fiercely debated issues in Britain. To support their claim they cited the extent of media coverage, various political campaigns, the establishment of government commissions and the enactment of immigration control measures. In the UK, they noted, this debate proceeded on the assumption that immigration was a matter of ‘colour’, and so white immigration to Britain, whether from the Irish Republic, the ‘Old Commonwealth’ or elsewhere, even though substantial, was generally ignored. Castles and Kosack perceived this approach as owing much to an over-reliance on parallels between events in Britain and the USA, largely in terms of ‘race relations’. Consequently, they chose instead to compare the situation of immigrants to Britain with that of immigrants in three other Western European countries – France, the Federal Republic of Germany (as it then was) and Switzerland. Their focus was on the way that immigrant workers obtained the worst jobs in whichever Western European country they entered, jobs largely abandoned by indigenous workers.
The relevance of Castles and Kosack's approach lies not in their specific agenda – which was to reveal what they saw as the ‘function’ of immigrant workers in the socio-economic structure of the various receiving societies – but in the general guidance that it offers for analysis of ‘race’, ethnicity and culture. First, it is not satisfactory to present examples only from countries that are widely assumed to be parallel cases – such as the UK and the USA. Instead we need empirical examples from a range of countries – not just from countries where immigration has been long established and where ‘race relations’ have been much studied, but also from countries where immigration is more recent.
Several issues that have arisen since Castles and Kosack's book appeared are relevant in this context. One is that the pattern of international migration evident in Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s has changed in significant ways. Temporary migrants have become permanent settlers and a ‘second generation’ (or even a third) of those of immigrant origin – born or brought up in Western Europe – has appeared, characterized by different experiences and expectations from those of the first generation. This generational development has raised a profusion of issues concerning not only racism and discrimination, but also equal opportunity, citizenship and family reunification. Moreover, these subjects have become recognized as pivotal rather than tangential matters for society in [Page xv]various ways, for as well as affecting the identity of minority groups themselves, they also have a number of important implications for the identity of the society in which immigrants live. In these circumstances it is not surprising that the analysis of ‘race’ and ethnicity has come to occupy a more central role within the social sciences.
Another issue that confronts us is that since the passing of the era of mass labour recruitment of the 1960s and 1970s, new types and patterns of migration have arisen. First, countries that once exported labour have become significant receivers of migrants in their own right. It is worth noting that at the time of Castles and Kosack's study, Italy exported migrant labour to Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere and, although there was considerable internal migration from south to north within Italy, it was not itself a country of immigration. But at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Italy has a growing immigrant population – both legal and illegal, notably from North Africa and ex-Yugoslavia, and immigration has become a significant issue in Italian politics. This transformation raises a number of questions. Will the situation in Italy replicate to a greater or lesser degree the pattern in countries where immigration is longer established? Will debates about immigration control, assimilation, multiculturalism, discrimination and racism in Italy develop in a way that seems familiar to those who have explored these issues in the UK or in other countries where immigration and ‘race’ have been studied over a long period? In addition to this change in the European migration dynamic, the number of asylum seekers and refugees has grown significantly as a result of ethnic, political and military conflicts – a phenomenon facilitated by the speed and sophistication of modern-day communications. Controversies about the rights of entry and conditions of residence for these groups and about the reception they receive have also grown.
These developments are neither self-explanatory nor straightforward. They require careful study and discussion. Not only must the experience of one country be compared and contrasted with that of others, but the perception of what is at issue may vary not merely between analysts within a country, but also from country to country. In particular, assumptions about key issues of ‘race’ and ethnicity are not always the same. ‘Race relations’, for example, may be defined more or less narrowly, and while in some instances differentiating groups on the basis of ethnicity in order to assess inequalities is seen as necessary and unexceptional, in others it is regarded as highly problematic and undesirable. Moreover, different social science disciplines approach ‘race’ and ethnicity from very different perspectives.
In order to encompass these and other differences in the approach to ‘race’ and ethnicity, the editors were keen to secure the collaboration of contributors from a number of disciplines – sociology, social anthropology, social psychology and history – and from different countries, including the UK, the USA, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Germany and Morocco. Thus the entries reflect different academic backgrounds and approaches to the study of ‘race’, ethnicity and culture – a range which is too often lacking in the literature in this area. It is the editors' hope and belief that the Dictionary's multidisciplinary approach will prove useful to the modern reader, who is now facing issues which extend well beyond both disciplinary boundaries and national boundaries.[Page xvi]
What we have sought then is a breadth and diversity intended to produce a reference tool which is useful and relevant in different countries and fields. This is important not least because the discussion and conceptualization of ‘race’ varies from one country to another. For instance, in France there has been considerable resistance to using colour or ethnicity as a measure of inequalities in access or opportunity, and certain academics have been fiercely criticized for attempting to do so. Or to take another example, the often negative reaction in Britain to the arrival of immigrants and the growing ethnic minority presence, whereby ‘immigration’ and its aftermath is invariably thought of as a problem and hardly ever as an opportunity, is neither inevitable nor universal. Thus a report in The Times on ‘white flight’ in US cities concludes: ‘In the past, “white flight” was considered uniformly negative. It was seen as a sign of cities declining. But unlike Europeans, many Americans see their country as a land of opportunity and welcome immigrants as a sign of economic strength’ (The Times, 1 May 2001).
This is not to suggest that we can claim to encompass every opinion and position on the plethora of issues connected to ‘race’ and ethnicity in each of many national contexts referred to in this Dictionary. What we do offer is an overview of the way that these issues are perceived and the different meanings given to key terms in various countries. We also seek to encompass the historical and cultural issues that have shaped these varying perceptions. In this context, one of the most significant ‘divides’ concerns what is denoted by the term ‘race’ itself. In the USA and the UK the word ‘race’ is often qualified by putting it in quotation marks, as we do here. This serves to suggest that while it has no basis in scientific research, it is nonetheless a powerful social construct with significant practical consequences. More particularly, ‘race’ is used interchangeably with ‘colour’ both as a discriminator and as a measure of unequal distribution of life chances.
Members of minority groups in the UK (and elsewhere) are no doubt well aware that racism comes in different forms: on the one hand, it may be subtle and hidden, while on the other, it may be overt – as indicated in a Policy Studies Institute investigation in the mid-1990s which found that approximately one in eight of those of Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese origin surveyed had encountered racist abuse in the previous 12 months (Modood et al., 1997). But categorization based on colour is not universally recognized, nor is ‘colour racism’ the only form of racism that manifests itself. In Western Europe generally – the UK excepted – the assumption that race can be equated with colour is contested on various grounds: by pointing to the Nazi era and so bracketing racism with anti-Semitism; and by highlighting the existence of ‘Orientalism’ and, more recently, of ‘Islamophobia’ – antipathies which are in large measure culturally based. To reflect these differences, the term ‘racisms’, in the plural, is often and increasingly preferred to the singular ‘racism’. To speak of ‘racisms’ suggests that the idea of ‘race’ to denote ‘otherness’, ‘difference’, ‘inferiority’ and so on, may be based on cultural or religious factors just as much as on the idea of some biological difference or skin colour.
The identification of ‘otherness’ is not some objective process, whereby an obvious and unequivocal difference is noted and then acted upon. On the contrary, it is highly subjective insofar as it ascribes great significance to certain [Page xvii]perceived differences, while ascribing little or no significance to others. The concept of ‘otherness’ has become increasingly prominent in the social sciences largely because of the transformation of the fundamental concept of identity brought about by Marxism, feminism and psychoanalysis – among other influences. These theoretical shifts have undermined the concept of the ‘other’ as a distinct reality that can be easily assigned to specific categories. In particular, the contribution of psychoanalysis to understanding the impact of the unconscious in the formulation of value judgements has shown the impossibility of assuming a neutral position of observing the ‘other’, be it an individual or a group. As Hall has argued:
Something we have learnt from the whole discussion of identification, in feminism and psychoanalysis, is the degree to which that structure is always constructed through ambivalence. Always constructed through splitting. Splitting between that which one is, and that which is the other. The attempt to expel the other to the other side of the universe is always compounded by love and desire. This is a different language from the language of, as it were, the Others who are completely different from oneself.
This is the Other that belongs inside me. This is the Other that one can only know from the place from which one stands. This is the self as it is inscribed in the gaze of the Other. (Hall, 1997: 47–48)
This passage offers a vivid example of the way in which concepts usually associated with psychology and psychoanalysis are highly relevant to the other social sciences. In view of this, the Dictionary contains a number of entries, such as ‘Identity’ and (the) ‘Unconscious’, where insights provided by psychology and psychoanalysis can serve to illuminate our understanding of significant aspects of ‘race’, racism, migration, hostility, discrimination, and so on. We refer here in particular to aspects of these phenomena that sometimes seem to fall outside rational explanation. Psychological and psychoanalytic approaches are especially helpful in explaining migrants and travellers as being in some way ‘strange’, as the archetypal ‘other’, as not subscribing to or as rejecting the range of norms that ‘insiders’ recognize without needing to be told. Even today, the outward justification provided for the frequent instinctive rejection of ‘strangers’ is that they are different, alien, even threatening because they deviate from the supposed norms – in terms of their language, dress, customs, demeanour, beliefs, etc. – a perception that in reality stems from the unconscious. That this perception is deep-rooted is evident, for example, in the etymological origin of the word ‘stranger’, which stems from the same Latin root extraneus as ‘strange’ and ‘extraordinary’.
This Dictionary has been profoundly influenced by the enlightening work, produced towards the end of the twentieth century, regarding the ways in which societies have persistently described and constructed different ‘others’ and different types of ‘stranger’. These descriptions and constructions have frequently been produced with the aim of controlling these ‘outgroups’ or keeping them in a condition of inferiority or marginalization. Scientific claims have often supported the exercise of this control, which has often found expression in biological racism or sociobiology. No social science can be totally blameless in this respect – and all have been instrumental in the maintenance of the established order by reinforcing inequality and discrimination. However, in the second half of the twentieth century the misuse of psychology and psychiatry is [Page xviii]especially noteworthy. This matter has been explored by Foucault and Szasz among others, and the ensuing debate has done much to sensitize researchers – including psychologists and psychoanalysts – to the issues and risks underlying any study that constructs people as ‘others’, whether they are ethnic or ‘racial’ minorities, women or marginalized persons. As Szasz put it:
‘Schizophrenia’ is a strategic label as ‘Jew’ was in Nazi Germany. If you want to exclude people from the social order, you must justify this to others, but especially to yourself. So you invent a justificatory rhetoric. That's what the really nasty psychiatric words are all about: they are justificatory rhetoric, labelling a package ‘garbage’, it means ‘take it away! ‘Get it out of my sight!’ etc. That's what the word ‘Jew’ meant in Nazi Germany: it did not mean a person with a certain kind of religious belief. It meant ‘vermin!’, ‘gas him!’ I am afraid that ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘sociopathic personality’ and many other psychiatric diagnostic terms mean exactly the same thing; they mean ‘human garbage’, ‘take him away!', get him out of my sight.’ (Szasz, 1997: 453–61)
We find this passage striking, not because we share Szasz' mistrust of medicine and psychiatry, but rather because it offers a clear example of how certain scientific paradigms can find useful application in other disciplines, and how exploitation, rejection and marginalization occur beyond the fields of politics and sociology.and , Rome and London, July 2002References1973) Immigrant Workers and the Class Structure in Western Europe, Oxford, Oxford University Press.and (1972, 1999) Histoire de la folie à L'âge classique, Paris, Gallimard.(1997) ‘Old and new identities’, in King, A. (ed.) Culture, Globalization and the World-System, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.(1997) Ethnic Minorities in Britain: Diversity and Disadvantage, London, Policy Studies Institute., et al. (2000a) Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory, Basingstoke, Macmillan.(2000b) The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (The Parekh Report), London, Profile Books.(2000) ‘Get your facts right first, please,’ The Guardian, 20 October.(1997) Interview, New Physician, 18 (June): 453–461.(1991) Racism and the Press, London, Routledge.(1998) ‘Temporal and spatial aspects of multiculturality: reflections on the meaning of time and space in relation to the blurred boundaries of multicultural societies’, in Bauböck, R. and Rundell, J. (eds), Blurred Boundaries: Migration, Ethnicity, Citizenship, Aldershot, Ashgate.(
Appendix: Contributor Details[Page 338]
Contributor Initials Affiliations Entries 1. Attilio Balestrieri A. B. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Bilingualism, Creole, Cross-cultural mediation, Cross-cultural medicine, Deportation, Developing countries, Ebonics, Genocide, Health and immigration, Health checks at frontiers, Healthy migrant effect, Identification with the aggressor, Illegal alien, International language, Language shift, Lingua Franca, Official language, Pidgin, Sabir, Vehicular language 2. Tahar Ben Jelloun T. B. J Writer Intifada 3. Gianfranco Biondi G. B. University of L'Aquila Evolution (theory of), Monogenism, Phenotype, Polygenism 4. Jochen Blaschke J. B. Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research Ausländer, Gastarbeiter, Spät Aussiedler 5. Guido Bolaffi Gu. B. Ministry of Welfare, Italy Amnesty, Dual citizenship, Fortress Europe, Free movement, Reception centre 6. Massimo Bracalenti M. B. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Alienation, Intolerance, Mixophobia, Nation, National character 7. Raffaele Bracalenti R. B. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Bilingualism, Creole, Cross-cultural mediation, Cross-cultural medicine, Deportation, Developing countries, Ebonics, Ethnic enterprise, Extracomunitario, Genocide, Health and immigration, Health checks at frontiers, Healthy migrant effect, Identification with the aggressor, Illegal alien, International language, Language shift, Lingua Franca, Marginalization, Multiculturalism 2, Official language, Pidgin, Sabir, Vehicular language 8. Peter Braham P. B. Open University, UK Anti-Semitism, Commission for Racial Equality, Diaspora, Eco-racism, Ghetto, Jew, Marginalization, Race and the media, Race relations, Racial discrimination, Racial harassment, Racial segregation, Racism, Second generation, Shoah, Zionism [Page 339] 9. Meyer Burstein Me. B. Department of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada Visa 10. Matilde Callari Galli M. C. G. University of Bologna Adaptation, Conformism, Multiculturalism 1 11. Massimo Canevacci M. C. University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ Caste, Native, Participation, Stigma, Syncretism 12. Arturo Casoni A. C. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Complementarism, Cultural evolutionism, Genotype, Interculturalism 13. Alessandra Castellani Al. C. University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ Cultural areas 14. Angelomichele De Spirito A. D. S. University of Salerno Fundamentalism, Primitive 15. Julia Eksner J. E. Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research Roma, Sinti, Nomad, Nomadic camp 16. Damon Freeman D. W. F. Indiana University Jim Crow, Ku Klux Klan 17. Sandro Gindro S. G. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Aggression, Art and ethnicity, Circumcision, Cosmopolitism, Cultural determinism, Cultural relativism, Culture, Dance, Diversity-Similarity, Ethnic, Ethnic cleansing, Ethnicity, Exoticism, Folklore, Foreigner, Infibulation, Interculturalism, Music, Mutilation, Myth, Narcissism, People, Pluriculturalism, Race 1, Religion and ethnic conflicts, Rite, Sado-masochism, Savage, Theatre, Unconscious, Xenophobia 18. Gualtiero Harrison G. H. University of Bologna Acculturation, Chauvinism, Enculturation, Eurocentrism 19. Jurgen Humburg J. H. UNHCR Reception centre, Refugee 20. Carl Ipsen C. I. Indiana University Family reunification, Nation, National preference 21. David R. James D. R. J. Indiana University Ethnicity and race 22. Umberto Melotti U. M. University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ Alienation, Altruism, Citizenship, Colonialism, Differentialism, Ethnicization, Ethnocentrism, Ethnonationalism, Heterophobia, Homologation, Melting pot, Nationalism, Nostalgia, Push factors-pull factors, Race 2, Social disorganization, Tolerance [Page 340] 23. Schlomo Mendlovic S. M. Shalvata Mental Health Centre, Israel Ethnopsychiatry 24. Robert Moore R. M. University of Liverpool Civilization, Ethnic politics, Ethnicity, Race and inequality, Racialization, Whiteness 25. Emilio Mordini Em. M. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Bioethics and ethnicity, Community, Intolerance, Religion and ethnic conflicts, Tolerance 26. Aldo Morrone A. M. San Gallicano Hospital, Rome Racism and medicine 27. Tim Muecke T. M. Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research Roma, Sinti, Nomad, Nomadic camp 28. Karim Murji K. M. Open University, UK Institutional racism, Prejudice 29. Matthew Oware M. O. Indiana University Ethnicity and race 30. Francesca Pegazzano F. P. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Mixed race 31. Susanna Peltzel S. P. Lawyer Equality, Exile, Flows, Frontier, Political asylum, Quota system, Stateless 32. Ann Phoenix A. P. Open University, UK Black Muslims, Empowerment-disempowerment, Race and gender, Race and IQ, Underclass 33. Ali Rattansi A. R. City University, London Cultural imperialism, Identity, Orientalism, Postcolonial studies, Push factors-pull factors, Race 3, Racism 34. Emilo Reyneri E. R. University of Milan ‘Bicocca’ Invasion, Migration chain, Seasonal migrant worker 35. Olga Rickards O. R. University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ Evolution (theory of), Monogenism, Phenotype, Polygenism 36. Renzo Rossi R. R. Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research, Rome Art and ethnicity, Dance, Music, Theatre 37. Renato Ruggiero R. Ru. Former Italian Foreign Minister Globalization 38. Paola Schellenbaum P. S. Cariplo-ISMU Foundation, Milan Multiethnic 39. Richard Skellington R. S. Open University, UK Racial harassment [Page 341] 40. Mauro Valeri M. V. Ministry of Welfare, Italy Acculturation group, Affirmative action, Afrocentrism, Anticipated socialization, Black Africa, Black Power, Boat people, Colour bar, Colour-blind society, Coloured, Concentration camp and death camp, Cybernazis, Denizen, Double consciousness, Eco-racism, Emancipation, Ethnic minority, Ethnocide, Internal colonialism, Marginal man, Monoethnic state, Negritude, Negro, Neo-feudal adaptation, Racial harassment, Racial segregation, Self-fulfilling prophecy, Slavery, Third World, Überfremdung 41. Franco Voltaggio F. V. University of Macerata Purity, Religion and ethnic conflicts 42. Charles Westin C. W. CEIFO, Stockholm Migrant, Migration 43. Laura Zanfrini L. Za. Cariplo-ISMU Foundation, Milan Assimilation, Mixed marriage 44. Zargani, A. A. Z. Writer Anti-Semitism, Diaspora, Ghetto, Jew, Pogrom, Shoah 45. Ziglio, L. Le. Z. University of Trento Family, Integration, Solidarity