This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 6: Caste, Class, and Race: A Study in Social Dynamics
Caste, Class, and Race: A Study in Social Dynamics
Cox's bold attempt to construct a political economy of racism was a work of magisterial quality. In many ways a response to Myrdal's theory, Cox advanced a Marxian analysis of racism as an inevitable product of capitalism. There is no ‘natural’ cause of racism: its sources must be sought in the economic matrix of society. It is part of the stabilizing strategies of the ruling class; a way of dividing the proletariat and keeping them fighting among themselves rather than united on the basis of a shared class position. On this view, it is in the capitalists' interests to perpetuate and deepen divisions among the working class: ...