We hear much about ‘race’ and ‘racism’ in public discourse but the terms are frequently used without clear definitions or practical examples of how these phenomena actually work.

Racisms introduces practical methods which enable students to think coherently and sociologically about this complex feature of the global landscape.

Steve Garner argues that there is no single monolithic object of analysis but rather a plural set of ideas and practices that result in the introduction of ‘race’ into social relations. This differs over time and from one place to another.

Focusing on the basics, Racisms:

Defines ‘race’, ‘racism’, ‘institutional racism’ and ‘racialization’; Provides examples of how these function in fields like the natural sciences and asylum; Clearly sets out theoretical arguments around collective identities (‘race’, class, gender, nation, religion); Uses empirical case studies, including some drawn from the author's own fieldwork; Points students and other readers toward sources of further web and text based information

Engaging and accessible this book provides a sign-posted route into key elements of contemporary debates.

Racisms is an ideal introduction for undergraduates studying ‘race’ and ethnicity, social divisions, stratification, and social work.



One of the most noticeable phenomena in terms of demographic trends in the West is the increase in the proportion of people identifying themselves as ‘mixed race’ or ‘bi-racial’ or the equivalent. While this pattern is far from news in many countries outside Europe and North America (and I suggest not really new there either), it is a point that poses two interesting questions for students of racism. The first is the challenge to existing racial categories in which the State, groups and individuals invest politically and emotionally. The idea of people belonging simultaneously to more than one group, or not, depending on the context, undermines the racialised boundaries that most people now recognise. What are the implications of ‘bi-racial’ becoming a bloc in ...

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