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.

Institutional Racism

Institutional racism

In earlier chapters, I outlined the development of the idea of ‘race’, provided working definitions of racism and explained the process of racialisation. We now turn to the concept of ‘institutional racism’, a term that has come to occupy an increasingly significant space in public discourse in the English-speaking world since it was coined by American authors Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Touré) and Charles Hamilton in their 1967 work, Black Power (see Chapter 1). We shall look at definitions, and note the two broad strands of the core idea (which is a separation of individual from collective forms of racial discrimination) that have developed in two different directions.


The definition put forward by Carmichael and Hamilton (1967: 6) deals with the parallel processes of ...

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