“A welcome and overdue contribution to the field. Identifying a need for an empirical guide to complement the abundant theoretical literature, this book combines a variety of practical avenues of advice with analytical sophistication, without losing any of the subject matter's complexities. The contextual chapters are well judged and informative, while readers will surely find the careful selection and very clear presentation of the case studies particularly useful in thinking through the projects from start to completion.”

- Steve Garner, Open University

This book offers a one stop guide to the meaning of racism, key studies in the field, core methodologies and an agenda for research for the future. Discussing the salient aspects of race and racism in contemporary society alongside methodological and practical considerations of qualitative research in the field, Researching Racism is not only an original textbook but also a crucial guide for anyone beginning their own research on racism.

Based on Muzammil Quraishi and Rob Philburn's extensive background as researchers, supervisors and teachers, this book: offers a clear and accessible account of an interdisciplinary and complex topic; incorporates historical, legislative and international dimensions of race and racism; outlines and illustrates a range of qualitative research methods; provides case studies and engaging examples; includes a tool kit for researchers of racism.

This is an indispensable guide for students wanting to research race and racism across the social sciences.

Defining and Conceptualising Racism

Defining and conceptualising racism

Keywords:racialisation, ethnicity, discrimination, institutional racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

The main questions or areas for reflection raised by this chapter are:

  • How do academics define complex concepts such as ethnicity and racism?
  • What are the associated attributes of racism and racialisation?
  • How are notions of intersectionality, white governmentality, xeno-racism and religious discrimination relevant to contemporary debates on racism?

The discussion in the previous chapter demonstrated that race is socially constructed rather than biologically determined. Certainly, there are external differences in the way humans appear with regard to skin tone, eye shape and hair colour. However, any attempt to scientifically categorise humans into distinct races based upon these rather arbitrary indicators has been unsustainable since all humans share a common biological origin. This common origin, although ...

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