In What Way Dose Racism Impact On The Lives Of Britain's Black Population

2390 words - 10 pages

Racism is most commonly used to describe the belief that members of ones own race are superior physically, mentally, culturally and morally to members of other races. Racist beliefs provide the foundation for extending special rites, privileges and opportunities to the race that is believed to be superior, and to withhold rites, privileges, and opportunities from the race that is believed to be inferior. No scientific evidence supports racist claims, although racism exists in all countries and cultures. The definition of racism has evolved to describe prejudice against a group of people based on the belief that human groups are unequal genetically, and that members of some racial groups are thus inferior. Sociologists distinguish between individual racism, a term describing attitudes and beliefs of individuals, and institutional racism, which denotes governmental application of a stereotypes. While such policies are being corrected to eliminate institutional racism, individual racism nonetheless persists (miles,1990)There are a couple of misrepresentations in discussions on 'race' and racism. The fact is that racism is principally a post-war phenomenonAssociated with the greater presence of black people in Britain and the expansion of the welfare state. The second is that defiance against racism is a relatively new. Racism operates in different ways, on different sites, changing in form and degree over time and place. Some times 'race' and racism articulate closely with class,Gender and sexuality; at other times they appear to follow a separate logic, only then to be disrupted by the shifting relations of power.The reconstruction of post-war Britain through the creation of Keynesian welfare staterepresented in many ways a major break with the past. At the same time, manyaspects of pre-war Britain, especially the unequal relations of class, 'race', gender and disability - reconstituted themselves on different political, economic and cultural terrains (Williams in Ahmed and Atkin, 1996). One of the major problems facing the British government in the late 1940's was theshortage of labour in both manufacturing industries and developing welfare state.There were two solutions to this: to use married women in the workforce or to draw on migrant labour, either from the poorer parts of Southern Europe or from thecolonies. The first solution was contradictory to the ideology of the male breadwinner family and would involve the socialization of childcare. To pull in European workers would entail complicated problems with time-limited work permits, whereas workers from the commonwealth were, by virtue of Britain's majestic model of citizenship,automatically British citizens. On the other hand, the government was concerned with problems of assimilation and whether the new immigrants would be good enough v 'human stock' (Gilroy, 1987).The decision to recruit migrant workers from the black commonwealth was then, Their cultural and 'racial' differences were seen...

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