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Discourse and racism

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Publication date2015
Host publicationThe handbook of discourse analysis
EditorsDeborah Tannen, Heidi Ehernberger Hamilton, Deborah Schiffrin
Place of PublicationMalden, MA
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780470670743
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter discusses the relationship between discourse and racism. It argues that discourse both contributes to the (re)production of and fight against racism. In addition to the introduction, the text is divided into three parts. Section 1 provides a selective overview of conceptions of “race” and “racism.” It reconstructs the etymology of “race” and conceptualizes “racism” as discrimination against racialized Others on the basis of the marking of natural and cultural differences between allegedly homogeneous groups, the naturalization of cultural differences, the hierarchization and negative evaluation, and the justification of power differences, exploitation and exclusion. Section 2 offers a synopsis of five discourse analytical approaches to the phenomenon of racism, and an illustration of the discourse-historical approach with an example of political discourse taken from an election campaign in Austria in 2010. Section 3 recapitulates in which sense racism is a multifaceted problem and poses questions relating to our current days