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Racism and classism - Essay Example

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In sociology and philosophy, the suffix –ism denotes a distinct system of doctrine, belief, theory, or myth, which guides a group, institution, social movement, or class. Tunisian political-cultural theorist and psychoanalyst Albert Memmi, in his book, The Colonizer and the Colonized, emphasizes on several forms of –isms, including colonialism, racism, sexism, and classism…
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Racism and classism
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Download file to see previous pages According to Memmi, the world of the colonizers enjoys the enormous privilege, from economic to social issues, while the colonized suffer all the colonialism injustices, from racism to sexism. The book quotes Cecil Rhodes on his comment concerning land and niggers (the blacks) to highlight the colonial issue of racism. Arguably, all stereotypical colonialism undermines the colonized race with dark and brutal methods of governance. The philosophical definition of racism, with emphasis on the suffix –ism, is the belief that the primary determinant of capabilities of humans is based on their race. With this perception, therefore, the colonists viewed the colonized as a weaker race who would work under them. The author thus expresses the opinion that the colonized do not exist individually, but rather as a mass in the eyes of the colonialists. This creates the concept of classism, where the colonizers set a different social class for themselves, and a much lower one for the colonized. In essence, classism entails the systematic oppression of minority, or weaker groups to strengthen dominant groups. ...
of power for the enforced the colonizers’ language, thus, the native tongues were neither written nor read, rusting in the course of the colonialism (Sartre 20). The result was an uprising against the colonial rule that contributed to the re-instatement of the culture, religion, and tradition of the native society. According to him, revolt is the only solution to end the brutality of dictatorship and resolve the contradiction of the oppressed and the oppressor. The chapters in the book that contain arguments on the colonized are free of debate to a certain degree, but the earlier sections concern the literature on the colonizer is scathing. Despite writing the book from personal experience in North Africa, Memmi believes that there is no middle ground fro Europeans. According to him, all the Europeans in all the colonies are de fact colonizers and either all of them will return to Europe (at the time) or will ultimately become colonizers themselves (Sartre 22). It is true that the Europeans were enjoying privileges not similar to the colonized; it does not conclusively mean that all of them were upholding or supporting the colonial system. In contrast, there were certain minority colonial outposts that supported the colonized liberation efforts, thus, opposing the rule of the mother country. In one of his quotes, Memmi says, “the entire weight of the Europeans perpetuates the colonial oppression, whether intentional or otherwise”. This argument is ancient, similar to stating that all the people in the Western nations support and benefit from oppression of poorer, which is simply incorrect. Later in the book, the author contradicts his earlier stand by stating that Europeans who originate elsewhere other than the colonizing country are neither colonizers or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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This essay saved me today. I liked the structure. It was very useful for my gender & sexual studies course.
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