Postmodernism and Race

Eric Mark Kramer
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 - 191 ˹

This collection brings together a dozen academics from diverse racial, ethnic, and gender perspectives to explore race in a postmodern way. Postmodernism and Race articulates the differences between modern and postmodern discourses. It then offers a third alternative based on comparative civilizational studies, which suggest a multidimensional approach to power, identity, and social order. Also drawing on Western and non-Western interpretations, the discursive nature of race as a cultural product and semiotic marker is explored.

The collection seeks to achieve three tasks: To present a uniquely kynical approach to truth-saying presented by modernists and sophisticated so-called postmodernists (with their faith in lingualism); to explore what modernism is in the context of race; and to investigate the concept of race in an aperspectival way, including the language-gaming of racism. The obsession with racial measurement and its correlation with measures of intelligence is explored, as is the mythology of racial homogeneity in Japan. Also examined are the discursive nature of racial reality and power, and racial identity in Africa.

All those concerned with issues of race and/or postmodern civilization, as well as those interested in operational definition, scalar phenomena, relativism, and postmodern views of truth, justice, and power, will find this a provocative collection.


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The Spiders of Truth
The Importance of Social Imagery for Race Relations
A Brief Archaeology of Intelligence
Dialogue and Race
Symbolic Violence and Race
What Is a Japanese? Culture Diversity and Social Harmony in Japan
Community Control Base Communities and Democracy
Racist Ontology Inferiorization and Assimilation
Analyzing Racial Ideology Post1980 America
Neoconservatism and Freedom in Postmodern North American Culture
Selected Bibliography
Name Index
Subject Index
About the Editor and Contributors


˹ 37 - EUROPE, of which none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity; tho' low people, without education, will start up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession, in JAMAICA indeed they talk of one negroe as a man of parts and learning; but 'tis likely he is admired for very slender accomplishments, like a parrot, who speaks a few words plainly.
˹ 37 - I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites.
˹ 63 - I, the man of color, want only this: That the tool never possess the man. That the enslavement of man by man cease forever. . . . That it be possible for me to discover and to love man, wherever he may...
˹ 63 - I find myself suddenly in the world and I recognize that I have one right alone: That of demanding human behavior form the other. One duty alone: That of not renouncing my freedom through my choices.
˹ 36 - The civilized countries situated under this zone, are Georgia, Circassia, the Ukraine, Turkey in Europe, Hungary, the south of Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the northern part of Spain. The natives of these territories are the most handsome and most beautiful people in the world.
˹ 35 - Hair black, straight, thick; nostrils wide, face harsh; beard scanty; obstinate, content, free. Paints himself with fine red lines. Regulated by customs.
˹ 155 - The material bodily principle is contained not in the biological individual, not in the bourgeois ego, but in the people, a people who are continually growing and renewed.

ǡѺ (1997)

ERIC MARK KRAMER is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Among his earlier publications is Consciousness and Culture: An Introduction to the Thought of Jean Gebser (Greenwood, 1992).