Critical Race Theory Of Race And Racism

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Critical theories of race and racism have been used by sociologists to not only describe modern societies, but also address issues of social injustice and achieve an end to racial oppression. Critical race theory is one of the most widely used for this purpose. Its utility rests upon the assumption that race is a social construct and not an inherent biological feature. In place of the concept of inherent race, critical race theory proffers the concept of racialization. The tenet that the concept of race is created and attached to particular groups of people through social processes. In tandem with this, critical race theory contends that identity is neither fixed nor unidimensional. It also places importance on the perspectives and experiences of racial minorities (Ritzer and Stepnisky, 2013:66).
Critical race theory also provides the framework for the racial formation theory as proposed by Michael Omi and Howard Winant. Their theory, in keeping with critical theories on racism, denies race as being of biological construction but the theory then goes on to refute race as either an ideological construct or an objective condition, and instead looks to a processual construction of racism, thereby rejoining with critical race theory’s racialization concept. Three conditions constitute the foundation for this theory: applicability to contemporary politics, applicability in an increasing global context, and applicability across historical time (Kivisto, 2013:384).
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