Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Social Science on 2014-08-07 00:55Z by Steven

Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives

Cambridge University Press
January 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9780521154260

Edited by:

Karim Murji, Senior Lecturer in Sociology
The Open University, United Kingdom

John Solomos, Professor of Sociology
University of Warwick, United Kingdom

How have research agendas on race and ethnic relations changed over the past two decades and what new developments have emerged? Theories of Race and Ethnicity provides a comprehensive and cutting-edge collection of theoretically grounded and empirically informed essays. It covers a range of key issues in race and ethnicity studies, such as genetics and race, post-race debates, racial eliminativism and the legacy of Barack Obama, and mixed race identities. The contributions are by leading writers on a range of perspectives employed in studying ethnicity and race, including critical race feminism, critical rationalism, psychoanalysis, performativity, whiteness studies and sexuality. Written in an authoritative yet accessible style, this volume is suitable for researchers and advanced students, offering scholars a survey of the state of the art in the literature, and students an overview of the field.

  • A unique set of views on race and ethnicity by writers committed to advancing scholarship
  • Covers some of the latest issues and debates in the field, including genetics, post-race eliminativism and mixed race identities from a range of perspectives
  • Opening and closing editorial chapters provide a route map of shifts in the field of race and ethnicity studies, and return to some recurring debates to demonstrate how the field changes and has continuing and persisting questions in theorising race and ethnicity

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: situating the present Karim Murji and John Solomos
  • Part I. Debates: Introduction to Part I
    • 2. Race and the science of difference in the age of genomics Sandra Soo-Jin Lee
    • 3. Colour-blind egalitarianism as the new racial norm Charles A. Gallagher
    • 4. Getting over the Obama hope hangover: the new racism in ‘post-racial’ America Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (with Victor E. Ray)
    • 5. Does a recognition of mixed race move us toward post-race? Miri Song
    • 6. Acting ‘as’ and acting ‘as if’: two approaches to the politics of race and migration Leah Bassel
    • 7. Can race be eradicated? The post-racial problematic Brett St Louis
  • Part II. Perspectives: Introduction to Part II
    • 8. Superseding race in sociology: the perspective of critical rationalism Michael Banton
    • 9. Critical race feminism Adrien K. Wing
    • 10. Performativity and ‘raced’ bodies Shirley Tate
    • 11. Racism: psychoanalytic and psycho-social approaches Simon Clarke
    • 12. The sociology of whiteness: beyond good and evil white people Matthew W. Hughey
    • 13. (Sexual) whiteness and national identity: race, class and sexuality in colour-blind France Éric Fassin
    • 14. Racial comparisons, relational racisms: some thoughts on method David Theo Goldberg
  • 15. Conclusion: back to the future Karim Murji and John Solomos
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The invisible weight of whiteness: the racial grammar of everyday life in contemporary America

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-02-23 20:36Z by Steven

The invisible weight of whiteness: the racial grammar of everyday life in contemporary America

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 35, Issue 2, 2012
pages 173-194
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2011.613997

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University

Racial domination, like all forms of domination, works best when it becomes hegemonic, that is, when it accomplishes its goal without much fanfare. In this paper, based on the Ethnic and Racial Studies Annual Lecture I delivered in May 2011 in London, I argue there is something akin to a grammar – a racial grammar if you will – that structures cognition, vision, and even feelings on all sort of racial matters. This grammar normalizes the standards of white supremacy as the standards for all sort of social events and transactions. Thus, in the USA one can talk about HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), but not about HWCUs (historically white colleges and universities) or one can refer to black movies and black TV shows but not label movies and TV shows white when in fact most are. I use a variety of data (e.g., abduction of children, school shootings, etc.) to illustrate how this grammar works and highlight what it helps to accomplish. I conclude that racial grammar is as important as all the visible practices and mechanisms of white supremacy and that we must fight its poisonous effects even if, like smog, we cannot see how it works clearly.

Read the entire article here.

[View Dr. Bonilla-Silva's lecture at the Fall 2010 Honors Colloquium at the University or Rhode Island here.]

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Rejecting Blackness and Claiming Whiteness: Antiblack Whiteness in the Biracial Project

Posted in Books, Chapter, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-12-05 19:09Z by Steven

Rejecting Blackness and Claiming Whiteness: Antiblack Whiteness in the Biracial Project

Chapter in: White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (pages 81-94)

Routledge
2003-08-14
344 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-93583-8
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-93582-1

Edited by:

Ashley W. Doane, Associate Dean for Academic Administration; Professor of Sociology
University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University

Chapter Author:

Minkah Makalani, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Over the past fifteen years in the United States, there has emerged a concerted push to reclassify people with one Black and one white parent as biracial. Advocates of this biracial project seek to have people of mixed parentage (PMP) recognized as a distinct, biracial race. They maintain that a biracial identity is more mentally healthy than a Black one and challenges popular notions of race in the United States, therefore making it the basis for “ultimately disabus[ing] Americans of their false beliefs in the biological reality of race” (Zack 2001:34). This will lead society away from racial classifications, hasten racism’s demise, and bring about a color-blind society (Gilanshah 1993; Spickard 2001; Zack 2001). Still, the progressive qualities of a biracial identity are more apparent than real.

The presence of a biracial race would certainly disrupt popular ideas about race, but to suggest it would precipitate the end of racial classifications is spec ulation (Parker and Song 2001). Changing popular ideas about race can occur without addressing racial oppression (Mosley 1997), and abolishing racial classifications to create a color-blind society is more likely to contribute to the persistence of racism than to its demise (Carr 1997; Neville et al. 2000; Bonilla-Silva 2001). Additionally, most arguments for a biracial race ignore the sociohistorical character of race and roots biracialty in biological notions of race “mixture” (powell 1997). This raises serious doubts about the biracial project’s claim to be a progressive social movement. Rather than seeking to overthrow the racialized social system, it is a reactionary political response to the racialization of people of African descent in the United States as Black. Specifically, it uses whiteness to distinguish PMP from African Americans as a new race that would be positioned between Blacks and whites in a reordered, racialized social system.

Several historians have addressed the historical role of whiteness in ordering racial oppression, giving special attention to how white racial identity develops in different racial formations (Roediger 1991; Allen 1994; on racial formations, see Baron 1985; Cha-Jua 2001). Putting these together with other works on race (C. Harris 1993; Malik 1997; Mills 1997), we can see whiteness as primarily a component part of racism. Cheryl Harris (1993:1735) alludes to this when she argues that whiteness is used by whites to maintain a superordinate position in the racial hierarchy: “the state’s official recognition of a racial identity that subordinated Blacks and of privileged rights in property based on race elevated whiteness from a passive attribute to an object of law and a resource deployable at the social, political, and institutional level to maintain control.” This identifies a link between white racial identity and Black subordination and more importantly conceptualizes whiteness as a material object used to maintain white supremacy rather than as merely an aspect of white identity.

This chapter analyzes the biracial project’s deployment of whiteness to argue that PMP constitute a new race. With the role whiteness plays in racism in mind, this accomplishes two things. First, it builds on Cheryl Harris (1993) to argue that whiteness is a dynamic social property that people of color might use to negotiate the racial hierarchy and it cautions against the tendency to essentialize whiteness as something only whites have. Second, it examines the biracial project as a particular instance of people of color using whiteness, by looking at the assertion that PMP are racially distinct from African Americans because whiteness is an immutable biosocial attribute. Using a materialist theory of race and racism, I argue that a biracial race has no social, historical, or cultural basis and that claims for its existence ignore the sociohistorical character of race and conflate racial identity with racial identification. Focusing in part on congressional testimonies on the census, but primarily on biracial-identity Internet Web sites, I examine the arguments of biracial-identity advocates to show how whiteness is deployed as a tool to distance PMP from African Americans politically, socially, and culturally…

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Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (Fourth Edition)

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-10-20 18:35Z by Steven

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (Fourth Edition)

Rowman & Littlefield
July 2013
384 pages
6 1/4 x 9 1/2
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4422-2054-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4422-2055-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4422-2056-0

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how beneath our contemporary conversation about race lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society.

The fourth edition adds a chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls “the new racism,” which provides the essential foundation to explore issues of race and ethnicity in more depth. This edition also updates Bonilla-Silva’s assessment of race in America after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama’s presidency, Bonilla-Silva argues, does not represent a sea change in race relations, but rather embodies disturbing racial trends of the past.

In this fourth edition, Racism without Racists will continue to challenge readers and stimulate discussion about the state of race in America today.

Features

  • An engaging read that provokes classroom discussion
  • Challenges the truth behind the assumption “I don’t see race”
  • A new chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls “new racism” in America introduces students to key themes in studying race and ethnicity
  • Assesses the impact of Obama’s presidency and reelection on race relations in America

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface to the Fourth Edition
  • 1. The Strange Enigma of Race in Contemporary America
  • 2. The New Racism: The U.S. Racial Structure Since the 1960s
  • 3. The Central Frames of Color-Blind Racism
  • 4. The Style of Color Blindness: How to Talk Nasty about Minorities without Sounding Racist
  • 5. “I Didn’t Get That Job Because of a Black Man”: Color-Blind Racism’s Racial Stories
  • 6. Peeking Inside the (White) House of Color Blindness: The Significance of Whites’ Segregation
  • 7. Are All Whites Refined Archie Bunkers? An Examination of White Racial Progressives
  • 8. Are Blacks Color Blind, Too?
  • 9. E Pluribus Unum, or the Same Old Perfume in a New Bottle? On the Future of Racial Stratification in the United States
  • 10. Race Matters in Obamerica: The Sweet (but Deadly) Enchantment of Color Blindness in Black Face
  • 11. “The (Color-Blind) Emperor Has No Clothes”: Exposing the Whiteness of Color Blindness
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Rethinking race, racism, identity and ideology in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-10-18 05:25Z by Steven

Rethinking race, racism, identity and ideology in Latin America

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 36,  Issue 10, 2013 (Special Issue: Rethinking Race, Racism, Identity, and Ideology in Latin America)
pages 1485-1489
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2013.808357

Tanya Golash-Boza, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

This special issue explores ideas of race and racial hierarchy in Latin America in the twenty-first century. By examining the intersection between racialization and processes of identity formation, political struggle, as well as intimate social and economic relations, these essays question how and to what extent traditional racial ideologies continue to hold true. In so doing, we consider the implications of such ideologies for anti-racism struggles. This collection of articles provides a unique insight into the everyday lived experiences of racism, how racial inequalities are reproduced, and the rise of ethnic-based social movements in Latin America. The qualitative nature of the projects allows the authors to advance our understanding of how racial ideologies operate on the ground level. The geographic diversity of the articles – focusing on Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Cuba – enables a greater understanding of the distinct ways that racial ideologies play out across different settings.

Race and national ideologies in the Americas are inextricable. The ideas and practices of race were essential to the conquest and colonization of the Americas (Smedley 2007). As European colonizers and settlers shaped the western hemisphere into nations, distinct racial ideologies emerged alongside national ideologies. This special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies provides us with new insights into how race and national ideologies continue to shift in Latin America, in the context of a globalizing world.

During the nineteenth century, Latin American countries began to break away from their colonial past and form independent states. Intellectual and political elites across Latin America preoccupied themselves with building national unity (Knight 1990). In these nation-building projects, national leaders had to contend with European scholars who denounced their racial degeneracy due to extensive racial mixing (Stepan 1991). Latin Americans could not simply ignore European arguments about racial inferiority as these arguments were central to scientific and medical discourses. Thus, they chose to counter European intellectuals’ claims about their inferiority and argue that racial mixture was not only beneficial, it was the hallmark of Latin American nations. During the twentieth century, ideologies of whitening, mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture), blackness, indigeneity and racial democracy informed national ideologies across Latin America. Instead of countering ideas of white supremacy espoused by European intellectuals, Latin American intellectuals and political leaders embraced white supremacy and worked to facilitate and justify a system of pervasive race and colour stratification whereby darker-skinned people, typically with more notable indigenous and African features, occupy the lower rungs of the racial ladder, and those of primarily European descent are at the top…

Read the entire article here.

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Professor discusses covert racism

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-10-06 23:26Z by Steven

Professor discusses covert racism

The Dartmouth
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
2013-09-27

Bryn Morgan

Though racism is more covert today, blacks are subject to the same prejudice as they were in the 1960s, Duke University sociology professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva argued in a lecture on Thursday. Bonilla-Silva said a new form of racism has emerged, replacing Jim Crow racism.

“We are not post-racial,” he said. “This ideology is suave but deadly.”

Focusing on relations between whites and blacks, Bonilla-Silva said the latter’s current economic status has remained the same in recent decades, even as the forms of subordination and racism have since evolved.

After describing various ways in which this ideology is prevalent in today’s society, Bonilla-Silva presented three main points about color-blind racism: the forms of interpreting racism, rhetorical strategies for articulating racism and stories contextualizing racism.

Bonilla-Silva said whites believe that they are not racist and often use the election of President Barack Obama to support the claim that America has moved beyond its racially tense past…

Read the entire article here.

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The Color of Color-Blindness: Whites’ Race Talk in ‘Post-Racial’ America

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-09-05 01:10Z by Steven

The Color of Color-Blindness: Whites’ Race Talk in ‘Post-Racial’ America

Reitman/DeGrange Memorial Lecture Series
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
Haldeman 41 (Kreindler Conference Hall)
Thursday, 2013-09-26, 16:00-17:30 EDT (Local Time)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University

Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Sociology Deptartment Chair at Duke University, will deconstruct whites’ post-racial or color-blind talk & suggest this is the new, dominant prejudice in the U.S.

Post-racial arguments did not emerge in 2008 with the election of President Obama. White America has believed a version of post-racialism since the early 1980s. In this talk, Professor Bonilla-Silva will address three things related to this subject. First, to be able to clearly discuss racial matters, he will begin by defining what racism is all about. Second, he will be devote some time to characterizing the nature of and describing the practices associated with the racial regime of Post-Civil  Rights America. Third, the bulk of the talk will revolve around the examination of “color-blind racism” or whites’ race talk in the contemporary period. He will conclude his talk with suggestions of what is to be done to prevent color-blindness from sealing the (white racial) deal in America.

Co-Sponsored by the African and African-American Studies Program, and the Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies Program.  

For more information, click here.

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Whites think race equality is nearer than blacks do, study finds

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-08-24 18:50Z by Steven

Whites think race equality is nearer than blacks do, study finds

The Los Angeles Times
2013-08-22

Emily Alpert

Nearly half a century after Martin Luther King Jr. described his dream that someday people would be judged not by their race but by their character, whites think a colorblind society is much closer to reality than blacks, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

The findings underscore the enduring chasm between the way white and black Americans perceive racism and its continued effects, as glaring gaps in wealth and education persist between the races…

…Whites are more likely to believe that racial equality is within reach because “the hideous things that have happened in our history — lynchings, cross burnings, the Ku Klux Klan marching people out of town — those things have tended to disappear,” said Jerome Rabow, professor emeritus of sociology at UCLA. Whites also point to laws against discrimination, he said.

But “when blacks talk about how they’re doing, it’s more about their daily lives,” Rabow said. Whites often miss the daily frustrations that blacks encounter, such as frequently being pulled over by police, or professors assuming they’re meeting with them because they did poorly on an exam, Rabow added…

…Large majorities of black and white respondents said they believed that their two groups got along well, Pew found. Yet Pew discovered that for both whites and blacks, the feeling of racial progress that followed the election of Barack Obama seems to have faded.

After Obama became president, higher shares of both groups of respondents said blacks were doing better than they were five years earlier. Since then, the numbers have dropped closer to previous levels, back down to 35% of whites and 26% of blacks, the Pew survey showed.

“That Obama effect is quickly dissipating,” said Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of sociology at Duke University. “Having a black president doesn’t mean much for us in daily life.”

Read the entire article here.

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In Florida, a Death Foretold

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-07-15 02:52Z by Steven

In Florida, a Death Foretold

The New York Times
2012-03-31

Isabel Wilkerson

In the mid-1930s, a Yale anthropologist ventured to an unnamed town in the South to explore the feudal divisions of what we commonly call race but what he preferred to describe with the more layered language of caste. When he arrived — white, earnest and fresh from the North — white Southerners told him that a Northerner would soon enough “feel about Negroes as Southerners do.” In making that prediction, the anthropologist John Dollard wrote in his seminal study “Caste and Class in a Southern Town,” they are saying “that he joins the white caste. The solicitation is extremely active, though informal, and one must stand by one’s caste to survive.”

Americans tend to think of the rigid stratification of caste as a distant notion from feudal Europe or Victorian India. But caste is alive and well in this country, where a still unsettled multiracial society is emerging from the starkly drawn social order that Dollard described. Assumptions about one’s place in this new social order have become a muddying subtext in the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager slain at the hands of an overzealous neighborhood watch captain, who is the son of a white father and a Peruvian mother.

We do not know what George Zimmerman was thinking as he watched Mr. Martin from afar, told a 911 dispatcher that he looked suspicious and ultimately shot him. But we do know that it happened in central Florida, a region whose demographic landscape is rapidly changing, where unprecedented numbers of Latino immigrants have arrived at a place still scarred by the history of a vigilante-enforced caste system and the stereotypes that linger from it. In this context, newcomers — like previous waves of immigrants in the past — may feel pressed to identify with the dominant caste and distance themselves from blacks, in order to survive…

…On the other hand, almost three-quarters of blacks felt that Latinos were hard-working or could be trusted. Black Americans appear to view Latinos as more like themselves. “Blacks are not as negative toward Latinos as Latinos are toward blacks because blacks see them as another nonwhite group that will be treated as they have been,” said Paula D. McClain, the lead author on the study. Even as blacks worry about losing jobs to new immigrants, they are less supportive of harsh anti-immigration laws, she said, “because they know what laws have done to them.”

But shared hardships don’t necessarily make allies. “As linked fate rises, so does competition,” said Michael Jones-Correa, a professor of government at Cornell who specializes in immigration and interethnic relations. “It’s like a sibling rivalry,” he said. “This is not a painless relationship.” And, of course, Latino immigrants don’t just enter a pre-existing racial hierarchy; they bring with them their own assumptions based on the hierarchies in their home countries. “When we come to the U.S.,” Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a professor of sociology at Duke, who is Puerto Rican, said, “we immediately recognize whites on top and blacks on the bottom and say, ‘My job is to be anything but black.’ ”…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

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Black/Non-Black Divide and The Anti-Blackness of Non-Black Minorities

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-07-01 01:19Z by Steven

Black/Non-Black Divide and The Anti-Blackness of Non-Black Minorities

Still Furious and Brave: Who’s Afraid of Persistent Blackness?
2013-04-03

Robert Reece
Department of Sociology
Duke University

Last week, an Asian-American fraternity at the University of California Irvine posted a parody of a music video featuring one of their members in blackface. Blackface has become the go-to type of public racism for many types of white people across the political spectrum, and the internet is overflowing with analyses of why it’s racist so I won’t bother with that here. My concern is that an Asian-American fraternity is the culprit this time and what that may mean as we enter an era where our racial boundaries may be shifting as dramatically as the racial demographics.

I’m certainly not surprised that an Asian-American fraternity harbors racial stereotypes, both about themselves and other minorities. White supremacy is partially rule by consent, with subordinate groups believing in their own pathology (I’m looking at you Bill Cosby), but I think this incident, in this moment, deserves much more attention.

Proclamations by demographers about the coming white minority are used by both liberals and conservatives to promise inevitable political change. Liberals discuss how minorities outnumbering whites will signal as intense power shift in politics that will usher in an unprecedented age of progress and liberalism, and conservatives fear that they will lose their country to the brown hoards resting just over the horizon. But sociologist George Yancey, in Who is White?, questions the very demographers claiming that a white minority is certain. Yancey argues that demographers cannot account for shifting racial boundaries when making their predictions. So while their raw numbers may be correct, their racial predictions are probably incorrect because racial categories are always changing…

…This is the phenomenon at play when an Asian American fraternity implicitly approves of an act of anti-black racism. And this isn’t an isolated incident of negative black attitudes. In Racism Without Racists, sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva presents survey results showing that Asian American political attitudes, including those regarding stereotypes of blacks, are very similar to those of whites. On some items, Asian Americans even demonstrated stronger anti-black attitudes than whites. In this way, they are following in the footsteps of other formerly marginalized groups who demonized blackness on their way to whiteness.

In The Wages of Whiteness, historian David Roediger chronicles how the newly immigrated Irish of the 19th century made a strategic decision to pit themselves against blacks despite their acknowledgement of a common oppressor. They essentially built their case for inclusion into whiteness on the back of their anti-black attitudes. Anti-black racism was the glue that bound white ethnics to whiteness, and it may serve a similar purpose as our current racial project progresses. In the case of the Irish, their attitudes eventually manifested in an emulation of whiteness, in committing mob violence against blacks. But in 2013, popular violence against blacks doesn’t come in the form of gruesome beatings in the streets (police brutality notwithstanding); it comes in the form of YouTube videos of fraternity boys in blackface that, just like the mob violence of the 19th century, goes unpunished by authorities.

Read the entire article here.

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