We Need to Talk about Race

We Need to Talk about Race

Volume 48, Number 6 (December 2014)
pages 1107-1122
DOI: 10.1177/0038038514521714

Bethan Harries, Research Associate
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity
University of Manchester, United Kingdom

It is not easy to name racism in a context in which race is almost entirely denied. Despite a recent focus on the ‘silencing’ of race at a macro level, little has been done to explore the effects of living with these processes, including how they might be resisted. Drawing from a study with 20–30 year olds in Manchester, this article addresses this gap. It examines how respondents disavow racism they experience when to do so is counter-intuitively understood to be associated with being racist or intolerant. These narratives demand that we ask the question, why is racism denied? Or, why is it difficult to articulate? To do this, the article argues we must access narratives in ways that reveal the embeddedness of race and contradictory levels of experience and bring attention back to the meanings and effects of race in everyday life in order to challenge racism and white privilege.

Read or purchase the article here.

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