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Howard Winant and the politics of race

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midwayer Donating Member (719 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 08:44 AM
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Howard Winant and the politics of race
Not sure exactly when this was written but found it interesting

Found this somewhere other than his website

Howard Winant sees the present racial order in North America as consisting of a set of conflicting "racial projects." Each of these projects has an ideology based upon a unique understanding of the "meaning" of race. Each project also has a resultant political agenda.

Project 1: The Far Right

Ideology: Represents race in terms of inherent, natural characteristics; rights and privileges assigned accordingly; traditional far right operates through terror; renovated far right organizes whites politically.

Agenda: Open racial conflict; equality seen as a subversion of the "natural order"; the state is in the hands of the "race mixers." Whites need to form their own organizations and pressure the state for "white rights."

Project 2: New Right

Ideology: Understands racial mobilization as a threat to "traditional values"; perceives racial meanings and identities as operating "subtextually"; engages in racial "coding"; articulates class and gender interests as racial.

Agenda: Racial conflict focuses on the state; racial (in)equality determined by access to state institutions and relative political power.

Project 3: Neoconservatism

Ideology: Denies the salience of racial "difference," or argues that it is a vestige of the past, when invidious distinctions and practices had not yet been reformed; after the passage of civil rights laws, any collective articulation of racial "difference" amounts to "racism in reverse."

Agenda: Conservative egalitarianism. Individualism, meritocracy, universalism. Rejection of any form of group rights; strives to create a "color-blind" state.

Project 4: Pragmatic liberalism

Ideology: Racial identities serve to organize interests and channel political and cultural activities; as long as principles of pluralism and tolerance are upheld, a certain degree of group identity and racial mobilization can be accepted as the price of social peace.

Agenda: Cultural and political pluralism; affirmative action as "goals, not quotas." State racial policy as moderating and eroding the legacy of discrimination.

Project 5: Radical democracy

Ideology: Racial difference accepted and celebrated; flexibility of racial identities; multiplicity and "decenteredness" of various forms of "difference," including race.

Agenda: State racial policy as redistribution. Racial politics as part of "decentered" but interconnected pattern of "new social movements." Extension of democratic rights and of societal control over the state.

Personal Exercise: Where do you place yourself within this range of "racial projects"?
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