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The racial stereotype, colonial discourse, fetishism, and racism

Hook, Derek (2005) The racial stereotype, colonial discourse, fetishism, and racism. Psychoanalytic Review, 92 (5). pp. 701-734. ISSN 0033-2836

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Abstract

This paper draws on the work of Homi Bhabha to mount an explanation for a facet of (post)colonial racism, the 'paradox of otherness' as exemplified in the racial stereotype. The paradox in question operates at the levels of discourse and identification alike. As a mode of discourse the stereotype functions to exaggerate difference of the other, whilst nevertheless attempting to produce them as a stable, fully knowable object. As mode of identification, the stereotype operates a series of mutually exclusive categories differentiating self and other which unintentionally nevertheless relies upon a grid of samenesses. These two paradoxes follow a similar movement: an oscillation, at the level of discourse, between attempts to generate and contain anxiety, a wavering, at the level of identification, between radical difference and prospective likeness. Bhabha provides a structural and functional analogue with which to account for this double movement of otherness: Freud's model of fetishism. This is an analogue that both enables us to foreground the operations of displacement and condensation in racist stereotyping, and to draw a series of conclusions about the effective functioning of discursive and affective economies of racism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.atypon-link.com/GPI/loi/prev
Additional Information: Copyright © Guilford Publications Inc. 2005
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: doi: 10.1521/prev.2005.92.5.701
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2007
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/954/

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