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Title:A Theory of Racial Oppression and Liberation
Author(s):Monahan, Michael J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Schroeder, William R.
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This dissertation is a formulation of a theory of racism that transcends the narrow focus upon individual intentions and attitudes, capturing the ways and means by which it becomes an "institutionalized" part of the larger social context. I argue that this larger institutional level of racism is what makes it oppressive, as opposed to simple prejudice or dislike. Chapter one establishes this basic position, and moves directly into an analysis of oppression, appealing to five basic "premises" which delineate the boundaries within which any adequate theory of oppression must function. The chapter concludes by claiming that a successful theory of oppression, which must be understood in terms of a related notion of freedom, requires a "positive" theory of freedom, rather than the "negative" one that dominates contemporary discourse on race. Chapters two and three develop a concept of positive freedom, and a corresponding understanding of racism (as a variety of oppression), using Hegel, Sartre, and Frantz Fanon. I argue that a successful theory of racism can be constructed with a foundation in Hegelian recognition, aided by the appropriation of the social ontology (especially the notions of "series" and "praxis/process") developed by Sartre in the Critique of Dialectical Reason. I use Fanon's texts both to provide important insights overlooked by Hegel and Sartre, and to provide a theater in which to demonstrate the interpretive and analytic power of the theory of racism as it develops. Chapter four lays out the final theory, and applies it to several compelling contemporary contexts.
Issue Date:2003
Description:285 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101926
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2003

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