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March 8, 2006

"a politics without guarantee"

Viewing (again) the MEF video on Stuart Hall, Race: The Floating Signifier, in the intro to mass media course. Hall says the only way to move out of racism (and, by implication, other "isms") is to enact right practices, because outcomes can never be guaranteed (no matter how much we might wish such could be the case).

from Kathang Pinay's blog:

"Stuart Hall is famous for saying that we must practice a “politics without guarantee” because we can and must not rely on the guarantees formerly provided by religion, science, and anthropology to secure our sense of comfort in the world; that these are the very same ideologies that cemented the racial, ethnic, sex and gender, and class divisions in the modern world. But a “politics without guarantee” must always be a politics of critique of hegemony and injustice. Part of the injustice in U.S. culture is the invisibility of the privileges of race, ethnicity (white), sex and gender (straight), and class (elite) – they are invisible because they remain unmarked, and I suspect, not usually a part of the discussion of aesthetics or poetics from the postmodern perspective. When a postcolonial person calls attention to this invisibility, one may be instantly accused of politicizing poetry and therein the machinations of power begin the work of silencing."

Hall elaborates upon W.E.B. DuBois' statement about "the grosser physical differences of color, hair and bone". Here is a powerful presentation defending affirmative action.

Posted by Steph at March 8, 2006 7:04 PM


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