Symbolic violence and the racial order

John W Murphy, Luigi Esposito

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In this article, we develop an understanding of racism based on a style of social control that recent writers have referred to as "symbolic violence". Symbolic violence is novel in that agents are oppressed through their own complicity as they accept and reproduce a "reality" that is made to appear unavoidable and even beneficial. Although many sociological discussions of racism have contributed to the sort of reification that leads to symbolic violence by understanding racial identities as essential, cultural ideals as ahistorical, and market dynamics as autonomous, we make the point that symbolic violence survives even as oppressed members are understood as active agents. We discuss how symbolic violence differs from other variants of racism and address the sort of theoretical maneuver that needs to be made if a more equitable order is to be fostered. Specifically, only by restoring the praxiology of language can race cease from being an immutable social fact that normalizes racial inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Symbolic Interaction
Pages265-289
Number of pages25
Volume25
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies in Symbolic Interaction
Volume25
ISSN (Print)01632396

Fingerprint

symbolic violence
racism
reification
social control
writer
market
language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Murphy, J. W., & Esposito, L. (2002). Symbolic violence and the racial order. In Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Vol. 25, pp. 265-289). (Studies in Symbolic Interaction; Vol. 25).

Symbolic violence and the racial order. / Murphy, John W; Esposito, Luigi.

Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Vol. 25 2002. p. 265-289 (Studies in Symbolic Interaction; Vol. 25).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Murphy, JW & Esposito, L 2002, Symbolic violence and the racial order. in Studies in Symbolic Interaction. vol. 25, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, vol. 25, pp. 265-289.
Murphy JW, Esposito L. Symbolic violence and the racial order. In Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Vol. 25. 2002. p. 265-289. (Studies in Symbolic Interaction).
Murphy, John W ; Esposito, Luigi. / Symbolic violence and the racial order. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Vol. 25 2002. pp. 265-289 (Studies in Symbolic Interaction).
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