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Dominance & resistance: narratives & re-imaginations of racialisation, empowerment & humanness in Germany

Ergün, Mutlu (2021) Dominance & resistance: narratives & re-imaginations of racialisation, empowerment & humanness in Germany. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004287


This study explores how antiracism and empowerment practitioners narrate memories of their racialisation, as well as their own experience as participants of empowerment or antiracism training. In this thesis, I explore how racialisation can be understood as a form of dehumanisation, and examine how de-racialisation can also be understood as a form of re-humanisation, by investigating how racial subjectivation is re-written and humanness re-imagined. Predicated on an analysis of qualitative interviews with anti-racism and empowerment practitioners, I firstly argue that racialisation processes constitute a type of suffering for the subject. This suffering, derived through the process of racialisation, is considered a process of dehumanisation for all, White, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. In analysing the personal training experiences that anti-racism and empowerment practitioners share, I probe, in a particularly condensed form, the development and reception of anti-racism and empowerment training in the UK and Germany. Thereafter, I examine the notion of (self-)empowerment and (self-)governmentality and argue that the cognitive and emotional understanding of individual racialisation processes partially liberate the subject. Central to this exploration, is a careful consideration of Nikolas Rose’s (1996, 1999) examination of (self-)governmentality connected to psycho-therapeutical discourses that are related to concepts of individual betterment and liberation. Thirdly, the notion of recognition as conceptualised by Charles Taylor (1994), and reflexivity, are analysed through the research participants' descriptions of how after their first training as participants they began to re-write their racial subjectivity. Finally, I look into how anti-racism and empowerment practitioners re-imagine humanness. I delve into an existential reflection on Fanon’s appeal for a new humanism, and delineate the concept of decoloniality. We hereby move away from Western epistemologies towards an epistemological pluriverse.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Mutlu Ergün
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Bhatt, Chetan

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