What do you think society represents
Racism and discrimination
Vassilis S. Tsianos
Dr. phil., born 1969; Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, University of Hamburg, Allende Platz 1, room 136, 20146 Hamburg. [email protected]
Dr. phil., born 1973; Professor of Sociology, Evangelical University Berlin, Teltower Damm 118–122, 14167 Berlin. [email protected]
By "representational regime around difference and otherness" we mean "the entire repertoire of images and visual effects through which" differences "are represented in any historical moment".  For the sociologist Stuart Hall , the production and governance of difference is the main achievement of a regime of representation. Hall's understanding of representation means a special interweaving of mechanisms of cultural dominance and racist exclusion, in which, however, the presence of resistant and subversive subjectivizations is also located. Hall explained this paradoxical entanglement of dominance and resistance using the example of the black working class in England: "Race is inextricably linked to the way in which the black working class (...) is constituted. (...) The constitution of this faction as a class and that Class relations that are ascribed to it function as race relations. 'Race' is thus the modality in which class is lived, the medium in which class relations are experienced, the form in which they are appropriated and fought through. " In the sense of Hall, politics of difference is politics of representation. The question of the limits and possibilities of politics of representation and difference (politics of identity) can only be answered on the basis of an analysis of contemporary racism. For whether and how representation politics can be successful depends largely on how it can effectively inscribe itself into the economic cycle of an emerging post-migrant society in which racism does not remain unchanged.
With the cipher "post-migrant society" we refer to the political, cultural and social transformations of societies with a history of post-colonial and guest worker migration. For the past and present of immigration societies such as Germany, the transformations caused by the struggles for a right to naturalization, which meanwhile make many of the former migrants citizens, are particularly significant. The term post-migrant does not attempt to historicize the fact of migration, but describes a society that is structured by the experience of migration, which is also politically, legally and socially significant for all current forms of immigration (such as flight, temporary migration). Even if it is difficult to define post-migration in a sociological sense, something like post-migrant situations occur everywhere in everyday life, which accordingly express the lifeworld side of these conditions: postnational spaces of perception and action in biographies whose self-relations do not necessarily appear get their own migration experiences, but be reflected and lived between multiple affiliations and multiple discrimination. A current analysis of racism must start from this reality.
We understand racism as a social relationship that places people in hierarchical relationships with one another in a certain way. Racism organizes society according to biological, ethnic or cultural group attributions, with biological and cultural arguments often intermingling. Racism describes a specific form of social conflict in which the social tends to be suspended in favor of determinants that are considered inaccessible to human action, such as culture, biology, habitus.
Clarifying the relationship between racism and racially discriminated people is not easy either. One of the great social science questions in the international debate on racism is how Groups are constituted and then racially marginalized. A look at the history of racism reveals the arbitrariness and variability of racist demarcation. The post-colonial theorist Paul Gilroy has traced how the division of populations along racist hierarchies had to be enforced again and again by force, because racism is never directed in a "natural way" against certain groups of people.  Because even the biological justification of "white supremacy" ("white supremacy") represents only one line of rationalization of racist population policy among many. The philosopher David Theo Goldberg argues that since the 19th century at least one other position besides the biological conception of inferiority has come: historicism, which aimed at a kind of pedagogy of the "historical immaturity" of minorized native populations. 
One historical constant should be underlined: The racist division of populations goes hand in hand with the establishment of dominance relationships in the field of work and its mobility.  Although theorists such as William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Eric Williams and Cyril Lionel Robert James have been pointing out the character of slavery and the plantation as a genuinely modern form of capitalist exploitation since the 1930s, this epoch-making insight did not become apparent until the late 1990s with the studies of Theodore W. Allen and Robert J. Steinfeld on slavery and unfree labor found their way into the theories of critical research on racism. Allen and Steinfeld point out that the "invention of the white race" followed the story of the violent enforcement of racist segregation of the workforce. They come to a "color-free" discovery that is decisive for the historically well-founded theory of racism: Slavery is not the product of an ideology of racism (and the unquestioned ideology of White Supremacy), but on the contrary: Racism is a consequence of slavery.  This knowledge is important in order not to succumb to the short-circuit that people would actually be because of their "other" (usually brutal "other-ten ") skin color is suppressed. Racist exclusions refer to political and social resources that can be distributed differently, they are not static categories. The way in which racism is organized and who it excludes is subject to historical changes, as well can be traced back to the struggles against racism.
We can also understand this in the current economic cycles of racism. The contours of racism directed against migrants and their descendants can be observed across the world. Racism presents itself in different, sometimes overlapping formations from openly racist violence to subtle variants of institutionalized racism. Institutional racism describes discourses, policies and practices of state and civil society institutions that systematically produce exclusion and discrimination without explicitly and deliberately using racist explanations and interpretations. The hegemony of the dominant society is thus ensured, although the attributions and procedures appear to be appropriate or value-neutral.  An example of this is the orientation of schools and curricula towards native German native speakers. But also open racist practices emanating from institutions are referred to by the term institutional racism. This includes, for example racial profiling, i.e. the systematic, suspicion-independent controls of people on the basis of phenotypic appearance or presumed origin by the police or the residence obligation for asylum seekers.
Racist strategies in the era of post-migrant society operate much more fluidly than those of traditional racism, which relied on naturalizing categories like "race" and operated via the open and structural violence of segregation and exclusion. In Germany, this can also be seen in connection with the successful struggle against migration: While racist discrimination against migrants in the times of guest worker recruitment was mainly organized through exclusion from German citizenship and the rights associated with it, so has this changed, especially after the nationality law was reformed in 2000. A large proportion of the migrants and their descendants now have German citizenship.
This has also changed the racist discourses and practices. For example, if in the past children of non-German nationality were taught separately from German children in so-called regular foreigner classes, this class division has become obsolete at the latest with the change in nationality law. Nevertheless, in many schools a class division can be determined based on the presumed origin of the children, but this is justified differently: for example with the non-German mother tongue of the children or with organizational processes such as class formation along with participation in Muslim or Protestant / Catholic religious instruction. [10 ] Another example can be found at the level of the European Union: Since the free movement of workers also applies to the member states Romania and Bulgaria, migration from these countries has been scandalized by the mobilization of antigypsyist discourses.
The racisms of the present oscillate between biological and cultural markings of superiority and inferiority. They can also be found in ideologies of equality and emancipation.  If migrants are stylized as a threat to the hard-won rights of homosexuals and homophobia, which is undoubtedly widespread in society as a whole, is declared to be an exclusive problem of migration, then this is an example of a racism that occurs in the name of (the sexes -) Equality operates.  If the possibilities of spousal reunification (for example from Turkey) are limited on the grounds of better protection of migrant women from forced marriage, this is an example of inclusion racism. These racist discourses and practices can not only be determined through binary differentiations and processes of exclusion, but above all through novel processes of limited inclusion: A new citizenship does not mean unconditional civic recognition for its subjects, it can be subsequently restricted, i.e. also reversed become. Examples of this are the practice of expatriation, the ban on headscarves for teachers introduced in several federal states, and the citizenship law debate on dealing with the risks of mandatory options for young people who are "still German".  In this way, racism produces a vast amount of contradicting experiences, subjectivities and transversal social realities. 
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