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Racism and Resistance

Module Code: SO7046

  • ECTS Credit : 10
  • Mandatory/ Optional : Optional
  • Module Coordinator : Dr David Ralph
  • Module Length: 11 weeks ( Hilary Term)

Module Description:

We live in a world in which racism is opposed and denied as often as it is practiced. Viewing racism and anti-racism as collective political acts rather than expressions of individual understanding or ignorance, this module examines how politicised racism and anti-racism is articulated and practiced. The module examines key sites of contemporary racist and ant-racist political activism, drawing on examples such as the Black Lives Matter movement and pro- and anti-refugee solidarity activism in Europe.
Drawing on theories of social movements as well as interrogating the rhetoric of racism and anti-racism, the module firstly examines the rationale and practices of far-right and racist movements. Anti-racist groups have faced both the articulated racism of these groups as well as a more hidden but deeply embedded racism within society, and the module examines the issues such groups face – and how they have responded to these challenges.  A key question is whether anti-racist groups have further embedded the language of race and racism in political life. The problems and possibilities of anti-racist activism are examined both with respect to theoretical discussions surrounding anti-racism and post-race, but also through critically analysing the vehicles through which anti-racism is practiced – NGOs and social movements.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion, students are expected to be able to critically:

  • Apply social movement theories to racism and anti-racism activism
  • Explain key contemporary conflicts surrounding racism and anti-racism
  • Develop an understanding of contemporary far-right and racist movements
  • Evaluate contemporary debates surrounding anti-racism and post-race.

Delivery and syllabus:

The module is delivered in 11 seminar slots consisting of a lecturing input, student participation and informal presentations. Students are expected to read before each session to facilitate discussion.

Main topics

  • Far right and racist movements and ideologies
  • Theorising social movements and NGOs
  • The history and practice of anti-racism
  • Theoretical critique of anti-racism.
  • Case studies: Black Lives Matter, The European migrant/refugee crisis.


Recommended Texts

There is no set text, but the following texts will prove useful (all available in the library):

  • Bonnett, Alastair.  2000 Anti-racism London; New York : Routledge.          
  • Kundnani, Arun. 2015. The Muslims are coming! : Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic war on terror.
  • Lentin, Ronit and Elena Moreo. 2012. Migrant Activism and Integration from Below in Ireland, edited by. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lentin, Alana. 2004. Racism and anti-racism in Europe. London, Pluto
  • Nyers, Peter and Kim Rygiel. 2012. Citizenship, Migrant Activism and the Politics of Movement by (eds). Abingdon: Routledge
  • Snow, David, Sarah Soule, and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds). 2007. The Blackwell companion to social movements. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. 2016. From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation. Haymarket
  • Tarrow, Sidney. 2012. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Course notes: Blackboard


Assessment will be in the form of module diary (30%) and essay (70%).