The Risks of Resistance. the Complexity of Dealing with Situations of Racism.

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 14:35
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Wiebke SCHARATHOW, University of Education Freiburg, Germany
Racism is a societal imbalance relationship structuring social order with social practices of difference, construction of social groups and social meanings, and inclusions and exclusions (cf. Hall 2000). The focus of this paper will be on a reconstruction of a racist normality in Germany, constantly present in the every day life of young people to whom a migration history is attributed, as manifested in normalised practices of differentiation and exclusion, as well as on the different ways young adults choose to handle situations of racism within a racist structured society.

The analytic perspective of this paper will be on the subjective experience and interpretation of racism and consequent strategies of action and negotiation of young people (cf. Holzkamp 1983), whose everyday life is negatively impacted by racism. The paper concentrates on the one hand on the reconstruction of the societal and social reasons and terms which hinder young adults to openly address experiences of racism and racist practices. On the other hand it aims to show which strategies young adults use to handle racist situations when circumstances leave little space to speak up against racist practices.

Both will be shown with an excerpt taken from qualitative data collected in group discussions and problem-centred interviews with eight young adults (age 14-20). Part of the data was collected during a 4-day workshop, where reflections and discussion about experiences of racism and strategies among participants took place. The analysis reveals the risks of openly addressing practices as hurtful and racist in a school setting among friends and describes irony as a tactic as well as the ambivalent consequences of the chosen tactic.

Holzkamp, Klaus (1983): Grundlegung der Psychologie. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.
Hall, Stuart (2000): Rassismus als ideologischer Diskurs. In: Nora Räthzel (Hrsg.): Theorien über Rassismus. Hamburg: Argument, S. 7-16.