‘Bastards' in a Globalizing World: Subverting Ethno-Racial Hierarchies

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: Booth 63
Oral Presentation
Gerhard SCHUTTE , University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Chicago
Whether phenotypical or cultural, perceived human difference spawned boundaries of belonging and exclusion along hierarchical lines. The binary or rigid ethno-racial categorization created through essentialist conceptions of ‘purity’ was and still is intolerant of intermediate forms. These are generally seen as subversions of the prevailing classificatory scheme. The ensuing defense of a rigid classificatory scheme, especially by authoritarian societies, range from nihilation to the enforcement  and assignment of ‘place’ to these ‘deviants in the existing hierarchy’. In a globalizing world of dense patterns of human communication, interaction and movements across geographical, social and cultural boundaries these schemes are manifestations of entrenched power relations that have lost their meaning. Hybrid humanity and immigrants who do not fit pre-existing categories are socially and legally forced into denigratory niches symbolic of their low status and diminished life-chances. The paper examines the resulting alienation of ‘misfits’ and the ways they resist and change authoritarian hierarchies in a globalizing world.