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lecture26.0321 - The Warlpiri(And a Review of Race Michael...

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1 The Warlpiri (And a Review of Race) What is “race” and how has it been used? What are the problems of “racialist thinking? “Definition is itself at the roots of racism: the way we reduce the world to a word, and gag the mouths of others with our labels.” -- Michael Jackson, p. 14 Photo: Liam Jurrah, 201 Young Australian of the Year Lecture 26, 03/21/11 1 2 Michael Jackson on Categories (Compare this to the Agee quote) “Life cannot be pressed into the service of language. Concepts represent life at the cost of leaving a lot unsaid. So long as we use concepts to cut up experience, giving value to some things at the expense of others, we inhibit our sense of the plenitude of Being. We gain some purchase in the world, to be sure, but claiming that our concepts contain all that can be usefully said about experience, we close off the possibility of critique. It is only when we cease trying to control the world that we can overcome our fixation on the autarchy of concepts." Lecture 26, 03/21/11 Some key points from last lectures: A. A couple of universals we’ve talked about: 1) humans are social animals; all humans live socially 2) all humans perceive the world in terms of culture (models of and models for) -- in terms of meaning -- in terms of categories -- in terms of stories Lecture 26, 03/21/11 3 Some key points from last lectures: B. Other humans are part of the world we perceive culturally C. We give meaning to and categorize ourselves and other people in terms of culture – through categorical memberships – through stories we tell Lecture 26, 03/21/11 4 Groups have markers; but markers vary from society to society ethnic markers--clearly easy to change language names clothing practices
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