chapter  3
The diversity of racism: a critique of conceptual deflation
Pages 14

The conceptual inflation discussed in the preceding chapter has been accompanied by a parallel and sometimes interrelated conceptual deflation. That is to say, when one examines the discussion about the meaning and scope of the concept of racism as it has developed since the late 1960s, and taking as one’s point of reference the historical origin of the concept, we find that its meaning has been limited in a number of ways. We identify a number of such instances in this chapter, all of which result in a significant curtailment of the explanatory power of the concept of racism. Our objective is to sustain a concept of racism that emphasises the diversity of the phenomenon and that conceives of it as an ideological phenomenon that works through a Self/Other dialectic.