“Symbolic Classification”

The project enquires into the role of symbolic classification in the construction and reproduction of inequality. It pursues the hypothesis that the mechanisms constituting and naturalizing racism are the same as in social and gender inequality. This hypothesis was generated in a long-term research project on social and gender inequality in Asia, Europe and Latin America conducted jointly by researchers from these continents. Researchers at Stellenbosch University generated a similar hypothesis in their research on racial thinking in South Africa and Europe. Against this background, the proposed project engages in a comparative study of the role of symbolic classification in inequality and racism by means of cooperation between the applicant and the research group at Stellenbosch. The project is a component of long-term research on both sides and will result in a joint paper on the topic and hopefully in a close long-term cooperation of both research teams by linking the topic of racism and the continent of Africa to the ongoing research on symbolic classification and inequality.

Project leader(s):
  • Boike Rehbein (Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Humboldt University)

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