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Integrative Antiracism

Integrative Antiracism: South Asians in Canadian Academe

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Integrative Antiracism
    Book Description:

    From both a theoretical and practical standpoint, racism is one of the most important topics that has engaged the attention of social scientists in North America in recent years. As societies become more ethnically diverse, people from different cultures are increasingly coming into contact with each other, resulting in ever greater opportunities for racism to manifest itself.

    In this work, Edith Samuel examines the educational experiences of South Asian students and faculty members from the perspective of 'integrative antiracism' - the study of how the dynamics of social difference are mediated in people's daily lives. Specifically, she analyses perceptions of and responses to racism in four critical areas: faculty-student relationships, peer group interactions, curriculum, and the psychosocial dimension.

    Antiracism scholars maintain that racism is widespread on Canadian university campuses. Drawing on the available literature and extensive interviews with students and faculty, Samuel looks at both overt and covert forms of racism, as well as structural racism, that results in discrimination in admissions and employment. She also looks at race, class, gender, history, and culture and how these interlocking systems produce unique experiences of racism for South Asians in academe. Through the exploration of the intricate patterns of South Asians' assimilation into university life,Integrative Antiracismidentifies the numerous barriers racial minorities encounter and suggests a variety of approaches to fostering a more equitable education system.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7623-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-xii)
    George J. Sefa Dei

    Over the years, antiracism studies have offered some refreshing intellectual insights around the intersections of difference through critical analyses of race, class, gender, and sexuality as sites and relations of power. The imbrication of power in (social) difference has forced a rethinking of what it means to speak of race, identity, and representational politics. Social identities and representations are not mere performances but rather relations of power with real material consequences. Our individual and collective experiential realities are constructed and understood in terms coded strongly by race, class, gender, and sex. For this reason, the denial of difference constitutes both...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    This book explores South Asians’¹ perceptions of racism in Canadian academe and seeks to fill the research gap, contribute to antiracism scholarship, and shed light on how social structures work. Specifically, it examines racism in four critical areas: faculty–student relationships, peer group interactions, curriculum, and the psychosocial dimension in the lives of South Asians in academe. I contend that South Asian students cannot maximize their academic potential because of everyday racism in university settings. This critique postulates that there is racism in academe, considers the implications of this, and suggests strategies for improving the campus environment.

    Antiracism scholars assert...

  6. 2 Theory and Method: Antiracism, Racism, and Ethnographic Interviews
    (pp. 15-42)

    This chapter deals with integrative antiracism theory, as George Dei presents it in his eight-part system; with antiracist perspectives on and definitions of racism, which suggest fourteen varieties of racism; and with the method of this study, which I have based on ethnographic interviews.

    The conceptual framework of integrative antiracism (Dei 1996, 55–74) is pivotal to my analysis in this book. Dei, an antiracist educator, proposes an integrative antiracism discursive framework that delineates minority students’ experiences in educational institutions. He defines integrative antiracism as ‘the study of how the dynamics of social differences (race, class, gender) are mediated in...

  7. 3 Adjusting to Canada
    (pp. 43-62)

    The history of South Asian immigration to Canada provides a context for understanding a range of personal problems that migrant students experience in university. This section examines Canadian immigration trends and policies that have affected South Asians. It looks at immigration in terms of relocation and statistics in three eras: 1850–1920; 1920–60; and after 1960. It explores conditions and migratory trends in countries of origin – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka – and appraises my interviewees’ perceptions about adjustment in terms of employment, status and class, income and housing, expectations, language, culture, family life, and identity. It also compares...

  8. 4 Faculty–Student Relationships
    (pp. 63-83)

    Students learn as a result of all types of faculty activity, both inside and outside classes. Because faculty influence students so strongly, it makes sense to hold them accountable for the results of that influence (Bock 1997, 13). This chapter explores relationships in academe between faculty and South Asian students. It also considers educational processes: teaching styles, grading, and tracking; and race, class, and gender discrimination. It shows that positive relations with faculty are important to minority students. In contrast, poor relations with faculty members can cause distress among minority students and leave them vulnerable and exposed. Prejudicial attitudes among...

  9. 5 Peer Group Interactions
    (pp. 84-108)

    The data in this chapter validate integrative antiracism theory’s principle of ‘the marginalization of voices and delegitimization of the knowledge ... and experience of subordinated groups in the educational system’ (Dei 1996, 29–30). It also explains how aversive behaviour usually hinders efforts at increasing diversity and improving the campus climate for minority students, especially South Asians.

    This chapter looks at peer relationships across nine dimensions: skin colour racism; cultural racism; doubts about status and abilities; minimization, silencing, and exclusion, and self-segregation; being the ‘only one’ and speaking up for one’s group; intangible and vicarious experiences and feelings of visibility/invisibility;...

  10. 6 Curriculum and Minority Faculty Members
    (pp. 109-126)

    In this chapter I examine the impact of a Eurocentric curriculum at the university. Through the eyes of South Asian students and instructors, I explore the characteristics of the hidden curriculum as it is conveyed in texts and discourses. The interviewees describe how the hidden curriculum produces and reproduces inequalities of race, class, and gender. This chapter also discusses the resistance of mainstream students to learning about minority issues, and the lack of administrative support for such learning.

    A curriculum that instructors teach without thoroughly understanding it must be investigated and interrogated. Doing so will lift the veil from what...

  11. 7 The Psychosocial Dimension
    (pp. 127-142)

    This chapter explores the social-psychological impact of racism in the lives of South Asian students in academe. I relate social-psychological processes to integrative antiracism theory’s notion of multiple, overlapping, and shifting identities. These negotiated identities emerge through the binary oppositions of traditional/modern, Indian/Canadian, Western/Third World, and advanced/backward. I examine the psychosocial experiences of South Asian students in terms of five processes: acculturative stress, identity crisis, cultural electrocution, the best of both worlds, and coping mechanisms.

    Acculturation (Berry 1997) is the psychological adjustment process involved in moving to a new culture. Berry incorporates cultural change, acculturation, and psychological acculturation into his...

  12. 8 Challenges and Conclusion
    (pp. 143-162)

    In this book I have argued that South Asian students experience racism in covert rather than overt ways in Canadian academe. I have shown that the conceptual framework of integrative antiracism is applicable to their lived experiences. I have further argued that their lives as university students are deficient and unsatisfactory and need improvement in several areas.

    An antiracism perspective illuminates other issues besides the racism faced by South Asian students. To provide a more complete and inclusive perspective on what I consider their oppression, antiracism scholarship should explore students’ class, gender, history, and culture (Dei et al. 2000b; Razack...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 163-176)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 177-196)
  15. Author Index
    (pp. 197-202)
  16. Subject Index
    (pp. 203-206)