PHI322 Assignment 2023
As indicated in the course outline, one of the main objectives of this course is that the student critically engages with his/her own context, especially with regards to race and racism. Students should leave this course not only knowing various theories of race and racism, but also being able to apply them as they think through instances of race and racism that they encounter in their daily lives. This assignment explicitly assesses that level of engagement. It requires you to find an example of 1. Unconscious racism/Aversive racism, or 2. Institutional racism, or 3. Belief-based racism (as defended by Appiah) in social media, media or on internet forums and blogs. We’ve covered these concepts in class and I have provided you with a reading which addresses them, thus in order to complete this assignment you will have to consult the relevant lecture slides and sections of the Faucher reading on Racism.
There are two aspects that are key to successfully completing this assignment. The first is the choice of example of Unconscious/ Institutional or Belief-based racism. Presenting fairly well-known, uncontroversial examples of such will not be highly rewarded as it will not demonstrate to the marker that you have really engaged your context as this assignment hopes to encourage. Instead, presenting examples from sources that are not highly publicized and that the marker would likely not be already familiar with will be more highly rewarded; for instance: a message on a neighbourhood Whatsapp group, a post on a Facebook community page, an advertisement in a newspaper, comments on a News24 article, etc. These are all sources that we are all exposed to on a daily basis, and which this assignment will require you to think critically about.
The second key aspect of this assignment is the discussion that the student’s chosen example of Unconscious/Institutional or belief-based racism will receive. The assignment will require the student to: 1. Explain the phenomenon (i.e. Unconscious/Institutional or Belief-based racism –whatever the student has chosen to examine). Here the material you’ve been provided will be beneficial, but further research will be valuable too. 2. Explain how your chosen example constitutes an example of the phenomenon in question. 3. Defend your analysis in 2. That is, the assignment should also consider any possible objections to your reading of the example. For instance, perhaps an objector might claim that your chosen example is not a case of belief-based racism but rather an example of someone justifiably, if insensitively, expressing their will to see their culture survive. Or perhaps an objector might claim that there is no such thing as unconscious racism, and that the implicit biases which are supposedly responsible for them ought not to be considered racist, because they are simply our brain’s (involuntary) way of tracking real statistical associations in the world (e.g. between black people and crime). And so on. Excellent essays will be those that do a good job of defending their view from possible (plausible) alternative readings thereof.
Note that this assignment must include a copy of the source to be analysed, that is, a screenshot of the Whatsapp conversation, or a link to the News24 article, etc, otherwise it will be impossible to mark. Where appropriate, sources should be anonymized, and I leave this up to the student’s discretion.
This application assignment must be 1000-1500 words, excluding the copy of the source of the example that you have chosen to analyse. The deadline for the assignment is