The second Critical Studies Forum of the semester is coming up in the form of a seminar by Kevin Durrheim on ‘race trouble’ in domestic labour relationships. Please see the abstract below.
When: This Thursday, 17 May, 12:30-2:30 pm
Where: Upstairs seminar room, Psychology building, Golf Road
All students, staff and visitors are welcome.
In defence of ‘Race Trouble’: A situated action account of race and domestic labour.
Kevin Durrheim, UKZN
In their recent book, Durrheim Mtose and Brown (2011) argued for a shift of focus in the social sciences, from racism to “Race Trouble”. This talk defends this controversial argument, which has been the focus of criticism in reviews of the book. I first present the theoretical – ethnomethodological – perspective that problematizes attempts to predefine and judge situations and subjects as racist. The talk then illustrates how ‘race’ and ‘racial subjects’ can be viewed as the products of concrete ‘situated actions’ by considering how racism is oriented to and avoided in accounts about domestic labour. I use the infamous UFS Reitz video to develop a contrast between domestic labour practices that are problematized as racist and those that are not; and conclude by asking questions about how we are to understand forms of interaction that are not explicitly racist but that have the potential to be. There will be lots of time to talk about race trouble in prosaic contexts of domestic labour.