Within the realms of the academy the dynamic and multiple nature of racism(s) are fiercely debated; symbolic, institutional, cultural, localized, global, new, old, neo-colonial, gendered, blatant, subtle (Back and Solomos, 1996; Durrheim & Dixon, 2004; Leach, 2005; Omi & Winant, 1986; Pettigrew & Meetens, 1995; Sears, 1988) are all terms used in making sense of the ways in which racism adapts itself to the changing contours of the societies we inhabit and research. As a social psychologist informed by Serge Moscovici’s (1961/1976; 2000) theory of social representations which highlights the interrelations between knowledge systems constructed in the reified worlds of science and academia and the knowledge produced and debated in the more everyday spheres of cafes, bars, classrooms and kitchens – a central concern of mine in the study of racism is how is racism understood in the everyday? How is racism made sense of? Does its contested nature enter into ‘ordinary’ experiences? Does new racism, for example, have significance in our commonplace discussions about ‘race’ and racism ? Furthermore, as a social psychologist concerned with the impact of racism on the identities of children and teenagers, how do young people make sense of racism? How do they explain its operation and its consequences in their lives
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