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Reading and resisting racialised misrecognition: An exploration of race scripts, epiphany moments and racialised selfhood

Wilson, Annabel 2021. Reading and resisting racialised misrecognition: An exploration of race scripts, epiphany moments and racialised selfhood. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis illuminates the public significance of ‘race’, by following the personal troubles racialisation provokes. Guided by Black ‘mixed race’ young people and their family members’ reflections on epiphany moments (shifts in consciousness), this thesis explores how participants learnt to read ‘race’ across space and time and respond to racialised misrecognition in ordinary life. I introduce the concept of race scripts to highlight how readings of ‘race’ are transformed by individual experiences; and I explore how racialised kinwork carried out in families shapes initial and subsequent readings of ‘race’ across social fields. Throughout this thesis, I pay close attention to how race scripts emerge in (a) kinship relations (b) educational institutions and (c) selfhood. I argue that participants inherited different ‘pedagogical packages’ (Lewis, 2005) for navigating racialised encounters which, in turn, impacted their formation of themselves as (racialised) beings. This racialised subjectification becomes ingrained in habitus and informs social action. Rather than thinking of habitus as unwieldy or fixed, I consider how these learned dispositions can be generative; enabling participants to assert agency through conscious strategies and performances to counter racialised misrecognition in everyday life. Whilst participants developed these tactics to get by, these were context dependent, psychologically draining and more successful for those with greater economic, cultural and social capital. I conclude that the acts of social contortion participants must master - to counter misrecognition, alter the racial gaze of others and have their talents and capabilities rendered equal – are too great and reflect the deep inequities of racism in British society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 May 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 02:14

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