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Marxism and theories of racism

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Chapter Summary

The interest of Marxists in the analysis of racism only emerges as significant in the 1930s and 1940s and principally in response to the efforts of black Americans to challenge racism and discrimination in the USA. W.E.B. DuBois and O.C. Cox were key contributors to the development of a distinctively Marxian view of racism. Gramsci's notion of hegemony introduces a more dynamic view of the relation between capitalism and ideas, one in which the realms of culture and politics are more loosely connected to economic relations than in the work of the classical Marxists and of DuBois and Cox. The concerns with ideology and hegemony that characterised the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) were taken up in a political context that saw a growing disillusionment amongst academics and researchers with Marxism.

Keywords: capitalism; hegemony; Marxism; O.C. Cox; Racism; W.E.B. DuBois



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