New racism

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New racism is a term coined in 1981 by Marxist professor of film Martin Barker in the book The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the Tribe, in the context of the ideologies supporting Margaret Thatcher's rise in the UK, to refer to what he believed was racist public discourse depicting immigrants as a threat.[1][2] New racism can be described as "more indirect, more subtle, more procedural, more ostensibly nonracial".[3] New racism suggests to have some sort of new strength because it does not appear to be racism. New racism relies more heavily on manipulation of ideas within mass media and to reproduce and disseminate the ideologies needed to justify racism. These new techniques present hegemonic ideologies that claim that racism is over.[4] It is also transnational; one can now have racial inequality that does not appear to be regulated by the state to the same degree. Globalization, trans-nationalism, and the growth of hegemonic ideologies within mass media provide the context for a new racism that has catalyzed changes within African, Black American and African-Diasporic societies.[4]

1980s wave of anti-immigrant sentiment[edit]

From the 1980s, the increase in global inequalities between poor and rich countries led to significant immigration flows to Europe, even in those less developed European countries that until the 1970s were more a source of emigration.

A new wave of anti-immigrant sentiment had started to emerge in the 1970s, most significantly with UK's National Front; in the early such sentiments gained significant support, most prominently with the electoral success of Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National French party, which gained 10% of the vote in the 1984 European elections.[2] Le Pen's success will serve as a model for many parties and movements that will emulate him all over Europe.[2][5]

Many scholars have called this new anti-immigrant sentiments, and the ideologies alimenting it, a new form of racism,[2] and the label "new racism" has been particularly influential.[1] These scholars argued that the new racism had to cope with the mainstream official repudiation of racism, Fascism and Nazism, and as a consequence substituted the rhetoric of race and biology with that of cultural identity.[2]

These sentiments were first expressed by marginal parties, but as they increased their support by attracting votes from mainstream parties, the leaders of such parties, Margaret Thatcher[1] and Bettino Craxi[6][7] started to embrace some of the same anti-immigrant ideologies.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Chin (2009) pp.13, 92, 178-9, 241
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cole, Jeffrey (1997) The new racism in Europe: a Sicilian ethnography, p.11-2
  3. ^ Pettigrew (1991). "The New Racism". American Journal of Political Science. 35: 423. doi:10.2307/2111369. JSTOR 2111369.
  4. ^ a b Collins, Patricia Hill (2004). Black Sexual Politics. New York: Routledge New York. p. 1.
  5. ^ Dancygier, Rafaela M. (2010) Immigration and Conflict in Europe, p.5 quote: "The far-right Front National has served as a model to many anti-immigrant movements in Europe."
  6. ^ Ginsborg (2003) pp.62, 176
  7. ^ Guild and Minderhoud (2006) p.173


Further reading[edit]

  • Barker, Martin (1981). The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the Tribe. Junction Books. ISBN 9780890934715.