Discourses of Denial
Mediations of Race, Gender, and Violence
Canada prides itself on being a tolerant and inclusive culture, enriched by its official policies of multiculturalism, gender equality, and human rights. Lulled into complacency by these national maxims, the public is occasionally shocked by glaring acts of racist and sexist violence brought to their attention by the sensationalist media. But nobody pauses to consider the historical antecedents and root causes of these tragedies.
Discourses of Denial uncovers how racism, sexism, and violence interweave deep within the foundations of our society. Using examples from the lives of immigrant girls and women of colour, Yasmin Jiwani considers the way accepted definitions of race and gender shape and influence public consciousness. With a perspective both academic and activist, she exposes how media representations of violence serve the status quo and fail to tell the whole story about racialized and gendered inequalities.
In linking race, gender, and violence, Discourses of Denial makes an important contribution to our understanding of the complex and interconnected influences that shape the violence of contemporary social reality and that contour the lives of racialized women. This book is of particular relevance to readers interested in the intersection of race, gender, and violence in our increasingly mediated society.
This book speaks to me on several levels. It is part of a growing body of scholarship that seriously challenges the popular notions of Canada as ‘a kinder, gentler nation’ or as a ‘peaceable kingdom.’ Discourses of Denial compels Canadian social scientists to move beyond simply viewing the United States as the ‘root of all evil’ and to examine more carefully the sexist, racist, and classist nature of their own society.
Part 1: Laying the Terrain
1 Reframing Violence
2 Mapping Race in the Media
Part 2: Sensationalized Cases
3 Erasing Race: The Story of Reena Virk
4 Culturalizing Violence and the Vernon “Massacre”
Part 3: Voicing the Violence
5 Racialized Girls and Everyday Negotiations
6 Gendered Racism, Sexist Violence, and the Health Care System Part 4: Mediations of Terror
7 Gendering Terror Post-9/11
Indigenous Women and Feminism
Politics, Activism, Culture
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