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Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-0-76231-096-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

Publication date: 7 July 2004


In Dr. Norman Denzin’s graduate seminar “Interpretive Interaction,” the semester was spent reading, discussing, and debating various methods proposed as alternatives to the constraints and false promises of the “scientific” methods often taught in home departments. The class experience is, therefore, open to experimental ideas and formats while working toward one’s preparation for the final performance that uses a method discussed in class. Dr. Denzin’s task for us was to use an epiphanic experience having to do with race as a point of inspiration for our pedagogical performance texts. Having been much influenced by the critical study of whiteness by intellectuals like James Baldwin, W. E. B. Dubois, Toni Morrison, David Roediger, Franz Fanon, and bell hooks my text was fundamentally informed by their messages: whiteness is problematic for people of color as well as whites in that it creates false distinctions and categories preventing us from seeing each other, let alone ourselves. This creates an asymmetric relationship of power between races often resulting in violence (both physical and psychological), reinforcing historical structural inequalities or creations of new ones, and inherent essentialist rifts in perceptions between races.


Murphy, E. (2004), "RESISTING DOCILITY", Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 285-288.



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