Historical racial theories : ongoing racialization in Saskatchewan
Baker, Carmen Leigh
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Throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, theories of race contributed to the justification and authorization of global European imperialism and the colonization of indigenous people. In Canada, racial theories influenced perceptions of each citizen as either superior or inferior. Although European and American theorists constructed hundreds of ideas about race, there are several key ideas that continue to linger in the minds of Canadians. This thesis examines the socio-ideological context of racial theories and provides an historical account of the construction of race. The historical account highlights four prominent ideas: white superiority, non-white inferiority (marked by low intelligence levels), the belief in inherent racial characteristics, and racial purity and contamination. In Saskatchewan, these ideas continue to surface in discourse about Aboriginal people and relations between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal population. Although constructed ideas about race are scientifically unsound and grounded in the belief in white superiority, these ideas are often normalized as common sense and not easily recognized as constructed. Discourse and practices that appear to be emancipatory for Aboriginal people but rely on constructed ideas about race need to be re-examined. This thesis provides several examples of where these ideas surface in Saskatchewan discourse and recommends anti-racist education as an alternative.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorMiller, Dianne M.
CommitteeSt. Denis, Verna; Chinnery, Ann; Cannon, Martin; Woodhouse, Howard
Copyright DateDecember 2006
common sense racism