Anti-Racism and the Politics of Diversity

RSA Event


Durham Street Auditorium, RSA House

  • Communities
  • Social justice

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How should anti-racism work in ‘super-diverse’ societies?

For as long as humans have lived together, we have grappled with questions about difference, identity, and tolerance – but what we really mean by these things must continue to be evaluated as the makeup of society and the degree of interconnection between its members change. Anti-racist politics of recent decades have been important in making a case for a cosmopolitan future – but, argues sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris, the rhetoric of anti-racism has often hindered, rather than helped, efforts to address the difficult questions about how to live together, particularly in increasingly diverse societies.

The problem, he tells us, is that anti-racism efforts have been selective in who they choose to focus on. How can we develop a truly inclusive anti-racism and rethink how we live with diversity? What can examining antisemitism tell us about racism more broadly, and about the politics of diversity today? Exploring these topics with a particular focus on the antisemitism controversy, he calls for us to abandon selective anti-racism and develop a true understanding of what it means to live in diverse societies today.


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