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Critically assess Fanons approach to race - Essay Example

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The larger processes of globalization have been discussed by many authors and experts (Appadurai, 1996, 10). However, the unique problems of race and how it impacts globalization and how it is impacted in turn by it is something that few writers have attempted to answer. Though Fanon lived in an era where the cold war was on and globalization was still nascent, there are many sociologists who believe that Fanon was far ahead of his time when he sought to contextualize the issue of race within colonial and postcolonial frames of reference and which are valid even to this day when globalization (which many see as an extension of colonialism) is the overriding theme of the times (Giddens, 2000, 27).
Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth”, provides the conceptual tools necessary to understand how race is significant to colonialism and hence, by extension can be used to explain how globalization works. For instance, the following quote is an example of how Fanon approaches race not as a superstructure of a determinant economic base but rather an organizing principle of society itself:
…it is clear that what divides this world is first and foremost what species, what race one belongs to. In the colonies the economic infra- structure is also a superstructure. The cause is effect: You are rich because you are white; you are white because you are rich. (5)
Fanon’s approach to race is that class and race “gain meaning from each other” and as the above quote illustrates one is of a higher class because one is white and one is white because one belongs to the higher class. This mutually reinforcing tendency of class to perpetuate itself forms the boundaries in the colonized regions where the intention is to not only segregate poor from rich but also to demarcate racial formations. To quote Fanon, “The colonized sector is not only a world of “white folks,” but is also a world that’s “belly is permanently full of good things” ...Show more
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Summary

He lived from 1925 to 1961 and influenced several postcolonial writers and Marxists with his writings. This essay is about Fanon’s approach to race and how the colonial…
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