103 / Review Essay

Choose ONE of the following questions and answer it in an essay of 1250 words. Answer with reference to at least three texts.
1. “Racism” is a word that people use a lot, but in this course we’ve had the opportunity to examine it in depth. What is racism? What kind of thinking underlies it? How does it manifest itself? How do people fight against it? For this essay, don’t begin with a dictionary definition of racism. Instead develop your definition of racism by using the texts we’ve studied. What understanding of racism do they lead us to?
2. Are black folks “citizens”?
3. In this course we have we have talked a lot about the “Repressive State Apparatus”, which is
French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser’s concept for what is known in contemporary political discourse as ‘hard power’, i.e. a form of power that operates by means of violence. It is usually accompanied by what Althusser termed the Ideological State Apparatus, which is a ‘soft power’ concept. The Repressive State Apparatus consists of the army, the police, the judiciary, and the prison system. It operates primarily by means of mental and physical coercion and violence (latent and actual).
What are some specific ways in which the Repressive State Apparatus is deployed?
4. Our texts show us many ways in which people organize themselves to resist oppression and fight for their freedom. What are some specific examples of how people do this?
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