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Dr Victoria Showunmi is Associate Professor at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. She has developed a national and international reputation for her work on identity and leadership; this talk will focus on the ideas in her recent book ‘Understanding and Managing Sophisticated and Everyday Racism’
Sophisticated Racism: Understanding and Managing the Complexity of Everyday Racism adopts a fresh approach to the study of racism. Victoria Showunmi and Carol Tomlin identify the prevalence of sophisticated racism and explore how it manifests itself in society, particularly in the workplace. The authors narrate examples of everyday racism from the lived experiences of Black women. They take the reader on a compelling journey from the sources of racism through narratives of disquieting racist events to the destination of affirming approaches to preserving a sense of self and individual identity in the face of sophisticated racism. The authors explain how the interplay between Black women and White women originates in historical patterns of behavior which emerged on the plantations during enslavement. The term ‘White women syndrome’ has been coined to represent attempts to defend the limited space for female success by denigrating and excluding Black women. A unique feature of the book is that it reaches beyond the historical context to the provision of strategies for managing sophisticated and everyday racism in contemporary society.
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