How Collusion Perpetuates Racial Discrimination in Societies that Ostensibly Promote Equal Opportunity

Philosophical Papers 45 (1-2):75-101 (2016)
It is shown here that injustices due to racial discrimination are best identified in light of the deleterious effects they have upon their victims, rather than the beliefs and attitudes of their perpetrators. For among participants who cooperate clandestinely to bring about racial injustice there may be broad disagreement about what it is they are doing collectively, and why; or they may disagree in principle about whether what they are doing is morally right. I employ the notion of ‘nomotropic’ behaviour to replace the oversimplified notion of ‘rule-following’ in order to explain how duplicity and hypocrisy fall shy of being regarded as irrational in social climates where implicit norms reinforce racial privileging while explicit norms denounce it. Further, examining the ‘collective utility’ of dogmatic beliefs and norms comprising part of the social architecture that covertly reinforces racial injustice may help to explain why it often seems to make so little diffe...
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2016.1199171
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