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In other words there is no scientific basis for the concept of race and as a result racism must disappear A few years ago I would have argued that by making this statement I had properly discharged my role as a scientist and a citizen And yet though there are no races racism certainly exists Wieviorka 1995 Racism is a term that has been contaminated and overused over time It has a complexity of meaning and usage The twentieth century has witnessed the manipulation of the concept of racism into a term of political abuse various users have continuously used and manipulated the concept to suit their political agendas Miles 1989 Wieviorka 1995 The many concepts of racism that have been established have made it difficult to theorise the concept The concept of racism has come to be used to refer not only to imagery and assertions but also to practices procedures and outcomes often independent of human intentionality and a specific ideological content Miles 19893 While social scientists have restricted its meaning to retain its analytical value political activists have extended its meaning to use the term as a political weapon in ideological warfare Levinson Ember 1996 1054 As a result of this the very concept of racism has been befuddled by multiple and sometimes even contradictory meanings Levinson Ember 1996 With such a variety of approaches is it at all theoretically possible to formulate a common definition of racism In this paper I will adopt Miles approach and argue that although racism is a historically specific and historically changing ideology it is possible to formulate a general theorisation of racism that identifies the certain attributes and characteristics that are present in every form of racism Miles 1989 Miles 1993 However although Miles definition does suggest criteria via which the ever-changing ideology of racism can be identified it will be emphasised that any definition of racism it dependent on the context
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