Podcast: Can Research Tell Us How to Talk About Racism?


29 April 2021

Podcast: Can Research Tell Us How to Talk About Racism?

​​In a recent podcast episode of PRIO's peace in a pod Marta Bivand Erdal talks to Indigo Trigg-Hauger about some of the ways in which research might be able to tell us how to talk about racism. Over and over the question of whether structural racism is an issue in the UK, Norway, France, and many other countries re-appears. Is this term, which is often situated in an American context, relevant to Europe and other parts of the world?

Aiming to move beyond the debate on whether or not structural racism is a useful term, this podcast episode goes to the heart of the matter: whatever terms we use, people are experiencing discrimination big and small in their everyday lives. And often linked quite simply to other people’s assumptions, which they base on what a person looks like. How can these incidents be resolved and reckoned with?

The podcast episode builds on among other the articles 'Interrogating boundaries of the everyday nation through first impressions: experiences of young people in Norway' and 'Negotiation dynamics and their limits: Young people in Norway deal with diversity in the nation', and the report 'Citizenship, Participation and Belonging in Scandinavia: Results from a survey among young adults of diverse origins in Norway, Sweden and Denmark'.

Around the world, including in Norway, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, debates about both the terms and on experiences of racism have been ongoing. Drawing on PRIOs migration research, Marta Bivand Erdal has participated in some of these conversations. Providing research based insights underscoring the voices of young individuals telling their stories through social and traditional media, with the blog post ‘It should change’: Young people on skin colour and national belonging in Norway. With the article 'On being allowed to belong: a somewhat tentative and low-key approach to racialization' (in Norwegian), as part of a symposium on structural racism in the Norwegian social science journal Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning. Subsequently contributing to the public debate with an op-ed and blog post on how 'The Debate on Structural Racism Is Far More Polarized Than It Needs to Be', later followed-up with a piece on 'Antiracism: the willingness to understand others'. In connection with experiences shared by Norwegians of Asian background, an op-ed and blog post addressing the question: How Relevant is #StopAsianHate in Norway? was published.

You can listen to the podcast episode here, or where you find your podcasts - PRIO peace in a pod.

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