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South African Journal of Higher Education

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Race as seriality: A response to David Benatar and Zimitri Erasmus

A Gouws

Abstract


In this article I draw on the Sarte’s notion of seriality as theorized in his book Dialectic of Reason and as interpreted by Iris Marion Young. I argue that seriality can be used to escape the false essentialism and identity politics of race as a category for admissions to universities. A series is a social collective whose members are unified passively by the objects around which their action is oriented, while a group is a collective where members recognize themselves and others pursuing the same goal (often leading to identity politics). Race as a series designates structural relations to material objects produced by prior history and material necessities of past practices, but disconnected from a racial identity.



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