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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The spectre of Japan: the influence of foreign relations on race relations theory, 1905–24

Yuill, Kevin (2015) The spectre of Japan: the influence of foreign relations on race relations theory, 1905–24. Patterns of Prejudice, 49 (4). pp. 317-342. ISSN 0031-322X

Item Type: Article


Race relations became the dominant paradigm by the time the official report on the 1919 Chicago riot, The Negro in Chicago, was published. It expressed a new appreciation of the danger to Whites of conflict based on colour. Before 1905 most observers assumed the inferiority of Blacks and saw race conflict as the fault of African Americans. But a new possibility arose when the fate of African Americans was linked to the rising power of Japan, occurring after the defeat of Russia by Japan in 1904–5. Race conflict, in this new model, was a form of conflict between nations. Race relations pioneer Robert E. Park, in his 1913 article, ‘Racial Assimilation in Secondary Groups’, noted that ‘under conditions . . . of individual liberty and individual competition, characteristic of modern civilization, depressed racial groups tend to assume the form of nationalities. A nationality, in this narrower sense, may be defined as the racial group which has attained self-consciousness, no matter whether it has at the same time gained political independence or not.’ Yuill's paper will explore the thesis that a liberal perspective based on developments in contemporary international relations slowly changed the way race was regarded in the United States. From 1905 onwards, a new liberal paradigm sought to manage race conflict. It was this—rather than labour-based racial antipathies or commitment to racial equality—that shaped US race relations in the twentieth century.

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Depositing User: Kevin Yuill


Item ID: 6039
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ISSN: 0031-322X
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Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2016 08:11
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:38