The Cultural, Historical, and Philosophical Roots of Racism and Group Identity [Robert Samuels]


This paper use psychoanalysis to examine the cultural, historical, and philosophical roots of racism and group identity. I focus on Aristotle’s justification of slavery from his Politics as I reveal the way conservative ideologies rely on prejudice and stereotypes to produce and maintain social hierarchies. Using Lacan’s theory of the discourse of the master, this presentation links sexism, racism, and class to tradition, religion, and contemporary identity politics.

Short bio:

Robert Samuels, PhD, holds doctorates in psychology and English, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his many books are Freud for the Twenty-First Century, Psychoanalyzing the Left and Right after Donald Trump, Between Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Lacan’s Reconstruction of Freud, Hitchcock’s Bi-Textuality, and The Psychopathology of Political Ideologies.