Opponent s Review. Thesis Title: Cultural identity and its role in racial and ethnic discrimination. A case study of Great Britain.

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1 Opponent s Review Thesis Title: Cultural identity and its role in racial and ethnic discrimination. A case study of Great Britain. Student: Bc. Samuel Akem Taku, učo Opponent: Mgr. Benjamin J. Vail, M.Sc., Ph.D. Questions about Concepts, Methods, and Analysis This thesis is organized correctly as a research report. But neither the introduction nor the literature review establishes an explicit theoretical basis for this analysis. Also, it is not clear if this is a topic that has been studied before if it has been studied before (as it certainly has), what have been the results of earlier research? How does the present report relate to earlier studies? From a conceptual point of view, Mr. Taku never defines important terms such as race or ethnicity. Indeed, he seems to use the two terms interchangeably. Is this supported by the literature? Is there a difference between race and ethnicity? Both of Mr. Taku s two research questions ask about problems for blacks in particular (p. 7), but only 17% of the sample is black. Thus, the thesis has probably taken on too wide of a topic, attempting to study both the perceptions of minorities in general and of blacks in particular. For the purposes of a Masters thesis, it is advisable to have a narrower focus. Mr. Taku reports the results of his survey research on pp But his discussion of these data appears to be limited to just parts of three paragraphs on page 43; otherwise the rest of Chapter 4 is in fact recycled information from Chapter 2. In fact, whole paragraphs are repeated. In other words, the collected data are never related to the research questions, and Mr. Taku never refers to his own research or data for the rest of the thesis. Formal Problems This thesis contains many formal errors. For example, the Index contains only last names. Every single citation in the References section is formatted incorrectly. There are many mistakes in the use of basic English grammar. The spelling shifts between American and British English. Also, there is a pattern of misuse of citations. For example, the citation of Winant 1994 on page 8 does not match the citation in the References section. The references to Tibbitts on page 6 are incorrect the work by Tibbitts is about human rights, not about racism and Charles Darwin. The paraphrase of another source, Blank et al. (2004), is dishonest because Mr. Taku has copied the summary from the back of this book, which is about racism in the United States with no reference to Great Britain, and replaced US with UK. And one is led to ask, why on p. 17 does Mr. Taku cite a book on medieval Islam (Lindsay 2005) to refer to contemporary racism in the UK?

2 2 There are many citations in the text that have no corresponding citation in the References section. Examples include, but may not be limited to: Plagiarism Page Citation 8 UNESCO Huddy Sennett 11 Calhoun 12 Cerulo Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Nazroo Human Rights Watch report 18 British Crime Survey 22 UK Forth National Survey 23 Beckford Sir Sanders 2009 There is evidence of plagiarism in this thesis. The details of three examples are added to this review. It is possible that these are not the only instances of plagiarism. The first example may simply be a case of bad paraphrasing and improper citation, since the original author and page number are given. The second example shows that a source was copied from the Internet and not cited in the text or the References section, but an incorrect citation was used. The third example shows the same thing. Final Assessment The thesis should fail for any one of the following three reasons: (1) There is no clear theoretical basis for the research, and the analysis contains virtually no reference to the research actually conducted by Mr. Taku. (2) The pattern of formal flaws such as misuse of citations and improperly formatted citations. (3) Evidence of plagiarism in the text. Therefore, the suggested grade for this thesis is F, and it is recommended that the cases of possible plagiarism be referred to the FSS Disciplinary Committee for consideration.

3 3 Examples of Possible Plagiarism in Samuel Taku s Thesis Three examples below show that there is a pattern of incorrect and missing citation and seriously flawed paraphrasing in this thesis, raising the question of whether this is plagiarism. 1) Improper citation, improper paraphrasing: Although the original author and page number are given, Mr. Taku does not use quotation marks to indicate which words are his and which are from the source. From the thesis, pages 10-11: Castells (1997) expressed that identity is a source of meaning and experience. Social actors have an understanding when it comes to the basis of a cultural attribute or related sets which are given priority over other bases of meaning. These are what sociologists call roles or sometimes and rarely called role-sets. Teachers, mothers, heavy drinkers, golf players are all examples of roles which are given meaning by norms built by the institutions and organization of society. Their relative weight in swaying people s behavior rests upon negotiations and provisions between persons and these institutions and organizations. Identities are the anchors of meaning for the actors themselves, and by themselves, developed through a mechanism of individuation (ibid: 6). Original source: See pp. 6-7 of Identity is people s source of meaning and experience. By identity, as it refers to social actors, I understand the process of construction of meaning on the basis of a cultural attribute, or a related set of cultural attributes, that is given priority over other sources of meaning. For a given individual, or for a collective actor, there may be a plurality of identities. Yet, such a plurality is a source of stress and contradiction in both self-representation and socialaction. This is because identity must be distinguished from what, traditionally, sociologists have called roles, and role-sets. Roles (for example, to be a worker, a mother, a neighbor, a socialist militant, a union member, a basketball player, a churchgoer, and a smoker, at the same time) are defined by norms structured by the institutions and organizations of society. Their relative weight in influencing people s behavior depends upon negotiations and arrangements between individuals and these institutions and organizations. Identities are sources of meaning for the actors themselves, and by themselves, constructed through a process of individuation.4 4 Giddens (1991). 2) No citation of original; incorrect citation: First, Mr. Taku has clearly taken words from an Internet source and did not cite the original author in the text or References section. Second, he incorrectly cited Tibbitts the work by Tibbitts is about human rights, not about racism and Charles Darwin. From the thesis, page 6:

4 4 Modern forms of racism, however, evolved in relation to the exploration and conquests of Europeans all over the world particularly after Christopher Columbus had reached America. When new people were met through these expeditions, encountered and fought, theories about races were created and developed and these helped a large number of individuals in explaining the differences in the treatment of people whom they classified as fitting in different races. Tibbits (2009) asserts that a possible reason for racism is the confusion over the theories of evolution by Charles Darwin. Some individuals considered Darwin s theories to suggest that because some races act more refined and civilized, there could be a biological reason for such difference. At the same time, they made use of biological theories in relation to intellectual and ethnic characteristics to give a good explanation for racial oppression. There has been a great deal of disagreement regarding race and intelligence, particularly because the concepts on both IQ and race are controversial in themselves. Original source: In its modern form, racism evolved in tandem with European exploration and conquest of much of the rest of the world, and especially after Christopher Columbus reached the Americas. As new peoples were encountered, fought, and ultimately subdued, theories about "race" began to develop, and these helped many to justify the differences in position and treatment of people whom they categorized as belonging to different races (see Eric Wolf's Europe and the People Without History). Another possible source of racism is the misunderstanding of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution. Some took Darwin's theories to imply that since some "races" were more civilized, there must be a biological basis for the difference. At the same time they appealed to biological theories of moral and intellectual traits to justify racial oppression. There is a great deal of controversy about race and intelligence, in part because the concepts of both race and IQ are themselves controversial. 3) No citation of the original; Pilkington is not a correct citation. As with example 2 above, Mr. Taku has taken words from an Internet source without citing the original author in the text or References section. His citation of Pilkington is incorrect. From the thesis, page 15: Over the past few decades, interest in racial matters, and the rate at which racial dynamics have been changing globally have both been amplified. The disagreement over racial meaning and significance was greatly heightened after World War II as the war itself had important racial dimensions that opened the debate relating to racism and genocide. The social movements and revolutionary tendencies that succeeded the war, bringing the colonial era to an end raised the problematic issue of race to a fresh level of importance (Pilkington 2003). Original:

5 Over the past few decades, interest in racial matters, and the pace at which racial dynamics have been changing worldwide, have both increased dramatically. Controversy over the meaning and significance of race was greatly heightened after World War II. The war itself had significant racial dimensions, and left a legacy of revulsion at racism and genocide. The social movements and revolutionary upsurges that succeeded the war and brought the colonial era to an end, also raised the problematic of race to a new level of prominence. 5

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