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  • Introduction

    Avis Whyte, Patricia Tuitt, Judith Bourne

    Chapter from the book: Whyte, A et al. 2024. The Long Walk to Equality: Perspectives on Racial Inequality, Injustice and the Law.


    This chapter sets the scene and context for the edited collection. It acknowledges that one of the most pressing and seemingly intractable questions of the contemporary age, is how to accommodate difference and particularly difference in terms of race. It then, suggests that the question of how to treat difference has become, fundamentally, a question of law. From formal equality perspectives pertaining to the legal regulation of discriminatory practices, to substantive equality perspectives viewing the task of the law as being to acknowledge and preserve difference; eradicating instead the processes that lead to the stigmatisation and stereotyping of differences. Rather than chart the fluctuating influences of these two perspectives on the development of the various legal frameworks governing equality and non-discrimination this introduction (and the volume in general) aligns more to visions of substantive equality. This chapter explains that the volume is primarily concerned to probe how differences are mediated in law, and that, in this light, it was important for the various contributors to highlight, first and foremost, that the question of racial difference has been at the heart of the earliest articulations of the concepts of equality and non-discrimination.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Whyte, A et al. 2024. Introduction. In: Whyte, A et al (eds.), The Long Walk to Equality. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book63.a

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Feb. 20, 2024