Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Economics, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-19 18:00Z by Steven

Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

SAGE Publishing
2017
488 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781506306940

Edited by:

Zulema Valdez, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Beyond Black and White is a new anthology of readings that reflects the complexity of racial dynamics in the contemporary United States, where the fastest-growing group is “two or more races.” Drawing on the work of both established figures in the field and early career scholars, Zulema Valdez has assembled a rich and provocative collection of pieces that illustrates the diversity of today’s American racial landscape. Where many books tend to focus primarily on majority–minority relations, Beyond Black and White offers a more nuanced picture by including pieces on multiracial/multiethnic identities, relations between and within minority communities, and the experiences of minority groups who have achieved power and status within American society.

Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Editor
  • About the Contributors
  • PART I. THEORIES OF RACE AND ETHNICITY
    • 1. A Critical and Comprehensive Sociological Theory of Race and Racism; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 2. The Theory of Racial Formation; Michael Omi, Howard Winant
    • 3. Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • PART II. THEORIES OF ASSIMILATION
    • 4. Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration; Richard Alba, Victor Nee
    • 5. Segmented Assimilation and Minority Cultures of Mobility; Kathryn M. Neckerman, Prudence Carter, Jennifer Lee
  • PART III. RACE AND BIOLOGY REVISITED
    • 6. Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race; Audrey Smedley, Brian D. Smedley
    • 7. Back to the Future? The Emergence of a Geneticized Conceptualization of Race in Sociology; Reanne Frank
  • PART IV. COLOR-BLIND AND OTHER RACISMS
    • 8. Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Other; Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, Leslie Houts Picca
    • 9. Invisibility in the Color-Blind Era: Examining Legitimized Racism against Indigenous Peoples; Dwanna L. Robertson
  • PART V. BOUNDARY MAKING AND BELONGING
    • 10. Who Are We? Producing Group Identity through Everyday Practices of Conflict and Discourse; Jennifer A. Jones
    • 11. Illegality as a Source of Solidarity and Tension in Latino Families; Leisy Abrego
    • 12. Are Second-Generation Filipinos “Becoming” Asian American or Latino? Historical Colonialism, Culture and Panethnicity; Anthony C. Ocampo
  • PART VI. COLORISM
    • 13. The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality; Margaret Hunter
    • 14. The Case for Taking White Racism and White Colorism More Seriously; Lance Hannon, Anna DalCortivo, Kirstin Mohammed
  • PART VII. EDUCATION AND SCHOOLING
    • 15. “I’m Watching Your Group”: Academic Profiling and Regulating Students Unequally; Gilda L. Ochoa
    • 16. Race, Age, and Identity Transformations in the Transition from High School to College for Black and First-Generation White Men; Amy C. Wilkins
  • PART VIII. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND COOPERATION
    • 17. Out of the Shadows and Out of the Closet: Intersectional Mobilization and the DREAM Movement; Veronica Terriquez
    • 18. Racial Inclusion or Accommodation? Expanding Community Boundaries among Asian American Organizations; Dina G. Okamoto, Melanie Jones Gast
    • 19. The Place of Race in Conservative and Far-Right Movements; Kathleen M. Blee, Elizabeth A. Yates
  • PART IX. SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND WORK
    • 20. Negotiating “The Welfare Queen” and “The Strong Black Woman”: African American Middle-Class Mothers’ Work and Family Perspectives; Dawn Marie Dow
    • 21. Nailing Race and Labor Relations: Vietnamese Nail Salons in Majority–Minority Neighborhoods; Kimberly Kay Hoang
    • 22. Becoming a (Pan)ethnic Attorney: How Asian American and Latino Law Students Manage Dual Identities; Yung-Yi Diana Pan
  • PART X. HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES
    • 23. Miles to Go before We Sleep: Racial Inequities in Health; David R. Williams
    • 24. Identity and Mental Health Status among American Indian Adolescents; Whitney N. Laster Pirtle, Tony N. Brown
    • 25. Assimilation and Emerging Health Disparities among New Generations of U.S. Children; Erin R. Hamilton, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Robert A. Hummer, Yolanda C. Padilla
  • PART XI. CRIMINALIZATION, DEPORTATION, AND POLICING
    • 26. The Racialization of Crime and Punishment: Criminal Justice, Color-Blind Racism, and the Political Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex; Rose M. Brewer, Nancy A. Heitzeg
    • 27. Mass Deportation at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 28. The Hyper-Criminalization of Black and Latino Male Youth in the Era of Mass Incarceration; Victor M. Rios
  • PART XII. INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND MULTIRACIALITY
    • 29. “Nomas CĂĄsate”/“Just Get Married”: How a Legalization Pathway Shapes Mixed-Status Relationships; Laura E. Enriquez
    • 30. I Wouldn’t, but You Can: Attitudes toward Interracial Relationships; Melissa R. Herman, Mary E. Campbell
    • 31. Love Is (Color)Blind: Asian Americans and White Institutional Space at the Elite University; Rosalind S. Chou, Kristen Lee, Simon Ho
    • 32. A Postracial Society or a Diversity Paradox? Race, Immigration, and Multiraciality in the Twenty-First Century; Jennifer Lee, Frank D. Bean
  • Glossary
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Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Books, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Religion, Slavery, Social Justice, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-01-30 01:51Z by Steven

Unmaking Race and Ethnicity: A Reader

Oxford University Press
2016-07-20
512 Pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9780190202712

Edited by:

Michael O. Emerson, Provost and Professor of Sociology
North Park University
also Senior Fellow at Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Jenifer L. Bratter, Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Sergio ChĂĄvez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Race and ethnicity is a contentious topic that presents complex problems with no easy solutions. (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity: A Reader, edited by Michael O. Emerson, Jenifer L. Bratter, and Sergio ChĂĄvez, helps instructors and students connect with primary texts in ways that are informative and interesting, leading to engaging discussions and interactions. With more than thirty collective years of teaching experience and research in race and ethnicity, the editors have chosen selections that will encourage students to think about possible solutions to solving the problem of racial inequality in our society. Featuring global readings throughout, (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity covers both race and ethnicity, demonstrating how they are different and how they are related. It includes a section dedicated to unmaking racial and ethnic orders and explains challenging concepts, terms, and references to enhance student learning.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • UNIT I. Core Concepts and Foundations
    • What Is Race? What Is Ethnicity? What Is the Difference?
      • Introduction, Irina Chukhray and Jenifer Bratter
      • 1. Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture, Joane Nagel
      • 2. The Racialization of Kurdish Identity in Turkey, Murat Ergin
      • 3. Who Counts as “Them?”: Racism and Virtue in the United States and France, MichĂšle Lamont
      • 4. Mexican Immigrant Replenishment and the Continuing Significance of Ethnicity and Race, TomĂĄs R. JimĂ©nez
    • Why Race Matters
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 5. Excerpt from Racial Formation in the United States From the 1960s to the 1990s, Michael Omi and Howard Winant
      • 6. Structural and Cultural Forces that Contribute to Racial Inequality, William Julius Wilson
      • 7. From Traditional to Liberal Racism: Living Racism in the Everyday, Margaret M. Zamudio and Francisco Rios
      • 8. Policing and Racialization of Rural Migrant Workers in Chinese Cities, Dong Han
      • 9. Why Group Membership Matters: A Critical Typology, Suzy Killmister
    • What Is Racism? Does Talking about Race and Ethnicity Make Things Worse?
      • Introduction, Laura Essenburg and Jenifer Bratter
      • 10. What Is Racial Domination?, Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer
      • 11. Discursive Colorlines at Work: How Epithets and Stereotypes are Racially Unequal, David G. Embrick and Kasey Henricks
      • 12. When Ideology Clashes with Reality: Racial Discrimination and Black Identity in Contemporary Cuba, Danielle P. Clealand
      • 13. Raceblindness in Mexico: Implications for Teacher Education in the United States, Christina A. Sue
  • UNIT II. Roots: Making Race and Ethnicity
    • Origins of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia and Michael Emerson
      • 14. Antecedents of the Racial Worldview, Audrey Smedley and Brian Smedley
      • 15. Building the Racist Foundation: Colonialism, Genocide, and Slavery, Joe R. Feagin
      • 16. The Racialization of the Globe: An Interactive Interpretation, Frank Dikötter
    • Migrations
      • Introduction, Sandra Alvear
      • 17. Excerpt from Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945, George J. SĂĄnchez
      • 18. Migration to Europe since 1945: Its History and Its Lessons, Randall Hansen
      • 19. When Identities Become Modern: Japanese Emigration to Brazil and the Global Contextualization of Identity, Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda
    • Ideologies
      • Introduction, Junia Howell
      • 20. Excerpt from Racism: A Short History, George M. Fredrickson
      • 21. Understanding Latin American Beliefs about Racial Inequality, Edward Telles and Stanley Bailey
      • 22. Buried Alive: The Concept of Race in Science, Troy Duster
  • Unit III. Today: Remaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Aren’t We All Just Human? How Race and Ethnicity Help Us Answer the Question
      • Introduction, Adriana Garcia
      • 23. Young Children Learning Racial and Ethnic Matters, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 24. When White Is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy, TomĂĄs R. JimĂ©nez and Adam L. Horowitz
      • 25. From Bi-Racial to Tri-Racial: Towards a New System of Racial Stratification in the USA, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
      • 26. Indigenism, Mestizaje, and National Identity in Mexico during the 1940s and the 1950s, Anne Doremus
    • The Company You Keep: How Ethnicity and Race Frame Social Relationships
      • Introduction, William Rothwell
      • 27. Who We’ll Live With: Neighborhood Racial Composition Preferences of Whites, Blacks and Latinos, Valerie A. Lewis, Michael O. Emerson, and Stephen L. Klineberg
      • 28. The Costs of Diversity in Religious Organizations: An In-Depth Case Study, Brad Christerson and Michael O. Emerson
    • The Uneven Playing Field: How Race and Ethnicity Impact Life Chances
      • Introduction, Ellen Whitehead and Jenifer Bratter
      • 29. Wealth in the Extended Family: An American Dilemma, Ngina S. Chiteji
      • 30. The Complexities and Processes of Racial Housing Discrimination, Vincent J. Roscigno, Diana L. Karafin, and Griff Tester
      • 31. Racial Segregation and the Black/White Achievement Gap, 1992 to 2009, Dennis J. Condron, Daniel Tope, Christina R. Steidl, and Kendralin J. Freeman
      • 32. Differential Vulnerabilities: Environmental and Economic Inequality and Government Response to Unnatural Disasters, Robert D. Bullard
      • 33. Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment, Lawrence D. Bobo and Victor Thompson
  • Unit IV. Unmaking Race and Ethnicity
    • Thinking Strategically
      • Introduction, Junia Howell and Michael Emerson
      • 34. The Return of Assimilation? Changing Perspectives on Immigration and Its Sequels in France, Germany, and the United States, Rogers Brubaker
      • 35. Toward a Truly Multiracial Democracy: Thinking and Acting Outside the White Frame, Joe R. Feagin
      • 36. Destabilizing the American Racial Order, Jennifer Hochschild, Vesla Weaver, and Traci Burch
    • Altering Individuals and Relationships
      • Introduction, Horace Duffy and Jenifer Bratter
      • 37. A More Perfect Union, Barack Obama
      • 38. What Can Be Done?, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin
      • 39. The Multiple Dimensions of Racial Mixture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: From Whitening to Brazilian Negritude, Graziella Moraes da Silva and Elisa P. Reis
    • Altering Structures
      • Introduction, Kevin T. Smiley and Jenifer Bratter
      • 40. The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates
      • 41. “Undocumented and Citizen Students Unite”: Building a Cross-Status Coalition Through Shared Ideology, Laura E. Enriquez
      • 42. Racial Solutions for a New Society, Michael Emerson and George Yancey
      • 43. DREAM Act College: UCLA Professors Create National Diversity University, Online School for Undocumented Immigrants, Alyssa Creamer
  • Glossary
  • Credits
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Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-18 23:27Z by Steven

Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race

American Psychologist
Volume 60, Number 1, January 2005
pages 16–26
DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.16

Audrey Smedley
Virginia Commonwealth University Institute of Medicine

Brian D. Smedley
Virginia Commonwealth University Institute of Medicine

Racialized science seeks to explain human population differences in health, intelligence, education, and wealth as the consequence of immutable, biologically based differences between “racial” groups. Recent advances in the sequencing of the human genome and in an understanding of biological correlates of behavior have fueled racialized science, despite evidence that racial groups are not genetically discrete, reliably measured, or scientiïŹcally meaningful. Yet even these counterarguments often fail to take into account the origin and history of the idea of race. This article reviews the origins of the concept of race, placing the contemporary discussion of racial differences in an anthropological and historical context.

Read the entire article here.

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According to Our Hearts: Lessons Lost and Learned from the Cheerios Commercial Controversy

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United States on 2013-06-06 20:06Z by Steven

According to Our Hearts: Lessons Lost and Learned from the Cheerios Commercial Controversy

MixedRaceStudies.org
2013-06-06

Steven F. Riley

Keeping our cholesterol and our expectations low

By now, most readers of MixedRaceStudies.org and other race-related blogs and social media sites are well aware of the “Just Checking” commercial for the cereal brand Cheerios, a May 28 post on YouTube featuring an interracial family.

I would guess that the same readers are aware that General Mills, Inc., the maker of Cheerios, removed the comments section for the video after fielding a number of remarks that Camille Gibson, VP of  Marketing, stated were “not family friendly.”

Most other media outlets however, have not been so benign. The Deseret News reported “Biracial Cheerios commercial sparks racist comments;” The Huffington Post reported, “Cheerios Commercial Featuring Mixed Race Family Gets Racist Backlash;” MSNBC reported, “Interracial family in Cheerios ad sparks internet backlash,” to name just a few. Specialty news outlets chimed in also with AdWeeks’s headline, “It’s 2013, and People Are Still Getting Worked Up About Interracial Couples in Ads” and Business Insiders’This Is The Mixed-Race Cheerios Ad All The Idiots Are Complaining About.”

Despite the extensive coverage about the General Mills’ actions in response to the comments, there has been little if anything said about the actual comments posted on their YouTube site. Such is the sorry state of journalism today that comments about the news—rather than the actual events themselves—become the news.

I speculate with confidence that the Cheerios commercial received negative and racist comments (and positive and anti-racist comments too). A cursory scan through the videos on YouTube reveals that even apparently non-controversial videos can elicit the most hateful comments imaginable. Because General Mills is in the business of selling food products—and not in debating racial dynamics of family formation—it is understandable that they would remove the comments from the site.

Yet, General Mills’ action to remove the comments and the inaction of the media to investigate and shed light on those comments denies us the opportunity to confront and refute the ignorance and bigotry continuing to fester within our still pre-post-racial society.  Also, the overreaction to the yet unexposed remarks has the unintended consequence of empowering the individuals who posted them. Informed rebuttals to these comments could 1) enlighten the ignorant and racist commenters, 2) encourage others from embracing racist ignorance, and 3) provide solace and support to those waging combat against racist ignorance.  This concealment of ignorance merely encourages more ignorance as exemplified by (self-described unemployed) Meagan Hatcher-Mays’ essay in Jezebel titled, “I’m Biracial, and That Cheerios Ad Is a Big F–ing Deal. Trust Me,” where she, without quoting a single comment on the YouTube page, states, “What’s up with you racist dicks, anyway? Don’t you have jobs?” One commenter on a Facebook group posting even suggested that we could guess who reacted negatively to the ad.

Confronting the racism in the comments might just also provide us with an answer to that rhetorical question. Such an exercise would likely provide us an uncomfortable reminder that resistance and hostility to interracial relationships need not necessarily come from trolls from under the cloak of internet anonymity, but also from a family member we have known all of our lives.

I have not seen any of the racist comments in reference to the Cheerios ad, so I cannot comment on them. Yet I will remind readers that family formation across racialized borders have been occurring centuries before YouTube (2005), the birth of Barack Obama (1961—in Hawaii of course), court decisions to remove existing anti-miscegenation laws (1967), and acts of congress to reform immigration laws (1965). In fact, such family formations are as old as the Americas.  Relations between European men and indigenous women were essential to the establishment of European settlements in the pre-Columbian period. And as Audrey Smedley states in her 2007 presentation, “The History of the Idea of Race… And Why it Matters,”

No stigma was associated with [in the 1600s] what we today call intermarriages. Black men servants often married white women servants. Records from one county reveal that one fourth of the children born to European servant girls were mulatto (Breen and Ennis 1980). Historian Anthony Parent (2003) notes that five out of ten black men on the Eastern Shore were married to white women. One servant girl declared to her master that she would rather marry a Negro slave on a neighboring plantation than him with all of his property, and she did (P. Morgan 1998). Given the demographics, servant girls had their choice of men. One white widow of a black farmer had no problem with remarrying, this time to a white man. She later sued this second husband, accusing him of squandering the property she had accumulated with her first husband (E. Morgan 1975, 334). In another case, a black woman servant sued successfully for her freedom and then married the white lawyer who represented her in court (P. Morgan, 1998).

Though we are unable to learn much from the negative comments about the Cheerios commercial, I suggest we can learn much from the commercial itself.

As a person in an interracial marriage (25 years), I’m glad see yet another commercial featuring an interracial family. And the “Just Checking” commercial—in and by itself—is a amusing, pleasing, and does an excellent job of extoling the supposed health benefits of Cheerios. However, what troubles me is twofold. Firstly, the depiction of these families is far too rare. It is as if advertisers believe that these families do not exist, or worse, they believe they should not exist. This rendered invisibility contributes to the fear and animus that can occur when the rare depiction occurs.

Because interracial depictions are so rare, those of us who are supportive of such relationships far too frequently give our uncritical enthusiasm their visualizations. Yet, the depictions of these relationships are as important as their occurrence.  Images of interracial couples and families that are absent of the full range of intimacy of other relationships have the potential to foster harmful and demeaning attitudes to those couples and their families.

In Erica Chito Childs’s excellent monograph, Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture, she describes how such depictions can be used to simultaneously both demean and deviantize interracial relationships and normalize monoracial (particularly white) relationships when she states,

Throughout the various media realms—television, film, news media, and the less clearly defined intersecting worlds of music, sports, and youth culture—representations of interracial sex and relationships follow certain patterns, and what emerges is a delicate dance between interracial sex sells and interracial sex alienates.  The small number of representations as well as the particular types of depictions of interracial relationships, when they are shown, reveals the lingering opposition to interracial sexuality and marriage as well as the persistent racialized images of racial Others and the protection of whiteness. Interracial representations are symbolic struggles over meaning, not only in how interracial relationships are portrayed but also in how they are received, understood, and responded to in the larger society.  In particular, interracial images are used to perpetuate negative stereotypes yet are simultaneously marketed as an example of how color-blind we have become and of the declining significance of race. Yet one may ask, Why are interracial relationships shown at all if they are still widely opposed by whites and other racial groups? The answer is twofold, as we have seen throughout the book, that showing interracial relationships is a necessary piece of the current rhetoric that asserts race no longer matters and the representations are only shown in ways that either deviantize these relationships, privilege whiteness, or support the contention that America is color-blind.

Thus my second concern is that when interracial couples are depicted, there is a often a distinct lack of intimacy between the couple/family. (Contrast this to the highly visible illicit extra-marital interracial intimacy on a newly popular television show, provocatively named Scandal.) As is often mentioned in media studies, what is not seen is often as important if not more important than what is seen. In many instances, if you blink or are not paying close attention, it is difficult to know that the individuals are a couple in the first place. For example, I have yet to see an interracial couple depicted holding hands, kissing or appearing in a bed mattress commercial (although I have been informed that Ikea had such a commercial.) While the “Just Checking” ad uses the young girl’s words “mom” and “dad” to create the familiar and marital connections between characters, her parents are situated in separate rooms. In the context of a portrayal of families within a commercial ad, this physical separation is hardly an issue. Yet, General Mills continues with the apparent proscription of interracial intimacy within their ad.

With the Pew Research Center reporting that 15% of all new marriages in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, it is no longer acceptable for advertisers to suppress the portrayal of interracial families or obfuscate the intimacy within their infrequent portrayals. I do not believe that is unreasonable to suggest that viewers should see at least one interracial couple or family depicted within commercial ads during the daily television prime-time period. The time is now that we as viewers—and more importantly—as consumers, demand the public depiction of images of interracial couples exchanging wedding vows, in hospital delivery rooms expecting the birth of their child, buying homes, laying in bed, and sharing meals (including breakfast) at the same table.

A few years back, Giant Foods (a supermarket chain in the Washington, D.C. area) aired a television ad featuring a (real-life) mixed-race family with similar issues that I described. Since the theme of the commercial was family meals, this necessitated having the entire family at the table. Despite this fact, tightly cropped camera angles where used to frame each family member separately, only revealing their relationship to each other via the passing of a salad bowl.

Despite my mixed feelings, I did contact Giant Foods to compliment them for portraying the family, if not only to encourage them to do more commercials featuring interracial families, but to counter any negative responses they may have received.  In the case of General Mills and the Cheerios ad, I would suggest supporters do the same, but I would also they suggest that advertisers add more intimate family interactions.

And to General Mills, I would suggest that the next cereal commercial produced could depict the same family sitting together at the breakfast table eating a bowl of Cheerios. It will be good for their hearts, and ours too.

©2013, Steven F. Riley

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Racial Theories in Context (Second Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Law, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2013-04-15 00:05Z by Steven

Racial Theories in Context (Second Edition)

Cognella
2013
224 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-056-8

Edited by:

Jared Sexton, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Film & Media Studies
University of California, Irvine

This book presents a critical framework for understanding how and why race matters — past, present, and future. The readings trace the historical emergence of modern racial thinking in Western society by examining religious, moral, aesthetic, and scientific writing; legal statutes and legislation; political debates and public policy; and popular culture. Readers will follow the shifting ideological bases upon which modern racial theories have rested, from religion to science to culture, and the links between race, class, gender, and sexuality, and between notions of race and the nation-state.

The authors of Racial Theories in Context discuss the relationship of racial theories to material contexts of racial oppression and to democratic struggles for freedom and equality:

  • First and foremost in this discussion is the vast system of racial slavery instituted throughout the Atlantic world and the international movement that sought its abolition.
  • Continuing campaigns to redress racial divisions in health, wealth, housing, employment, and education are also examined.
  • There is a focus on the specificity of racial formation in the United States and the centrality of anti-black racism.
  • The book also looks comparatively at other regions of racial inequality and the construction of a global racial hierarchy since the 15th century CE.

Contents

  • Introduction / Jared Sexton
  • A Long History of Affirmative Action—For Whites / Larry Adelman
  • The Cost of Slavery / Dalton Conley
  • Statement on Gender Violence and the Prison-Industrial Complex / INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence and Critical Resistance
  • Introduction To Racism: A Short History / George M. Fredrickson
  • Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West / Darlene Clark Hine
  • Understanding the Problematic of Race Through the Problem of Race-Mixture / Thomas C. Holt
  • The Sexualization of Reconstruction Politics / Martha Hodes
  • The Original Housing Crisis / Derek S. Hoff
  • The American Dream, or a Nightmare for Black America? / Joshua Holland
  • The Hidden Cost of Being African American / Michael Hout
  • Slavery and Proto-Racism in Greco-Roman Antiquity / Benjamin Isaac
  • Colorblind Racism / Sally Lehrman
  • The Wealth Gap Gets Wider / Meizhu Lui
  • Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe / Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro
  • Unshackling Black Motherhood / Dorothy E. Roberts
  • Is Race -Based Medicine Good for Us? / Dorothy E. Roberts
  • Understanding Reproductive Justice / Loretta J. Ross
  • The History of the Idea of Race / Audrey Smedley
  • The Liberal Retreat From Race / Stephen Steinberg
  • “Race Relations” / Stephen Steinberg
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The Non-Problem of “Mixed-Race” People

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-11-23 16:40Z by Steven

One of the more tragic aspects of the racial worldview has been the seeming dilemma of people whose parents are identifiably of different “races.” Historically, “race” was grounded in the myth of biologically separate, exclusive, and distinct populations. No social ingredient in our race ideology allowed for an identity of “mixed-races.” Indeed over the past century and a half, the American public was conditioned to the belief that “mixed-race” people (especially of black and white ancestry) were abnormal products of the unnatural mating of two species, besides being socially unacceptable in the normal scheme of things. The tragedy for “mixed” people is that powerful social lie, the assumption at the heart of “race,” that a presumed biological essence is the basis of one’s true identity. Identity is biology, racial ideology tells us, and it is permanent and immutable. The emphasis on and significance given to “race” precludes any possibility for establishing our premier identities on the basis of other characteristics. In this sense it may be argued that the myth of ”race” has been a barrier to true human identities.

Audrey Smedley, “‘Race’ and the Construction of Human Identity,” American Anthropologist, Volume 100, Issue 3 (September 1998): 690-702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1998.100.3.690.

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Covering Multiracial America Requires Historical Perspective

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2012-11-18 18:33Z by Steven

Covering Multiracial America Requires Historical Perspective

Maynard Media Center on Structural Inequity
Maynard Institute
2012-11-14

Nadra Kareem Nittle

Although people of mixed races have lived in the United States for centuries, authorities on multiracial identity say mainstream media continue to report on these people as if they are a new phenomenon.

In 1619, the first slaves were brought to Britain’s North American colonies. The following year, says Audrey Smedley, professor emerita of anthropology and African American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, the first “mulatto” child was born. Thus, mixed-race people have a long history in this country, disproving the notion often mentioned today that miscegenation will somehow magically cure racism.

Most major stereotypes about multiracial people in America historically involved individuals whose heritage was black and white or Native American and white. Such people were largely thought to yearn for the same advantages as whites but found them off-limits because of the “one-drop rule,” which originated in the South and mandated that just a drop of black blood meant they were of color.

In the 21st century, newer stereotypes about multiracial people have gained popularity. Rainier Spencer, founder and director of the Afro-American Studies Program and senior adviser to the president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says contemporary media coverage of mixed-race people isn’t filled with tragic mulattoes but with docile symbols of a colorblind America yet to reach fruition.

“Multiracial people are infantilized,” Spencer says. “They [the media] don’t treat them as fully capable agents. Mixed-race people are quiet and happy, and they don’t complain. They’re our postracial future.”

Spencer, author of “Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix,” cautions that these notions are dangerous. The stereotype that multiracial people represent a bridge between races that will soon eradicate bigotry ignores the fact that such people were in North America more than a century before U.S. independence and that racism remains a reality.

This idea also lets the establishment off the hook, he says. “If mixed-race people are going to take us to a postracial destiny, then the power structure doesn’t have to worry about it. It’s very convenient.”…

…In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau permitted declaring more than one race on census forms. In the subsequent decade, several published articles reported that the mixed-race population was increasing, especially among young people.

But Heidi W. Durrow, who grew up as the only daughter of an African-American father and a Danish mother, would like to see news stories about multiracial people that don’t revolve around census figures…

Laura Kina, a founding member of the Critical Mixed Race Studies biennial conference and associate professor of Art, Media and Design at DePaul University, has similar concerns. She considers the idea that mixed-race people are new to be a stereotype. “They go back a very long ways,” she says.

Kina is the daughter of an Okinawan father from Hawaii and a Spanish-Basque/Anglo mother, according to her website…

Dominique DiPrima, host of Los Angeles radio show “The Front Page,” takes issue with the concept of multiracialism because she disputes the concept of race. “I think the media should differentiate between culture, ethnicity and race,” says DiPrima, daughter of Italian-American poet Diane di Prima and African-American writer Amiri Baraka…

Read the entire article here.

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The History of the Idea of Race… And Why it Matters

Posted in Anthropology, History, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Slavery, United States on 2012-01-21 10:45Z by Steven

The History of the Idea of Race… And Why it Matters

Conference: Race, Human Variation and Disease: Consensus and Frontiers
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Warrenton, Virginia
2007-03-14 through 2007-03-17
9 pages

Audrey Smedley, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African American Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University

The position taken by many anthropologists, both biological and social, and increasingly many other scholars in the social sciences is that “race is a cultural construct.” It should be clear that this is not a definition or even a characterization of “race,” but an assertion about the scholarly or existential domain in which we can best examine and explain the phenomenon of race. Race should be analyzed as a social/cultural reality that exists in a realm independent of biological or genetic variations. No amount of research into the biophysical or genetic features of individuals or groups will explain the social phenomenon of race. When five white policemen shot a young unarmed African immigrant 41 times in the doorway of his New York apartment, this can’t be explained by examining their genes or biology. Nor can we explain employer preferences for white job applicants or discrimination in housing or any other of the social realities of racism by references to human biological differences.

This does not mean that we deny that there is a biological basis for some human behaviors at the individual level which is a perfectly legitimate perspective for those who are engaged in this kind of research. Nor does it mean that the existence of race as a cultural phenomenon has no impact on the biology of human beings. On the contrary we know a lot about the sometimes devastating effects of race and racism on the biology and behavior of individuals and groups. Because of several hundred years of racism, during which both physical and psychological oppression have characterized the lives and environments of those people seen as members of low status races, differences in health status and life styles among them have appeared and continue to impact all of us.

The significance of History

In the middle of the 20th century, a new generation of historians began to take another look at the beginnings of the American experience. They spent decades exploring all of the original documents relating to the establishment of colonies in America. What these scholars discovered was to transform the writing of American history forever. Their research revealed that our 19th and 20th century ideas and beliefs about races did not in fact exist in the 17th century. Race originated as a folk idea and ideology about human differences; it was a social invention, not a product of science. Historians have documented when, and to a great extent, how race as an ideology came into our culture and our consciousness. This is the story that I will briefly tell here. (One of the first of the publications and perhaps the one with the greatest impact was a book by Edmund Morgan entitled, American Slavery, American Freedom [1975]. It is the detailed story of Virginia, the first successful colony. On its publication it was hailed as a classic that has inspired numerous other historians.)…

…Edmund Morgan wrote, “There is more than a little evidence that Virginians during these years were ready to think of Negroes as members or potential members of the community on the same terms as other men and to demand of them the same standards of behavior. Black men and white serving the same master worked, ate, and slept together, and together shared in escapades, escapes, and punishments” (1975, 327). “It was common for servants and slaves to run away together, steal hogs together, get drunk together. It was not uncommon for them to make love together” (1975, 327).

No stigma was associated with what we today call intermarriages. Black men servants often married white women servants. Records from one county reveal that one fourth of the children born to European servant girls were mulatto (Breen and Ennis 1980). Historian Anthony Parent (2003) notes that five out of ten black men on the Eastern Shore were married to white women. One servant girl declared to her master that she would rather marry a Negro slave on a neighboring plantation than him with all of his property, and she did (P. Morgan 1998). Given the demographics, servant girls had their choice of men. One white widow of a black farmer had no problem with remarrying, this time to a white man. She later sued this second husband, accusing him of squandering the property she had accumulated with her first husband (E. Morgan 1975, 334). In another case, a black women servant sued successfully for her freedom and then married the white lawyer who represented her in court (P. Morgan, 1998)…

Read the entire paper here.

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No stigma was associated [in the early 1600s] with what we today call intermarriages…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2011-10-02 03:41Z by Steven

No stigma was associated [in the early 1600s] with what we today call intermarriages. Black men servants often married white women servants. Records from one county reveal that one fourth of the children born to European servant girls were mulatto (Breen and Ennis 1980). Historian Anthony Parent (2003) notes that five out of ten black men on the Eastern Shore were married to white women. One servant girl declared to her master that she would rather marry a Negro slave on a neighboring plantation than him with all of his property, and she did (P. Morgan 1998). Given the demographics, servant girls had their choice of men. One white widow of a black farmer had no problem with remarrying, this time to a white man. She later sued this second husband, accusing him of squandering the property she had accumulated with her first husband (E. Morgan 1975, 334). In another case, a black women servant sued successfully for her freedom and then married the white lawyer who represented her in court (P. Morgan, 1998)


Audrey Smedley, “The History of the Idea of Race
 And Why it Matters,”  (paper presented at the conference on Race, Human Variation and Disease: Consensus and Frontiers, American Anthropological Association (AAA), Warrenton, Virginia, March 14-17, 2007).

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Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview (Fourth Edition)

Posted in Anthropology, Barack Obama, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2011-09-25 04:16Z by Steven

Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview (Fourth Edition)

Westview Press
July 2011
400 pages
Trade paperback ISBN: 9780813345543

Audrey Smedley, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African American Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University

Brian D. Smedley, Vice President and Director
Health Policy Institute
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

In a sweeping work that traces the idea of race for more than three centuries, Audrey Smedley shows that “race” is a cultural invention that has been used variously and opportunistically since the eighteenth century. Race, in its origin, was not a product of science but of a folk ideology reflecting a new form of social stratification and a rationalization for inequality among the peoples of North America.

New coauthor Brian Smedley joins Audrey Smedley in updating this renowned and groundbreaking text. The fourth edition includes a compelling new chapter on the health impacts of the racial worldview, as well as a thoroughly rewritten chapter that explores the election of Barack Obama and the evolving role of race in American political history. This edition also incorporates recent findings on the human genome and the implications of genomics. Drawing on new understandings of DNA expression, the authors scrutinize the positions of contemporary race scientists who maintain that race is a valid biological concept.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Some Theoretical Considerations
  • 2. Etymology of the Term “Race”
  • 3. Antecedents of the Racial Worldview
  • 4. The Growth of the English Ideology about Human Differences in America
  • 5. The Arrival of Africans and Descent into Slavery
  • 6. Comparing Slave Systems: The Significance of “Racial” Servitude
  • 7. Eighteenth-Century Thought and Crystallization of the Ideology of Race
  • 8. Antislavery and the Entrenchment of a Racial Worldview
  • 9. The Rise of Science and Scientific Racism
  • 10. Growth of The Racial Worldview in 19th Century Science
  • 11. Science and the Expansion of Race Ideology Beyond the US
  • 12. Twentieth-Century Developments in Race Ideology
  • 13. Changing Perspectives on Human Variation in Science
  • 14. Dismantling the Folk Idea of Race: The Election of Barack Obama and the Transformations of an Ideology
  • 15. The Health Consequences of the Racial Worldview
  • References
  • Index
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