Everyday Practice of Race in America: Ambiguous Privilege

Everyday Practice of Race in America: Ambiguous Privilege

128 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-203-85266-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-78055-1
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-203-85266-8

Utz McKnight, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Alabama

An original contribution to political theory and cultural studies this work argues for a reinterpretation of how race is described in US society. McKnight develops a line of reasoning to explain how we accommodate racial categories in a period when it has become important to adopt anti-racist formal instruments in much of our daily lives.

The discussion ranges over a wide theoretical landscape, bringing to bear the insights of Wittgenstein, Stanley Cavell, Michel Foucault, Cornel West and others to the dilemmas represented by the continuing social practice of race. The book lays the theoretical foundation for a politics of critical race practice, it provides insight into why we have sought the legal and formal institutional solutions to racism that have developed since the 1960s, and then describes why these are inadequate to addressing the new practices of racism in society. The work seeks to leave the reader with a sense of possibility, not pessimism; and demonstrates how specific arguments about racial subjection may allow for changing how we live and thereby improve the impact race continues to have in our lives.

By developing a new way to critically study how race persists in dominating society, the book provides readers with an understanding of how race is socially constructed today, and will be of great interest to students and scholars of political theory, American politics and race & ethnic politics.

Table of Contents

1. Representation: Class Ambiguity and Racial Subjectivity
2. The Everyday and Ordinary: Developing a Theory of Race
3. Cody’s, Foucault, and Race
4. Working Together: Conditional Subjectivity
5. Walking the Streets
6. Passing and Mixing: Challenging the Racial Subject

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