Race in the 21st Century Ethnographic Approaches

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-07-28
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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What is the state of race relations in the U.S.? Are we making progress toward ending racial discrimination and prejudice? What, exactly, does "race" mean?

In Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches, Second Edition, John Hartigan, Jr., takes an anthropological look at such questions by introducing students to the study of race through qualitative methods. In the first text to take an explicitly ethnographic approach, Hartigan summarizes and explains the current state of social science knowledge on race in the U.S., motivating students to think through essential questions about race in relation to their own lives. In contrast with many texts, Race in the 21st Century focuses not on essential differences between racial or ethnic groups, but rather on the commonalities. Hartigan concentrates on the particular contexts in which people actively engage and respond to racial meanings and identities. In this way, he encourages readers to think critically about the meaning of race.

The second edition of Race in the 21st Century features a new chapter, "Postracial America," which examines contentious arguments about whether or how race still matters in the U.S. today. It engages students fully in the important question of what "postracial America" might mean or look like.

Author Biography

John Hartigan, Jr. is Professor of Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin and the Director of the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies. He is the author of What Can You Say? America's National Conversation on Race (2010), Odd Tribes: Towards a Cultural Analysis of White People (2005), and Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit (1999).

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Recognizing Race
Questioning Race
The Facts of Racial Inequality
The Changing Role of Racism
The Cultural Domain
Race in Relation to Culture
Cultural Analysis
Ethnographic Examples

Chapter 2: Race, Culture, and Ethnography
Fundamental Features of Racial Analysis
Ethnographic Perspectives on Race
Cultural Dynamics of Race
American Culture in Three Words
Antiracism and Ethnography
Ethnography of Antiracist Workshops
Another View from Detroit
How to Listen to "White Talk"
Combining an Attention to Race and Culture

Chapter 3: Race and Nature: Culture, Biology, and Genetics
What is Nature?
Totemic Identities
Racial Classification
(Mis)Uses of Biology
Race and Disease
Racial Health Disparities
Understanding Genetics and Culture
The Controversy over Genes and Race
Genes and Culture: A Resolution

Chapter 4: Understanding Whiteness
Objectifying White People
What is Whiteness?
Whiteness and Discourse
Whiteness as a Subject of Study
Studying White People in Everyday Life
Locating Whites in the Social Landscape
Class and Race: Bringing Greater Specificity to Whiteness

Chapter 5: Understanding Blackness
Objectifying Black People
What is Blackness?
Blackness and Discourse
Blackness as a Subject of Study
Studying Black People in Everyday Life
Locating Blacks in the Social Landscape
Class and Race: Bringing Greater Specificity to Blackness

Chapter 6: Beyond Black and White
Racial Groups?
Ethnicity and Race
Racialization of Latinos and Asian Americans
Ethnographic Perspectives on Latinos
Ethnographic Perspectives on Asian Americans

Chapter 7: Ethnography of Race
What Do We Know About Race, Based on Ethnographic Research?
Cultural Analysis of Race

Chapter 8: Post-Racial America
What Is Changing with Race Today?
Fracturing Whiteness
What Remains the Same?
Coloring Risk
Recent Ethnographies

Appendix A: Taking It to the Field: Analyzing Race in a Cultural Framework

Appendix B: Prompts for Ethnographic Research


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