Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches / Edition 1

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Race in the 21st Century presents an innovative approach to the vexing task of making sense of Race in social life today. This book examines ethnographic studies of race, first surveying the enormous wealth of qualitative social knowledge about race and then presenting students with prompts and models for formulating their own inquiries into racial matters. Author John Hartigan, Jr., offers a detailed account of what we learn from ethnographers, who examine the interactive, interpretive cultural work that race entails in everyday life. Hartigan also explains how a performance model of racial identity offers great insight into the rapidly changing significance of race.

Unlike most texts, which treat race as a series of distinct groups, Hartigan draws into view the underlying cultural dynamics that commonly shape notions of racial identity and difference for Americans. Drawing on key concepts both from race theorists and qualitative research, Hartigan shows how these distinct bodies of theory and method can be combined in effective, insightful ethnographic research on race.

Ideal for undergraduate courses in race and ethnicity, American culture, and cultural/human diversity, Race in the 21st Century seamlessly brings together classic and contemporary studies in one accessible volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This well-organized and engaging text consistently pushes my students to reconsider deeply held convictions about how race and racism are performed as lived experience, and how they can yield to critical, ethnographic inquiry. Hartigan does an excellent job of locating race as one of the foundations of cultural interpretation and performance and of framing questions relevant to student experience and contexts."—John Bodinger de Uriarte, Susquehanna University

"Hartigan's work in this book is unique as he fully reviews contemporary ethnographic literatures on race—I know of no other text that does this. He also strikes a nice balance in tone and register. His writing is sophisticated but he uses language that is accessible to most undergraduates. It is an excellent resource for teaching critical thinking skills and deconstructionist perspectives on race."—Miranda Hallett, Otterbein University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195375602
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/30/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Hartigan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Texas at Austin and the Director of the Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies. He is the author of Odd Tribes: Towards a Cultural Analysis of White People (Duke University Press, 2005) and Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit (Prince University Press, 1999).

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter 1 Recognizing Race 1

Questioning Race 2

The Facts of Racial Inequality 4

The Changing Role of Racism 8

The Cultural Domain 10

Race in Relation to Culture 12

Cultural Analysis 14

Ethnographic Examples 16

Chapter 2 Race, Culture, and Ethnography 27

Fundamental Features of Racial Analysis 27

Ethnographic Perspectives on Race 31

Cultural Dynamics of Race 32

American Culture in Three Words 35

Antiracism and Ethnography 39

Ethnography of Antiracist Workshops 41

Another View from Detroit 42

How to Listen to "White Talk" 46

Combining an Attention to Race and Culture 51

Chapter 3 Race and Nature Culture, Biology, and Genetics 54

What is Nature? 54

Totemic Identities 56

Racial Classification 58

(Mis)Uses of Biology 63

Race and Disease 67

Racial Health Disparities 70

Understanding Genetics and Culture 74

The Controversy over Genes and Race 79

Genes and Culture: A Resolution 82

Conclusion 83

Chapter 4 Understanding Whiteness 86

Objectifying White People 87

What is Whiteness? 90

Whiteness and Discourse 92

Whiteness as a Subject of Study 95

Studying White People in Everyday Life 99

Locating Whiteness in the Social Landscape 109

Class and Race: Bringing Greater Specificity to Whiteness 112

Chapter 5 Understanding Blackness 117

Objectifying Black People 117

What is Blackness? 119

Blackness and Discourse 123

Blackness as a Subject of Study 126

Studying Black People in Everyday Life 132

Locating Blackness in the Social Landscape 139

Class and Race: Bringing Greater Specificity to Blackness 142

Chapter 6 Beyond Black and White 149

Racial Groups? 151

Ethnicity and Race155

Racialization of Latinos and Asian Americans 159

Ethnographic Perspectives on Latinos 164

Ethnographic Perspectives on Asian Americans 173

Chapter 7 Ethnography of Race 182

What Do We Know About Race, Based on Ethnographic Research? 183

Cultural Analysis of Race 189

Appendix A Taking It to the Field: Analyzing Race in a Cultural Framework 193

Appendix B Prompts for Ethnographic Research 198

Glossary 207

References 214

Index 222

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