The Obama Era Assessed: A Bibliographical Note on a New Qualitative Sociology Issue

Interest in the Obama reelection efforts seems really to be heating up, with a majority of opinion polls showing a small lead for Obama, especially in key swing states. Yet several national polls are now showing a small Romney lead. We will be blogging on these issues, especially in regard to racial matters, often over coming months.

For now, Adia and I have a just released article in the latest issue of Springer’s Qualitative Sociology journal, a very interesting issue on Obama, race, and politics edited by the excellent qualitative sociologists Simone Browne and Ben Carrington. Here is the summary of our paper’s argument:

This paper introduces the concept of the “racial dialectic” to describe the ways racial dialogues and policies have transformed in the wake of Barack Obama’s historic election to the presidency of the United States of America. Using public statements and behaviors from elected officials, pundits, and Obama himself as case study data, we examine the tension between what we term the hard racial frame, the soft racial frame, and the racial counterframe in the public discourses. We conclude that these competing frames produce a dialectic that has transformed the way racial issues are discussed and interpreted in the wake of Obama’s election. [Adia Harvey Wingfield and Joe Feagin, “The Racial Dialectic: President Barack Obama and the White Racial Frame,” Qualitative Sociology 35 (2012): 143-162.]

In this nice edited issue there are several other very good articles on Obama’s presidency and the elections that viewers here might find of interest. For now, the whole issue is available and appears not to be behind a paywall. Each article has a good summary for quick access by readers. I highly recommend this interesting set of discussions.

Adia and I are also doing a second edition of the Yes We Can? book, with results from the November election put in the last chapter just before it goes to press!


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