Research Brief: New Publications on Race and Racism

Here is a recap of some of the latest research on race and racism. As always, I note which pieces are freely available on the web, or “open access” with (OA), and those behind a paywall with (locked).

Research in the Dictionary


  • Cunningham, Jennifer M. “Features of Digital African American Language in a Social Network Site.” Written Communication, October 2014, (Vol. 31 No. 4): 404-433. Abstract: This study examines a social network site (SNS) where specific interlocutors communicate by combining aspects of academic American English (AE), digital language (DL), and African American Language (AAL)—creating a digital form of AAL or digital AAL (DAAL). This article describes the features of DAAL in the discursive, online context of MySpace, by analyzing a corpus of DAAL comments (1,494 instances). The use of SNSs affords a space where AAL exists in written form, serving the function of approximating spoken AAL. More interesting, however, is the function that DAAL serves as a text that is visually distinct from AE, emphasizing the orthographic freedom of DAAL on SNSs. By examining how DL and AAL exist and combine in an SNS environment, this research found DAAL to be a robust form of written communication. (locked)
  • Holling, Michelle A., Dreama G. Moon, and Alexandra Jackson Nevis. “Racist Violations and Racializing Apologia in a Post-Racism Era.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication ahead-of-print (2014): 1-27. Abstract: In theorizing the dialectic of public acts of white racial offenses and the in/sufficiency of apologia associated with white racial discourse, we examine racist violations and racializing apologia from 24 white public figures in the United States between 1996 and 2012. Analysis of racist violations reveals that each offense undermines race as a social and political marker, whereas racializing apologia makes explicit the constant force of racialization and latent nature of whiteness in apologia strategies. We view racializing apologia as potentially liberatory, capable of allowing for a defense of oneself and challenging reproduction of racial formations. (locked)
  • Reger, Jo. “The Story of a Slut Walk Sexuality, Race, and Generational Divisions in Contemporary Feminist Activism.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (2014): 0891241614526434. Drawing on a participant observation at a 2011 slut walk, I use elements of autoethnography to investigate issues and divisions in contemporary feminism. Slut walks emerged as a form of feminist protest early in 2011 when a police officer remarked that women should stop dressing like sluts if they did not want to be victimized, spurring a global mobilization promoting ideas such as “sexual profiling” and “slut shaming.” As quickly as the slut walks spread, critiques also emerged. In this essay, I explore the critiques of claiming slut as an empowering identity through my own experiences. I present five scenarios from the protest as a way of examining ideas such as “inverted” generational disidentification, the legitimization of patriarchal and feminist gazes, the articulation and silencing of women’s and girls’ sexual desire, social movement spillover, and the continuation of racial divides in North American feminism. (locked)
  • Titley, Gavin. “No apologies for cross-posting: European trans-media space and the digital circuitries of racism.” Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, March, 2014 Vol. 5, Issue 1, . doi:10.1386/cjmc.5.1.41_1. Abstract: This article proposes points of departure for researching the circulation and assemblage of racist ideas and racializing discourses in the trans-media space of interactive, hybrid digital media. It contends that racist mobilizations are increasingly invested in organized and opportunistic communicative actions that depend on the integration of interactive digital media to a wider media ecology and European political environment. Further, if social media can be understood as a constant ‘invitation to discourse’, then they also provide an invitation to discourse on the nature and scope of racism in a putatively ‘post-racial’ era. In contending that the affordances and dynamics of social media networks are politically generative in relation to the politics of racism, it proposes working with malleable resources in the sociology of racism to develop approaches that are not limited to the established focus on extremist sites, but that can account both for the circuitries of digital media exchange and the particularities of regional racial formations. (locked)
  • Von Robertson, Ray, Alma Bravo, and Cassandra Chaney. “Racism and the Experiences of Latina/o College Students at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution).”  Critical Sociology (2014): 0896920514532664. Abstract: This study explored Latina/o American college students at a predominantly white university in the South. The authors assessed how 12 Latina/o American college students understood racism and racial microaggressions, and developed counter-spaces to navigate the white college milieu. Qualitative analysis revealed instances of racism were dealt with through assimilation and working hard to excel. Additional responses involved aligning themselves with same-race groups and maintaining a high grade point average. Our findings demonstrated that Latina/o students often utilized counter-spaces and determination to excel in college. Finally, a major contribution of our research was that it provided an example of a small case study of Latinas/os, primarily consisting of males, a group that has traditionally been underrepresented in higher education, who performed very well academically at a PWI. (locked)
  • Weiner, Melissa F. “The Ideologically Colonized Metropole: Dutch Racism and Racist Denial.” Sociology Compass 8, no. 6 (2014): 731-744. Abstract: Many in The Netherlands deny the existence of race and racism even as significant research strongly suggests otherwise. This paper synthesized existing literature to illuminate The Netherlands’ unique form of racism, which is rooted in racial neoliberalism, anti-racialism (i.e. the denial of race), racial Europeanization, and the particular Dutch history of colonial exploitation. This article summarizes existing scholarship addressing racism in wide array of social institutions in The Netherlands before addressing the historical roots of Dutch racism and how Dutch aphasia and racial Europeanization deny the links between contemporary and historical oppression before, finally, offering an explanation for this disconnect. (OA)

Happy reading! Do you have some research you’d like to see in one of our upcoming Research Briefs? Let us hear from you in via the contact form. As always, bonus points for sharing open access readings.