Research Brief: Recent Publications on Race and Racism

Here is our latest update on some of the recent scholarly publications the sociology of race and racism. A couple of this research (e.g., Chaudry, Velasquez) could also be categorized as digital sociology, but more about that in a future post.

As always, I’ve noted which pieces are freely available on the web, or “open access” with (OA), and those behind a paywall with (locked). Why do I do this? Some people have begun to question the morality of publishing scholarly work behind paywalls with publishers that ‘make Murdoch look like a socialist.’  I think that’s a discussion we should be having as academics. For those unpersuaded by moral arguments, the purely self-interested academic should note they carry a cost in forgotten, rarely cited work.  Increasingly, open access publications get more widely cited than those locked behind paywalls.

Onward, to the latest research about race and racism.

Research in the Dictionary


  • Chaudry, Irfan. “#Hashtagging Hate: Using Twitter to Track Racism Online.” First Monday, 20(2), 2015. doi:10.5210/fm.v20i2.5450.  Abstract: This paper considers three different projects that have used Twitter to track racist language: 1) Racist Tweets in Canada (the author’s original work); 2) Anti-social media (a 2014 study by U.K. think tank DEMOS); and, 3) The Geography of Hate Map (created by researchers at Humboldt University) in order to showcase the ability to track racism online using Twitter. As each of these projects collected racist language on Twitter using very different methods, a discussion of each data collection method used as well as the strengths and challenges of each method is provided. More importantly, however, this paper highlights why Twitter is an important data collection tool for researchers interested in studying race and racism. (OA)
  • Garner, Steve. “Injured nations, racialising states and repressed histories: making whiteness visible in the Nordic countries.” Social Identities ahead-of-print (2015): 1-16. Abstract: This paper sets out some parameters for the special issue, focusing on Nordic countries studied as ‘injured nations’, racialising states and repressed histories. The distinctiveness of using whiteness paradigms to accomplish this are specified, and then the individual contributions to the topic are outlined. The processes of racialisation identified and analysed link the past to the present. There are different pathways, from colonised to colonising, from subaltern to dominant racialised position. The specifics of each country’s journey are noted, whilst links to contemporary discourse elsewhere are also established. Although there are populist nationalist parties active in the Nordic countries, the contributors argue that first, it is the mainstream political discourse that enables the more extreme versions: it is not a question of rupture but continuity. Secondly, racialising discourses that place people belonging to the nation in a privileged position vis-à-vis Others can be found outside the formal political arena, in development aid, national cuisine, and in national debates about violence, for example. (locked)
  • Huber, Lindsay Pérez, and Daniel G. Solorzano. “Visualizing Everyday Racism Critical Race Theory, Visual Microaggressions, and the Historical Image of Mexican Banditry.” Qualitative Inquiry 21, no. 3 (2015): 223-238. Abstract: Drawing from critical race and sociolinguistic discourse analysis, this article further develops the conceptual tool of racial microaggressions—the systemic, cumulative, everyday forms of racism experienced by People of Color—to articulate a type of racial microaggression, we call visual microaggressions. Visual microaggressions are systemic, everyday visual assaults based on race, gender, class, sexuality, language, immigration status, phenotype, accent, or surname that emerge in various mediums such as textbooks, children’s books, advertisements, film and television, dance and theater performance, and public signage and statuary. These microaggressions reinforce institutional racism and perpetuate ideologies of white supremacy. In this article, we use a racial microaggressions analytical framework to examine how the “Mexican bandit” visual microaggression has been utilized as a multimodal text that (re)produces racist discourses that in turn reinforce dominant power structures. These discourses have allowed for the Mexican bandit image to pervade the public imagination of Latinas/os for over 100 years.  (locked)
  • Pulido, Laura. “Geographies of Race and Ethnicity: White Supremacy vs White Privilege in Environmental Racism Research,” Progress in Human Geography published online before print January 21, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0309132514563008. Abstract: In this report I compare two forms of racism: white privilege and white supremacy. I examine how they are distinct and can be seen in the environmental racism arena. I argue that within US geographic scholarship white privilege has become so widespread that more aggressive forms of racism, such as white supremacy, are often overlooked. It is essential that we understand the precise dynamics that produce environmental injustice so that we can accurately target the responsible parties via strategic social movements and campaigns. Using the case of Exide Technologies in Vernon, California, I argue that the hazards generated by its longstanding regulatory noncompliance are a form of white supremacy. (locked)
  • Selod, Saher, and David G. Embrick. “Racialization and Muslims: Situating the Muslim experience in race scholarship.” Sociology Compass 7, no. 8 (2013): 644-655. Abstract: This article reviews how racialization enables an understanding of Muslim and Muslim American experience as racial. Race scholarship in the United States has historically been a Black/White paradigm. As a result, the experiences of many racial and ethnic groups who have become a part of the American landscape due to the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 have largely been ignored in race scholarship. By reviewing racialization and its application to Arabs and Muslims, it is apparent that scholars must continuously explore newer theories and languages of race. Racialization not only provides a way to understand the fluidity of race and racism but it also contributes to the advancement of race scholarship by reflecting on the current contextual influences on race. (locked)
  • Selod, Saher. “Citizenship Denied: The Racialization of Muslim American Men and Women post-9/11.” Critical Sociology (2014): 0896920513516022. Abstract:The racialization of Muslim Americans is examined in this article. Qualitative in-depth interviews with 48 Muslim Americans reveal they experience more intense forms of questioning and contestation about their status as an American once they are identified as a Muslim. Because Islam has become synonymous with terrorism, patriarchy, misogyny, and anti-American sentiments, when participants were identified as Muslims they were treated as if they were a threat to American cultural values and national security. Their racialization occurred when they experienced de-Americanization, having privileges associated with citizenship such as being viewed as a valued member of society denied to them. This article highlights the importance of gender in the process of racialization. It also demonstrates the need for race scholarship to move beyond a black and white paradigm in order to include the racialized experiences of second and third generations of newer immigrants living in the USA. (locked)
  • Shams, Tahseen. “The Declining Significance of Race or the Persistent Racialization of Blacks? A Conceptual, Empirical, and Methodological Review of Today’s Race Debate in America.” Journal of Black Studies (2015): 0021934714568566. Abstract: The sociological literature of the past several decades has emphasized two apparently contradictory perspectives—the “declining significance of race” and persistent racialization of Blacks. This article surveys the empirical evidence in support of both these perspectives and attempts to explain this seeming contradiction. Based on a thorough review of recent literature on this polarized debate, this article argues that proponents of the decline of race argument misconceptualize race and apply methodologies that fail to measure the hidden ways in which structural racism still operates against African Americans today. The article concludes that White racial framing of colorblindness operating on a flawed conceptualization of race and inadequate methodology masks a reality where racism persists robustly, but more subtly than during the pre-civil rights era. (locked)
  • Thompson, Cheryl. “Neoliberalism, Soul Food, and the Weight of Black Women.” Feminist Media Studies ahead-of-print (2015): 1-19. Abstract: This article examines the representation of Black women’s weight in contemporary diet advertising and African American film. It positions socioeconomic class as a significant factor that distinguishes between “good” weight and “bad” weight. I argue that there is a distinction to be made between representations of poor and working-class fat Black women and middle-class fat Black women. The increased presence of Black women as diet spokeswomen is also questioned. The social construction and filmic representation of the African American cuisine “Soul Food” and the political economic notion of neoliberalism are used as frameworks to deconstruct how notions of self-discipline, personal responsibility, and citizenship impact upon Black women’s bodies. As a case study, I examine the careers of Oprah Winfrey and Gabourey Sidibe and the ways in which their weight has been differently coded based on class, the neoliberal rhetoric of “personal responsibility,” and food. I ultimately critique how contemporary media has helped to shape contemporary discourses on Black women’s weight.
  • Velasquez, Tanya Grace. “From Model Minority to “Angry Asian Man”: Social Media, Racism, and Counter-Hegemonic Voices.” In Modern Societal Impacts of the Model Minority Stereotype, ed. Nicholas Daniel Hartlep, 90-132 (2015). doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-7467-7.ch004. Abstract: In various social media formats, Asian Americans have posted angry and creative reactions to cyber racism. This chapter discusses the benefits of using social media discourse analysis to teach students about the modern societal impact of the model minority stereotype and Asian Americans who resist online. Methods and theories that support this interdisciplinary approach include racial identity development theory, racial formations, critical race theory, feminist perspectives, and culturally relevant pedagogy. As a result, students learn to deconstruct cultural productions that shape the sociopolitical meanings of Asian American identity while critically reflecting on their own experiences with the stereotype. The work discussed in this chapter is based on participatory action research principles to develop critical media literacy, foster counter-hegemonic stories, and promote social change that expands our knowledge, institutional support, and compassion for the divergent experiences of Asian Americans, particularly in college settings. (locked)


Happy scholarly reading!

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