Research Brief: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

The  American Sociological Association (ASA) has launched a new peer-reviewed journal, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. It is the official journal of a group of scholars within ASA, the Section of Racial and Ethnic Minorities(@ASA_SREM). The journal, co-edited by David L. Brunsma (Virginia Tech) and David G. Embrick (Loyola-Chicago), is scheduled to be published four times per year and the inaugural issue just came out in January of this year. At this time, all the articles in this issue are freely available online as open access (OA) without needing a university login to read them. This is a very good thing. (No word on whether the journal will continue to be open access but we hope so!) In the meantime, lots of new research for your stack of reading.

Research in the Dictionary

  • David  L. Brunsma, David G. Embrick, and Megan Nanney. “Toward a Sociology of Race and Ethnicity,” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1: 19. (OA)
  • Elijah Anderson.“’The White Space’: Race, Space, Integration, and Inclusion?” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:10-21. Abstract: Since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, large numbers of black people have made their way into settings previously occupied only by whites, though their reception has been mixed. Overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces remain. Blacks perceive such settings as “the white space,” which they often consider to be informally “off limits” for people like them. Meanwhile, despite the growth of an enormous black middle class, many whites assume that the natural black space is that destitute and fearsome locality so commonly featured in the public media, including popular books, music and videos, and the TV news—the iconic ghetto. White people typically avoid black space, but black people are required to navigate the white space as a condition of their existence.(OA)


  • Amanda  E. Lewis, John B. Diamond, and Tyrone A. Forman. “Conundrums of Integration: Desegregation in the Context of Racialized Hierarchy.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:22-36. Abstract: Recent scholarly and public conversations have given renewed attention to integration as a goal, an aspiration, and/or an “imperative.” These calls for integration are infused with the conviction that segregation is a linchpin, if not the linchpin, of persistent racialized hierarchies. While the costs of persistent segregation remain clear, the call for integration as the unequivocal answer is more contested. In this article we grapple with some of these conundrums of integration, asking whether, in fact, integration furthers equity and if not, why not? To explore this issue we focus on an “integrated” space—Riverview, a successful high school known for its diversity—and drawing on theory from social psychology, we show how the promise of integration in such contexts is undermined. We conclude that while integration may well be a necessary condition to advance equity, it is not by itself a sufficient condition to ensure it. (OA)
  • Leland Saito. “From Whiteness to Colorblindness in Public Policies: Racial Formation and Urban Development.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:37-51. Abstract: In the contemporary era, as U.S. society attempts to move toward racial equality, there is major disagreement among scholars regarding the degree to which public policies contribute to inequality. Discussion of a postracial society and colorblind ideology suggests that racial discrimination has been greatly reduced, while research on whiteness and systemic racism asserts that racial discrimination remains deeply imbedded in institutions. Using three case studies involving development in Southern California, I contribute to this debate by documenting and analyzing shifts in public views toward race within the context of colorblind ideology, how those views affect public discussions and are translated into public policies, and the racial effects of those policies. The case studies demonstrate that while systemic racism continues, in the context of colorblindness, local perspectives, strategies, and policies regarding race vary widely. The cases also show how racialized space operates through the distribution of resources and struggles over exclusion. In the first case, deliberate racism and exclusion operate covertly under the cover of colorblindness. In the second case, an attempt to implement race-neutral policies generates results that favor whites because of the unrecognized racial practices embedded in institutional practices. Grassroots mobilization successfully challenges these policies through political action. In the third case, I suggest that activists take into account the influence of colorblind ideology and strategically frame their objectives and political actions in nonracial social justice terms to craft policies that take race into account because of the relationship between race and space. (OA)


  • Evelyn Nakano Glenn. “Settler Colonialism as Structure: A Framework for Comparative Studies of U.S. Race and Gender Formation.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1: 52-72. Abstract: Understanding settler colonialism as an ongoing structure rather than a past historical event serves as the basis for an historically grounded and inclusive analysis of U.S. race and gender formation. The settler goal of seizing and establishing property rights over land and resources required the removal of indigenes, which was accomplished by various forms of direct and indirect violence, including militarized genocide. Settlers sought to control space, resources, and people not only by occupying land but also by establishing an exclusionary private property regime and coercive labor systems, including chattel slavery to work the land, extract resources, and build infrastructure. I examine the various ways in which the development of a white settler U.S. state and political economy shaped the race and gender formation of whites, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Chinese Americans. (OA)
  • Eduardo  Bonilla-Silva. “More than Prejudice: Restatement, Reflections, and New Directions in Critical Race Theory” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1: 73-87. Abstract: Racism has always been “more than prejudice,” but mainstream social analysts have mostly framed race matters as organized by the logic of prejudice. In this paper, I do four things. First, I restate my criticism of the dominant approach to race matters and emphasize the need to ground our racial analysis materially, that is, understanding that racism is systemic and rooted in differences in power between the races. Second, I reflect critically on my own theorization on race (the racialized social system approach) and acknowledge that I should have explained better the role of culture and ideology in the making and remaking of race. Third, I describe some of the work I have done since this early work. Fourth, I advance several new directions for research and theory in the field of race stratification. (OA)
  • Elizabeth Aranda and Elizabeth Vaquera. “Racism, the Immigration Enforcement Regime, and the Implications for Racial Inequality in the Lives of Undocumented Young Adults.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:88-104. Abstract: The current immigration enforcement regime embodies a colorblind racial project of the state rooted in the racial structure of society and resulting in racism toward immigrants. Approaching racism from structural and social process perspectives, we seek to understand the social consequences of enforcement practices in the lives of undocumented immigrant young adults who moved to the United States as minors. Findings indicate that although legal discourse regarding immigration enforcement theoretically purports colorblindness, racial practices such as profiling subject immigrants to arrest, detention, and deportation and, in effect, criminalize them. Further, enforcement practices produce distress, vulnerability, and anxiety in the lives of young immigrants and their families, often resulting in legitimate fears of detention and deportation since enforcement measures disproportionately affect Latinos and other racialized immigrant groups in U.S. society. We conclude that policies and programs that exclude, segregate, detain, and physically remove immigrants from the country reproduce racial inequalities in other areas of social life through spillover effects that result in dire consequences for these immigrants and their kin. We argue that immigrant enforcement practices reflect the nation’s racial policy of our times. (OA)
  • Crystal M. Fleming and Aldon Morris. “Theorizing Ethnic and Racial Movements in the Global Age: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:  105-126. Abstract: In this essay, we reflect on the history and legacies of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and suggest avenues of future research of interest to scholars of ethnic and racial movements. First, we unpack how the Civil Rights Movement developed as a major movement utilizing both international and domestic influences. Second, we consider the central role of technology—including television and Internet communication technologies (ICTs)—in shaping contemporary ethnic and racial activism. In so doing, we aim to enhance scholarship on movements and efforts by those committed to challenging racial and ethnic disparities. Finally, we explore how the collective memories of past racial and ethnic struggles, including the Civil Rights Movement, are constructed. We argue that activists and their opposition have stakes in how past ethnoracial oppression and movements alike will be remembered and interpreted. Such memories and interpretations can serve as the basis for additional demands that activists make on power holders and influence actions of the powerful to resist such demands. (OA)
  • Kathleen M. Blee and Elizabeth A.Yates. “The Place of Race in Conservative and Far-right Movements.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:127-136. Abstract: This paper explores current understandings and proposes new directions for research on the place of race in rightist social movements in the contemporary United States. We examine two broad categories of rightist movements. The first is white-majority conservative movements that deny their participation in racialized politics but in which race is implicit in their ideologies and agendas, such as the Tea Party. The second is far-right movements that explicitly espouse racist ideologies and agendas, such as neo-Nazi groups. For conservative movements, we examine the extent to which racial factors shape agendas and motivate participants. For far-right movements, we examine how they define race and seek to enact their racial goals. We point to productive possibilities for new research on the racial positionality of scholars of social movements, the relationship between rightist movements and larger social trends, and processual and longitudinal aspects of rightist movements.   (OA)
  • Matthew W. Hughey. “We’ve Been Framed! A Focus on Identity and Interaction for a Better Vision of Racialized Social Movements.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:137-152. Abstract: Social movement scholarship has historically focused on both relative deprivation and resource mobilization theories. In recent years, the field has shifted attention to concentrate on “framing.” Despite this move, less attention has been paid to both racialized scripts of microlevel interaction and the processes of identity formation that constitute the nuance of everyday lived experiences of collective action. Drawing from comparative ethnographic studies with a white nationalist organization and a white antiracist organization, I demonstrate how a conventional frame analysis—in which both movements construct a problem and assign blame, propose a prognostic strategy and tactic, and offer a rationale for action—would leave us with a bifurcated picture of two distinct and antagonistic movements and actors that share little in common. By shifting attention to interactional scripts and identity formation, we are better positioned to specify the empirical mechanisms by which collective action occurs; clarify the operation of racism (rather than simply describe its effects); avoid reification of frames; circumvent the reduction of structural dynamics to cognitive dilemmas, and accurately depict the intersubjectively shared scenarios, dramaturgical rules, and collective processes of group boundary making that constitute the everyday experience of movement actors. Importantly, we can then reveal patterned similarities between two groups that framing analysis would depict as incommensurate and antagonistic but that together ultimately rationalize and legitimate the reproduction of white supremacy regardless of resource attainment, political ideology, or frame alignment.  (OA)
  • Vilna Bashi Treitler. “Social Agency and White Supremacy in Immigration Studies.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:153-165. Abstract: Assimilation scholarship is rooted in the race relations framework that has been critiqued for providing legitimacy to the prevailing racial order, not least because it credits ethno-racial group agency as the mechanism that causes inequities among groups’ socioeconomic outcomes and the degrees to which they are socially accepted. To explain socioeconomic inequities, alternative frames centering on racialization and structural racism look to white supremacy and the unequal ends it engenders, but the sociological theory developed in these alternatives is largely tangential to assimilation theory. That the assimilationist model still dominates leaves a key part of the discipline vulnerable to supporting white supremacist ideologies about societies falsely believed to be colorblindly meritocratic. For this reason I call upon sociologists to work together to dethrone assimilationism from its exalted status in the sociology of immigration and scholars of race knowledgeable in these alternative approaches to actively reenter the arena of immigration studies and take the ground that has been ceded to the assimilationist frame. I suggest these as next steps in a campaign to overturn the dominance of the race relations model in sociology as a whole. (OA)
  • Rogelio Sáenz and Karen Manges Douglas. “A Call for the Racialization of Immigration Studies: On the Transition of Ethnic Immigrants to Racialized Immigrants.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1: 166-180. Abstract: There is more than a century of research that has examined immigrants in the United States. Despite major changes in the origin of immigrants, the assimilation perspective, based on the experiences of European immigrants, continues to be the dominant paradigm used to assess immigrants in this country. While immigrants of color have experienced major hostility and racialization, research continues to largely neglect issues involving race relations. This study provides a historical overview of the racialization of immigrants including immigration policies and shows that the racialization of immigrants has occurred historically but particularly over the past half century as non-Europeans became the primary groups of immigrants in this country. In addition, the study calls for immigration researchers to more fully incorporate race perspectives into the study of immigrants. Furthermore, the study illustrates the need to consider methodological and data approaches to integrate racial matters into the study of immigrants. The article concludes with a discussion of the sociological implications of incorporating race more centrally in the study of immigrants. (OA)
  • Hana Brown and Jennifer A. Jones. “Rethinking Panethnicity and the Race-immigration Divide: An Ethnoracialization Model of Group Formation.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:181-191. Abstract: Although demographic shifts continue to spark interest in the racially transformative effects of immigration, researchers routinely lament the lack of dialogue between race and immigration scholarship. We use recent research on panethnicity to illustrate the conceptual divides that exist between the two subfields. Panethnicity research has shed new light on the formation of group identities and political mobilization, but we contend that it is problematically divorced from research on racialization. Panethnicity scholars largely view racialization and panethnic group formation as separate processes, with the latter sequentially following the former. In this article, we argue that this analytical distinction both reflects and reifies the divide between race and immigration research and yields an incomplete understanding of the group formation process. We propose an ethnoracialization model to show how the concept of panethnicity can be reconfigured to develop a robust account of group formation and to bridge the much-lamented divide between race and immigration research. (OA)
  • Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl. “More Than a Knapsack: The White Supremacy Flower as a New Model for Teaching Racism.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1: 192-197. Abstract: This article suggests that White supremacy versus White privilege provides a clearer and more accurate conceptual understanding of how racism operates, evolves, and sustains itself. This article suggests a specific model for teaching White supremacy, the White supremacy flower, and describes the application and benefits of the model. (OA)
  • Steve Garner. “Crimmigration: When Criminology (Nearly) Met the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity January 2015 1:198-203.  Abstract:This extended review of two 2013 publications, Guia, van der Woude, and van der Leun (eds.) Social Control and Justice: Crimmigration in the Age of Fear and Aas and Bosworth (eds.) The Borders of Punishment: Migration, Citizenship and Social Exclusion, critically engages with the potential for race scholarship in the paradigms utilized by the contributors. While acknowledging that these volumes represent an imaginative and significant recasting of criminology, raising as they do a number of useful theoretical issues, the author identifies a reluctance to frame any aspect of these studies in terms of racialization. While much of the substantive content might easily be examined using that concept, it is implicit rather than explicit in this scholarship. Sociologists interested in the racialization of immigration are urged to engage seriously with the work and ideas contained in these two volumes and to bring their insights to bear in complementing this emerging field.  (OA)

Happy reading!

Do you have new research on race, ethnicity, or racism? Want it included in an upcoming Research Brief?  Use the contact form to let us know about your work.  Be sure to include an abstract and a link.


  1. rahj

    I’m a black man. i’m a born again christian. I have a perspective most won’t want to hear but here it is. We all have negative racial tendencies. White male tendencies are inate and subconsciously nutured by the culture. they haven’t always ruled large parts of the whole , especially the the BC ages. They automatically think what they think is beautiful and wonderful is such. they don’t realize how strange they look and act to other cultures and don’t care.
    the truth is since they came into the slavery thing they they’ve used it to stitch multiple cultures together into large cultures they call white so they are constantly subconsciously racist to each other. You can see this when there is no one else with outstanding features like color , rounder features, slanting eyes, more pleasingly shaped bodies. They use these to unite themselves. The problem with slavery is when you can no longer control someones life for your own purposes to lift your self up you resent it and yearn for it and refuse to let go of the your false feeling of superiority. They do this to their own women but especially to the black woman who made more submissive by God. So when a black women speaks up for herself in a non white way she has to be put in her place. this is a Devils tactic they’ve fallen for. Their won’t be many going to heaven. The maker ultimately considers all mankind as made in his likeness. The evil angels of Satan hate mankind as a sub-species to be destroyed and used. They mated with females the bible says and corrupted anf males that will do the same . Mankind is the only species that have females (animals don’t count) and the Devil must go after the woman whom God loves. there time and mandkinds time is about up so we need not worry about racism any longer . There’s more horrendous evils that are surfacing for a lost worlds last hur
    rah and then evil will be no more . All the victimized will be immortal with God and those that follow the devils ways will be immortal in the lake of Fire. This doesn’t concern culture or race . We have been visited by the creator (Jesus). We have been tested now for centuries – most failing and waiting for judgement. Jehovah God will finish it. You that don’t like me bring God into this probably sense that you are draw to hell and the Lake of Fire. By the way The Lake of Fire is the super-massive black hole in the center of our galaxy. Nothing else but heaven is as important for a man or woman.

Leave a Reply