Race and Ethnicity: Across Time, Space, and Discipline

Race and Ethnicity: Across Time, Space, and Discipline

Race and Ethnicity: Across Time, Space, and Discipline

Race and Ethnicity: Across Time, Space, and Discipline

Synopsis

Race and ethnicity, much like water and air, are all around us. Yet, race and ethnicity remain imprevious to many of us. Hence in this volume authors were challenged to think outside the box. As such, scholars were encouraged to dare to contemplate, to evaluate, and analyze issues regarding race and ethnicity from radically different perspectives. This critical process required them to evaluate their own assumptions and those of their respective disciplines. Therefore, much like walking a tight-rope without a net, the scholars attempt to free themselves from the disciplinarian blinders that often preclude the development of fresh insights. Collectively the papers challenge the way we conceive and perceive of race and ethnicity. As a consequence they go past the ideological constraints that normally limit such discourse by disciplinarian boundaries or disciplinarian myopia. Therefore, these papers provide a critical reappraisal of race and ethnicity. About the Author Rodney D. Coates, Ph.D. (1987) in Sociology, University of Chicago, is Professor of Sociology and Gerontology and the Director of Black World Studies at Miami University. He has published extensively in the area of critical race and ethnic relations. Reviews 'This provocative, well-researched volume includes studies of...the role of the state,...multiple ways of viewing black identity...' Choice Magazine, April 2005.

Excerpt

Rodney D. Coates

Race and ethnicity, much like water and air, are all around us. As long as we can remember, in many of the places we have traveled, and in many of the books, magazines, and articles we have read – race, is writ large. Race is so much a part of our social, cultural, historical, and personal realities and identities, many take it for granted. Even when it is not taken for granted, race is rarely challenged as many have now come to believe that it is a mere relic of our past that lingers in the minds of those consumed with racial identity politics, archaic social and literary studies, or those who refuse to give up the racist ghost. Still others, tired of what they perceive to be endless conversations into the racial void, would rather not talk about “it” ever again.

Race, in all of its forms and with all of its consequences, refuses to die a slow death. Much like the phoenix, it rises with each new generation, each new perceived threat to personal, economic, or national security, or when some drunk is bored and looking for fun. The only way to confront this demon is to continuously shed light upon it. Hence the most critical problem associated with the analysis of race is the perception that it is intransigent. Race, as a variable, constantly changes as social, political, historical,

Throughout this introduction, in an effort to avoid constant repetition, ethnicity should be implied whenever I make reference to race.

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