“A conceptually power-packed volume that is at once erudite and accessible, expansive and focused, true to sociological traditions yet stimulatingly exploratory. Scholars and students will be served very well by this absorbing, far-reaching enquiry into ethnicity and race.” - Raymond Taras, Tulane University “[W]hat Meer offers with this distinctive new volume is a brief survey of the academic approach to key subjects in this area. For example, the entry titled ‘Racialisation’ opens with the provenance of the subject in the works of W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon; then Meer traces debates about whether the concept can be projected back upon history... Meer offers in-depth coverage of 28 concepts, including ‘Citizenship,’ ‘Hybridity,’ ‘Intersectionality,’ ‘Post-colonialism,’ ‘Transnationalism,’ and more… Students wanting a guide into the deeper realms of academic theorizing on race and ethnicity will be well served.” - G. A. Lancaster, Choice This book offers an accessible discussion of both foundational and novel concepts in the study of race and ethnicity. Each account will help readers become familiar with how long standing and contemporary arguments within race and ethnicity studies contribute to our understanding of social and political life more broadly. Providing an excellent starting point with which to understand the contemporary relevance of these concepts, Nasar Meer offers an up-to-date and engaging consideration of everyday examples from around the world. This is an indispensable guide for both students and established researchers interested in the study of race and ethnicity.
Chapter 21: Race
The idea of race as an objective or ‘real’ category is a myth. Instead it is widely accepted that race is a social construction that nonetheless has very real implications and outcomes. The idea of race has played a central role in shaping world history and continues to bear enormous relevance across contemporary societies.
The idea of race often makes for a dynamic category. That is to say racial categories have changed across the social and political contexts in which they are found (instead of being permanently fixed across any given society or throughout a society’s history). For example, in his study of what the idea of race means in America, Omi (2001: 244) concludes that its expression ‘has been and probably always will be ...