Racism and the sociological imagination

Carter, R. and Virdee, S. (2008) Racism and the sociological imagination. British Journal of Sociology, 59(4), pp. 661-679. (doi: 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2008.00214.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121537346/abstract


Our chief purpose in this article is to argue for a restoration of a strong notion of agency to sociological accounts of social relations, and particularly those concerned with group formation and conflict. We contend that much contemporary sociological writing on this topic continues to rely on the concepts of race and ethnicity as primary explanatory or descriptive devices. This has two important consequences: on the one hand it reproduces the powerful theoretical obfuscation associated with these concepts, whilst on the other it prompts the notion that human agency has only an illusory role as an intentional agent. Drawing on the intellectual resources of a Hegelian-inflected historical materialism and realism, we challenge both claims by arguing for a post-race, post-ethnicity sociology of group formation, one which allows a greater scope for agency in the determination of social life.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Racism, anti-racism, class struggle, discourse, historical materialism, realism
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Virdee, Professor Satnam
Authors: Carter, R., and Virdee, S.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Sociology
ISSN (Online):1468-4446
Published Online:25 November 2008

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