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How Americans Make Race: Stories,…
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How Americans Make Race: Stories, Institutions, Spaces

by Clarissa Rile Hayward

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I thought this book was pretty solid, but not all that innovative. Her basic argument is that race is produced and reproduced through narratives institutionalization and objectification. I am not convinced that this formulation is an improvement upon (or even distinct from) the Foucaultian formulation of discourse practices. I am also not convinced that some of her distinctions (e.g. good stories vs. bad stories, production of identity vs. reproduction of identity) are ultimately meaningful or analytically useful. Still, her case is well-argued and she blends theory with empirical research very effectively. This would be a good book to introduce this topic to people who are skeptical of claims about institutional racism or people who don't have an extensive theoretical background. I could see myself assigning it for an undergraduate class. ( )
  brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
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