What’s Your “Street Race?” Cartographies and Ontologies of “Race” and the Future of Knowledge Production on Inequality, Resistance and Social Justice

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 18378

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Sociology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
2. Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Interests: race and ethnicity; education; gender; inequality; race; racialization; intersectionality; health; Latina/o/x studies; qualitative methods; engaged scholarship; public sociology

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Guest Editor
Department of Africana Studies, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Interests: African-Iberian historiography; the Moors; the ancient manuscripts of fabled Timbuktu; the study of Islam in Africa and the Americas; Africa in antiquity; global and population health; public health practice and epidemiology; and issues related to health equity and social determinants of health

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Guest Editor
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Interests: population genetics; statistical genetics; and the genetic basis of common disease

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Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY 10027, USA
Interests: social determinants of health (race/ethnicity; socioeconomic position, neighborhood effects); Hispanic's heterogeneity and health; racial/ethnic discrimination and/or racism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Genealogy is now accepting submissions for a Special Issue on the theme: What’s Your “Street Race?” Cartographies and Ontologies of “Race” and the Future of Knowledge Production on Inequality, Resistance and Social Justice. We place “race” in quotation marks to underscore “race” as a social construction that has no innate biological or genetic essential characteristics, but is best understood as a social construction and a relationship of power at the individual, institutional and structural levels. For example, the American Sociological Association and the American Anthropological Association both agree that race is a social construction; however, they depart on whether race should be invoked as a category of analysis in its on right. This issue invites essays from scholars from multiple disciplines to engage in on-going, critical and self-implicating, reflexivity about the meaning of race and how “race” is conceptualized in their own work and within their discipline, workplace, institutions and structural arrangements at the local, national and global levels. For example, in the social sciences it has become common to employ multidimensional measures of race that go beyond the standard self-identified questions and also include ascribed race in addition to measures of lived experiences with everyday discrimination. A preponderance of research evidence illustrates that in addition to self-identified race, we also need measures of "socially assigned race" or "street race" as a social status and ontological and conceptual tool for mapping the social construction of race, relational power, inequalities and resistance in different contexts and at multiple levels. Consider how you would respond to the following question: If you were walking down the street, what race do you think strangers would automatically assume you were based on what you look like? “Street race” – or the social meanings ascribed to you in a given sociohistorical and political economic context based on based on a conglomeration of physical characteristics including your skin color, facial features, hair texture and other visual and ocular markers – is an important aspect of a person’s experiences for understanding the dynamics of inequality and resistance in fair housing, voting rights, equal employment opportunity, educational opportunity structures and even health care access (See López et al., 2017 What’s your Street Race? Article in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity Journal). We invite you to engage in on-going, critical and self-implicating reflexivity about the meaning of race in your life as relationships of power do shape one’s reality of identity.

We welcome a wide range of knowledge projects, conceptual contributions, empirical studies employing qualitative and quantitative methods representing a wide range of disciplines, from the social sciences to the humanities, from philosophy to geography to urban studies to cultural theory. The goal of this special issue is to publish promising current work on “race.” This special issue is an invitation to rethink many of the key concepts in scholarship on as real ground-level political practice. Broadly conceived, the editorial team is interested in articles that provide insights on the debates between race and ethnicity as interchangeable concepts, the relationship of race to the human genome and the value added or complexities of employing more than one conceptualization and/or measure of race. All work should clarify how their unique contribution helps us to understand the importance of conceptualizations of race for understanding and creating solutions for eliminating inequality at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, structural and/or global levels.

Some of the topics that would be appropriate for this special issue include but are not limited to:

  • Knowledge production on ‘race’ is a contested terrain. What are the master narratives about race and the counternarratives? Under what structural conditions is research on ‘race’ viable in academia, grant agencies and think tanks?
  • What are the controversies, debates, paradoxes and ethical dilemmas in researching race?
  • How can social scientists, humanities scholars engage in conversations about the meaning of race with biologists and geneticists? How might these interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogues break new ground that helps us rethink our ontologies, conceptualizations and theories of race knowledge production?
  • What are promising innovative ways of conceptualizing and measuring race at multiple levels (e.g., individual, interpersonal, institutional, structural, global levels)?
  • What are the social forces shaping people’s understandings of race? What is the role of on-going critical self-implicating self-reflexivity about one’s own social location in structural inequities?
  • Genealogies of conceptualization of race across the disciplines/scholarly associations, funding agencies, global and national government agencies, corporations, and think tanks, corporate media, non-government agencies, corporate responsibility programs, law, etc..
  • Genealogy as a method for understanding the ontologies, conceptualizations of race within a given discipline or across disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, as well as biology and genetics.
  • Re-thinking, through genealogy, the politics of race and intersectional knowledge production that considers the simultaneity of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nativity/documented status, and other systems of inequality and resistance.
  • Genealogy of race and color-power evasiveness in knowledge production against the backdrop of neo-liberal logics operating in academia, funding agencies and think tanks.
  • Genealogy of the social construction of race in practice, with respect to, for example, how governmentality and its institutions affect the lives of real individuals and communities in terms of access to voting, housing, employment, education, physical and mental health, law and justice, immigration and other policy-relevant arenas.
  • Scholarly Associations have defined race as a social construction that has for centuries shaped our society and continues to do so today, and therefore do not consider races to be genetically homogenous populations (see also, AAPA, 1996, 2019; AAA, 1998; ASA, 2003; APA, 2002). Instead race is understood as social status in particular historical contexts, rather than as a reified category that is essential or fixed. Given persistent racism as shown by a wide range of indicators of racial inequality and the continuing role of race as a fundamental organizing principle in American society, how should we engage the concept of race in our knowledge production?

Prof. Dr. Nancy López
Prof. Dr. J.E. Jamal Martín
Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Long
Prof. Dr. Luisa N. Borrell
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Racial Conceptualization
  • Ontology
  • street race
  • street gender
  • street race-gender

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
The Myth of the Genetically Sick African
by Joseph L Graves, Jr.
Genealogy 2022, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy6010015 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 3692
Abstract
Western medicine has an unfortunate history where it has been applied to address the health of African Americans. At its origins, it was aligned with the objectives of colonialism and chattel slavery. The degree to which medical “science” concerned itself with persons of [...] Read more.
Western medicine has an unfortunate history where it has been applied to address the health of African Americans. At its origins, it was aligned with the objectives of colonialism and chattel slavery. The degree to which medical “science” concerned itself with persons of African descent was to keep them alive for sale on the auction block, or to keep them healthy as they toiled to generate wealth for their European owners. Medicine in early America relied upon both dead and live African bodies to test its ideas to benefit Europeans. As medicine moved from quackery to a discipline based in science, its understanding of human biological variation was flawed. This was not a problem confined to medicine alone, but to the biological sciences in general. Biology had no solid theoretical basis until after 1859. As medicine further developed in the 20th century, it never doubted the difference between Europeans and Africans, and also asserted the innate inferiority of the latter. The genomic revolution in the latter 20th century produced tools that were deployed in a biomedical culture still mired in “racial” medicine. This lack of theoretical perspective still misdirects research associated with health disparity. In contrast to this is evolutionary medicine, which relies on a sound unification of evolutionary (ultimate) and physiological, cellular, and molecular (proximate) mechanisms. Utilizing the perspectives of evolutionary medicine is a prerequisite for an effective intervention in health disparity and finally dispelling the myth of the genetically sick African. Full article
23 pages, 4251 KiB  
Article
What’s Your Street Race? The Urgency of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as Lenses for Revising the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Guidelines, Census and Administrative Data in Latinx Communities and Beyond
by Nancy López and Howard Hogan
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030075 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6936
Abstract
What’s your street race? If you were walking down the street what race do you think strangers would automatically assume you are based on what you look like? What is the universe of data and conceptual gaps that complicate or prevent rigorous data [...] Read more.
What’s your street race? If you were walking down the street what race do you think strangers would automatically assume you are based on what you look like? What is the universe of data and conceptual gaps that complicate or prevent rigorous data collection and analysis for advancing racial justice? Using Latinx communities in the U.S. as an example, we argue that scholars, researchers, practitioners and communities across traditional academic, sectoral and disciplinary boundaries can advance liberation by engaging the ontologies, epistemologies and conceptual guideposts of critical race theory and intersectionality in knowledge production for equity-use. This means not flattening the difference between race (master social status and relational positionality in a racially stratified society based on the social meanings ascribed to a conglomeration of one’s physical characteristics, including skin color, facial features and hair texture) and origin (ethnicity, cultural background, nationality or ancestry). We discuss the urgency of revising the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards, as well as the Census and other administrative data to include separate questions on self-identified race (mark all that apply) and street race (mark only one). We imagine street race as a rigorous “gold standard” for identifying and rectifying racialized structural inequities. Full article
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18 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
“Why Not Nuevo Mexicano Studies?”: Interrogating Latinidades in the Intermountain West, 1528–2020
by Ed A. Muñoz
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030068 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1927
Abstract
While there has been an explosion of scholarly interest in the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political status of U.S. Latinx individuals and communities, the majority focuses on traditional Southwestern U.S., Northeastern U.S., and South Florida rural/urban enclaves. Recent “New Destinations” research, [...] Read more.
While there has been an explosion of scholarly interest in the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political status of U.S. Latinx individuals and communities, the majority focuses on traditional Southwestern U.S., Northeastern U.S., and South Florida rural/urban enclaves. Recent “New Destinations” research, however, documents the turn of the 21st century Latinx experiences in non-traditional white/black, and rural/urban Latinx regional enclaves. This socio-historical essay adds to and challenges emerging literature with a nearly five-century old delineation of Latinidad in the Intermountain West, a region often overlooked in the construction of Latina/o identity. Selected interviews from the Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Utah Oral History and Wyoming’s La Cultura Hispanic Heritage Oral History projects shed light on Latinidad and the adoption of Latinx labels in the region during the latter third of the 20th century centering historical context, material conditions, sociodemographic characteristics, and institutional processes in this decision. Findings point to important implications for the future of Latinidad in light of the region’s Latinx renaissance at the turn of the 21st century. The region’s increased Latino proportional presence, ethnic group diversity, and socioeconomic variability poses challenges to the region’s long-established Hispano/Nuevo Mexicano Latinidad. Full article
23 pages, 868 KiB  
Article
New Blacks: Language, DNA, and the Construction of the African American/Dominican Boundary of Difference
by Aris Moreno Clemons
Genealogy 2021, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010001 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4070
Abstract
Given the current political climate in the U.S.—the civil unrest regarding the recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement, the calls to abolish prisons and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, and the workers’ rights movements—projects investigating moments of inter-ethnic solidarity and [...] Read more.
Given the current political climate in the U.S.—the civil unrest regarding the recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement, the calls to abolish prisons and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, and the workers’ rights movements—projects investigating moments of inter-ethnic solidarity and conflict remain essential. Because inter-ethnic conflict and solidarity in communities of color have become more visible as waves of migration over the past 50 years have complicated and enriched the sociocultural landscape of the U.S., I examine the ways that raciolinguistic ideologies are reflected in assertions of ethno-racial belonging for Afro-Dominicans and their descendants. Framing my analysis at the language, race, and identity interface, I ask what mechanisms are used to perform Blackness and/or anti-Blackness for Dominican(-American)s and in what ways does this behavior contribute to our understanding of Blackness in the U.S.? I undertake a critical discourse analysis on 10 YouTube videos that discuss what I call the African American/Dominican boundary of difference. The results show that the primary inter-ethnic conflict between Dominican(-Americans) and African Americans was posited through a categorization fallacy, in which the racial term “Black” was conceived as an ethnic term for use only with African Americans. Full article
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