Omi and Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States

Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge, 1994.

“race and class are competing modalities by which social actors may be organized” — does this mean they can’t work in conjunction?

The main point of the books seems to focus on race as its own structural entity though not totally independent of its surrounding social categories, and that scholars who see race as symptomatic to either ethnicity, class or nation, are simply locating the paradigm “on their own homeground”, while race theory (at the time) lacked such priority. They argue to “think of race as an element of social structure rather than as an irregularity within it; [and to] see race as a dimension of human representation rather than an illusion” (55). The argument finally ends with a call to “notice race in order to challenge it” (158).

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