Crisis, Politics and Critical Sociology (Studies in Critical Social Sciences, 17) 9789004179486, 9004179488

Bringing together critical scholars, this volume seeks to understand the roots of our current social and economic crisis

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Crisis, Politics and Critical Sociology (Studies in Critical Social Sciences, 17)
 9789004179486, 9004179488

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Crisis, Politics and Critical Sociology

Studies in Critical Social Sciences Series Editor

David Fasenfest Wayne State University Editorial Board

Chris Chase-Dunn, University of California-Riverside G. William Domhoff, University of California-Santa Cruz Colette Fagan, Manchester University Martha Gimenez, University of Colorado, Boulder Heidi Gottfried, Wayne State University Karin Gottschall, University of Bremen Bob Jessop, Lancaster University Rhonda Levine, Colgate University Jacqueline O’Reilly, University of Brighton Mary Romero, Arizona State University Chizuko Ueno, University of Tokyo

VOLUME 17

Crisis, Politics and Critical Sociology Edited by

Graham Cassano & Richard A. Dello Buono

LEIDEN • BOSTON 2010

Cover design: Wim Goedhart Photograph by David Fasenfest This book is printed on acid-free paper. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Crisis, politics, and critical sociology / edited by Graham Cassano & Richard A. Dello Buono. p. cm. — (Studies in critical social sciences ; v. 17) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-90-04-17948-6 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Sociology—Philosophy. 2. Critical theory. 3. Neoliberalism. 4. Political culture. I. Cassano, Graham. II. Dello Buono, Richard Alan. III. Title. IV. Series. HM585.C74 2009 301.01—dc22 2009031412

ISSN 1573-4234 ISBN 978 90 04 17948 6 Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP. Brill has made all reasonable efforts to trace all right holders to any copyrighted material used in this work. In cases where these efforts have not been successful the publisher welcomes communications from copyright holders, so that the appropriate acknowledgements can be made in future editions, and to settle other permission matters. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. printed in the netherlands

CONTENTS On the Contributors .........................................................................

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Chapter One What is Critical Sociology? ................................... Graham Cassano

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PART I

A CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF POLITICS Chapter Two Reflections on the Sociology Liberation Movement of 1968 ........................................................................ Robert J. S. Ross Chapter Three Scholarship from a Critical Perspective ........... David Fasenfest and Rhonda F. Levine Chapter Four A Left Weberian Road to Identity Politics in the United States ........................................................................... James W. Russell

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PART II

POLITICS AND THE NEW ADMINISTRATION Chapter Five It’s Real! Racism, Color Blindness, Obama, and the Urgent Need for Social Movement Politics ............... Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Victor Ray

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Chapter Six President Obama and Political Culture in the United States .................................................................................. Marco A. Gandásegui, Jr.

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Chapter Seven Martin Luther King’s Dream, Obama and Post Racial Society—Can We Yet Hope for a New Narrative? ........................................................................................ Rodney D. Coates

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contents PART III

REVISITING SOCIAL THEORY AND POLITICS Chapter Eight Why New Socialist Theory Needs Guy Debord: On the Practice of Radical Philosophy ............. Richard Gilman-Opalsky

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Chapter Nine The Case for a Critical Sociology of Religion ........................................................................................... Warren S. Goldstein

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Chapter Ten Moving From Attitudes to Behavior: Using Social Influence to Understand Interpersonal Racial ............. Oppression Chavella T. Pittman Chapter Eleven Teletechnology and Internal Dialogue ........... Gordon Gauchat and Casey Borch Chapter Twelve On Surveillance as a Solution to Security Issues ............................................................................................... Vida Bajc Chapter Thirteen The Political Economy of School Violence in Trinidad: Towards a Caribbean Theory of Youth Crime .................................................................................. Daphne Phillips

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Bibliography ........................................................................................

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Index Name Index .................................................................................... Subject Index ..................................................................................

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ON THE CONTRIBUTORS Vida Bajc is Assistant Professor at Methodist University in North Carolina. She completed her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2008 and consequently a Postdoctoral Fellow with The Surveillance Project in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University, Canada. She is editor of three journal special issues: “Watching Out: Surveillance, Security, and Mobility” (with John Torpey) for the American Behavioral Scientist (2007); “(Dis)Placing the Center: Pilgrimage in a Mobile World” (with Simon Coleman and John Eade) for Mobilities (2007); and “Collective Memory and Tourism” for Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing (2006). Her edited book (with Willem de Lint) Security and Everyday Life is forthcoming with Routledge. She currently has another edited book under way for Routledge, tentatively titled Securing the Olympics. Her book manuscript in progress, based on several years of ethnographic fieldwork in the area of Jerusalem and its surrounds, is titled Christian Pilgrimage in Jerusalem: Performing Social Realities. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is a Professor of Sociology at Duke University. He is the author of four books to date, White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era, Racism without Racists, and White Out (with Woody Doane), and White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Social Science (with Tukufu Zuberi). He is working on another book critical on methodology matters (with G. Baiocchi and H. Horton) and on a book titled The Invisible Weight of Whiteness: The Racial Grammar of Everyday Life in America. He is the 2008 recipient of the Lewis A. Coser Award for theoretical agenda setting in sociology. Casey Borch is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His interests include the development and testing of theories that bridge the gap between micro and macro research. Recent work examines patterns of exchange in economic exchange networks, the effects of military spending on social welfare, and the social networks of adolescents. He has published papers in journals such as Social Psychology Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, the Journal of Mathematical Sociology, and the Journal of Adolescence. He

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teaches classes on advanced statistical methods, political sociology and Symbolic Interactionism. Graham Cassano teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Oakland University, Michigan, and serves on the editorial board of Rethinking Marxism and is an Associate Editor of the journal Critical Sociology. He has published on Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, and the American labor movement. He is currently at work on a study of cinematic representations of organized labor during the 1930s and 1940s. Rodney D. Coates was born in East St. Louis, IL. he received his B.A. from Southern Illinois University, an M.A. in sociology and anthropology from the University of Illinois, and second M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He holds the rank of professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University. Dr. Coates specializes in the study of race and ethnic relations, inequality, critical race theory, and social justice. He has published dozens of articles; several edited books, and frequently writes on issues of race and ethnicity, education and public policy, civil rights and social justice. His 2004 edited book Race and Ethnicity: Across time, space and discipline won the Choice award from the American Library Association. In 2007 Coates received the Joseph Himes Career Award in Scholarship and Activism from the Association of Black Sociologists. Dr. Coates is an associate editor for Critical Sociology. He is currently finalizing an edited volume on Covert Racism for Brill Press. Richard (“Ricardo”) A. Dello Buono is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Manhattan College. His research areas include comparative social problems and Latin American/ Caribbean Studies. He has been a visiting professor at the New College of Florida, University of Havana, National University of Colombia, Autonomous University of Zacatecas and a Fulbright Professor at the University of Panama. He is author of Latin America after the Neoliberal Debacle (2009, Rowman and Littlefield) and co-editor of Imperialism, Neoliberalism and Social Struggles in Latin America, with Jose Bell Lara (2007, Brill); Cuba in the 21st Century: Realities and Perspectives, with Jose Bell Lara (2005, Editorial José Martí); and Social Problems, Law and Society, with A. Kathryn Stout and William J. Chambliss (2004, Rowman and Littlefield).

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David Fasenfest Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Wayne State University, is an economist and sociologist whose research focuses on regional and urban economic development, labor market analysis and work force development, and income inequality. He received his graduate training at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Economic Development Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, International Journal of Urban and Regional Review, and International Journal of Sociology among other journals. He has edited Community Economic Development: Policy Formation in the U.S. and U.K. (1993, MacMillan Press), Critical Perspectives on Local Development Policy Evaluation (2004, Wayne State University Press) and Engaging Social Justice: Critical Studies of 21st Century Social Transformation (2009, Brill). In addition, he is the Editor of the journal Critical Sociology, published by SAGE. Marco A. Gandásegui, Jr. is a Panamanian sociologist trained in Chile and the US. He is Professor at the University of Panama and is a research associate at the Center for Latin American Studies “Justo Arosemena” in Panama City. In addition, he is editor of Tareas, a journal of critical social thought, and a board member of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). A regular contributor to newspapers and scholarly articles, he has authored and edited numerous books, including Hegemony Crisis of the United States (2007), Latin America at the Crossroads (2007), Democracy in Panama (1998), and Social Classes in Panama (1993). Gordon Gauchat is a doctoral candidate at the University of Connecticut. His interests include the sociology of science, sociological theory, critical theory, and political economy. His dissertation examines the “cultural authority of science” in the U.S. and develops a constructivist approach for investigating public trust and acceptance of scientific expertise. He is also interested in public scientific expertise and the co-produced boundaries between experts and publics. He has published research on Post-WWII military spending in the U.S. and on public attitudes toward science. He is also interested in developing the critical social psychology of C. Wright Mills. Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky earned his Ph.D. in Political Science

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at The New School for Social Research. His MA (The New School for Social Research) and BA (Hofstra University) are in Philosophy. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s research areas include the history of political philosophy, continental and contemporary political theory, socialist philosophy, and post-structuralism. His recent research has focused on French theorist Guy Debord, and also on Jürgen Habermas and theories of the public sphere. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky is the author of Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory, Lexington Books. Warren S. Goldstein, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Critical Research on Religion (www.criticaltheoryofreligion.org), is a Visiting Fellow of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University (2009–2010). He is the editor of Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice (2006, Brill; Haymarket Books, 2009). Rhonda F. Levine is Professor of Sociology at Colgate University, where she has been teaching since 1982. Her most recent books include Enriching the Sociological Imagination: How Radical Sociology Changed the Discipline, ed. (Brill, 2004; Paradigm Publishers, 2005) and Class, Networks, and Identity: Replanting Jewish Lives from Nazi Germany to Rural New York, (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001). She is currently doing research on the hopes, fears, and educational experiences of African American teenagers in a diverse small-city high school in the northeast. She has served on Council of the American Sociological Association, the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Editorial Board of Critical Sociology. Daphne Phillips obtained her BSc in Sociology and MSc in the Sociology of Development from the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in 1978 and 1983 respectively and her PhD in the Sociology of Health from the University of Illinois, USA in 1993. She has been working as an academic sociologist from 1984 to the present, punctuated by a six-year period (1995–2001) when she served as a Senator and Minister of Government of Trinidad and Tobago. During that time she briefly served as Prime Minister. Chavella T. Pittman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at New College of Florida. Her research interests and publications focus on

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racism theory, social psychology theory, social influence, social justice behaviors, and the interpersonal experiences of the oppressed. She also has extensive experience designing, implementing, and training others to conduct social justice education. Victor Ray is a graduate student of sociology at Duke University interested in theory, race and ethnicity, inequality, mental healtyh, and social psychology. He has published various papers with Professor Bonilla-Silva and is working on a dissertation examining post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Robert J. S. “Bob” Ross was national Director of the New University Conference at the time of the founding of the Sociology Liberation Movement and the successor Radical Caucus. He eventually got a PhD from the University of Chicago and has taught at Clark University since 1972 where he is Professor of Sociology, Director of International Studies, and former chair of the Department of Sociology and of the Faculty Assembly. His most recent book is Slaves to Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops (Michigan 2004). James W. Russell teaches sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University. His recent books include Class and Race Formation in North America, University of Toronto Press, 2009, Double Standard: Social Policy in Europe and the United States, Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, and Societies and Social Life: An Introduction to Sociology, 2nd ed. Sloan, 2009. This is a revised version of a paper first presented at the annual Identity in Conflict/Conflict in Identities conference at the University of Masaryk, Czech Republic.

CHAPTER ONE

WHAT IS CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY? Graham Cassano What is “critical sociology”? More importantly, what is critical sociology today? This volume is an attempt to answer that question. While many of the chapters began as presentations at a special Critical Sociology conference, our book is more than simply a collection of conference proceedings.1 In fact, as the sociologists, philosophers, and activists gathered in Boston for that meeting, it was already clear that the United States, and indeed the world, was heading into a period of profound economic uncertainty. It was also becoming clear that the opportunity was emerging for a resurgence of the Left. Consequently, many of the papers prepared for those sessions contemplated not only the enduring inequalities and forms of domination and exploitation that characterize our present social order, but the political solutions to these social problems. At the same time, there was a concerted attempt to situate our present economic and social crisis in its historical context. As the editors prepared this book,2 we found an organic unity and a series of coherent themes that captured important elements of the present political moment, including its opportunities and its dangers. With an awareness of history, both of critical thought within the discipline of sociology as well as the history of the varied forms of domination that continue to exert force over our world, these papers promote

1 The conference, “Power and Resistance: Critical Reflections, Possible Futures,” organized by the editor of the journal Critical Sociology, David Fasenfest, and co-sponsored by the Marxist Section of the American Sociology Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, was held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers on August 3rd, 2008. 2 While I take responsibility for the ideas expressed in this introduction, the volume itself is the result of a collective labor. My co-editor, Richard Dello Buono, did much of the work preparing the papers that follow for publication and made important revisions to this introduction. In addition, the editor of Critical Sociology, David Fasenfest, participated from the beginning, and did much of the heavy lifting to make this volume possible.

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the kind of understanding that any political regeneration will need. We have arranged the volume with this in mind and with that hope that readers will, in turn, participate in our collective conversation about the contemporary relevance of social and political theory. In this opening chapter, I will situate these texts within the history of critical sociological discourse. It is my contention that “critical sociology” is an unfinished project. Even radical scholars fall too easily into the comfortable belief that society, and sociology as a discipline, “progress.” But a critical sociologist needs to recognize that progress cannot be taken for granted. In order to survive, critical thought needs to struggle with the forms of scientific conformity that persistently attempt to overtake its gains. I draw on the work of two critical sociologists from earlier generations to make this claim, Walter Benjamin and C. Wright Mills. Several of the papers below will criticize the legacy of these thinkers. Despite their limitations, Benjamin and Mills kept critical thought alive during moments of profound intellectual darkness (the Fascist period in Europe and the Cold War period in the United States). Therefore, it makes sense to recognize the importance of their contributions, as well as their limitations. From that basis, I discuss the necessity for institutional “presentation depots” and “interpretation centers” to sustain the critical traditions within sociology. Today, it’s hard to say that any one form of sociological inquiry represents “mainstream” sociology. Unlike the 1950s when Parsonian functionalism dominated the discipline, our period is represented by a fragmentation of the social sciences and within the social sciences. Counter-hegemonic sociology needs to take advantage of that fragmentation by carving a place for itself within the institutional apparatus of the discipline. In that sense, journals like Critical Sociology, under the guidance of its current editor, David Fasenfest, serve a centrally important function. They offer critical sociologists—broadly defined— an outlet for their work, and, at the same time, provide an institutional certification of that work. As I set out to examine the content of this volume in anticipation of what the reader will experience, readers are explicitly invited to actively engage in this critical dialogue.3

3 For instance, readers of this volume might consider submitting their own work to the journal Critical Sociology (http://crs.sagepub.com/) or to the Brill Book Series “Studies in Critical Social Sciences” (Series Editor, David Fasenfest, Wayne State University, http://www.brill.nl/scss).

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Critical Sociology: an unfinished project The ghosts of dead religious beliefs haunt the sociological imagination. One of the most insidious of these pillars of faith is the belief in human progress that upholds contemporary liberalism. From a liberal perspective, history looks like the slow, if sometimes uneven, unfolding of a divine plan. The Enlightenment gave rise to new value systems, the belief in the “rights of man,” in scientific rationality, in human perfectibility. These Enlightenment values, in turn, produced social revolutions that, with some momentary excesses, freed humanity from the tyranny of the Ancient Regime, feudal absolutism, and superstition. From such a perspective, there may have been momentary lapses in our social progress (for instance, the Terror in Revolutionary France, Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s death camps), but overall the human species is better off than it was, and getting better all the time. This tale seems true enough when told by the inhabitants of our cloud cities in the Western world. Here I am reminded of the old Star Trek episode (itself a retelling of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis) where Kirk and his crew visit the planet of cloud cities. The citizens of those cities live lives of contemplation and leisure, reading and thinking important thoughts, gracefully unaware of the fact that their cities float because deep in the bowels of the planet below another class of people work in the poisonous mines drawing out the ore that makes the existence of the leisure class possible. In other words, the liberal narrative of social progress is told from the victor’s perspective. Victory blinds its poets to the labor, exploitation, and tyranny that make “progress” possible. In this context, Walter Benjamin’s Seventh Thesis On the Concept of History offers a useful corrective. Benjamin calls the liberal narrative of human progress a variant of “historicism” and sets it against his own perspective, which he identifies as “historical materialism.” He writes: With whom does this historicism actually sympathize? The answer is inevitable: with the victor. And all rulers are the heirs of prior conquerors. Hence, empathizing with the victor invariably benefits the current rulers. This historical materialist knows what this means. Whoever has emerged victorious participates to this day in the triumphal procession in which current rulers step over those who are lying prostrate. According to traditional practice, the spoils are carried in the procession. They are called “cultural treasures,” and a historical materialist views them with cautious detachment. For in every case these treasures have a lineage which he [sic] cannot contemplate without horror. They owe their

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Today it is only possible to see our current condition as “advanced” if we screen out misery, exploitation, and toil. The commodities Westerners take for granted depend upon the exploitation not only of the working classes in the our own nation-states, but of the great mass of humanity populating the so-called “third world.” Our culture, and our science, depends for life upon the barbarism of our economic and political institutions. Although Benjamin made his argument almost seventy years ago, it is important that we, as critical sociologists, keep this anti-liberal perspective on history alive; otherwise, a liberal, evolutionary, progressive reading of history may penetrate our understanding of sociology itself. While it is true that there is an opening in contemporary sociological thought for critical perspectives, that opening is the result of prior struggles; and in order to ensure that our discipline doesn’t close these avenues of critical inquiry, our struggles must persist. It is now precisely fifty years since C. Wright Mills published his manifesto for a critical sociology, The Sociological Imagination (1959). By the time that little book appeared, Parsonian functionalism had largely run its course. It still dominated the perspectives of tenured faculty in sociology departments within the United States, but Mills was only one among a chorus of voices who were breaking free of functionalism’s epistemological and political chains. Nonetheless, his book inspired a new generation of sociologists, and rang out functionalism’s death knell. For a time, it seemed as if Talcott Parsons’ work would survive only in footnotes, or in the lecture notes for Introduction to Sociology courses. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, sociologists schooled by the struggles of the “New Left,”—feminists, postmodernists, critical race theorists, and poststructuralists—displaced the Parsonian old guard in most University and college sociology Departments. It seemed as if critical sociology and critical sociologists were everywhere. Sociology had “progressed” beyond the narrow, anti-political, anti-Marxist purview of functionalism. But perhaps institutional achievement and academic prestige bred complacency. Perhaps the broader cultural assault on the New Left in the United States had an almost silent effect upon sociology. Whatever the causes, there was a “return of the repressed.”

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Today, outside of Yale University’s Department of Sociology, few North American sociologists self-identify as Parsonian functionalists. But what I’ll call the “functionalist attitude” has returned in new guises, under new names like “exchange theory,” “network theory,” “systems theory,” and “economic sociology.” By “functionalist attitude,” I mean (an often unspoken) belief in the “value neutrality” of scientific propositions; a closet positivism that continues the search for the “best theory” for the description of social reality; and, most dangerously, the belief in sociology for its own sake, rather than sociology as a tool in the struggle against oppression. In other words, despite the fact that Mills’ phrase, “sociological imagination,” has become a central trope in our discipline, the meaning of that phrase is in danger of being forgotten. Mills himself ended his manifesto with an unambiguous interpretation of his title: What I am suggesting is that by addressing ourselves to issues and to troubles, and formulating them as problems of social science, we stand the best chance, I believe the only chance, to make reason democratically relevant to human affairs in a free society, and so realize the classic values that underlie the promise of our studies. (Mills 1959: 194)

For Mills, the struggle over the meaning of sociology, and, thus, the meaning of the sociological imagination, was much more than a struggle over academic influence or personal prestige. The struggle for the soul of sociology was a struggle to make it politically relevant, and thus useful for the social transformation of the (political) world. As sociologists, we are contestants in a struggle over the meaning of sociology, which is, at the same time, a struggle over the past and the future of sociology. The two aspects of this struggle are intertwined: our struggle over sociology’s past is our struggle for the future of sociology. Let me return, once more, the Benjamin’s theses. “Every age,” he writes, “must strive anew to wrest tradition away from the conformism that is working to overpower it.” (Benjamin 2003: 391) One of the dangers of a progressive, liberal historicism is the complacent belief that past victories secure future progress. Today, the fact that Marx’s and Engel’s The German Ideology is taught in many sociological theory courses, or that even articles published in the journal Sociological Theory make de rigueur reference to Bourdieu and Foucault, or that feminist perspectives are incorporated into arguments made by “exchange theorists” and “economic sociologists” may

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blind us to the assault on critical sociology and the critical sociological tradition. The current condition of North American sociology may be likened to the current condition of the labor movement in the United States. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, American workers struggled to secure ever more social entitlements. They achieved the 8hour day, the weekend, health insurance, job security. The struggles of this movement led to the creation of a blue collar “middle class,” and factory workers were able to send their children to colleges and universities, to buy automobiles and homes, to participate in what twentieth century unionists called “the American Standard of Living.” In 1947, 35% of American laborers were in unions. This union density forced even non-union firms to offer workers some of the benefits of unionization, like health insurance and a living wage. But as early as the late 1950s, corporate managers and the systemic imperatives of capitalist accumulation began to undo the gains of those struggles. Today, with a labor movement that incorporates approximately 8% of non-governmental American workers, the so-called “American Standard of Living” survives only as a distant memory. More Americans than ever live without health insurance. Workers take on several part-time jobs to make a living wage, effectively ending the 8-hour day and the weekend. Jobs are increasingly insecure, and the blue collar “middle class” no longer exists. The labor movement’s victories led to the complacency of labor leaders and union members alike. Critical sociologists need to take cautionary lessons from the history of U.S. labor. Critical sociology is an unfinished project. In order for that project to survive, we need to recognize that as social scientists we are contestants in an historical struggle against conformism, against functionalism in all its forms, against the idea that sociology exists for its own sake. Interpretation Centers and Presentation Depots: the Function of Critical Sociology Contemporary sociology is a fragmented discipline. Critical sociologists need to be grateful for that fragmentation. Precisely because ours is a discipline in perpetual crisis, there is an opening for a discourse that resists the social and political hegemony of the ruling order.

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Just after the publication of his The Sociological Imagination, C. Wright Mills gave an important talk in England titled “The Cultural Apparatus.” After years of studying the materiality of power in contemporary society, in that talk Mills returns to his roots in semiotic pragmatism. He writes: The first rule for understanding the human condition is that men [sic] live in second-hand worlds. They are aware of much more than they have personally experienced; and their own experience is always indirect. The quality of their lives is determined by meanings they have received from others. . . . Between consciousness and existence stand meanings and designs and communications which other men [sic] have passed on—first, in human speech itself, and later, by the management of symbols. These received and manipulated interpretations decisively influence such consciousness as men [sic] have of their existence. (Mills 1963, 405)

Apart from offering a depiction of mediated social reality that seems in many ways to prefigure the postmodernist musings of McLuhan and Baudrillard, Mills’ words describe the condition of sociology itself. There is no direct experience of reality. All experience is mediated, shaped by signs and the interpretations of those signs inherited from previous generations of social actors; in our case, from previous generations of sociological researchers and theorists. Some sociologists might take this argument to mean that we are trapped in a prison house of signs; that, since we have no access to the social world but through previous visions of that world, we must surrender the quest for originality and bow down to the canons of the “real” set forth in the “classics” of previous generations. And, indeed, Mills writes: “So decisive to experience itself are the results of [previous] communications that often men [sic] do not really believe what ‘they see before their very eyes’ until they have been ‘informed’ about it by the national broadcast, the definitive book, the close-up photograph, the official announcement.” (ibid., 407) But this “official version of world reality,” as Mills calls it, is not the only version available. The meaning of reality itself becomes a struggle, a contest of perspectives. In contemporary sociology, this contest of perspectives is almost too obvious to comment upon. Different sociologists seem to observe decisively different worlds. And yet, because our discipline is fragmented, there is no one authoritative vision of the social world, no world reality that rules with unquestioned hegemony, no permanent and shared “doxa.” In fact, it may be a mistake to even speak of

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“contemporary sociology,” since that phrase seems to imply a set of doxic principles shared throughout the discipline. Rather, there are contemporary sociologies: different and often contradictory sociological communities struggling with one another. When Mills writes about the “cultural apparatus,” he rather too easily falls into a totalizing depiction. “Inside this apparatus, standing between men [sic] and events, the images, meaning, slogans that define the world in which men [sic] live are organized” and everyone is “increasingly dependent upon the observation posts, the interpretation centers, the presentation depots, which in contemporary society are established by . . . the cultural apparatus.” (ibid.: 406) Perhaps this vision made some sense to an American still caught in the epistemological battles of the Cold War. But today sociology does not have the kind of center of gravity that Parsonian functionalism represented in the 1950s. Rather, there is a battle between various presentation depots and interpretation centers. Those battles are fought out in the trappings of scientific status, in Departmental meetings, at professional conferences, and among sociologists themselves. True, we on the critical left are outnumbered by our adversaries. But we have our own weapons. One important instrument in our scientific arsenal is the journal Critical Sociology. For 40 years, Critical Sociology, and before its name change, The Insurgent Sociologist, has provided an outlet for critical, counter-hegemonic sociological thought. The importance of our journal, in particular under the guidance of its current editor, David Fasenfest, cannot be overstated. For the last decade, a time that has not always been accommodating to critical perspectives on the social order, Fasenfest has managed to help keep the critical tradition in sociology alive. He has gathered together an editorial board committed to social transformation. That board, in turn, has provided readers and reviewers who share an interpretive perspective on social reality. Through these readers, articles that may well have been rejected by journals associated with the American Sociological Association because they do not adhere to the conventions of a conformist version of sociology, have found an outlet. In turn, the authors of these articles have been able to get tenure and promotion based upon their publications within the pages of Critical Sociology. This practical and material process not only allows the truth, as we see it, to come to light; it assures that a new generation of critical sociologists will be in place to teach, train graduate students, and thus keep

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a viable critical discourse participating in the battle over the meaning of social reality. In the Present Collection The papers that make up this volume display commonalities and consistencies, i.e., a shared “doxa” that unites the investigators and researchers. In a sense, that “doxa,” or taken for granted understanding of the social world, defines contemporary critical sociology. First, there is a general sense expressed in the papers that our current economic and political climate has provided the space for a renewed left, and that part of that renewal may be a resurgence of critical perspectives in the social sciences. In addition, there is the shared understanding that the promises of liberalism, and of the new Obama administration as the expression of contemporary liberalism, are at best shallow, but more likely, hollow. Finally, there is a shared attention to the history and tradition of critical sociology. The first section, “A Critical Sociology of Politics,” begins, appropriately enough, by setting critical sociology as a social movement in its historical context. Robert Ross describes the formation of the Radical Caucus of the American Sociological Association, precursor to the Marxist section of the ASA, at the 1968 meeting in Boston. This was on the eve of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where, in Washington, in preparation for the anti-war demonstrations that the authorities knew were coming, the National Guard had been mobilized. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact had just invaded Czechoslovakia, ending the “Prague Spring” uprising. It was in this context that Martin Nicolaus gave the speech that would become the manifesto of the critical movement, Fat Cat Sociology. Ross explains the connections between the Radical Caucus and SDS, and describes the Gramscian theory that animated this movement for a counter-hegemonic social science. But Ross also meditates upon the limits of this early movement, and the lessons learned from the past. David Fasenfest and Rhonda Levine begin their chapter, “Scholarship from a Critical Perspective,” by demonstrating that so-called “mainstream” sociology takes for granted two concepts rooted in critical sociology: class analysis and the relationship between western imperialism and “underdevelopment” in the world system. In short, contemporary sociology today depends upon knowledge generated

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primarily by the critical tradition. Nonetheless, the authors differentiate contemporary critical sociology from the “mainstream” by underscoring the fact that critical sociology is not a subfield of the broader discipline; it is, rather, an approach to the field as a whole. Moreover, Fasenfest and Levine demonstrate how the critical approach emerged in response to early sociological positivism and, through the pioneering efforts of Karl Marx, began questioning the value of “value-free” scientific inquiry. From the beginning, critical sociology demonstrated that social inequality was not a minor defect in the social order, but the necessary outcome of systems predicated on class domination and unequal power relationships. The authors offer a dual narrative: first, they provide a short history of critical sociology, from Marx to the Frankfurt School; subsequently, they provide a short history of critical sociology within the US, and the development of our journal from its early days as the Insurgent Sociologist. They conclude with a discussion of contemporary versions of critical sociology, finding an important continuity in the fact that while still rooted in concerns of oppression and inequality, contemporary critical sociologists have moved beyond a narrow Marxism, into feminism, Foucauldian studies, postmodernism, critical race theory, and cultural criticism. James Russell’s contribution, “A Left Weberian Road,” also offers an historical narrative, but his focus is upon the divide between radical Weberian thought and Marxism. He shows that the early followers of Weber in the United States split into left Weberians like Gerth and Mills, and right Weberians like Talcott Parsons. While Parsons followed Weber by emphasizing the place of values in society, Gerth and Mills saw Weber as supplementing or “rounding out” Marx’s work. Russell argues that Mills, and his left Weberian theory, had a decisive impact upon the formation of the New Left in the 1960s. That Weberian trail leads from Gerth and Mills’ translation of Weber’s work to Mills own writings, including The Sociological Imagination, which Russell claims could have just as easily been entitled The Weberian Imagination. From all of this, Russell draws the troubling conclusion that contemporary identity politics, as well as left postmodern thought, owe a debt to this left Weberian movement in sociology. He argues that postmodernism for the most part, like left Weberian thought, lacks a class orientation, and therefore a class politics. While these conclusions are open to debate, Russell certainly provokes our thinking about the legacy of both Weber and Mills in North American critical sociology.

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The second section, “Politics and the New Administration” brings us from the past into the present by focusing on the promises and limitations of the new Obama administration. Bonilla-Silva and Ray’s chapter, “It’s Real,” examines the continuing legacy of racism in the United States and the urgent need for a new social movement to confront both racism and class inequality. After critiquing dominant conceptualizations of race and racism among contemporary social scientists, the authors describe the more subtle forms of color blind racism that shape the modern world system. Using this theory of color blind racism, they critique the new Obama administration, demonstrating the limits of its policy initiatives. Several issues loom large in their discussion of Obama: first, he came to power without the backing of an organized social movement. This sets immediate limits to his reform efforts. But just as importantly, Obama came to power by making strategic moves toward “racelessness,” suggesting that we live in a post-racial society. They argue that rather than representing the end of racism, the Obama phenomenon is the culmination of the 40 year transition from Jim Crow racism to color blind racism. They conclude with the argument that we require a new social movement to translate Obama’s largely hollow rhetoric into real and substantive social transformation. Only with such a movement can “change” become more than a campaign catchphrase. Gandásegui’s “President Obama and US Political Culture,” looks at the new administration from the perspective of Latin America. From his unique perspective as a distinguished Panamanian sociologist, he begins with a discussion of the rise of Obama and explores the cultural meaning of having an African American inhabit the White House. Gandásegui goes on to examine the relation of the Obama phenomenon to the working class in the United States. In addition, the author discusses the foreign policy challenges that face the new administration, especially given the legacy of isolation left by the Bush presidency. His chapter concludes with a discussion of the relation of Obama to Latin America. For decades now, Latin America has remained largely “invisible” in terms of US foreign policy. Gandásegui offers the somewhat unsettling argument that in the years ahead, even under the leadership of the first African American president, Latin America will remain largely invisible. Rodney Coates’ contribution, “Martin Luther King’s Dream, Obama, and Post Racial Society,” continues the discussion of race and racism from an international perspective. Coates provides a history of racial

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narratives. But more importantly still, he connects race thinking and racism to Western imperialism. Despite the pioneering efforts of Hannah Arendt in the central volume of her Totalitarian trilogy, social scientists too often lose sight of the fact that racism emerged as a justification for imperial conquest. Coates brings imperialism back to the center of the discussion of racial inequality. And, interestingly, Coates also traces the history of race thinking in North American sociology, showing that, at least until the mid-twentieth century, US sociology was in many ways the handmaiden of US imperialism. From this historical vantage point, Coates examines both the counter-hegemonic racial narratives offered by thinkers like DuBois and Dr. King, as well as the emergence of the contemporary “post-racial” narrative. Like BonillaSilva and Ray, Coates finds this new narrative to be as hollow as the change promised by the Obama administration; and like Bonilla-Silva and Ray, Coates concludes with the urgent demand for a new social movement that would confront both class and racial inequality. Each of these chapters insist upon the need for a new critical left politics in order to sustain the transformation of the past and to turn the stalled revolution of the 1960s into a new revolutionary moment as we enter the twenty first century. In the final section of our book, “Revisiting Social Theory and Politics”, the articles examine the necessity of critical social theory for a renewed revolutionary left politics. This section begins with Gilman-Opalsky’s argument, in “Why New Socialist Theory Needs Guy Debord,” that the future of socialist politics depends upon a renewed attention to social philosophy. Indeed, the author argues that a renewed socialist vision demands a return to Guy Debord and the Situationalist Movement. According to Gilman-Opalsky, Debord’s work opens a space for imagining the future of socialism. The author begins by examining Debord’s critique of Soviet and Maoist “communism,” a communism that stood against what communism stands for. In other words, the Soviets and the Chinese generated the spectacle of a communist utopia; but like all spectacle, the sign contradicted its purported meaning. Debord’s critique of existing forms of socialism looked at worker revolts against their communist systems, arguing that the claims of communist governments were vehemently contested by those the governments claimed to represent. Thus, socialism existed only as a “spectacle.” Here Gilman-Opalsky contests the conventional reading of Debord as simply an opponent or critic of capitalism. In fact, Debord was equally critical of so-called socialist regimes, and the “society of the spectacle” was a

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world-wide phenomenon during the twentieth century, and not confined to the “developed” West. Debord did not see the Cold War as a standoff between socialism and capitalism; rather, he saw two different forms of capitalism collide, free-market capitalism in the West versus state capitalism in the Soviet Bloc and in China. Gilman-Opalsky goes on to connect Debord’s situationalist critique to the history of philosophy, from Plato to Descartes, demonstrating the necessity of philosophy, or critical theory, as a means of contesting ideological reality. But Gilman-Opalsky concentrates upon Debord because, argues the author, Debord offers a reformulation of Marxian theory found nowhere else. While this is a controversial claim, it needs to be considered. And Gilman-Opalsky’s use of Debord to critique contemporary capitalism and the ideological forms that sustain it certainly lends some credence to his privileging of the situationalist perspective. Since contemporary socialist politics must struggle upon the visualdiscursive plain, as well as in the so-called ‘material’ world, perhaps we do indeed need Debord in order to highlight and underscore the false claims of spectacular society. Warren Goldstein’s “The Case for a Critical Theory of Religion” turns away from politics in the broader social world and toward the disciplinary politics that animate struggles in the social sciences themselves. He argues that since the late nineteenth century, critical Marxian analyses have been systematically excluded from the sociology of religion. Today, with the rise of the religious right in the United States, and fundamentalism around the world, a class based critical paradigm for the study of religion has become a pressing necessity. Such an analysis provides a promising alternative to the positivistic methods that dominate the mainstream study of religion. Goldstein develops this new paradigm using the tools forged by the Frankfurt School. His essay begins with an overview of the history of the sociology of religion, looking to Weber’s and Durkheim’s classic studies. But he adds names to the list of early innovators in this field: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, August Bebel, Franz Mehring, and Karl Kautsky. The antipathy toward these historical materialists and their exclusion from the conventional cannon comes, Goldstein argues, from the religious roots of the American sociology of religion. Goldstein frankly states what most sociologists of religion dare not utter: that sociologists of religion tend to be the most religious sociologists. This commitment to faith conflicts with their commitment to an objective, scientific attitude toward their object of study. Goldstein goes on to demonstrate

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the way in which institutional funding and support for projects concerning the sociology of religion often come from religious associations, creating further constraints on the methods and findings of the sociologists who study religious phenomena. Against these religious perspectives on religion, Goldstein offers a dialectical approach that conceives religion simultaneously as an expression of human suffering and as an ideological form that prevents social actors from seeing the class basis of their suffering. In addition, dialectically, Goldstein argues that religion can and has played both emancipatory and repressive roles in social life. He concludes by arguing that both classical Marxian and post-Frankfurt School methods need to be utilized in the sociology of religion as empirical frameworks for studying a complex and overdetermined phenomenon. Chavella Pittman’s “Moving From Attitudes to Behavior” argues that while racial attitudes seem to be changing, white racial behaviors continue to maintain and enforce the interpersonal oppression of non-whites. Following in the tradition of sociological theory pioneered by Erving Goffman, Pittman’s chapter demonstrates how inequality is “done” through the quotidian interpersonal interactions of everyday life. Most importantly, Pittman separates social attitudes—which may or may not shape social behavior—from the influence of norms generated through interpersonal practices. Pittman’s work offers an essential supplement to the vast literature on racial attitudes and ideologies. By focusing on everyday practices and interactions, Pittman is able to show that even as attitudes change, practices may remain relatively stable, thereby ensuring the continuation of an unconscious white supremacy. In “Teletechnology and Internal Dialogue,” Gordon Gauchet and Casey Borch develop a critical paradigm for the empirical study of modern forms of symbolic power, based upon pragmatic semiotics and Foucauldian theory. The authors begin by suggesting that Mead’s concept of the “generalized other” is under-utilized in the study of contemporary social subjectivity. Using a social psychological model based upon Mead’s approach, and supplemented by the semiotic studies of C. Wright Mills, they provide a framework for the analysis of “internal dialogue” that offers a substantive alternative to rational choice theory. Most importantly, they use this new model to think about the contemporary mass media. Melding pragmatic semiotics and Foucauldian thought, they introduce two new and important social-theoretical terms: the panoptic idol and cosmetic panopticism. These concepts

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enable us to understand how media images and visually simulated others influence the generalized other that shapes internal dialogue within contemporary social subjects. They conclude by demonstrating that their new critical theoretical paradigm offers a useful method for the sociological study of consumerism and visual marketing. Like Gauchet and Borch’s work, Vida Bajc’s “Notes on Surveillance” finds new uses for Foucauldian thought in critical social theory. Bajc argues that in our current surveillance society, socialized notions of “security” have become linked to the bureaucratic surveillance of social subjects. Bureaucratic surveillance, done by credentialed professionals with the purpose of identifying, classing, tracking, and channeling the movement of objects and selves through real and virtual space has become an accepted part of modern life. In order to understand how that acceptance emerged to the point of becoming a mass consensus, Bajc provides a genealogy of our surveillance society, concentrating on how surveillance became linked to notions of security and safety. In this genealogy, Bajc first connects surveillance to identification itself, and to the individuation and individualism that characterizes Western societies. She demonstrates that modern thought, beginning with the Protestant Reformation, broke with the holistic cosmologies of the ancient world. The “individual” becomes a new key term in social life. With this new cosmology come new bureaucratic practices that classify, identify and order each individual, thus normalizing surveillance practices. Bajc goes on to discuss the centrality of the state to these new forms of bureaucratic practices, and the use of classification processes to include some individuals and exclude others. The state becomes bound up with both bureaucracy and surveillance simultaneously. Adopting a term from Bateson’s work, Bajc concludes with a discussion of the contemporary rise of the security “meta-frame.” This new meta-frame has become the dominant ideology within Western societies, where the value of “security” outweighs all other values. She ends the essay by asking the reader to consider whether it makes sense to surrender democratic values to security concerns, whether we as social subjects should really give up our democracies in order to make these democracies “safe.” After this journey through abstraction, we conclude our volume with a return to the concrete use of political economy in the international context. Daphne Phillips’ “The Political Economy of School Violence in Trinidad” examines the political and economic roots of youth crime. Investigating the life conditions of youth within Junior

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Secondary Schools in Trinidad, Phillips finds a “poverty complex,” where low levels of material resources, parental neglect, and sexual abuse in the home interact to produce an upsurge in violence among young people. In turn, she connects this “poverty complex” to an increasingly robust market economy and an individualism that promises much to the poor, but delivers very little. Phillips work offers us a window into a world largely forgotten in the midst of the celebrated globalization of the new economy; and she reminds us, once again, that sociology does not exist for its own sake, but for the sake of those who have been trampled under the feet of the powerful.

PART I

A CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF POLITICS

CHAPTER TWO

REFLECTIONS ON THE SOCIOLOGY LIBERATION MOVEMENT OF 1968 Robert J. S. Ross Personal/Historical Context As the Radical Caucus in Sociology gathered in Boston on the 25th of August, 1968 the New York Times reported that the National Guard had been mobilized in Chicago and that 250 cargo jets were in waiting, these in advance of the opening of the Democratic National Convention and the anti-war demonstrations that had been prepared for it. The Times also reported that Vice-President Hubert Humphrey was close to securing a first ballot nomination.1 On Wednesday the 28th of August, Humphrey was nominated as an unprecedented night of violence was enacted on the streets of Chicago in what would later be termed by a blue ribbon commission a “police riot” (Daniel, 1968).2 Only a few days earlier, on August 21st, Warsaw Pact forces had invaded Czechoslovakia, after Pravda had telegraphed Soviet intent by attacking the Czech government as “out of control” on August 19, and then cutting the phone lines to Vienna in small hours of the morning on the 21st.3 On the 26th of August, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, Wilbur Cohen gave a keynote speech to the American Sociological

1 Unless otherwise noted the dates of historical events were validated through the use of the ProQuest online data base of the New York Times, accessed through the Clark University library. 2 Excerpts available at: http://www3.niu.edu/~td0raf1/1960s/Walker%20Commission %201968.htm Accessed June 18, 2008. The New York Times report of the release of the document is at “U.S. STUDY SCORES CHICAGO VIOLENCE AS ‘A POLICE RIOT’ ” By MAX FRANKEL. The New York Times Dec 2, 1968; pg. 1. 3 The New York Times carried the phone lines story in a few lines back in the paper even as the front page carried the invasion. On the same day they published a feature, obviously submitted days earlier, about how the Czechs had survived Soviet pressure through the years.

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Association (ASA) plenary, followed by commentary from, among others, the nominee of the Radical Caucus, Martin Nicolaus, then 26 years old (the New York Times pointed out), and teaching at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. As a young man Cohen had been among the authors of the Social Security Act and was an expert on and advocate for social insurance and social supports for the less-than-equal. Perhaps it is ironic to note that today the résumé of such a speaker would be welcomed by many of those who were challenging the government for which he then worked.4 Nicolaus was, according to Richard Flacks, particularly passionate during a Radical Caucus meeting prior to the panel, and was thus put forward to represent the concerns of the growing cadre of sociologists who were engaged with the broader antiwar and radical movements of the moment.5 Nicolaus is known to some of us, not only as the author of the truly marvelous Fat-Cat sociology speech/essay which he delivered that day, but also as the editor/ translator of Marx’s Grundrisse (1973).6 As did Marx, Nicolaus had a talent for the creation of aphoristic gems, to wit: – The “eyes of sociologists . . . have been turned downward, and their palms upward.” – “The things that are sociologically ‘interesting,’ are the things that are interesting to those who stand at the top of the mountain and feel the tremors of an earthquake.”7 In fact this whole single-sentence paragraph near the end of Fat-Cat Sociology is one diamond hard challenge to those who would study and then try to write as well:

4 Cohen’s son Chris was member of the Students for A Democratic Society chapter in Ann Arbor and we had both run on and won Student Government office on the SDS-VOICE political party slate. 5 Flacks interview with author, June 18, 2008. 6 Introductory material to Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy. The Grundrisse is composed of seven of Marx’s notebooks that “were rough-drafted by Marx, chiefly for purposes of self-clarification, during the winter of 1857–8.” Retrieved from http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/. June 18, 2008. 7 The document is available at www.critical-socioxlogy.org/FAT%20CAT%20SOCIOLOGY .doc and also at http://www.colorado.edu/Sociology/gimenez/fatcat.html

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The honored sociologist, the big-status sociologist, the jet-set sociologist, the fat-contract sociologist, the book-a-year sociologist, the sociologist who always wears the livery—the suit and tie—of his masters: this is the type of sociologist who sets the tone and the ethic of the profession, and it is this type of sociologist who is nothing, more or less than a houseservant in the corporate establishment, a white intellectual Uncle Tom not only for this government and ruling class, but for any government and ruling class, which explains to my mind why Soviet sociologists and American sociologists are finding after so many years of isolation that, after all, they have something in common.

On the particular day, August 26th, that Nicolaus gave his speech I was in Chicago involved in demonstration activities at the Democratic National Convention, in part as the Director of the New University Conference (NUC). NUC was a sponsor of what became the Radical Caucus under whose auspices Nicolaus spoke; in the next year I grasped upon Marty’s speech and had it printed and used it as a basic organizing tool in our work with graduate students and social science faculty members. NUC was born (in 1968) at about the same time as a series of Radical Caucuses—in Economics (URPE—Union for Radical Political Economics); in English (the radical caucus at the Modern Languages Association—MLA); in Political Science (Caucus for a New Political Science); in city planning (Planners for Equal Opportunity) and others as well. These were all part of a sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit vision or grand strategy for long term change.8 There is a large component of cultural change embedded in that strategy and thus to surface it now and to examine it, however briefly, is to examine a great strategic controversy in the social sciences among those who care to make an equal and just society. The Long March Through the Professions Even before Rudi Dutschke, the German radical student leader, popularized an idea now often attributed to Gramsci—the “long march through the institutions (Dutschke, 1969: 243–253)”, SDS’s Al Haber had written a prospectus called “Radicals in the Professions”, and then a much quoted working paper, with Barbara Haber, at a 1967 conference 8 Sale (1973) pp. 411–13 inter alia captures the trends and events surrounding the founding of NUC, but has little grasp over the theoretical context.

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on Radicals in the Professions. This conference was an important linear ancestor of the caucuses, the Sociology Liberation Movement and the NUC (Haber 1967). Al Haber reports that he was not consciously aware of Gramsci’s argument about hegemony when the ideas of the conference or the working paper were formulated, and the conference was actually held before Dutschke’s formulation about a long march.9 Nevertheless, in common to both Dutschke and Gramsci’s idea and to the Habers’ was a realism about the future lives of, in this case, young, radical, professionals. Rather than “taking up the gun” more likely they would be taking up jobs in otherwise conventional and conservative professions. How to make those lives meaningful and those jobs part of the solution and not the problem? To put it technically, that is, properly obscure so that no-one but social scientists or deeply experienced left theorists can understand it and thus make it indisputably theoretical and scholarly, the idea was to build counterhegemonic cultural formations from within the normative order of the professions. For Gramsci, the construction of “counter-hegemonic” organizations and cultural apparatus was far more than an address to the “personal” problems of potentially isolated and frustrated radical (or in his time, socialist or communist) intellectuals or professionals. Instead, it was an address to the voluntary nature of the domination of capitalism, through culture and ideology, The building up of formations which challenged the dominant ideology and assumptions, in mass media, in education, and in the professions—was to be in Dutschke’s phrase—the long march through these institutions. This may be one of those cases in which it is important to be careful about what you wish for—as the genii of history, just like the ones who arise out of magic lamps, may grant your wish and then you are in deep yogurt! Economics and Political Science appear to have largely survived their Radical Caucuses unperturbed in their status quo commitments. While the existence of the radical formations (and similar ones in dis-

9 Personal email. September, 2008 So, Haber once again proved prescient. His founding act, upon more or less single-handedly inventing the concept of SDS was a conference in Ann Arbor on “Civil Rights in North.” Held in March 1960, Haber planned it BEFORE the sit-ins of February 1960. But of course it became a grand concourse of discussion on the implications of the new spirit in the civil rights movement.

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ciplines with which I may be unfamiliar) provide collegiality and some professional protection (e.g., publishing outlets) to left scholars, the caucuses do not seem to have significantly molded the central tendencies of the entire disciplines.10 Sociology is a different case entirely. As Rhonda Levine notes in her Introduction to Nicolaus’ speech on the Critical Sociology website11: “ Both the profession and discipline of sociology has greatly changed since 1968 evidenced by many of the insurgents of 1968 now holding the highest positions within the ASA and playing key roles in defining the discipline as well.” Here is an indicator for Rhonda Levine’s proposition and the question that logically follows. The President of the ASA in 2007–8, the Presiding Officer of the 2008 Annual Meeting, Arne Kalleberg, co-edited a book on poverty with the most progressive, that is, the most pro-labor, egalitarian mainstream Presidential candidate this year (Edwards et al, 2007). This phenomenon is more or less duplicated in other of the academic disciplines—perhaps in Anthropology, perhaps in the Modern Languages Association. The continuing rise of a critical intellectual culture in academia and professions is widely “recognized”—and exaggerated—by the American Right. Rush Limbaugh (1993: 87) and Pat Buchanan (2002: 76–78, 91) are among those who “read” Gramsci (though they mistakenly attribute the “long march” phrase to him—as do many). Indeed, after the peak of NUC’s worries about activist scholars being purged in the early 1970s, and despite the post-9/11 troubles of Ward Churchill and Norman Finkelstein, great swaths of academic and cultural life are today populated and even led by those labor journalist Steve Early calls “68ers”—the radicals and activists of the turn of the decade of the Sixties. Elsewhere, political-cultural change in the academic disciplines is paralleled by the sound of change in the professions: the explosive blast knocking the barn doors of gender exclusion off the hinges of Law Schools and Medical Schools where 47% and 48% of acceptees are women.12 10 It may be though, that by providing publishing outlets, conference appearances, etc., such formations, even when not dominant, facilitate promotion and tenure for leftist scholars and thus local influence if not national or professional influence. 11 See Ibid. www.critical-sociology.org/FAT%20CAT%20SOCIOLOGY.doc and also at http://www.colorado.edu/Sociology/gimenez/fatcat.html. 12 Law Schools: American Bar Association. 2008. “First Year and Total J. D. Enrollment by Gender 1947–2007.” http://www.abanet.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-

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In the meantime, however, as we are all too sharply aware economic inequality as measured by income or wealth is increasing. There are some indications that sociology’s former iconoclastic idea about social class mobility, namely that the US was not all that different from our European counterparts, is no longer accurate (Lipset and Bendix, 1991). This was iconoclastic because the myth of the 1950s and 1960s was that the US opportunity system was more open than “Old Europe”. The new reality appears to be that the US social formation provides less intergenerational income mobility than those countries to which it once compared itself in boastful terms.13 Even as, with justifiable pride and expectation, the U.S. looks forward to a new regime, it is important to note that the measurable reductions in Black-White inequality, which have characterized the last generation, have all but ceased.14 Although US ruling elites were chastened by the immediate results of the Vietnam adventure, this effect has long attenuated. We are now engaged in what the Republican Presidential nominee allowed might be a Hundred Year War or occupation of Iraq (Corn, 2008).15 Barack Obama, who won early support in his successful campaign, by opposing that war, is, as this chapter is being finalized, about to appoint his rival, Senator Hilary Clinton, who supported it, as Secretary of State. The question we must ask ourselves is this: vus machsta kemo sabe—or, in Yiddish and Tewa or Ojibway, what’s happening scout? The Long March has affected many of the institutions alleged to “reproduce” the culture of capitalist domination, but that domination seems firm. The political aspect of that domination became more ideo%206.pdf; Medical School: Association of American Medical Colleges 2007.: “Table 7: Applicants, First-Time Applicants, Acceptees, and Matriculants to U.S. Medical Schools by Sex, 1996-2007.” http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2007/2007summary2.htm. Accessed June 23, 2008. 13 Among many sources see for example, Blanden, Gregg and Machin. Accessed June 23, 2008. 14 Care is important here: Black infant mortality is way down, no longer like third world countries; but it is in pretty much the same ratio to white infant mortality as it was 20 years ago. Black Median family income in 2007 is 62% of White non-Hispanics; it was 65% at the end of the Clinton Administration (2000) and 58% in 1972. (Author’s calculations from “Historical Income Tables, Table H-5 Race and Hispanic Origin of Householder—Households by Median and Mean Income: 1967 to 2007.” U.S. Census Bureau, accessed 11/19/08 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/ histinc/h05.html. 15 Accessed June 23, 2008.

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logically complete, through the elaboration of neoliberalism and global capitalism in which the cultural Left rose to previously unsurpassed heights of influenced in the academy and the liberal arts. At least two theories of change confront each other. The long march theory is potentially complex, but unless it is more institutionally specified and class targeted, at its core it is a cultural argument. The strategy which derives from its terms is this: nibble away at the structures of cultural hegemony. The persuasiveness of the culture of Capital will wane, legitimacy will be threatened, local and specific institutional insurgents will succeed. At some point in time the Kingdom shall be yours. The alternative version of (even) “counter-hegemonic” theory may concede the power of cultural hegemony but it focuses strategically (and analytically) on political economy—on the structures of state and capital that sustain exploitation, and urges the discovery of the points of intervention, like the labor movement, that are more nearly able to address the broadest (not the only) sources of inequality and exploitation. According to theory one, the more nearly cultural proposition, the ascendancy of egalitarian thought in sociology and other academic disciplines should have had meaningful impact by disrupting the oftcited process of cultural reproduction. And, it is arguable that this has been in the case in the area of gender inequality. Despite the resounding consensus against racism in all forms, however, the ascendancy of these forces has had much more modest impact. There is in sociology a reasonable explanation of that: much of what has the phenomenal appearance of race is mightily dependent on class. Analytically, much of the variance between the social aggregates labeled “black” or “white” is accounted for by the class and income positions of the families of role occupants. So, forty years later the Long March is looking very long indeed, and the theory, at the least needs repair. The very process I am suggesting as less than fully adequate has in fact exhibited the possibility of repair. Ascendant in our professional association, on this the 40th anniversary of the metaphoric landing of the Granma on the shores of sociology, the first official Presidential plenary of the ASA was focused on rebuilding the labor movement—a suggestion of the alternative theory of change. There are many examples of ideas upon which we acted in good faith and wondrous enthusiasm in 1968 which would bear similar scrutiny to the Long March. Neglected in all our discussion of democracy, for example, was serious address to two aspects of this problem—two

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dimensions each of which must find resolution, each of which is difficult despite the simplicity of the idea—“let the people decide.” One is syndical, or worker authority vs. civic or community authority. The unresolved problems or matters of principle here are the possible tensions between the democratic sovereignty of geographic units (“communities”) vs. the (as yet merely possible) democratic direction of enterprises by workers. The other is local democracy and the problem of scale—regional, national or even global. When low-income communities resist the placement of yet another “LULU” (“locally undesirable land use”), many flock to their support—and they often lose. But when my upper income suburb trumps up an opposition to a half-way house for mentally disabled kids, this form of upper class NIMBY (not in my back yard) may not get much external sympathy but it usually wins. What is the theory of scale that justifies vetoes and overrides in these decisions? Fat-Cat Sociology was a great launch to our effort to recreate a more honorable and accurate sociology. But we must I think, with respect and humility, dissent from Edith Piaf and her great final song, Je Ne Regrette Rien16—I regret nothing. One who has lived long enough and who regrets nothing has simply not lived an examined life.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRuLFR91e4.

CHAPTER THREE

SCHOLARSHIP FROM A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE David Fasenfest and Rhonda F. Levine Mainstream sociology currently takes for granted two very central concerns rooted in the tradition of Critical Sociology. The first is the emergence of class as a research concept that informs any understanding of how and why individuals find themselves in structural positions that constrain and mediate social outcomes. While social stratification literature situated individuals along a social continuum rooted in Weber’s concept of consumption strata, class-based analyses are more concerned with how structural barriers constrain social outcomes in fundamental ways. Research informed by class structure has led to the social and political activism directed at those political and social institutions reproducing inequities within society. The second major contribution of critical sociology is how we are to understand economic development and the relationship between advanced industrial nations and the rest of the developing world. Throughout the post World War II period, and in response to anticolonial and nationalist struggles in the Third World, theories of modernization were rooted in an understanding of development based on a premise that all nations must undergo stages of economic and social development much like those experienced by advanced capitalist nations. Modernization scholars focused on the lack of efficient bureaucratic structures, unformed incentive mechanisms, irrational markets, and little labor mobility as the reasons for failed or lagging national development. In contrast, critical sociologists posited theories about the relationship between developing nonindustrial nations and the capitalist core, challenged the notion of a teleological path to progress, and pointed out that developing nations were harmed by (and not lagging) the more developed nations. This oppositional research tradition gave rise to discussions of imperialism, to examinations of relationship between democracy and development, to explorations into the means used by advanced nations to impose bureaucratic

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solutions (via agencies like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund), and shed light on political and military interventions that sought to ensure regimes favorable to advanced capitalism. In short, there was an active underdevelopment of less developed nations rather than a coherent program promoting independent economic and social development. Roots of the Analysis Critical sociology emerges out of the intellectual agenda of critical theory, although sociologists have expanded its range and the scope of inquiry. Unlike subfields within sociology, critical sociology represents an approach to sociological inquiry. A digression into mainstream sociology is instructive. Burawoy points out that because of the efforts of Comte “[s]ociology was the last of the disciplines to enter the kingdom of positivism; from there, armed with superior moral insight, it would rule over the unruly, creating order and progress out of chaos” (1998: 12). A more important legacy of Comte derives from his sense that underlying all action is a natural order of things and all social action is either a confirmation of that natural order moving society forward in its development, or a series of actions that result in chaos and failure. Comte’s work can be described as “a consistent attempt to establish the case for a ‘social nature’ which makes its way through the fits and starts of political history” (Bauman, 1976: 11), and it is the social scientist who can reveal that nature. Max Weber ([1904] 1930) introduced the argument that there are forces of reason and order essential to the development of civil society. His theories of bureaucracy, rational action, and order maintain that economic rationality must follow political rationality. For Weber, rules of political action give way to rules of economic action—indeed, the former paves the way for the latter in the forms of commercial law, reliable enforcement of contracts, predictable outcomes of the interaction of individuals in society as they seek economic prosperity. While capitalism represents the potential for great wealth and prosperity, economic advances occur only when a society has developed the social and political conditions necessary for the orderly and free exchange of the factors of production. In short, the sociology that developed at the end of the nineteenth century was related to the emergence of

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capitalism, shaped by Weber’s work on religion, rationalization, and bureaucracy. Thus, capitalist society was the “natural” condition anticipated by Comte, and sociology represented the science for understanding how society operated. Critical sociology emerged as a challenge to that view and demonstrated that social inequality was the normal outcome of a system predicated on power relationships and competing visions of social organization (though, as Luhmann [1994] reminds us, we must be ever mindful of how theory structures the way we examine the world). Levine (2004) outlined some of the political challenges faced by oppositional voices of the 1960s and 1970s, and later in this article we outline the intellectual developments leading to a critical sociological agenda. The Emergence of a Critical Sociology At the height of capitalism’s transformative power and its ability to generate great wealth Karl Marx examined how this system worked, how it was different from what came before it, and where a society driven by capitalist social relations was heading. Building on the intellectual traditions of social and political theory, political economy, and within the emergent scientific sociology of Comte, the collected works of Marx brought to the fore issues of alienation, the appropriation through new social relations of the means of production and thereby of the profit of human labor, and the importance of the social and political institutions developing in tandem with the development of capitalism as a globalizing system of production. Marx moved beyond the notion of a “value-free” empirical exercise to provide an objective description through data collection and analysis. For Marx and those who followed, the task was to situate knowledge within the set of social realities and values of society for the purpose of challenging and negating the status quo. The motivation of the philosophical impulse we have come to understand as critical theory was, in large part, the result of scholars collectively called the Frankfurt School, who argued that science and technology had become the new religion of capitalist society. According to Marx, reification applies to all human experience. As a result, advances of capitalism into the twentieth century closed off the

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possibility of critical thought as intellectual work became dominated by a “fetishism” of facts. This positivism accorded facts an illusionary objectivity and independence from the social relations in which they were produced (see Ray 1990). With its intellectual debt to critical theory, critical sociology emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as a challenge to mainstream sociology and as a means to assess the role that capitalism played in determining the structures, relationships, and systems within the American society. For these scholars, and many were graduate students at that time, the discipline of sociology was a “bourgeois” science serving as an apology for the status quo rather than a force for analysis of what was wrong with Western society. That is, critical sociologists argued that mainstream sociology was a discipline driven by the need to identify and rationalize the existing social relations as empirically observed working of some natural order in the evolution of society. The fetish of knowledge and the cult of data obscured the way that society was in fact a construction of a particular historic economic system. Critical sociology is first and foremost informed by a historical materialist approach to understanding society. Specifically, this is the application of Marx’s analysis of the capitalist system to the examination of historical development. Marx argued that to treat social history prior to its present moment as external facts is to miss the fundamental relationship between the past and the present. As he writes about Adam Smith, “(w)hat Adam Smith, in the true eighteenth-century manner, puts in the prehistoric period, the period preceding history, is rather a product of history” (Marx 1973: 156). Simply put, Marx argues that in Smith’s search for the essence of the “modern” economy he sets aside the social relationships that gave rise to that modern economy. Marx explains the connection between history and material reality: Relations of personal dependence (entirely spontaneous at the outset) are the first social forms, in which human productive capacity develops only to a slight extent and at isolated points. Personal independence founded on objective [sachlicher] dependence is the second great form, in which a system of general social metabolism, of universal relations, of all-round needs and universal capacities is formed for the first time. Free individuality, based on the universal development of individual and on their subordination of their communal, social productivity as their social wealth, is the third stage. The second stage creates the conditions for the third. Patriarchal as well as ancient conditions (feudal also) thus disintegrate with the development of commerce, of luxury, of money,

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of exchange value, while modern society arises and grows in the same measure. (1973, 158)

Out of this development, according to Marx, all other social, political, and ideological institutions and perspectives emerge, each subject to the requirement of the material conditions dominant in any era and each subject to transformation as those material conditions change. Critical sociologists, following Marx, argue that one cannot understand the complex relationship between what Marx calls the base and superstructure—the material reality of how society organizes production and the complex set of social, political, and ideological institutions that govern and maintain that social organization of production—unless one also understands the historically specific forces that drive the emergence of contemporary society. It is through the historical materialism of critical sociology that an understanding of how society operates is possible, leading to a program for change. An Outlet for Research Critical Sociology first appeared in 1969 as The Insurgent Sociologist, published at first by the Western Union of Radical Sociologists that arose out of the intellectual struggles of the 1960s mentioned above, and was temporarily housed at the University of California at Berkeley. The very first issue was primarily an extended pamphlet that served as the Sociology Liberation Movement’s call for a radical counter-convention at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco. The next three issues of The Insurgent Sociologist was the newsletter of the Sociology Liberation Movement and the Union of Radical Sociologists, printed initially at Washington University in St. Louis and then at Douglas College of Rutgers University. By 1971 it began publishing as a quarterly journal, permanently headquartered at the University of Oregon with an editorial collective guided by the late Al Szymanski. Certainly, the journal was a product of the political and intellectual ferment of the time. The student movements of the 1960s and early 1970s supplied a vision of a different world and for many, sociology offered the tools for implementation. The Insurgent Sociologist was the outlet for the developing critical and radical scholarship largely unwelcome in traditional sociology departments and professional journals.

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The journal played a central role in reflecting the growth and developments of a radical sociology in the 1970s that oftentimes took Marx and Marxism as a points of departure, but also included debates about the usefulness of Marxism and on how it might need to be modified. The Insurgent Sociologist indeed viewed itself as “insurgent,” differentiating itself from a mainstream sociology that too often legitimated a system of inequality and domination. In its newsletter days, it listed radical sessions and radical activities to counter the mainstream ASA convention sessions and activities. It also printed important statements on what the role of radical sociology ought to be, whether it should be outside of academia aiding various social movements, orienting research to aid social movements, exposing biases in research that served to reproduce the status quo and power relations, changing the ASA, and/or protecting radicals in teaching positions. The Insurgent was one of the few places that covered the politically motivated firings of radical sociologists. It also printed important statements like the 1969 Women’s Caucus statement and resolutions to the general business meeting of the ASA, A year later the Women’s caucus was reorganized as Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). In its newsletter form, The Insurgent Sociologist also published responses to Reinhard Bendix’s 1970 ASA presidential address. The ASA refused to publish these responses in any ASA sponsored journal. As a journal, The Insurgent published discussions on what organizational form, if any, radical sociologists should take within the professional association, and many of the early dialogues found their way into the by-laws of the Marxist section of the ASA. The Insurgent also played a major role in compiling and publicizing the alternate slate of candidates for elective ASA offices in 1974 with the hope of opening up the ASA to a wider spectrum of sociological perspectives. By the mid 1970s, the ASA began to open up as witnessed by the formation of the Marxist Sociology Section as an official organ of the ASA. With professional battles largely under control, The Insurgent was soon transformed into a journal for insightful and path breaking articles that sought to understand the complexities of continued social inequality and the ways that power and resources were distributed, and how we can begin to build a better society. These articles discussed and debated the significance of capitalism as a system of exploitation, the changing nature of the class system across time and space, the role of power and ideology, and steps to overcome systems of injustice. Articles tended to focus primarily on the United States, and issues

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of race, gender, and culture tended to take a back seat to social class concerns, at least in the early years. The journal was more, though, than merely an alternative academic voice. It served also as a socializing agent of sorts for an entire generation of aspiring sociologists. The very structure of The Insurgent with its editorial collective ran counter to the mainstream way that articles were reviewed. The Eugene Collective, made up of young faculty and graduate students, discussed articles and gave constructive criticism to authors at the same time creating a collective effort to develop a new and “radical” sociology that could better explain the complexities of advanced capitalism. At times, an issue of the journal would have a guest editor for a special themed issue, and in 1980 a second editorial collective was formed at SUNY-Binghamton, and a year later another editorial collective was formed at UC-Santa Cruz, at that time two of a handful of sociology graduate programs known for its innovative and radical programs, with self-identified Marxists on the faculty and a radical cadre of graduate students. The Santa Cruz collective was gone by 1982 but a Book Review Collective was formed at the University of Toronto. The Binghamton Collective was in name only by the late 1980s and Eugene remained the journals home with book reviews all coming through the Toronto Collective. Aside from the articles eventually published and the process whereby articles appeared in print, The Insurgent Sociologist played an important role at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association for an entire generation of sociologist. It was always a highlight of meetings to stop by The Insurgent table and talk with Al Szymanski. Al and the others who not only actively sold issues of the journal, the back issues at bargain prices, but they would talk to everyone and anyone to get them to read the journal and use it in the classroom. For many, The Insurgent table was not only the place where the most intellectually exciting discussions were happening, but also the most politically relevant. It was here that one could find out about the activities and sessions of the Marxist Section and other radical groups, and feel part of a progressive sociological community. The Insurgent Sociologist provided a place, both figuratively and concretely, for many who felt marginalized by the sociological mainstream represented by those who were in leadership positions of the ASA. However, mainstream sociology turned out to be far more responsive to a critical approach than most would have imagined, and was able to incorporate much of radical sociology into a revised model

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that transformed the mainstream from a monolithic whole based on the one right method into the heterogeneous discipline it is today. By the mid 1980s, radical sociology was no longer “insurgent” as issues of class, race, gender, and even Marxist theory found their place at annual meetings and academically respected journals. The discipline and profession was certainly becoming more open to alternative perspectives. So, in 1987, in a very different political context, and after much heated discussion The Insurgent changed its name to Critical Sociology. Then in 1999, Critical Sociology took another big step by leaving its collective management at the University of Oregon that had been its home for so long to begin a new life with a commercial publisher. Like radical sociology itself, Critical Sociology has come a long way from its modest beginnings. The Current Status of Critical Sociology Initially, critical sociologists asked questions relating to the outcomes that we experience, and the historical conditions that drive contemporary social outcomes. With a focus on the nature of the capitalist system and a debt to the writings of Marx (see especially Marx 1964, 1967, 1972), critical sociologists and radical economists embarked on several enterprises: – Exploring the role that the capitalist system played in defining and determining the nature of production and work (Thompson 1964; Braverman 1974; Burawoy 1979; Edwards 1979), and the resulting class structure (Zeitlin 1970; Wright 1979) – Questioning the nature of the state (Poulantzas 1978; Wright 1978; Block 1987; Esping-Anderson 1990) by elaborating on the emergence and role of ideology (Gouldner 1970, 1973; Ollman 1971; Marcuse [1941] 1977), 4) and the structure of the ruling class (Therborn 1976, 1978; Domhoff 1978) – Detailing organizations within capitalism (Clegg 1975; Clegg and Dunkerley 1977; Bradley and Wilkie 1980) by questioning the nature of education and the reproduction of social relations (Bowles and Gintis 1976; Apple 1979; Willis 1981) and exploring the role of culture and religion (Tawney [1926] 1958; Eagleton 1976; Berger [1972] 1977) – Revisiting the creation of urban space (Edel 1973; Harvey 1973, 1982) and the impact of public sector fiscal policy and crisis (O’Connor 1973) – Articulating international capital and world-systems (Baran and Sweezy 1968; Wallerstein 1974, 1976; Chase-Dunn 1989) as it impacted Third World development (Frank 1966)

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– Reconciling class analysis with gender (Sargent, 1981; Hartmann, 1981; Sergent 1981; Fraser 1984; Roberts, 2004), and with race (Hill-Collins, 1990; Marable, 1983; Leonardo, 2004; Davies, 1995)

Critical sociologists continue to engage our understanding of race, how it is conceptualized and how it must be analyzed apart from concepts found in classical Marxism (see Coates 2004). In particular, they raise questions about the role race plays in social policy in the era of globalization and neoliberalism (Brewer 2004) and the continuing role race plays in both repression and resistance within advanced capitalist societies (Arena 2004). Critical sociologists turn their gaze on the emergence of a so-called new international order or perhaps another “new international order” looking at the nature of oppression and resistance (Podobnik and Reifer 2005). Gianpaolo (2005) examines how workers outside of this country react to the conditions formulated by our economic and social policies and the way these are projected in the rest of the world. In addition, critical sociologists wonder how these new systems project the opportunity for new form of social resistance and new kinds of student movements (Ross 2005). Still rooted in a concern over oppression and inequality driven by Marx’s analysis of capitalism, critical sociology has embraced postmodernism, feminism, and cultural criticism to name but a few approaches to understand the way in which the existing social relations shape power and define its consequences. As the recent collection of essays in Pfohl et al. (2006) demonstrates, there are significant links between the history of a society, the culture that emerges, and the power relationships that result, all of which go beyond situating these processes within capitalism. But at the same time, as Shor (2006) argues, these social outcomes cannot be separated from the underlying material conditions in existence. Reactions to these conditions generate social movements that resist the power inequities in both the economic and the cultural realm (Gamson 2006). Critical sociology is more than a sub-discipline; it is an approach to how one understands and investigates social processes and phenomena. It helps generate the subjects of inquiry as well as formulate the underlying assumptions of that analysis. Critical sociology exists to counter those who serve as apologists for the existing social order. That is, perhaps, overstating the underlying intellectual motivation of mainstream sociology. However, as long as there are social outcomes dividing rich and poor, the powerful from the powerless, and oppressors from the oppressed, there will be a critical sociology. And as long as

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sociological analysis seeks to understand these differences through measurement and description rather than change the difference as part of the enterprise of sociological investigation and analysis, uncover the mechanisms that perpetuate these differences, and expose the social order that give license to some segment of society to benefit at the expense of the rest of society, there will always be a critical sociology.

CHAPTER FOUR

A LEFT WEBERIAN ROAD TO IDENTITY POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES James W. Russell There were a number of intellectual roads that led to postmodernism and identity politics in the United States. Well known ones began or went through Nietzsche and Foucault; others went partially through Marx. A lesser commented upon one, the subject of this article, went through Max Weber and his followers, particularly Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, and emerged during the turbulent 1960s in New Left thinking. This in turn contributed to the full blown emergence of the American variety of postmodernism in the 1970s and 1980s. Weber and Marx Max Weber, like Marx, was a critical theorist of capitalism. In some of his passages concerning the brutal impersonal logic of capitalism, Weber’s consternation could easily be mistaken for the pen of Marx. For example, No special proof is necessary to show that military discipline is the ideal model for the modern capitalist factory . . . The final consequences are drawn from the mechanization and discipline of the plant, and the psychophysical apparatus of man is completely adjusted to the demands of the outer world, the tools, the machines—in short, to an individual ‘function.’ The individual is shorn of his natural rhythm as determined by the structure of the organism; his psychophysical apparatus is attuned to a new rhythm through methodical specialization of separately functioning muscles, and an optimal economy of forces is established corresponding to the conditions of work. (Weber 1946:261–262).

But there were quite clear differences as well. As a neo-Kantian, he (e.g., see Weber 1918) did not believe that it was possible for humans to fully grasp the nature of their reality—the thing in-itself. By implication, science was incapable of finding a road to human liberation. Marx and Engels, with Hegelian backgrounds, by contrast believed

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that a science of society could determine the way to liberation. This was made clear in, among other places, Engels’s (1892, p. 102) critique of the Kantian thing in-itself.1 Like Marx, Weber was a structuralist but in a different kind of way. For him, each historical society had its own unique structure in which one or more of its component parts—economic, religion, military, politics, kinship and others—could play defining roles. There was no generalized model, like that of Marx’s (1859), in which the economy was the most basic foundation with all else being secondary, derivative, or at least significantly influenced or related. In Weber, there was in fact no general theory of society at all. Rather, he formulated a general approach to studying societies in all of their historical uniquenesses and variable institutional arrangements. Unlike Marx, who was a theorist of progressive development in world history, Weber did not put forth a notion of progress. Particular societies were just constellations of institutional parts on the unordered landscape of history. If there was no necessary structure or direction of progress, then it followed that there was no necessary way to structure political action. There could therefore be no liberatory teleology or goal to politics. For Marx, class was central in a double sense: first, as he and Engels (1848) proclaimed in the beginning of The Communist Manifesto, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” Class conflict was the dialectical mover of historical development. Second, the working class was the agency for moving history not only forward but over a qualitative world historical threshold that would lead to the end of class division. With the end of bourgeois society, “the prehistory of human society . . . closes” according to Marx (1859:22). For his part, Weber neither believed that a working class overthrow of bourgeois society was necessarily desirable or even that class interests necessarily propelled political actions. Class was only one of the possible bases of political activities and even when there were outstanding class interests at stake, class based politics were only one possible result.

1 I have discussed the importance of the contrasting Hegelian and Kantian methodological assumptions for shaping how Marx and Weber drew different political conclusions from similar critical observations in Russell (1985).

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Weber thus differed fundamentally with Marx. He did not embrace a general theory of progress and certainly did not celebrate modernization as did Marx; and he unambiguously questioned the centrality of class. These differences would be consistent with the later stances of postmodernist theory and identity politics. The Left Weberianism of Gerth and Mills Weber’s followers, like those of Hegel, split into left and right wings with both making their way to American intellectual shores. Both factions were later responsible for translations into English of his main works. Talcott Parsons, representing right Weberianism, emphasized the role of values in societies and saw in Weber a particularly convenient alternative to Marx during the Cold War. Parsons was responsible in 1930 for the first major translation of Weber into English, that of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905). Hans H. Gerth, a student of Karl Mannheim and refugee from the Nazis, on the other hand took a left Weberian stance and interpreted Weber as overlapping Marx in many key places, thus “rounding out Marx” as he put it (1946). Gerth translated in collaboration with C. Wright Mills (who he had met at the University of Wisconsin) what became the most widely read collection of Weber essays published in English for the next half century: From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (1946). In that project Gerth and Mills compensated for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Gerth did the translating, as Mills did not know German well enough to translate, and he provided the background knowledge of Weber. Mills, the expert sociological writer, was responsible for editing the essays, as Gerth’s English skills at the time were rudimentary. Mills would later go on to become a major critic of U.S. society, one of the most well read sociologists of the mid-Twentieth century with such books as White Collar, The Power Elite, and The Sociological Imagination, and a significant inspiration for New Left intellectuals. Mills’ neo-Weberian trail, which began with the translation project of From Max Weber, was consolidated in a subsequent collaboration with Gerth that produced Character and Social Structure (1953).2 2 The relationship of Gerth and Mills and how much the latter owed intellectually to the former has spawned a secondary interpretive literature that includes Oakes and

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Ostensibly a textbook in social psychology, it is one of the most thorough elaborations of Weberian methodology that exists in English. They attempted to systematize and articulate what they perceived to be implicit but never explicitly presented in Weber’s original writings. Gerth and Mills laid out the key institutional orders of most societies as being the economy, polity, kinship, military, and religion with cross-cutting spheres of symbols, technology, status, and education. In their view, these could all be taken for variables that allowed for a large number of historical possibilities, giving rise to a large variation of possible types of societies—types because Gerth and Mills, like Weber, appeared to be more interested in the differences between societies than—as with Marx—with what various societies at the same stage of development held in common. It was in Character and Social Structure—where Gerth and Mills portrayed the economic, political, military, kinship and religious as the key institutional orders of societies—that the theoretical basis of Mills’ The Power Elite (1956) was first worked out. Mills built upon that framework but emphasized that the first three—economic, political, and military—were the dominant locations of power in the United States. Mills’ neo-Weberianism was especially clear in The Sociological Imagination (1959) despite not always making it explicit. That is, while Mills gave a particularly Weberian vision to sociology, he did not acknowledge that Weber, and indirectly Gerth, were the sources of many of the ideas. The Sociological Imagination could have been as easily titled The Weberian Imagination. What most people remember about its famous second chapter on “Grand Theory” is how he savagely skewered Talcott Parsons’ pompous and abstruse prose in The Social System, going so far as to translate it from Parsonian English to plain English. More importantly, however, was the implied attack on the grand historical theory of Marxism as he essentially argued that the Weberian approach had greater validity in interpreting concrete societies in their historical contexts. Mills’ prescription for the sociological imagination called for interpreting the varieties of men and women who exist in particular times in terms of the structures of historical societies. It was necessary to Vidich (1999), Kathryn Mills (2000), and Nobuko Gerth (2002). I have summarized the issues in Russell (2001).

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contextualize social understanding in terms of structures and historical periods. While that could be a prescription for a Marxist as well as a Weberian approach, it took on a particularly neo-Weberian meaning in the hands of Mills. The weighting of structures was variable and no prominence was given to the capitalist or feudal totalities or modes of production in general. History meant that societies were always changing and one must not reify the present as Parsons did. Yet, Mills suggested that they were not necessarily changing in a developmental way toward socialism as Marx previously held. Mills further claimed in The Sociological Imagination that both liberalism and socialism had been exhausted as ideologies. He later reiterated this in his very explicit “Letter to the New Left” (1960) by denigrating what he called the “labor metaphysic” that was embraced by Marxists. There and elsewhere, he called for the development of a new ideology to accompany the new age which he labeled “post-modern” in what was one of the first uses of the term (Mills, 1960:166). The 1960s New Left Mills died of a heart attack in 1962 at the early age of forty-five. He had been instrumental in articulating the necessity of radical left wing change for a new generation of intellectuals bred during the McCarthyist 1950s, many of whom were unwilling to fully embrace traditional Marxism. His message was to be radical, but not necessarily socialist; make your work politically significant in an academy striving to be apolitical and in a country of political apathy; use history for context, but do not have a theory of history; and there is a need for a new ideology in which critical intellectuals, not the working class, would be the agency for change. It was up to this new generation, this New Left, to break with the dogmas and sectarianism of the old left and find a new ideology of liberation. This messianic call, of which Left neo-Weberianism had partially been the vehicle, would have of course appalled Weber who saw himself as anything but a left wing ideologue. The New Left in the United States saw itself as exactly that, new, and not an inheritor of a left-wing tradition that had already discovered a framework for political orientation. New Left activists questioned whether the working class was the agency for change. Some New Left activists agreed with Mills that critical intellectuals had taken its place. But most instead placed African Americans, or students, or the

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alienated, or later on in the decade, women and still later, gays and lesbians, or whoever happened to be in motion at a particular time. Some, consciously or not, embraced anarchist and libertarian antistatism. For these currents, a kind of empiricist opportunism replaced any kind of established Marxist theory. Not all of the New Left, though, rejected Marxism. From the beginning, there were Marxists who saw in the New Left a spontaneous movement around civil rights and against the War in Vietnam and a variety of other issues that eventually could be oriented towards a traditional Marxist path. There were New Leftists who started out with amorphous ideological concerns who ended up finding in Marxism a coherent politics that made sense to them. The New Left ultimately contained a conglomeration of Marxist, anarchist, and left liberal leanings. Within that assortment, some individuals claimed oxymoric combinations—I can remember one person describing himself as a fervent anarcho-Maoist. What everyone held in common was commitment to civil rights for minorities, opposition the war in Vietnam, and willingness to be political activists. By the early 1970s, there were fewer crowds in the streets and the New Left became a movement without a mass following. Veterans of the 1960s struggles who were still committed to radical change broke into different tendencies. One led to an intense sectarian and dogmatic struggle to establish a new communist party in the United States. These activists dismissed the existing Communist Party USA as revisionist and fell into a Marxist-Leninist fundamentalism that displayed heavy doses of Maoism. Calling themselves variously the new communist or M-L (for Marxist-Leninist) movement, they rediscovered the working class and a number of them attempted without success to stir a working class movement to supplant the cross-class movements of the 1960s. Intense sectarian ideological combat ensued in what all sides called the “party-building movement.” That quickly degenerated into sectarian parties building as one after another of the organizations declared that they had founded the true party of the working class. All called on the others to disband, which of course they did not. The new Marxism-Leninism proved to be as short-lived as it was ideologically furious. By the early 1980s, it was generally spent with many of its sectarian organizations disbanded.

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Postmodernism and Identity Politics A different post New Left tendency embraced interest group politics on an activist plane and postmodernism on a theoretical one. Rather than cheer on as vicarious participants who ever happened to be in motion against the system at the time, the new twist was to actively organize around groups that had suffered victimization according to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical disability, or other bases. If the Marxist-Leninists had made working class organization the center of their politics, the postmodernists saw class exploitation as having no special importance or priority alongside other oppressions, and often ceased to consider it at all. They dismissed socialism as an oppressive modernist project. Despite some postmodernists claiming Marx as one of their own, there were obviously clear differences between the orientations. At the core of Marxism in all of its various manifestations is embracing a theory of history in which socialism is a step forward and seeing the working class and its interests as central to that quest. Marxists generally saw non class based oppressions as important but not sui generis. They had to be related to an overall class or socialist struggle. Postmodernists questioned the necessity of linking them to either. The postmodernist stance was closer to that of Weber who also did not see history as developmental, embrace socialism as a goal, or consider himself to be in solidarity with working class interests and struggles. With postmodernism the purposes of theory and political action became vague and undefined, reduced to simply criticizing what was perceived to be oppressive about the present in the name of ill-defined liberatory goals. The meaning of what constituted political leftism similarly became vague. It did not have the certainties of older left wing politics that meant advocacy of working class interests, embracing public ownership of the means of production, and promoting social policies that led toward increasing social equality. The great insight of postmodernism was that capitalism in the developed countries had gone beyond a stage of mass standardization and Fordist production to one characterized by pluralism, flexible accumulation, and fragmentation of experience. The problem, though, was that their theory, ideology, and politics became similarly fragmented

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and eclectic as reflective responses. Their insights instead of advancing anticapitalist struggles, disoriented them and contributed to a generalized left wing political anomie, especially in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its communist allies. In sum, the influence of Max Weber on intellectual life in the United States was complex, involving a variety of academic disciplines and concerns as well as what has been described here: a current of leftwing thinking that spanned the 1960s New Left and subsequent postmodernist identity politics through the 1990s. Weber, though, even in the left Weberian reading of him, was not Karl Marx. His left wing followers in the United States became critics of capitalism, imperialism, and the myriad oppressions of the system, but they did not embrace Marxist class and socialist politics. Nor did most postmodernists, whose general dispositions regarding class politics and socialism were consistent with those of Weber and the left Weberians.

PART II

POLITICS AND THE NEW ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER FIVE

IT’S REAL! RACISM, COLOR BLINDNESS, OBAMA, AND THE URGENT NEED FOR SOCIAL MOVEMENT POLITICS Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Victor Ray1 Like many of you, I became a sociologist inspired by social movement politics. I was a student leader, member of a Marxist group, and worked with squatter settlement communities in my native Puerto Rico and continued my activism while attending grad school in Wisconsin. Although I am no longer the Marxista cuadrado of yesteryear, Marx’s (1845) 11th thesis on Feuerbach—“The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”—remains central to my praxis. I still believe wholeheartedly in the fundamental role of collective action and in Dr. King’s (1967) notion, appropriated by Obama, of “the fierce urgency of now.” In my remarks I will address four things. First, I will criticize the way we all—left, right, and center—conceptualize racism. Second, I will argue we must appreciate the fact that the dominant racial ideology of the modern world-system has mutated into an apparently non-racial, subtle, colorblind one. Yet, hidden within this color-blind Trojan horse, the new ideology is still all about the business of racial domination. Third, I will offer a critique of the Obama phenomenon and argue that, more than anything else, it represents the culmination of 40 years of reshuffling of America’s “racial structure.” Lastly, I will add my voice and analysis to those who believe in the urgent need for revitalizing social movement politics in America and the world—and yes, as so many of you have articulated so eloquently today, new politics, yes, new forms of movements, and yes, new social actors. Talking about racism has become quite tricky in contemporary America and, in truth, almost anywhere in the world. Racism has been 1 This paper is a slightly amended version of a speech by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva given at the Critical Sociologist Conference meeting in Boston in August of 2008. We have attempted to keep the emotion, rhythm, and style of a speech, but for this volume we have added footnotes, citations, and expanded upon some ideas. Lastly, although for ease of reading and rhetorical force we kept the pronouns in the first person, this version is a collaborative project.

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reduced to prejudice and its overt expressions. In the U.S. context, racism is Neo-Nazis or the Klan; Don Imus, Dog “the Bounty Hunter,” or the ordeal of the “Jena six;” or, as the media suggested in the democratic primaries, whites in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and the Deep South. This conceptualization, which has been tattooed in whites’ racial imaginary, assumes the problem of racism is limited to certain actors—the uneducated, southern, poor and working class whites—and regards it as a deeply personal psychological and ideological matter—this is precisely normative white sociology’s definition since Gunnar Myrdal’s (1944) An American Dilemma! And what is wrong with interpreting these events, behaviors, or people as “racist”? What is wrong with arguing that racism is an ideology—for Marxists and radicals, one used to divide “the workers of the world” and, for liberal analysts, one based on distortions derived from the intolerance or stupidity of certain actors? Aren’t the events and the people I just enumerated, after all, truly “racist”? The problem with this view, as I have argued in my work (Bonilla—Silva 1997, 2006) is twofold. First, by classifying overt, crass racial events as what racism is all about, we fail to understand and appreciate that racism forms a social system in which we all participate. If racism were limited to the actions and beliefs of a few obnoxious folks, racism would have been eliminated from the face of the earth a long time ago. But the systems of racial domination we humans created around the (admittedly) invented category of “race” are still with us because, as systems, they are anchored around real practices, institutions, and subjectivities (since the 15th century, we are all raced) that produce positions of relative privilege for some and of subordination for others (Robinson 1983). Therefore, the crux of racism as a system is material and practical rather than psychological and ideological—although the “wages of whiteness” (Du Bois 1921, Roediger 1999) do provide some psychological benefits. “Systemic Racism” (Feagin 2006) exists in America and in the world not as a remnant from slavery and segregation, not as an expression of class anxieties as so many of us in the left believe, and not as a biological adaptation to deal with the “Other” as evolutionary psychologists postulate. Systemic racism remains in place because it benefits whites as a social collectivity—a fractured collectivity indeed, but a collectivity nonetheless. The second problem with conceiving racism as individual deviance from social norms is that we miss most of the racial affairs happen-

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ing before our own eyes. The bulk of racial practices, events, behaviors, and cognitions in the public sphere have become normative, subtle, institutionalized, and apparently non-racial. Thus, by focusing our attention on crass racial events for moral judgment and political action, we (1) legitimate an erroneous conceptualization of racism, (2) cloud efforts to bring to the fore discussions about how race matters in the everyday life, and (3) help sustain the notion of America the beautiful as a country that is no longer “racist” (see Bonilla-Silva 2001, especially Chapter 4). Now I will address the dominant racial discourse in contemporary America, which, as I argued almost 10 years ago in an article in Sociological Inquiry (Bonilla-Silva 2000), is similar to the dominant racial discourse in all Western societies in the world-system. I will be brief on this matter because I assume many in this audience are familiar with work on modern racial discourse. My take in Racism Without Racists (2006) is that the nasty, in-your-face, “you people-are-inferiorto-us” racial discourse of the past has been, for the most part, replaced by a “sophisticated racial ideology” I label “color-blind racism.” This new, dominant racial ideology is anchored on the abstract use of the principles of liberalism to manufacture apparently non-racial explanations on all sort of race-related matters. Hence, our main ideological enemy today talks in a color-blind fashion, tells us I am not a racist, but, . . . looks like many of you in the audience, and may even support Obama! Accordingly, color-blind racism, whether expressed in angry fashion (a la Geraldine Ferraro) or in a polished liberal manner (as it is expressed in White Academia), is the real ideological problem today and is the most significant political tool whites use to explain and, ultimately, justify, the contemporary racial order of things. The central frames/themes of this ideology are “minimization of racism,” “cultural racism,” “naturalization,” and “abstract liberalism” but I will just illustrate one of them for you. “Abstract Liberalism” incorporates tenets associated with classical liberalism in an abstract and decontextualized manner. By framing race-related issues in the language of liberalism, whites can appear reasonable and even moral while opposing all practical approaches to deal with de facto racial inequality. To illustrate, I will use a quote from one of the people interviewed for my book. Here is how Jim, a white 30-year old computer software salesperson from a privileged background, explained his opposition to affirmative action:

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eduardo bonilla-silva and victor ray I think it’s unfair top to bottom on everybody and the whole process. It often, you know, discrimination itself is a bad word, right? But you discriminate every day. You wanna buy a beer at the store and there are six kinda beers you can get from Natural Light to Sam Adams, right? And you look at the price and you look at the kind of beer, and you . . . it’s a choice. And a lot of that you have laid out in front of you, which one you get? Now, should the government sponsor Sam Adams and make it cheaper than Natural Light because it’s brewed by someone in Boston? That doesn’t make much sense, right? Why would we want that or make Sam Adams eight times as expensive because we want people to buy Natural Light?

Since Jim assumes hiring decisions are like market choices (choosing between competing brands of beer); he embraces a laissez faire position on hiring. The problem with Jim’s view, a view shared by most whites (Schuman et al., 1997), is that labor market discrimination is alive and well and affects black and Latino job applicants 30 to 50% of the time (Bertrand and Mullainathan 2004, Pager 2003). Secondly, although Jim, as most whites, believes jobs are awarded in meritocratic fashion, researchers have documented that most jobs (as many as 80 percent) are obtained through informal networks (Braddock and McPartland 1987, Royster 2003). This applies to “good” as well as to “bad” jobs. Therefore, by upholding a strict Laissez Faire view on hiring while ignoring the significant impact of discrimination in the labor market, Jim can safely oppose affirmative action in an apparently raceneutral way. In the book, I also explore the stylistic components and the racial stories of color-blind racism, but since I want to talk about Obama, I will provide an example of a positive and a negative racial story of whites interacting with blacks. One of the three types of racial stories I examine in the book is testimonies. These are formulaic stories where actors narrate presumably first-hand accounts of racial encounters with the “Other.” Testimonies provide an aura of authenticity (“I know this”) and a safe platform for whites to express intense emotions on racial matters (“Tyrone was nasty to me, so all blacks . . .”). The following testimony of positive interaction with blacks is Mary, a student at SU, who acknowledged in the interview that her family was racist. In this context, she narrated the following. My floor actually, the year I had a black roommate, happened to be predominantly African American and so those became some of my best friends, the people I was around. And we would actually sit around and talk about stereotypes and prejudices and I learned so much just about

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the hair texture, you know? What it means for a black person to get a perm versus me, you know. I learned a lot. And it really, I think, for me, broke down a lot of barriers and ended a lot of stereotypes I may still had. Because like I said, I mean, those really became some of my best friends. And even still we don’t really keep in touch, but if I see any of them on campus, still, you know, we always talk with each other and everything.

Mary’s story rings of self-presentation from start to finish. Yet, because Mary’s delivery is not too refined, the story does not help her much. For instance, she used the term “those” people twice and mentioned twice that they became “some of my best friends.” Furthermore, her claim of having learned from this interaction seems rather superficial since she only talks about hair texture and perms. Finally, these nameless “best friends” became casual acquaintances after a year of rooming with her. Bill, a retired schoolteacher, narrated a negative testimony of interaction with blacks and used it to explain why he thinks blacks and whites are different. After pointing out that blacks seem to be very religious and that they bought a church in his neighborhood, he claimed they forced a restaurant in the area out of business: They like to eat. They pile their dishes just loaded with that stuff and I actually didn’t see it, but I saw one lady come in with a full plate of chicken. I didn’t pay much attention, but the next thing I know, they are leaving. Now I know she didn’t eat all that chicken. She probably put it in her purse and walked out with it. I didn’t see that. Lot of them are doing that, how can they make any money? And seeing that they are all heavy people, it seems like they do a lot of eating. So I don’t know what to say about something like that.

Although this story is based on Bill’s racist interpretation of events, the fact remains he used it to validate his belief that blacks like to eat, are cheap, and steal. Now I will move onto my critique and analysis of the Obama Phenomenon. I begin by acknowledging that as a Black Puerto Rican, I am proud about Obama’s historic campaign. This said, I have expressed publicly in various venues why I am not enthused about Obama’s campaign, his politics, and the potential significance of his election as the 44th president of the U.S.2 The first concern I have is that Obama does 2 In February 2008 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva sent an email to the ABSDiscourse listserve entitled “We Are Still the (Dis)united states of America.” It was subsequently

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not represent a true social movement, but an undercurrent of various actors and contradictory social forces that do not necessarily agree on fundamental issues.3 Lacking a social movement, his rise to the top will become problematic as we cannot predict what he will do if elected President. Second, none of the policies Obama has offered on the crucial issues of our time—health care, jobs, immigration, foreign policy, racial and economic inequality, schooling, and the wars—is truly radical and likely to accomplish the slogan he has adopted as the core of his campaign: change. Third, Obama has reached the level of success he has in large measure because he has made a strategic move towards racelessness and played the post-racial card. As part of his post-racial approach, Obama did not use the term racism in his campaign until he was forced to talk about race. And when forced, he said Revered Wright’s views “expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country—a view that sees white racism as endemic . . .” and classified them as “divisive” when they are in fact, realistic, and backed up by reams of social science research4 (Fainstein 2002). Fourth, as Glen Ford (2008), executive editor of The Black Agenda Report has suggested, “There is a refusal to even listen to Obama’s actual policy positions on matters.” This sad state of affairs, sociologically speaking, has elements of what we used to call a “craze”—although the quasi-fanatic behavior toward Obama can be explained rationally. Lastly, perhaps the most important factor behind Obama’s success, and my biggest concern, is that

posted on the website Black and Progressive Sociologists For Obama website. It can be accessed here: http://sociologistsforobama.blogspot.com/search?q=Eduardo+Bonilla +Silva. 3 Newspaper reports about some whites supporting Obama highlight his racial transcendence, his non-threatening air, and even his Kenyan father as ways to show how his racial background is different from that of the “traditional” black candidate (Dawson and Bobo 2006). This point is elaborated later in the text. 4 As Herman and Peterson (2008) argue, a better analysis of the racial situation in the U.S. is the exhaustive coverage given to the manufactured scandal surrounding Rev. Wright. As they show in exhaustive detail, the tone and sheer volume of coverage are reminiscent of the successful “southern strategy” and the infamous “Willie Horton” strategies. The numbers are worth quoting at some length. “For the ninetysix-day period from February 27 through June 1, mentions of Wright’s name in conjunction with Obama’s outnumbered mentions of Hagee’s with McCain’s 10.5 times to 1; they also outnumbered mentions of Parsley’s with McCain’s 40.2 times to 1. Remarkably, even the Reverend Louis Farrakhan’s name turned up in conjunction with Obama’s more frequently than did McCain’s with Hagee’s or Parsley’s—although Obama has had no connection with Farrakhan whatsoever.”

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his campaign means different things and evokes different feelings for his white and non-white supporters. For the whites who support him, Obama is the first “black” leader they feel comfortable supporting because he does not talk about racism; because he tells them every time he can he is half-white; because he is so “articulate” or, in Senator Biden’s words, echoed later by Karl Rove, Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”;5 because Obama is talking about national unity, and because he, unlike black leaders hated by whites such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, and, of course, Minister Farrakhan, does not make them feel guilty about the state of racial affairs in the country. He has said and done almost anything to make whites feel comfortable and thrown under the proverbial bus anyone who makes him look “too black” (so Michelle Obama, you better watch out!) or “too political.” Thus, for whites, even for those who voted for Obama, his success is proof that America is beyond race. His white supporters see him as the leader who will be able to deal with America’s “real” problems, as for them race inequality is a secondary matter. Obama is also, as black commentator David Ehrenstein has argued, the “Magical Negro”6 (Glenn and Cunningham 2007, Hicks 2003)—a term from film studies—who will absolve them of their racial sins. Obama, like John Coffey in The Green Mile or Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix, gets to serve as the vehicle for white development. “Look,” whites can say, “I am beyond race, I voted for Obama.” Or, “of course I am against reparations (or affirmative action, or welfare, etc.), Obama made it, why can’t the rest of you?” In this case, voting for Obama is akin to getting absolved from your racial sins and getting a ticket to racial heaven! In sharp contrast, for many nonwhites, but particularly for blacks, Obama is a symbol of their possibilities. He is indeed, as Obama has said of himself, their Joshua—the leader they hope will take them to

5 Surely it says something about Obama’s views on the primacy of race in shaping social life for blacks that his vice-presidential candidate made one of the most blatantly racist gaffes of the primary season. The New York Times. February 1, 2007. 6 Although Rush Limbaugh and certain elements of the right have chosen to make the seriousness of the “magical negro” motif into one of their standard and expected racist comments, we maintain that the concept is still useful in understanding how the discourse on Obama’s campaign coming from some quarters is all Kumbaya and white racial absolution. For instance, The New York Times (Bai 2008) has seen the beginning of “The End of Black Politics.”

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the promised land of milk and honey. They read in between the lines (probably more than is there) and think he has a strong stance on race matters. Obama is, for the old generation desperate to see change before they die, and for many post-Reagan-generation blacks who have seen very little racial change in their life, the new Messiah, the new “race man” following on the footsteps of Martin, Malcolm, the Jesse of the 1980s, and the Al Sharpton of 2004. Poor blacks believe Obama will bring economic and social change to them—higher wages, health care, etc., and “the black elite”—and I work with many of them—believe Obama is a symbol and a confirmation of their own standing, politics, and even behavior and manners—the genteel, aristocratic character of the black elite. Consequently, when I debate the Obama phenomenon with people of color and white allies and mention that Obama receives 46% of his money from corporate America through the magic of bundling and that he gets more money from Wall Street than any other candidate in this campaign (opensecrets.org, 2008); or that Obama said in a speech in Selma, Alabama, we were 90% on the road to racial equality (Obama 2007); or that Obama (2008) wants to expand the military by 92,000 people and says he will redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan (and, can we be sure if he will get us out of Iraq in 2 years?); or that his opposition to the war after he was elected to the Senate is suspect, as Matt Gonzalez (2008) documented in his piece “The Obama Craze” about his voting record as a Senator; or that Obama is a big believer in free market capitalism, albeit with some regulation (his University of Chicago background is strong); or that Obama’s Civil Rights program is nothing more than the liberal stance on race matters and no different from Hillary’s; or that Obama was the darling of the Democratic Leadership Conference and now shares the spot with former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford who, like Obama, is a centrist, very light-skinned black man who has already saluted Obama’s move to the “center” from his job as MSNBC political commentator; or that Obama’s economic and health care programs are quite modest (Krugman 2008), a fact that reflects that his chief advisers from Chicago and Harvard are regarded as “non-ideological” (one of them even wrote a paper heralding the idea of privatizing social security, can you imagine?); or that Obama supports the death penalty (now we all know this dirty little fact); or that Obama’s positions on Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and Palestine, which were originally slightly better than Hillary’s, have become “hawkish”; or that Obama has chided those who talk about

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race in a straight manner as engaging in “divisive politics”—I wonder if Obama would have rebuked a certain Reverend who characterized the United States government in 1967 as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” (King 1967). Should we ignore his vote on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when we recall that COINTELPRO was largely directed at our people? Should we accept the victim blaming in his stance on black fathers and personal responsibility (isn’t he proof that you can turn out okay without a father)? Should we accept Obama’s acceptance of reactionary framing in his claims that being called a Muslim is a “slur,” or his staff’s removal of two women wearing the hijab from a rally picture in Detroit (Elliott, 2008)? Should we accept Obama’s adoption and expansion of Bush’s “faith based initiative,” which is a retreat from government, a taxpayer handout to religious groups, and arguably a first amendment violation? When I raise these issues, folks either do not know them (“Obama said Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, no?”) or know them but argue these are tactical positions Obama must take in order to get elected (“He must support the death penalty, be strong on the Middle East, be for FISA to show he is patriotic, and quit his Church as it was making him look ‘too black’”) They all believe, in an ahistorical fashion, that once Obama is elected, he will turn left! Ah, from the Caribbean lenses and experiences, we know that Black leaders ought to be judged by the content of their politics and not by the color of their skin. In my view, the Obama phenomenon represents the culmination of 40 years of racial transition from Jim Crow to what I have called in my work “the new racism,” or the set of social, economic, political, and racial practices that comprise the racial structure of post-civil rights America (Bonilla-Silva 2001). At the political level, anti-minority minorities since the 1970’s such as Clarence Thomas, Linda Chavez, and Bobby Jindal (preferred by Republicans) and post-racial minority leaders such as Harold Ford, Bill Richardson, and Obama (preferred by Democrats) are welcomed because they do not challenge the whitecapitalist power structure and provide legitimacy to the racial order. These leaders have been mainstreamed and racially vetted and teach us the wrong historical lesson: that electoral, rather than social movement, politics is the method of choice for achieving racial justice in our America. I conclude by stressing the urgent need for a return to social movement politics. Too many of us in the left have been in “silly season”

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for a too long and have tacitly become enslaved to the Democratic Party and to the four-year electoral cycle of American “politics.” Every four years we all go back to our self-made corner and choose among the lesser of two evils—Mondale, Dukakis, Bubba, Kerry, and now Obama. But in doing so, we waste time, energy, and precious resources all fundamental to advance the hard process of organizing social movements. And please, do not think I am an ultra-leftist who opposes electoral participation as a matter of principle! Like Lenin, I believe electoral politics are a tactical rather than a substantive matter. Hence, voting for Jackson, or Kucinich, or Edwards, or even Nader was, in my view, a progressive tactical vote. But the disillusioned liberal-progressive-radical left in the U.S.—and all these segments are bundled into one fuzzy contingent in the USA—has equated electoral politics with politics. And, for me, the one party democracy we live in, under the Republicrat party, paraphrasing and updating Lenin, is “the best possible shell” for the racial, class, and gender political order. Therefore, our biggest mistake is that too many of us have all but abandoned social movement politics. The task for us, then, is to work hard to revitalize and rethink social movement politics. I myself have advanced a few ideas about the character, actors, and even style of the new movement needed to advance racial justice in the U.S. (see BonillaSilva 2006). We on the left have been in a 30-year political depression; since Reagan’s election, the collapse of unions, and the demise of the civil rights movement, we have become trapped in the voting booth. However, there should never be room for pessimism among radicals as there is always something to be done—often small, but sometimes big things. And new ideas and organizational and political initiatives are out there. Witness, for instance, the ideas in M. Hardt’s and T. Negri’s books, Empire (2000) and Multitude (2004), where they push the analytical envelope on imperialism and the masses resisting it; or the practices of activists in the World Social Forum; or the experiments in participatory democracy in Brazil and other locales; or the new unionism in America, which is more concerned than ever with race-class-gender politics; and the formidable theoretical work of Jamaican philosopher Charles W. Mills; and America’s largest and most militant homeownership organization, The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation (NACA) . . . which organizes calls on banks to restructure mortgages, lower interest rates and replace adjustable

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mortgages and ARMS with low fixed rates for the long term . . . and they are going to the homes and clubs of bankers to demonstrate and make their demands . . . and have been quite successful! All these, and many of the things discussed today in this conference, are things that can and ought to be done! Because of all I have said about how race matters in post-civil rights America and the cardinal importance of social movement politics, I have expressed a “pesoptimistic” view on the Obama phenomenon. As far as race matters are concerned, I believe we need a politics and a movement that, unlike Obama, are clear and strong on race. We need to articulate forcefully the urgent need for race-specific policies. But, like Obama, I have the audacity of hope, too. My hope was for progressives to use this moment—and this is what it is—to build a real movement to push Obama to the left or, if necessary, to the historical curb! Leaders, to be fair, are important, but leaders without movements are like fish without water. Without a social movement, hope produces change that brings no change and the audacity of hope brings hopelessness. For those into realpolitik I have some advice. The movement we so desperately need, and I am being honest, is not likely to materialize in the next few months and since for many of you voting is akin to going to church on Sunday, or going to a bar on Friday, I suggest you at least demand Obama’s unequivocal commitment to a few basic matters. Obama must commit taking us out of Iraq no matter what—no “refinement,” no matter what the generals say. We must challenge his imperialist plan for expanding the military and demand he reinvests the money saved in America, particularly in urban America. We must demand he adopts Hillary Clinton’s or John Edwards’s health care plans, both of which are much better than Obama’s, although neither is a national health care plan. We must tell Obama we are not for his reworked version of Bush’s faith-based initiative or for his “personal responsibility” discourse. He must commit for real to a “give peace a chance” policy! Lastly, we must make him commit to economic programs for the working and middle classes through tax cuts, raising the minimum wage, programs to repair and restore America’s infrastructure, and the like. I end my remarks with the beautifully cynical words of writer and social commentator Charles P Pierce in his recent piece, “The Cynic and Senator Obama,” in Esquire magazine:

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eduardo bonilla-silva and victor ray Why would anyone have faith in America, which is not tough but fearful, not smart but stupid, and not shrewd but willing to fall for almost anything as long as it comes wrapped in a flag? Why would anyone have faith in Americans? Barack Obama says that he has that faith because of his own life, because he was able to rise to the point where he can be thought of as a president of the United States. He is the country’s walking absolution. That’s his reason, the cynic thinks, but it’s not mine. There has to be a confession. There has to be penance. Being Barack Obama is not enough. Not damn close enough.

CHAPTER SIX

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND POLITICAL CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES Marco A. Gandásegui, Jr. Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 United States (US) Presidential Election has special meaning for differing segments of the American social structure, for its dominant elite as well as for people around the world. Distinguishable are three meanings: First, even if Obama begins without changing the US strategic objectives in foreign policy, he will undoubtedly sheath Washington’s military initiatives in a silken glove. We shall see Obama distance US foreign policy from the overt influence of outgoing President Bush’s “neo-cons” (the “hawks”). Obama will probably develop an economic plan not very different from the current one. However, he likely will sweep the “free market” fundamentalists from the corridors of power. The end of the influence of the “neo-con warriors” and the end of the influence of Bush’s economic ideology in the White House should have major impact on social movements in Latin America and the rest of the world. Bush’s ideological allies, the neoliberals, will have to reexamine their positions throughout the Latin American region. Second, President Obama will find that south of the US border Latin Americans are willing to sit down and talk. He may find it difficult to overcome Washington’s traditional predatory style of imposing its views and policies. Obama will have to put forth a set of political conditions that include subjects that were skipped over by President Bill Clinton (1992–2000) and ignored by President George W. Bush (2001–2009). Among the political conditions Latin American leaders have stressed are: ending the US blockade of Cuba, respecting new democratic institutions in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and developing a different approach to the whole question of US military intervention in the region. The latter should address Plan Colombia, the Merida Initiative, and the regional presence of the US 4th Naval Fleet.

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And third, the presence of Barack Obama in the Oval Office is having a huge cultural impact within the United States. The very fact that an Afro-American has moved into the White House implies that a significant transformation is occurring with repercussions throughout US society. President Obama is very much celebrated and perceived as a member of a social construct labeled a “minority.” The list of American Presidents from Washington to Lincoln to F. D. Roosevelt through to George W. Bush is now challenged by the first AfricanAmerican: Barack Obama. Previously the only serious interruption in the line of succession was from the Irish-Catholic John F. Kennedy. These fractures in the order are impressive. For generations Catholics in the United States were perceived as vicious, lewd and/or idolatrous. Likewise, the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) “mainstream” perceived African-Americans as savage, treacherous and/or subjected (slaves). Perceptions have changed in the 21st Century. Now the President of the United States can be seen paying homage to the Roman Catholic Pope in an airport (a gesture not even seen for another Head of State or world leader). What will Obama’s legacy be vis-à-vis the perceptions of the people of the United States in relation to Africa, and to the over 30 million Afro-Americans? Currently, people of African-American ancestry in the United States are a “minority,” still perceived by some as too different or as inherently inferior. Will Obama’s victory open the way for Blacks to be part of the mainstream in the US? This would have been extremely difficult to imagine not too many years ago. A similar road was traveled by Irish Catholics, Orthodox Ukrainians, Lutheran Scandinavians and numerous others struggling for full social acceptance and citizens’ rights. Today there are more than 40 million people identified as Latin Americans (or Latinos) in the US. They are another “minority” also considered to be somehow too different or inferior. The notion of a “minority” is a social construction implemented to convince both Black and Latin American people in the United States that they are “other” than 100% American citizens. It is in essence a variant form of apartheid driven home with significant effectiveness. In the history of the United States the White House itself has experienced many ups and downs. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s tenure, the Oval Office has become highly esteemed, the most highly honored office in the land. What is more, the President of the US now has

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powers never dreamt of by the Founders of the Republic. The US President may unilaterally declare war against “enemies” who may be more fictitious than actual, distorted creations of a largely self-serving mass media. He can put into place social programs that function to co-opt millions of workers and their voluntary organizations. Even independent entrepreneurs, the small businessmen and businesswomen, can be co-opted away from what is in their own best interests. The President also has extraordinary powers to decide in what direction the US economy will run, continuing to grant big business interests the larger share of revenues and profits as has long been the case. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 President George W. Bush cited national security as grounds for invoking new “inherent powers.” Bush claimed that being Commander in Chief of the United States’ Armed Forces guaranteed him such powers. With new legal interpretations Bush claimed his arsenal included the right to launch preemptive wars, spy on American citizens, and carry out the so-called “extraordinary acts of rendition.” The latter power allows the President to order the detention and the transport of persons to non-judicial authorities with no legal processes or treaties able to hinder his actions. These constitutional interpretations are, according to domestic and foreign human rights agencies, a threat to the legitimacy of what the US stands for in the world, as well as to the US government’s republican nature and the values of the US population. For the first time this enormous power will be in the hands of an African-American. People all around the world will observe on a day to day basis the figure of this relatively young, charismatic and audacious politician. President Obama will make decisions on behalf of the world’s most powerful elite. Will this new experience transform the image of the African-American in the United States carved out by centuries of slavery, repression and injustice? We also have to analyze the impact Obama may have on Bush’s self-centered unilateral policies introduced through his wars in Asia and the Middle East. Despite his use of “change” as a campaign slogan, the Cabinet members Obama has selected to run National Security issues and economic policies seem to be “more of the same.” In respect to foreign policy and National Security, he chose a star-studded group that resembles Bush’s team, committed to winning wars around the world. He decided to preserve Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. His choice of Sen. Hillary

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Clinton to head the State Department seems a far cry from any dramatic change. Obama’s choices to shape his economic policies during his first term (2009–2013) are a throw-back to the Clinton years of the 1990s. President Clinton launched a highly publicized but not too effective world trade offensive. Obama says he represents change. Soon the world will find out whether the discourse of change has any real content or whether it will trip and stumble over reality. This article is presented in six parts, each of which poses questions and explores possible answers regarding Barack Obama’s swift political victories and his future. The first section tries to answer the question: Who is Obama? Moreover, it will explore the cultural meaning implied by the election of an Afro-American to the White House. In the second part, we will try to get a feeling of the role the powerful “Political Directory,” as Wright Mills once called it, plays in US politics and how it bears on the election of its leaders. In the third section, the article will take a closer look at the role of the American working class and where it stands in Obama’s play-book. The fourth section will analyze the challenge faced by Obama, who starts his presidency inheriting a nation fighting two foreign wars while remaining relatively isolated in the international context. The fifth section addresses the fact that Obama must to come to terms with the failure of US diplomacy, combined with the collapse of the financial network under US control for over half a century and the recession of the “real” economy. Finally, in the sixth section, we deal with some questions that arise from Obama’s lack of any clear cut policies relative to Latin America. Will the new US President adhere to a failed National Security agenda and to a non-starter “Free Trade Area” for unfair commercial relations? Who is Obama? How can we understand who Obama is? According to Eva Golinger (2008), “the empire has achieved its perfect representative, who almost shields his actions with poetry and color.” Obama’s election has become history and is a very important step in order to heal the deep wounds of slavery. Nevertheless, the empire will be the empire, as Obama made clear in his victory speech: “Those outside America who want to destroy us, hear it clearly we will defeat you.”

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According to Pere-Oriol Costa (2008), the message of change and novelty sold by Obama is typical of a corporate marketing campaign. Costa points out that “the slogans set the stage for all the candidates during the campaign. Hillary Clinton profiled her experience at the top of the political ladder, while Obama was able to identify the need and will for a change. McCain adopted the slogan ‘country first,’ in reference to the war in Iraq. When the campaign moved from Iraq to the economy, McCain was caught running out of bounds.” For Chomsky (2008), it is quite meaningful, that in the Democratic Party’s primary run-off elections the strongest candidates were a woman and a black man. Forty years ago it would have been virtually inconceivable. This is one of the many indications of the popular militancy accrued from the 1960’s decade and its sequels. Obama’s election to become the 44th President of the United States and the first Afro-American to reach the White House was masterful in conception and carefully carried out. The Democratic Party’s 2004 convention was an important stepping stone as the Party’s Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, selected Obama as the keynote speaker. The fact that the United States was at war—an unpopular war that most Americans did not even understand—combined with the economic “recession” contributed to giving Obama’s slogan on change a prescient meaning. Just as Lincoln before the Civil War or Kennedy during the Cold War, Wright Mills’ so-called “political directorate” chose an outsider who could contribute to the nation’s recovery after eight years of unpopular wars and economic chaos. According to Borasage (2008), “Obama presented throughout the campaign a plan consisting in change that emphasized the development of a national strategy for the global economy.” In an important speech at economically battered Flint, Michigan, Obama formally presented his promise of change to the American people (Hass 2008). He promised to increase taxes on the wealthiest ten percent, end the Iraq war, and achieve energy self-sufficiency while making the US the world leader in the so-called green industries (“green economy”). In addition, he promised to focus the federal government’s attention on education, transportation infrastructure, and scientific research. According to recent Nobel Prize recipient Paul Krugman (Chavagneux 2008), Obama’s promises would practically turn Bush’s policies on their head. “Bush did two things. He modified the fiscal system in a very regressive sense, with heavy reductions on revenues, dividends and lowering taxes on high capital revenues. He benefited the

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wealthiest and at the same time, reduced the available funds for public policies. Between 35 and 40 percent of Bush’s reductions benefited the people who earn yearly more than US$300,000.” Krugman adds that any government plan needs more income. “It is necessary to suppress the low taxes established by Bush.” Obama’s victory at the polls in November 2008 will have wide repercussions on the culture of discrimination and marginalization in the United States. The impact will be felt both in the culture of labor, traditionally full of prejudices, and in the system of values marked by a history of violence and racism. According to Wallerstein (2008), “Obama is not planning some revolutionary turnabout in US politics. He is surrounded by a lot of conventional Democratic politicians and advisors. True, there is only so much he can do on the world scene, despite the fact that he will be cheered on by the rest of the world. The global geopolitical anarchy is far beyond the control of any American president today. His electors will expect him to launch the equivalent of another New Deal internally—health care coverage, tax restructuring, job creation, salvaging the pensions.” How far can Obama go to dismantle the State’s police structures instituted by Bush under the cover of a war against terrorism? It means a radical review of legislation and of executive policies. And it means a review of “ultra-secret” rules and practices inserted in the United States’ judicial system. According to Andrew Gumbel (2008), there is plenty of work to be done on the practices of the Justice Department (including the FBI) and the CIA. History will judge Obama especially on what he achieves in this field. Displays of cultural intolerance are frequently repeated in the United States. With Obama’s election they have multiplied. The Southern Poverty Law Center points out that “the election of the first Afro-American president has incited a record of 200 violent acts.” On their own, “the White Nationalist Movement wants to make Obama’s triumph an instrument of new-member recruiting. Observers from human rights organizations have stated their preoccupation with the appearance of more extremist groups” (Jonsson 2008).

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The National Directorate and Big Capital How does a young lawyer from a traditionally repressed and marginalized ethnic group reach the most powerful public office in the United States? What are the essential conditions needed for a phenomenon such as this one to appear? C. Wright Mills (1963) reminds us that in the United States political parties do not have institutional power. There is a “political directorate” articulated at a national level with a strong hierarchical organization. As Mills states, “. . . in the executive centers where important decisions are made, there are no professional politicians or professional bureaucrats. The centers of power are in the hands of the political directorate of the power elite” (Mills, 1963). In the United States, according to Mills, there are no institutional grounds for political careers or administrative careers to reach the top in the government. During the transition period between Bush and Obama, the world saw how the Cabinet posts were filled—they were hand-picked by the incoming President. In a very similar way all high officials, ambassadors, and most other delicate positions in the administration and security of the United States are chosen. The new appointees are often what Wright Mills calls “upstarts,” whose bonds with the parties are weak, if there are any. There is no way to train, specialize or select political experts with capacity to direct the country’s policies. They are usually CEOs of large transnational corporations, who know too well what the “Political Directorate’s” interests are. However they tend to ignore the functioning of the bureaucracy and have vague ideas about the country’s needs. According to Alicia Gonzalez (2008), “Obama has recruited a large part of his economic transition team from former President Bill Clinton’s collaborators during his eight-year presidency. Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers (former Secretaries of the Treasury), Robert Reich (Secretary of Labor), William Daley (Secretary of Commerce) and Laura Tyson (chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Director of the National Economic Council) are those who worked most closely with the last democratic president.” John Podesta, President Clinton’s chief of staff coordinated the team. “There are some others whose collaboration with Democratic administrations is somehow indirect, such as Paul Volcker (Chairman of the Federal Reserve, between 1979 and 1987) and Roger Ferguson

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(Vice Chairman between 1997 and 2006). In the background of these appointments are Obama’s strategic campaign managers: Jason Furman (37 years old) and Austan Goolsbee (39 years).” González concludes that “with the selection of the economic team, the President-elect has secured the advice of people with experience and formation.” She forgets to mention that none of them (with the partial exception of Podesta) has any partisan experience. González highlights the presence of Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, who is considered an aggressive political operator. According to the media, Emanuel belongs to the hardest wing of the Democratic Party. In 2002, he voted in favor of the Iraq invasion and has supported the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel as well as its attack on Lebanon in 2006. According to the Center of Receptive Politics, Emanuel was the main recipient of donations coming from “coverage funds, private business interests and the wide range of financial and investment industries” in the 2008 electoral cycle. Political parties in the United States limit their functions to a local level, debating the needs of small businessmen and taking care of organized labor demands as well as specific aspects such as gender, environment, etc. Political parties, according to Wright Mills (1963), are “a constellation of local organizations, curiously and elaborately united with blocs that represent different interests. A member of Congress is, generally, independent from the party’s leaders…” The situation becomes more complicated when popular demands are in conflict with the interests of the “political directorate.” Managing public opinion requires a very special talent at the media level and in the corridors of power. “When the fundamental problems reach Congress they are usually structured in such a way that they cannot be debated and remain unsolved. Without solid and centralized parties, it is difficult to be a majority in the Congress” (Mills 1963). As Mills points out, Congress frequently needs an energetic presidential initiative to push through new legislative initiatives that are not understood at a local level but are essential at a national level. The “hegemonic fraction” that leads the country or the Political Directorate, has preserved capitalist class interests and has successfully divided other sectors of American society, mainly the working class. According to Mills, “economic corporative power was consolidated by an 1888 US Supreme Court’s decision, which declared that the 14th Amendment (to the Constitution) not only protects individual rights,

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but also those of corporations. The decision decentralized the power of the governments (Federal and State) and concentrated it in the hands of corporations, more powerful by the day.” The interpretation of the 14th Amendment limited—neutralized— the Federal and State’s power at a time when corporate interests were expanding across the country. “With much larger revenues, corporations dominated the parties, were able to control the legislative agenda and managed to neutralize members of Congress . . . the economic elite nullified the political elite” (Mills 1963). José Martí (1975) was a keen observer of this important chapter of American history. In 1885, based in New York City, he wrote in La Nación of Buenos Aires, that a presidential campaign in the United States “is tough and nauseous. By May each party chooses its candidates and the race begins. The professional politicians do not search for a Presidential candidate whose virtues can be rewarded . . . They look for a man who can guarantee more votes for the Party, and more influence in the administration for those who contribute to appoint him and make him a winner”. In Marti’s note sent to the Argentine newspaper he added: “Once the candidates are appointed in the conventions, the silt rises until the saddletrees. The white beards of the newspapers forget the shame of old age. They throw buckets of mud on their heads. They lie and exaggerate purposely. They slash bellies and backs. They believe any and all infamies are legitimate. Every blow is good as long as it stuns the enemy. The one who invents an effective villainy swaggers proudly. In vain the newspapers with utterly opposed opinions are anxiously read during those months. An objective observer does not know how to analyze a battle where everyone believes licit to act deceitfully. A newspaper openly denies what another paper says. Anything that honors the opposed candidate is eliminated. It is a period of time when they disavow the pleasure of honoring.” Fidel Castro, Martí’s most faithful disciple, says “many people hope that a simple change in the empire’s leadership will make it more tolerant and less bellicose. It would be overly naïve to believe that one intelligent person’s good intentions would be able to change what centuries of interests and selfishness have created. Human history demonstrates otherwise”. (Castro 2008) Obama did not win the elections “against” the American dominant class. The American presidents and politicians are instruments of the dominant class. He will not have to

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govern against the dominant class. He will govern on behalf of their interests. What are those interests? In economic terms, the President’s top priority is to recover capital’s profit rates that have been sliding dangerously since the 1970s. In order to achieve this goal Obama has included in his agenda what he calls a world system reengineering plan. Obama has already spoken, however timidly, on the concept of a “green economy”. It is a project that aims to put an end to the oildependent economy as well as an end to the faction of the dominant class defeated in the 2008 elections. Sarah Palin during the campaign expressed that faction’s ideology very well: “Drill, baby, drill!.” Obama is also proposing a shift in US relations with the world. He wants to be more pragmatic, depend less on military domination and search for alternatives that include commercial and diplomatic strategies. On several occasions he has suggested that world domination has to be political. The idea of dominating the world through sheer military power has been discarded as a first option. This does not exclude war scenarios that can be rapidly won though it could spell the end of the warfare service industry—Halliburton, etc.—at the White House. The American ruling class and their international allies have accumulated several centuries of experience and they know when changes have to be made. The striking feature of the changes being introduced in the early 21st Century—at least at first sight—is having recruited a political figure—Obama himself—whose profile is historically associated with the dominated, subjugated and enslaved sector of US society. It is up to the working class and its allies to understand this new political phase and realize the new challenge. According to Mike Davis (2008), “even if the economic crisis and the particular dynamics of the campaign in those highly populated industrial states forced Obama to lend an ear to the job’s issue, his “socialism” has been too exquisite to notice the humongous public indignation caused by the criminal rescue of the banking system, or even to criticize the large oil corporations.” Davis adds that Obama has a staff of “Wall Street statesmen, humanitarian imperialists, cold-blooded political operators and recycled ‘realist’ republicans working hard on how to handle the first one-hundred days of his administration. The results will probably stir the “little hearts” of the Council of Foreign Relations and the International Monetary Fund. In spite of the fantasies of “hope” and “change” projected by the attractive mask of the President-elect, his

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administration will be dominated by well-known and “better-preprogrammed center-right zombies.” Davis sets out a trio of probable outcomes as a result of Obama’s stint: 1. There will be no New Deal (a Rooseveltian-left liberal variant) without the fertilizer provided by massive social struggles. 2. The administration will not be able to manage the massive upcoming bankruptcies and soaring unemployment rates, and will not be able to pull out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 3. The fundamentalist right is in good shape and can experiment with a spectacular comeback when the neoliberal solutions fail. The great challenge in the US for the small left-leaning organizations is to anticipate a foreseeable deception of the masses and understand that their task does not consist in finding a way to “move Obama to the left,” but to look for a way to rescue and reorganize. The transition program cannot be other than socialism (Davis 2008). Obama and the Working Class Despite his motto of change, Obama does not have a program to include the American working class in his administration. Obama’s discourse appealed to change, yet the new White House has no plans to stop or mitigate the last thirty years of constant shrinking of the industrial work force in the United States. Obama’s “change” has a ring of more of the same: deregulation, labor flexibility and capital (and job) exports to cheaper labor markets. Hillary Clinton’s victories in working-class districts during the 2008 internal primaries of the Democratic Party are a good example of Obama’s lack of contact with blue-collar families and their culture. Obama’s links are closer to large manufacturing and financial capital interests. According to David Macaray (2008), organized workers and big financial capital are currently facing off in Congress. For some time key legislation that could impact Union membership has being going up and down the halls of the Capitol. The reform known as the Employment Free Choice Act (EFCA), if approved, will allow workers to join a Union by the simple formality of signing a card. If a majority of workers prefer organizing along union lines, the firm has to begin

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negotiations automatically with the Union in representation of all workers. EFCA would give President Reagan’s labor reforms back in the 1980’s a heavy blow. The 1980’s represented a string of setbacks to organized labor, weakening Unions and their ability to mobilize their members. Obama has been ambiguous when asked where he stands concerning EFCA. Organized labor has no direct access to Obama, who as new President will have control over the legislative agenda. Nonetheless, the Democratic Party’s programmatic platform privileges labor interests. Hillary Clinton and other figures in Obama’s government have built strong bonds with leaders of organized labor. But they are not necessarily the stepping stones the American labor movement and Unions can depend on to recover past “glories.” Michael Yates (2008), editor of New York City’s Monthly Review, says Obama faces eight challenges workers have placed in front of the new administration. According to this social scientist and labor activist, Obama has to deal with a new reality mainly put in place by President Bush’s stringent labor policies. Will Obama include in his agenda new pension plans for workers who saw them cut back drastically in recent years? Yates asks whether the Federal Government can fund the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation while running a staggering deficit. Will Obama assume the defense of the workers’ healthcare programs? Will he freeze the free trade agreements opposed by organized labor? Yates also asks whether Obama will block anymore schemes to privatize social security, as put forth by previous administrations. Will he try to extend Social Security benefits to more people and include a larger number of services? Will he put an end to Bush’s “Draconian” labor policies? Will he fill the ranks of the National Labor Relations Board with people committed to collective bargaining? Yates adds more questions that look forward to Obama’s short term answers to clarify his positions on organized workers. Will he make The Occupational Safety and Health Act an efficient instrument or will he be another President to ignore its contents? Will he promote public works programs? Will he energize the educational system by eradicating Bush’s corporative and authoritarian notions and rebuilding scholarship programs for higher education? Yates feels that Obama has been elusive when facing these problems dear to organized labor. As a matter of fact, Obama has moved to the

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right of center on these issues. “If he does not speak to white workers (as he has been accused of) neither is he speaking to Afro-American or Latin American workers.” Yates also makes the case for over a million Afro-American men and women who are at present doing jail time. Obama has not come up with answers for the cities that have gone bankrupt, the manufacturing jobs that have disappeared through the back door, and the millions of immigrants who are entering the US through the front door, often to be treated as criminals, perhaps jailed and sometimes tortured. In some cases, Obama is closer to Sarah Palin’s views when she stumped on the campaign trail speaking out as the Republican Party’s Vice-Presidential candidate. Both supported Alaskan mining interests and their expansion plans in spite of environmentalists’ strong objections. While the country was glued to the Presidential results on Election Day, the Alaskans organized a referendum to decide what to do with the mining depredation issue. State Proposition 4 submitted by Alaskans would have put an end to mining projects discharging toxic wastes into the rivers that also provide drinking water and serve as breeding grounds for salmon. The Proposition faced strong opposition from mining interests, led mainly by a corporate alliance set up by the Pebble mining giant. The fishing communities on the Alaskan coast were the authors of Proposition 4. According to the Anchorage based paper The Alaskan Observer, Sarah Palin’s support of mining interests was the factor that tipped the balance against fishing communities. “Supporters of Proposition 4, which would have restricted large mines, said Palin’s last-minute entry into the fray to oppose Proposition 4 turned the tide of voter sentiment, which was previously in favor of the proposition” (Conn, 2008). Obama was also an important factor in the defeat of Proposition 4 in Alaska. During the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Obama invited Fairbanks Mayor Jim Whitaker to talk to his supporters. Convention organizers as well as other observers were surprised since Mayor Whitaker is a member of the Republican Party. The fact that he was (and still is) an enthusiastic promoter of mining interests’ predatory policies in Alaska went unobserved. According to Steve Conn, Obama’s “cross the aisle approach” towards Republicans is part of old politics maneuvering, neither new nor change oriented. It is noteworthy how Obama made friends with the “big mining interests.” Conn is quick to remind us that there is

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gold in those mountains. “Political gold for Obama!” The Pebble Mine project in Alaska includes the construction of two dams (each one larger than Hoover Dam which supplies water and energy to Southern California) that probably could poison Bristol Bay and its fishing industry. Obama also joined mining interests based in the states of Nevada and Idaho during the presidential campaign. Big mining interests in those Western states get a large chunk of vast subsidy programs Congress approved as far back as 1872. Back then, laws were passed to promote economic activities on government lands in the Western wilderness (the idea being to promote market relations in areas recently incorporated to the Union). Nowadays, subsidies continue to allow those mining interests to extract extraordinary profits in the billions of dollars. According to Conn, Obama is a member of the “old boys club” of politicians with questionable backgrounds. In 2007, CBS reported that Obama was opposed to a law proposal that would levy taxes of between 4 and 8 per cent on new mining activities. Extra revenues would have allowed creating programs for industrial clean-up and halting the sales of public lands (Robertson 2007). CBS also revealed “Obama declared that the legislation that favors the environmentalists ‘punishes mining activities and could have a negative impact on employment’. Likewise, he was opposed to more taxes suggested by the proposal.” Obama has also changed his position on off-shore oil drilling. Conn believes that the environmentalists will not forget the lessons learned in Alaska and the rest of the country. In the middle of the primaries, in April 2008, Obama faced a crisis in his campaign when he referred to the American worker in a deprecatory fashion. According to the AP news agency, “the presidential pre-candidate, Barack Obama, recognized that his comments on the embittered working class ‘which seeks shelter in weapons or religion’ were completely inappropriate, in a hurried attempt to contain the ceaseless criticisms unleashed by his attitude, qualified as acquiescent.” Obama had commented in a private encounter held in San Francisco (on 12 April) with wealthy donors, that his inability to attract the working-class electorate was due to the fact that many of them were frustrated by present economic conditions. “Because of this, it is no surprise that people are embittered and seek shelter in weapons or religion . . . (they feel) antipathy toward those who are not like them

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or hold grudges against immigrants or international trade as a way to explain their frustrations” (AP 2008). Obama’s assistants produced and distributed numerous documents that emphasized his affinities with former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An important factor that Obama ignores is that the great crisis was overcome, to a large extent, because of the political alliance between Roosevelt and organized labor. Obama seems to be still far from those political positions. Obama and the Wars in Asia In July 2008, Obama put forth his five objectives in order to deal with the challenges facing the United States in its Asian wars, should he reach the White House. He framed the five points as part of a strategic plan to “Make America Safer.” The first consisted in the “responsible” withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The second point was to stamp out Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. His third point aimed at neutralizing any terrorist group or “rogue” regime that tries to acquire nuclear weapons. The fourth point in his plan was to achieve full autonomy in relation to energy. Finally, to reconstruct (international) alliances to face the 21st Century. According to Anthony DiMaggio, “Obama’s declarations on the end of the war in Iraq have created all sorts of doubts concerning the future government’s military commitment in that country. What Obama has stated in the last 12 months, analyzed as a whole, makes it clear he is a master of ambiguity and deceit” (DiMaggio 2008). During his campaign he committed himself to “summon his Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his first day at the White House, and give them the mission to finish the war—in a responsible, deliberate and decided manner.” Later on before the November general elections, Obama pointed out that his decisions concerning the war can change once he consults with his military field commanders. Apparently when he was travelling around the country raising expectations among Democrats, Obama never commited to withdraw all American troops from Iraq. On the contrary, before the elections he was saying that some 50 thousand soldiers would remain. At the same time, Obama’s plan would include leaving American permanent military bases in Iraq to train the local armed forces in the war on terrorism.

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According to DiMaggio, Obama’s promise of bringing the war to an end seems to be a propagandistic artifice. Everything indicates that the United States plans to remain in Iraq with troops at least until 2013. Obama’s plans matched those of Republican candidate John McCain, who was portrayed as a “hawk,” whereas the Democratic senator appeared as a pacifist. The Washington Post reported in mid 2008, during the campaign, that Obama’s plans for troop withdrawal did not find support among the military commanders in Baghdad. Both General Petraeus and the Iraqi leaders rejected the notion of using a “calendar” to guide the troop withdrawal (DiMaggio 2008). Once elected Obama continued changing his position and finally came to appropriate most of Bush’s policies concerning Iraq. Shortly after his electoral victory, Obama took a further step announcing the appointment of incumbent Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, for at least another year. Gates, a moderate Republican, had replaced in 2007 the unpopular Donald Rumsfeld, considered one of the architects of the war on Iraq. To stamp out any doubts or misunderstanding on his war leanings, Obama also appointed General James Jones (Ret.) as his National Security Advisor. Jones calls himself a “hawk,” opposed to any withdrawal from Iraq. The historian Garret Porter (2008) draws a parallel between Obama and President John F. Kennedy. The latter reached the White House in 1961 when the United States announced a large troop commitment in Vietnam. According to Porter, Kennedy’s failure to end the American commitment in Vietnam was due to the fact that he did not manage to establish a durable connection with his military field commanders. Kennedy’s team at the war bunker was headed by Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense, and Maxwell Taylor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both men were loyal to Kennedy but did not have good relations with the military chain of command. According to Porter, it seems as though Obama wants to avoid the Kennedy era mistakes which led to failure in Vietnam. In order to do so, Obama selected two point-men (Gates and Jones) who share the strategic vision of the military and who are directly involved in the day to day decision making in the front lines of the war. According to analysts of Obama’s policy on Iraq, there seems to be a lack of clarity, not to mention the lack of any decision, on a possible withdrawal of troops. Quite on the contrary, the apparent mission is to lower Washington’s profile—not necessarily the troop-level—in Iraq.

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Meanwhile, Obama has repeatedly pointed out his plan to increase US troop levels in Afghanistan. According to Obama the United States has two objectives in that country. The first is to apprehend Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, the terrorist group regarded as responsible for the attacks on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The second objective would be to establish a viable government in Kabul. According to Obama, US and NATO troops are fighting like heroes in Afghanistan, but the essential additional resources needed are tied up in Iraq. “When I am president I will give priority to the war on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. This is a war we have to win. We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites and a larger number of drones.” It was in this same speech that he included Pakistan on his hit list, saying he might find it necessary in order to accomplish his Afghan policy. “We will not be successful in Afghanistan or guarantee our Homeland if we change our policy toward Pakistan.” Shortly after these comments, Bush’s government started to direct air attacks against targets in Pakistan. Moreover, it summoned the Taliban to ceasefire conversations at Kabul (which were disavowed by the Islamic Fundamentalists). Bush also decided to put into effect Obama’s declared Pakistan strategy of attacking border towns in the north eastern territories. Or was it the other way around? Did Obama become the White House’s mouth-piece before setting up residence? Both Republicans and Democrats hope for a smooth transition with Gates staying on at the Pentagon and with General James Jones working next door at the Oval Office in the White House. Obama at least has the Republicans under control. He may get some flack from Democrats here and there. Obama’s plan for success in Afghanistan consists of up to seven key steps. Begin with sending 10 thousand additional soldiers, demand NATO to follow the example, train more Afghans, increase annual economic transfers (not military) to a billion dollars, replace poppy plantations, pressure Pakistan to repress its border towns (and if it does not, continue US direct unilateral attacks). This is precisely the sort of strategy that led the United States to its defeat in Vietnam and to a dead-end scenario in Colombia. According to Marc Herold (2008), Obama adheres to the Pentagon’s solution “disregarding the roots of the conflict and the complexity of the social structure in the Afghan-Pakistani border. Obama also ignores that bombing, midnight assaults, raping households and

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penetrating feminine environments produce a dynamic that favors the recruitment of new insurgents. Resistance feeds on corruption, mafia enrichment and impunity.” Herold pinpoints the fact that Obama is following in Bush’s footsteps, and that there is no strategy for the war in Afghanistan. “He does not understand the axiom of resistance: the insurgence wins if the United States cannot lose. The aim of the resistance is to continue fighting and there is an almost limitless reservoir of combatants and funding from the Arab oil-producer States.” Obama and the Economic Crisis According to The Independent (2008), “beset by war on two fronts, a rapidly emptying national Treasury and the worst economic crisis in decades, Barack Obama and George Bush are trying to ensure that the transfer of power between them goes as smoothly as possible.” Obama’s economic priority will aim at pumping enough money into the US markets in order to guarantee a fast recovery. Some time ago the debate was centered on whether to attack at the same time the health programs, global warming and energy independence. His team has serious misgivings on this strategy, discouraging any steps in this direction. Obama says he still wants to put an end to at least 200 of the most controversial decisions of Bush’s two periods. Obama will probably ponder over executive orders to reduce toxic emissions (CO2), He will probably slash California’s polluting policy. He will get rid of Bush’s bans on Federal support to family planning programs. In the short term, Obama has to face the capitalist system’s downturn due to the three-decade long crisis of overproduction. More urgent still, he has to face the challenges coming from Wall Street (financial meltdown) and the industrial sector’s (the “real” economy) paralysis. Obama supported throughout the transition period the Bush White House decisions. He has generally backed the Treasury’s rescue plans for Big Finance Capital and the bailout of the auto industry. According to Walden Bello (2008), capital has tried to squeeze through three escape routes to get out of the overproduction crisis: neoliberal restructuring, globalization and financialization. Everything points to the failure of them all. What is Obama betting on as a plausible solution? In the mid-term, Obama has to start to carve out a new world strategy that would allow the US to find new solutions to its lack of

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competitive muscle in the international arena. While Western Europe as well as Eastern Europe (Russia) were the biggest challenges during the 20th Century, all roads seem to lead to Asia (especially China) in the 21st Century. Obama is apparently aware of these historical transformations. Early in 2007, when his campaign was barely taking shape he stated in a debate that “. . . increasingly, the center of gravity in this world is shifting to Asia. Japan has been an outstanding ally of ours for many years. But, obviously, China is rising and it’s not going away. They’re neither our enemy nor our friend. They’re competitors.”1 According to Robertson (2008), this statement synthesizes Obama’s perspective on China. Robertson adds that Obama’s position puts him in the strong currents of the “Political Directorate.” According to Robert Borasage (2008), the United States’ commercial deficit with China reached in 2007 a total of US$256.2 billion, the largest deficit the United States has had with any one country. In addition, it represents a third of the total US deficit. What is more, China has more than US$1.5 trillion in its reserves. With these reserves China is setting up investment companies known by the name of Sovereign Investment Funds to acquire American corporations at residual prices. At present China has to show goodwill towards Washington and extend handsome loans which enable the US to continue buying goods coming out of China. This policy allows the Americans to spend beyond their possibilities. Borasage says “when your banker calls, you have to pick up the phone.” Borasage, of course, is very worried, and points out that “the problem is that China has a very clear economic strategy. Conversely, the United States’ global strategy is a sub-product of pressures coming from the “lobbies” and the forceful tactics of Wall Street.” Obama has to face a situation that goes back two decades to when American corporations were attracted to China. Beijing’s new policy created joint initiatives opening up manufacturing outlets, taking advantage of the low salary levels of the what seemed to be a never ending workforce (“reserve army of workers”). According to Borasage, Bush’s agenda was only being interested in opening “the financial markets in China for American banks.” Obama has criticized Bush on 1 Barack Obama, Debate of the primaries of the Democratic Party, South Carolina, at MSNBC, April 26th 2007.

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several occasions, saying that the Republican trade policy was always pushing Wall Street interests while ignoring Main Street’s needs. Obama’s position in reference to the United State’s trade policy emphasizes what he calls “strong and intelligent trade policies.” Trade agreements must be accompanied with environmental protection policies and labor rights. According to Obama the US “needs harder negotiators on our side, who benefit not only Wall Street, but also Main Street.” Obama’s discourse reflects the Democratic Party’s organized labor lobby that complains when it sees jobs sent overseas, especially to China. It also reflects the interests of American capital which having “discovered” the low-cost Chinese workforce has nevertheless failed to check declining rates of profit. Borasage, however, says that Obama repeats the same Republican argument (as well as Clinton’s a decade ago) complaining about “the Chinese products that flood the American market. We cannot accept that other countries manipulate the promotion of exports, creating enormous unbalances in the global economy.” Michael Hudson (2008) says that Obama’s selected economic policy will provide continuity to Bush’s strategy aimed at rescuing big capital’s unsuccessful financial maneuvers. “He will rescue all those financial investments of the wealthy, however, not the salaried people’s debts.” This economic staff, which Alicia González (2008) associates with former President Clinton’s, is identified by Hudson as the ‘Yeltsin Staff ’, which sponsored massive gifts to top Soviet officers in the shape of privatizations of Russia’s industry and natural resources in the mid-1990’s. In one way or another, the same Consultants present in Yeltsin’s Russia are back in Obama’s administration. Hudson concludes that the game is about “protecting the created interests,” while the voter’s attention was fixed on slogans dealing with change and hope. Hudson adds that the future of the White House depends on the “ability to distract attention to the fact that there is no real change on the economy’s foundations or power relations.” Obama and Latin America On several occasions Obama has said he would be interested in sittingdown with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In the same breath he has denounced Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, head of a regime accused of the assassination of labor leaders. In his highest profile

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appearance while looking for Latin American votes during the campaign, he withdrew his original proposal of putting an end to Cuba’s blockade. He annonced his new intended policy towards the Caribbean island pinpointing his approval of normalizing relations between Cuban-Americans and their family members back home. Mexico is also on Obama’s radar, largely due to his criticism of NAFTA’s mishaps (he barely mentions the drug trafficking question tearing Mexico apart or the plight of undocumented workers in the United States). COHA (2008) emphasizes Obama’s reference to the assassinations of workers in Colombia during one of the presidential debates (with a 60 million TV audience in the United States). In 2007, Senator Obama wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying that the United States should find some kind of balance between military intervention and social and economic reforms in Colombia. COHA also points out that another four similar letters sent by Senate members to Rice, the UN Secretary General and President Uribe did not bear his signature. Obama has aroused interest in Latin America because of his alleged intentions to dialogue with the region’s leaders without conditions or impositions. He has stated that dialogues can be established with left leaning governments across the hemisphere, giving the impression he has no ideological prejudices. While he states that he will respect the region’s governments, he sympathized with the Colombian military air-attack on one of FARC’s bases next to the border in Ecuador. The Organization of American States (OAS) considered the attack in violation of international law as well as Ecuadorian sovereignty. Obama’s position is shady but coherent to the extent that he suggests that the United States should stage air attacks on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Likewise, following up on the analogy, he considers that Colombia can attack suspicious campsites in Ecuador. Obama’s 13-page plan directed to Latin America, “A new partnership for the Americas” (2008), is poor in substance and has the traditional arrogance produced by the usual experts at the US State Department. Obama even reaches back 70 years to recover President Franklin Roosevelt’s “good neighbor” policies. Roosevelt looked forward to a world founded upon essential human freedoms such as (1) freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world, (2) freedom from want, which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants, and

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(3) freedom from fear, which means a world-wide reduction of armaments (so that) no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world” (Roosevelt 1941). Obama seems to identify Mexico and Colombia as pole bearers in the promotion of regional cooperation. Not a very wise choice considering that the two regimes are among the most isolated countries in the region, with serious governance problems due to their loss of control over drug trafficking activities geared to the US market. Obama also supports the Merida Initiative and considers that it’s military components could be extended to the rest of the region. His enthusiasm over the Merida Initiative and his idea to extend it shows certain lack of knowledge of the direction in which Latin American countries are moving. In his “Partnership” paper he mistakenly creates a parallel between the US drug issue and Latin America. He believes he can establish better relations with Latin America if he decreases market demand for drugs in these countries. Latin American countries, however, are not considered as viable markets for illegal drugs. The importance of these countries south of the border are their ties to production and distribution of drugs for the US market. At present the biggest problem for the US is at its border with Mexico where gang wars have broken out. Since the commodity chain is transnational in scope the US could be facing the same problems within its own borders in the near future. According to COHA’s analysis, Obama’s plan for “economic development in Latin America is out of focus.” The plan includes more emphasis on behalf of the US in “American help for vocational training, micro-finances and community development.” The plan is supposed to help Latin American countries reach the so-called “Millennium goals” and decrease the rates of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Apparently the “plan” reflects a set of incoherent contributions developed in different time frames by diverse expert groups. A Spanish analyst, Higinio Polo (2008), is convinced Obama “continues believing in an imperial view in which the United States is at the center of international politics. Despite his support of the Palestinian people in the past, he is committed now to Israel. If he is convinced he can bring about a new era, the American president must shut down Guantanamo, and put an end to tortures. Somehow he has to stop State terrorism and the use of mercenaries in several

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conflict points, and forbid any bombing of civilian populations. He must cease wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, accept the UN’s role, accept conversations to reduce nuclear arsenals and respect the old treaties signed with the Soviet Union.” Polo continues with a list of tasks that should be present in Obama’s agenda. He has to “change American policies toward Cuba and Venezuela. He also has to stop interfering with other countries’ domestic affairs.” Even though these are not very difficult tasks, Polo believes Obama will not be able to come through the challenge. He concludes that “the United States will have to negotiate with China, and with Russia, India, Brazil and Japan, as well. Obama’s uncertain future is written on the wall. There are clear signs of American decadence and Chinese strengthening.” Obama’s Plan for Latin America seems to repeat what the last ten US Presidents have proposed in the last 60 years. His ideas have no originality and give no hints of how he is planning to tackle the problems. Any enthusiasm on behalf of the Latin American people will probably be short lived. While Obama moves Bush aside at the White House, the Latin American governments are busy doing their own business. Obama’s signals, if any, have not reached a perplexed elite of Latin American leaders. While many Latin American governments are trying to write off their debts, Obama promises to reform the IMF and the World Bank cleaning off the spider webs that have been growing on them since 1948. Obama’s “Partnership” with Latin America includes rushing into the Amazonian basin in Brazil and other neighboring countries. He promises US support to “preserve the Amazonian rainforest and prevent its deforestation through economic incentives.” The issue is on the top of most Big US Corporation lists of priorities to harness vast forest lands. It is a non-issue in Latin America. Obama’s first and most important challenge in Latin America has to do directly with Cuba. After 50 years of political and military hostility and an economic blockade against Havana, Washington has to admit the futility of its policies. A majority in the US want a solution to the problem. In Latin America and, of course, in Cuba every government wants a just solution. No American government has had the political ability to find the right way. This is Obama’s opportunity to solve the impasse and recover the image the US lost decades ago. During the Party primaries and Presidential campaign, Obama only mentioned once the Cuban issue and his vision of Latin American

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relations. In May 2008 he met with a large crowd of young and old at the Miami based Cuban-American National Foundation. At the meeting, Obama said, addressing his words towards Cuba, “it is time we listened to each other and learned from one anothers experiences.” He promised Cuban-Americans freedom to travel to Cuba as well as putting an end to all restrictions on remittances sent to Cuba by family members. His words were received with enthusiasm and applause (Brown 2008). However, in 2004, Obama had also promised to lift the embargo against Cuba completely, since it had failed to remove Castro from power. In May 2008, he changed his position on Cuba and said he would maintain the blockade since it can work as a weapon if negotiations are established. According to Basque journalists Arrugaeta and Macías (2008), “the new American President, has significant advantages over previous US leaders. He owes no favors and has no commitments with the more reactionary and counter-revolutionary Cuban groups based in the US. He does not owe them his November victory in Florida, achieved despite his position against lifting the embargo against Cuba (or was it because the blockade would continue?) The “no-limits” Cuban-American groups in Southern Florida (who flirt on a regular basis with wellknown terrorists) and their allies inside Cuba have been generously financed, supported and even organized for decades by the different American administrations, becoming a de facto, influential and intransigent lobby. Nonetheless, in the 2008 political campaign most of them supported the losing candidate. On the Cuban side, Havana based political analyst, Manuel Yepe (2008) points out that Obama brings new hopes that “the economic blockade will end.” He also points to the possibilty “that The Five Heroic Cuban combatants, who fought against terrorism and have been serving time for more than ten years in American prisons, will be released.” Yepe, who is a research associate at the Institute for International Relations, adds that “Cubans have reasons to be hopeful that the election of a President who has promised changes, and is in fact the epitome that expresses change, can open the way to a new period in the relations between Havana and Washington.” Jorge Montecino (2008) concludes that for Barack Obama, Latin America represents an unknown geographic space. The United States has lost political and commercial presence in South America. In spite of the new scenarios created by the arrival of Obama into the White House, everything indicates that, once again, Latin America will remain largely invisible.

CHAPTER SEVEN

MARTIN LUTHER KING’S DREAM, OBAMA AND POST RACIAL SOCIETYCAN WE YET HOPE FOR A NEW NARRATIVE? Rodney D. Coates The recent election of Barrack Obama is nothing short of remarkable. Who, just 1 year ago, would have predicted such a significant change in the American political landscape? Historical in its implications, this election brings to mind the prophetic dream of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. In this dream, so long rehearsed, we longed for a time when a person could be “judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin”. In this dream, we longed for a time when “justice would roll down like a mighty river”. In this dream we all hoped for a time when we would “hue out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope”. Martin Luther King’s August 28, 1963 speech “I have a Dream” galvanized the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans—black and white, Jew and gentile, Christian and atheists. These words have become the bedrock of human rights throughout the world—I wonder how these words resonate in today’s world? In many ways, King attempted to challenge the dominant racial narrative by offering a counter hegemonic one. In so doing, he articulated a narrative in which character rather than race, hope rather than despair, and vision rather than pathology would guide us into a postracial society. This challenge yet remains unfulfilled, as we watch with awe as the world continues to change around us. The election of Barrack Obama represents that hope in the dawn of a new day, in a new era where all will be able to maximize their human potential without fear of discrimination based upon race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or handicap. As missiles continue to bombard the Gaza strip, as riots have erupted in Oakland, as the poor continue to be over-represented in prisons and under-represented in our college class rooms, as more covert forms of racism are identified—the question we must address today is just how far we have come in realizing this dream.

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First of all, let me be clear, I supported, worked toward, and voted for Barrack Obama in the recent presidential election. Secondly, I am neither bitter nor blind, I am neither fatalistic nor overly optimistic, and I am neither retrograde or revisionist. I am both observant and mindful of history. With these caveats, I welcomed and celebrated the election of Obama and am deeply appreciative of this historical moment. I find it more than coincidental that no sooner had the dust settled from the electoral screens and even before the actual inauguration—a strange and not so subtle shift can be seen in America’s racial terrain. This shift—what some allude to as a new racial narrative—has already assumed tsunamic proportions—seems destined to distort, transform, or obfuscate the racial landscape. The purpose of this paper will be to explore the contours of this racial narrative, particularly in light of the recent election of Barrack Obama. By way of introduction we have had several racial narratives throughout our history— 1) race narratives associated with European Imperialism, 2) race narratives and genetics, 3) race narratives and social science and 4) counter hegemonic racial narratives. In the sections that follow, owing to both time and space limitations, we shall briefly sketch out these narratives. With these as a foundation, we will conclude by outlining the themes and the realities associated with what some are calling a postracial narrative. Race Narratives and European Imperialism1 One of the marveylous thynges that god useth in the composition of man, is colourew: which doubtlesse can not bee consydered withowte great admiration in beholding one to be white and an other blacke, beinge coloures utterlye contrary. Sum lykewyse to be yelowe whiche is betwene blacke and white: and other of other coloures as it were of dyvers liveres. (Francisco Lopez de Gomara—1555, cited by Jordan, 1968)

Race has been problematic for America since its discovery by Europeans. In 1492, Columbus’s voyage of discovery would affect cultures and peoples throughout the world. This period of discovery was coupled with acts of exploitation, to include expropriation of land and persons, genocide and extermination, subjugation and racism—for

1

This section draws heavily upon Thomas Gossett (1975).

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the non-white races encountered. The death toll associated with this period of ‘discovery’ has been estimated to be 12 million Native Americans, 200 million Africans, and innumerable Asians. With time, the exploitative acts became institutionalized into systems of colonization and slavery stretching from Africa and Asia to the Americas and eventually to all the continents of the world. In each of these societies a racial stratification system favoring Europeans was created. (See for example Cox 1948; van den Berghe 1967; Jordan 1968; Mazower 1999; and Coates 2007) It is not to be doubted that, from the earliest ages, the black complexion of some of the descendants of Noah was known. Ham, it would seem, was of a complexion darker than that of his brothers. The root of the name Ham, in Hebrew, by the Rev. Prof. Blyden, 8vo, 1869, conveys the idea of hot and swarthy. (Owen 1875)

The problem for Europeans is that they were also in the midst of proclaiming the rights of men, liberty, and justice. Therefore, there was a need to justify the newly emerging racially stratified systems. Western science provided the necessary legitimacy for these racial hierarchies. In the early days of western science and empire, the discovery of racial differences was at the core of the research enterprise. Racial differences, both through inferences and observations, were accorded god-like status as evidence of evolutionary development. What is clear from this is that racial differences and the attendant racial inferences have been encoded in U.S. culture for quite some time. What is less apparent is the reality that the cultural codes thus produced were both overt and covert in their application. From another early source this is made clear: The Negro Heroes who may have exhibited their heroism in many a daring feat during the early history of Jamestown are not known. It is unfortunate that there was no record kept except that of the crimes of his ancestors in this country. Judging, however, from the records of later years, we may conclude that the Negro slave of Jamestown was not without his Banneka or Blind Tom. Certainly his labor was profitable and may be said to have built up the colony. (Edwards 1890)

English composition students are often challenged to answer the question “If a tree falls in the wilderness does it make a sound?” Surely, as implied by Johnson if that tree is black, the only sounds made were perceived as noise and a kind of historical amnesia particularly associated with the positives associated with Africans and many other racialized non-elites.

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Racial narratives, associated with European conquest demonstrate how such narratives evolve but also how they become transformed. In the Americas, Spanish conquistadors were the first Europeans to confront and attempt to annihilate indigenous cultures under the guise of progress and Christianity. Moore provides insight in the ideologies developed by the Spanish to justify their attempts to either enslave or destroy the various Native American groups they encountered. Being as they are hardened in their hard habits of idolatry and cannibalism it was agreed that I should issue this decree . . . I hereby give license and permission . . . to capture them . . . paying us the share that belongs to us, and to sell them and utilize their services, without incurring any penalty thereby, because if the Christians bring them to these lands and make use of their service they will be more easily converted and attracted to our Holy Faith (Moore 1972: 10 cited by Carew 1988: 39)

Las Casas, a Spanish Priest, argued successfully to the Pope that Native Americans were indeed human and therefore through conversion subjects of God’s kingdom and the churches’ protection. Unfortunately, the plea for the humanity of Africans went unheeded. (MacNutt 1909) The first Africans to be imported to this country in 1619 came as indentured servants and were accorded the same status and rights as many of the first Europeans. With time the terms of indenturement for Africans were extended to life and covered their offspring’s. Slavery, America’s peculiar institution, was born. The framers of the constitution found themselves hotly debating the issues of race. They would construct a nuanced racial narrative reflecting the paradox of justifications of slavery amidst democratic claims of freedom. This particular racial narrative allowed the federalist ideas of equality and inalienable rights to be reconciled with the southern institution of slavery. At the heart of this paradox we find the debate over not only the status but the humanity of the African, Native American, and others. The racial narrative constructed provided limited humanity for non-whites. As a consequence of this racial narrative, these non-whites could be treated differently than whites and still preserve the egalitarian creed expressed in the Declaration of Independence intact. Slavery, the continued genocide of Native Americans, and the forced labor of the Chinese, Irish, and others were allowed to continue. Native Americans were conveniently dismissed as heathens in these discussions. With time other groups in America, particularly the

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Mexicans, Haitians, Jews, Japanese, and other non-white groups would experience similar degradations and associated racial narratives. Race Narratives and Genetics2 More sophisticated racial narratives and ideologies, buttressed by the newly developing sciences in evolution and biology, justifying the systems of racism began surfacing in the early 19th century. Gradually, race came to refer to specific groups along an evolutionary continuum, where increasing gradations of whiteness were viewed as signs of superior development. By 1818, for example, Sir William Lawrence, a physician who introduced the word biology into the English language, argued that intelligence was correlated with racial hierarchies. Specifically, he argued that Europeans were more highly developed and hence inherently superior to either Asians or “African Hottentots” (who he argued were more closely related to apes). (Jackson and Weidman, 2004:37) Although, Lawrence insisted that this was not a reason to enslave people of color, soon this purported inferiority was used to buttress arguments for the continuance of slavery. Similar racial narratives were expanded and given universal expression by the Scottish anatomist Robert Knox (1850), Arthur de Gobineau (1853–55/1915), and in the United States by J. C. Nott and G. R. Gliddon (1854). It was not until the work of Charles Darwin that these statements began to assume the status of science. Specifically, Darwin (1859) provided the theoretical justification used to explain the development of specific racial groups as a process of selection. Although Darwin described the process of selection he did not identify the instrument of this selection. It was Mendel that is credited with identifying genes as the vehicle through which natural selection took place. Mendel’s work became the basis for the development of population genetics during the 1930s. These studies led to Boyd’s (1950) seminal work which defined races as referring to specific human populations possessing one or more combinations of genes. The only problem with this approach to race is that current information suggests as many as a million different genes, which leads to the untenable conclusion that potentially a million different races could be identified. 2

This section draws heavily upon Thomas Gossett (1975).

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Notwithstanding this conceptual variability, racial narratives became a socially established reality in this and other countries around the world. Once established, racial narratives became institutionalized and perpetuated by socialization processes operant within a particular society. The internalization of these racial narratives created stereotypical filters by which and through which individual differences are interpreted and reinterpreted. Racial narratives—interacting with historical, social, economic, political and cultural factors—further served to promote, define, and reproduce racial identity, racially ascribed socio-cultural products (which typically include music, art, life-styles, group membership, language patterns, etc.), and invariably racism. From a strictly biological basis, race was defined as a referring to a specific group who, as a result of either social or physical isolation, has a restricted gene pool. Such a group would be further distinguished because of identifiable physical characteristics that made them unique. With such a definition, it would seem easy to categorize the various human groups into specific races. Nothing, however, would be further from the truth. As scientists attempted to apply these criteria to groups throughout the world, several groups were found that could not easily be categorized. For example, Polynesians and Australian aborigines simply defied such a simple categorization. Other problems were identified within groups. For example, those considered of Caucasoid stock (such as the Asiatic Indians with dark-skins) physically were more like Negroid peoples, while some classified as Negroid, like the Kalahari Bushmen, were light-skinned. This confusion has led many to attempt more precise classification systems, resulting in as few as four and as many as 2,000 racial groups. Even if we could agree upon how many exact racial groups exists, how would a person of mixed ancestry be classified? It should be noted that most recent genome research indicates that geographic and social isolation, rather than genes, accounts for racial and genetic variation (see, for example, Jorde and Wooding 2004). Ignoring these obvious definitional and identification problems, scientists have consistently attempted to demonstrate a link between race and life outcomes (particularly as it relates to intellectual development, morality and other types of behavior). Intelligence testing began in the early 1890’s. The first I.Q. test, promoted as accurate and objective measures of intelligence, were developed by Alfred Benet and Theophile Simon of France in 1905.

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By World War I such tests—particularly Stanford-Benet scales, Yerkes Alpha and Beta tests—were used to assess intelligence among American soldiers during World War I. Social scientists would use these and later tests to compare intellectual develop of various racial groups. Leading the charge into this abyss have been both geneticists and psychologists. Geneticists and psychologists have both implicitly utilized I.Q. tests to answer a basic question of which influences behavior the most— those factors considered innate (such as race) or those determined by environment (those resulting from processes of socialization such as class, education, religious and other cultural value system). Psychologists, such as Carl C. Brigham, who a priori assumed that Blacks were intellectually inferior to Native Born Whites, utilized data from the Army tests to prove his claim. Early test results demonstrated a wide variation among and within all racial groups. The lowest results were consistently obtained by racial non-elites, in general, and African Americans and the poor, in particular. Admittedly biased research conducted by Henry Goddard, a pioneer of I.Q. test in this country, would add official legitimacy to these racial narratives. In 1912, he gave intelligence test at Ellis Island finding that at least 80 percent of newly arriving southern European immigrants could be classified as ‘feebleminded.’ Based upon these and other findings, America would develop immigration legislation that would severely restrict all but northern European immigration. (Goddard 1914) Goddard’s work became the basis of the racial narrative associated with the eugenics movements in both the United States and Europe. Later research would determine that I.Q. test do not really measure innate capacity or intelligence, but rather access to certain social and intellectual resources. (See for example, Turkheimer and colleagues 2003) Racialized non-elites, to include the poor and African Americans, have experienced a long history of being both socially isolated and racially segregated. These groups, therefore, have had less access to educational or social environments that would promote higher performance on I.Q. or other standardized tests. Other social scientists, attempting to minimize the influence of environment, began testing infants to judge the relationship between race and intelligence. Ironically, when black infants scored lower than whites, their lower performance confirmed lesser evolutionary development and their lower levels of adult achievement resulted from inferior racial development. Those tests or those cases that deviated from

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the norm were dismissed as outliers or exceptionally rare. The debate regarding the link between Race and I.Q. yet looms and is being raged in academic circles across this country and throughout the world. The recent work of Lynd (2006), Jensen (1998), Brand (1996),3 Ruston (1995), and Murray and Herrnstein (1994) continues these racial narratives. Race Narratives and Social Science The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line, the question as to how far differences of race—which show themselves chiefly in the color of the skin and the texture of the hair—will hereafter be made the basis of denying to over half the world the right of sharing to their utmost ability the opportunities and privileges of modern civilization. (Du Bois 1969)

Racial narratives, appearing as social science, have an equally long and troubled history. The term social science—referring to the sciences of humanity such as anthropology, economics, sociology, psychology, ethnography, and political science—was first introduced by William Thompson in 1824. These racial narratives would take on special significance in the newly developing science of sociology4 as penned by Comte, Durkheim, Weber, and others. From its very inception, sociology has been uniquely preoccupied with writing, interpreting, and formulating racial narratives. This preoccupation with racial narratives is well documented from either a casual look at its premier journals to each of its national meetings throughout its history. While, neither time nor space will allow a complete review of this history, we will nevertheless afford the reader a brief glimpse. Sociology not only bestowed scientific legitimacy to racial narratives but also justified the horrific crime of racial lynching. The southern woman with her helpless little children in solitary farm houses no longer sleeps secure in the absence of her husband, with doors unlocked but safely guarded by black men whose lives would be freely given in her defense. But now, when a knock is heard at the door, she shudders with nameless horror. The black brute is lurking in the dark, a monstrous beast, crazed with lust. His ferocity is almost demoniacal. . . .

3

In a rare move, Wiley actually “depublished” this volume citing irregularities, and tainted research. 4 Owing to time considerations and my own intellectual biases (as a sociologists), I shall restrict this section to the field of sociology.

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A whole community is now frenzied with horror, with blind and furious rage for vengeance. A stake is driven; the wretched brute, covered with oil, bruised and gashed, beaten and hacked and maimed, amid the jeers and shouts and curses, the tears of anger and of joy, the prayers and maledictions of thousands of civilized people, in the sight of the school-houses, court-houses and churches is burned to death . . . (Stone 1902:243–44)

From its inception, American sociology has reflected not only our Nations’ obsession with race, but also its dilemma as well. More specifically, American sociology as a social construct reflects the dominant gestalt within society. As one reads the earliest of articles appearing in such journals as The American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces, (i.e., the major journals of the discipline), one notes the multiple racial narratives which have emerged over time. These narratives have ranged from those aligned with social justice seeking to use the new science to solve and ameliorate the racial problem—to those aligned with the dominant racial group attempting to justify, preserve, and apologize for racial hierarchies, structures, and systems. At the onset, it should be understood these racial narratives have historically been quite attuned to the social climate, rarely anticipating but often mimicking the dominant societal racial narratives associated with particular periods. During the early 20th century, with the birth of the discipline, the dominant racial narrative5 within sociology tended to affirm the racial state. One of the earliest expressions of this racial narrative can be identified in a plenary session of the American Sociological Society’s 1907 annual meetings.(Wilcox 1908) Several brief papers were presented which ‘purported’ to debate the reasons for recent increases in racial friction between blacks and whites. This session concluded that racial friction between blacks and whites was the natural result of tensions associated with aggressive newly enfranchised blacks. More specifically, racial friction was a direct consequence of reconstruction and white northern radicals who encouraged blacks to challenge dominant racial narratives proscribing residential segregation, social isolation,

5 I am labeling dominant racial narratives as those which appear to be more widely cited, represented, and positioned in major sociological journals such as American Sociological Review and Social Forces. I am aware of the cursory nature of this designation. I am confident, however that more through study will demonstrate the efficacy of these characterizations.

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political disenfranchisement, and economic exploitation. It was these challenges to the racial narratives, Stone and associates argued, that led to the increasingly fragile and often contentious race relations in both the north and south. This particular session is of extreme historical importance, not only because it presents this racial narrative in its most primitive form, but also because embedded one may also find an alternative, counter hegemonic racial narrative of social justice as well. Du Bois argued that neither justice nor democracy would be served by trying to turn back the hands of history, and reaffirm racial superiority. As would be the case with many other, non-dominant racial narratives, this one was muffled or even momentarily silenced, by more conservative narratives which mimicked the dominant societal narratives on race. We shall return to these counter hegemonic racial narratives later, here we note their presence as a critical, albeit minor, voice within the discipline and wider society. As time proceeded, the dominant racial narratives in sociology continued to define racial non-elites as the problem which must be solved. Clear racial animosity, bias, and bigotry were frequently masked as scientific scholarship. For example Simons (1901) in explaining the justness of the Chinese Exclusion Bill unashamedly argued: Though our treatment of the Chinese has been far from just, it can scarcely be said that it has not been expedient. Unrestricted immigration of the Chinese would mean either the establishment of a servile class in our midst, which is against our principles, or inevitable race wars when the numbers became sufficient. . . . For the Chinese do not assimilate with the whites. (542)

Ward (1903) would go even further by arguing that the only way Chinese, Blacks or others could be elevated was through breeding with whites. Great efforts are made to prevent the mixing of the white with the black races, but they are only partially successful. The effect of slavery is always to produce the mixture of the slave-holding and enslaved races. . . . The influence of caste, which relegates to the colored race all who have any black blood whatever, has the effect of including in that race many who are to all intents and purposes white, and whose intelligence is nearly equal to that of the white race. These persons also possess the other qualities of the dominant race. They become the leaders of the colored race and by their influence and example help to lift them up. (732)

It is no surprise that this racial narrative was but a shadow of the one being advocated by evolutionary biologists of the same period dis-

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cussed above. Strangely, it was sociologists W. I. Thomas (1912) who pointed out just how science could be so misinformed: Most frequently “savages” are accused of being weak in abstract thinking, like children. To show how such opinions originate, I beg to relate a single case lately reported to me by one of my friends. A young colonial officer buys a basket and asks the name of it in the native language. The first native says, “That is a straw”; another native says that they also make them of rushes. One of the two seemed to have lied, so each of them received twenty-five lashes. A third native is called. He says, “The basket is plated,” and gets twenty-five also. The next native affirms that the basket is nearly new, and gets twenty-five. The next (states) that he does not know whose basket it is, etc. The final result of this scientific investigation is two hundred lashes; and the white man writes in his notebook: “These natives here are brutes, not men.” The black man says to his friends, “This fellow belong white is not proper in his save box,” and thinks it safer to keep at a good distance from him; and a certain scientist at home gets a splendid illustration of his theory of the poor intellect of savage man and of his weakness in abstract thinking. (731)

Undaunted, mainstream sociology continued to produce racial narratives which not only mimicked dominant racial discourse, but also legitimated it though the guise of scientific discovery. Bryce would articulate this racial narrative in what would become the dominant sociological motif we have come to know as “race relations”. According to this racial narrative, race friction, violence, and hostility were the natural outcome of unregulated relations between whites and blacks. Regulated race relations produce corresponding decreases in conflict. The greatest decreases in racial conflict were associated with military force, followed by legal sanctions. The least favorable arrangements, and hence the least decrease in racial conflict, were afforded under democratic institutions.6 (Mecklin 1913:343–45) Racial narratives which pointed to different sources, such as racially stratified and exclusionary economic, political, and social institutions (particularly that of marriage) were typically ignored.7

6 Although tangential to this discussion, but highly pertinent to the effects of these racial narratives within the discipline, the reader might be interested in how extreme racial groups were treated. Oddly, and paradoxically, one of those democratic institutions that sociologists would identify was the Ku Klux Klan. See for example Guy B. Johnson’s 1904 article entitled “A Sociological Interpretation of the New Ku Klux Movement”. 7 See for example Abram L. Harris’s 1927 article entitled “Economic Foundations of American Race Divisions”. The fact that this article has never been cited (according to the citation index of JSTOR) demonstrates what happens when sociologists of this

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Robert Parks, one of the preeminent founders of American Sociology, rose to fame by articulating the dominant racial narrative. Parks, teaming up with Burgess, would soon advocate for a ‘race relations cycle’ that reflected a four step process of competition, conflict, accommodation, and assimilation. (1921) Racial prejudice, a natural part of this race cycle was an important indicator of social progress. For him, racial prejudice was as natural “and part of the stuff from which human life is made”. (1928:12) These particular narratives would dominate public discourse, research, and policy for the next 30 years, until cycles of poverty experienced across generations of racial non-elites brought them into serious questions. Sociology, if nothing else loves simplicity in both its theories and its public policy recommendations. Soon the cycles of poverty, crime, and social disorganization so prevalent among racial non-elites was being described as a culture of poverty. (Lewis 1966) According to this racial narrative, poverty was the natural outcome of poor choices. The poor develop sub-cultures that allowed them to make adjustments to their circumstances. These sub-cultural adjustments, the narratives argued, encouraged deviance, excused criminality, and exploited sexuality. The children of the poor, socialized into a culture of poverty, were therefore unable to rise out of their situation. Poverty thus becomes cyclic, generational, and resistant to external (societal) programs of uplift. Although the culture of poverty was originally developed to describe third world poverty, soon it became part of America’s dominant racial narrative8 and used to inform public policy. Racial antagonisms were a unique American problem, Myrdal characterized as constituting a moral dilemma. The American Negro problem is a problem in the heart of the American. It is there that the interracial struggles goes on. The ‘American Dilemma’ . . . is the ever-raging conflict between, on the one hand, the valuations preserved on the general plane which we shall call the ‘American creed,’ where the American thinks, talks, and acts under the influence of high national and Christian percepts, and, on the other hand, the valuations on specific planes of individual and group living, where

period dared to advocate a counter hegemonic racial narrative. We will pick up on this point in the next section. 8 See Moynihan classic 1965 study. “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action”.

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personal and local interests; economic, social, and sexual jealousies; considerations of community prestige and conformity; group prejudice against particular persons or types of people; and all sorts of miscellaneous wants, impulses, and habits dominate his look.” (Myrdal, 1944: xlvii)

Thus, the problem was a psychological, not a structural one. The cure to this American moral dilemma rested in either ‘educating’ whites regarding prejudice or improve the circumstances of Blacks. The power of this racial narrative is that it focuses attention upon the behavior of whites, particularly in the south. Absent, therefore are any significant calls for changes in American economic, social, political, or other institutions. And past any significant structural changes, the American Negro Problem, once again becomes the problem of and with Negroes. Under Myrdal’s analysis, Black agency is reduced to mere reaction to White prejudice. Accordingly, black pathologies reflect their victimization. Consequently, black salvation/redemption lies in their ability to prove themselves worthy of white acceptance. In the wake of the string of Supreme Court rulings, effectively nullifying legally sanctioned racial discrimination, sociology began to ‘discover’ the intransience of racism in American life. Of interest is that even as this racism was being discovered, sociological apologies for such could be discerned in this newest of racial narratives. Thus, Anderson (1955) while documenting the persistence of race differences in education would nevertheless conclude that there was a ‘leveling’ in educational outcomes. Blood (1955) would declare that even when such discrimination is present, it might not indicate prejudice. A cottage industry, dealing with race and minority relations, had developed within the discipline. Blumer (1956) articulated this racial narrative most succinctly by declaring that: Segregation is continuously at work in all human societies as a natural, unguided, and unwitting process. . . . Such areas are familiar to us in the case of “black belts,” “little Italies,” and other ethnic areas; they are also noted in the case of slums . . . “gold coasts” and rooming—house areas . . . The formation of such differentiated areas, while not unaffected by deliberate governmental policy, is primarily a natural and spontaneous process. (137)

No less than a dozen textbooks, and hundreds of articles, had been produced as sociology staked its claim on this most pressing of ‘social problems’. Unfortunately, as observed by King (1956):

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rodney d. coates The content and approaches of these texts are disturbing to one who believes that sociology is concerned with the development of empiricallytested generalizations regarding human relationships. . . . Nowhere in the “minority” literature can one find a systematic and comprehensive set of sociological generalization. (p. 80)

It is no wonder, that sociology was caught totally off-guard by the civil rights movement of the sixties. (McKee 1993) The turbulent 60s proved to be an important milestone in sociology, as the dominant voice of the discipline grappled with the action on the streets. For a brief moment, it appeared that mainstream sociology would get it right. Vose (1968) documented not only black success in Supreme Court rulings making illegal state support of racially exclusionary covenants, but also by sociologically championing this alternative view of the racial state. Now the racial narrative acknowledged that the wretched outcomes experienced by blacks were a function of their environment rather than so-called inherited traits or sub-cultural deficiencies. Wilson (1978) would document the remarkable progress, both real and imagined, experienced in American race relations. This seminal text optimistically argued that, within economic settings, race appeared to be declining in significance. Specifically, Wilson argued that the economic gap between blacks in the upper income and lower income groups had increased significantly. Even while these gaps were increasing, those between similarly situated blacks and whites were decreasing. Therefore, he concluded that the life chances of similarly positioned blacks and whites were more closely associated, than those from different class groups. Essentially, blacks in upper income groups were more like their white counterparts—in terms of life experiences and outcomes—than they were with lower income blacks. Wilson’s arguments would quickly become transformed into the dominant racial narrative. Through the transformation, Wilson’s subtle and highly nuanced ‘declining significance of race’ would be misinterpreted as the ‘insignificance of race’.9 With this misrepresentation, Ronald Reagan

9 Gilmore (2008) continues this misreading of Wilson: “Thirty years ago, the legendary Chicago sociologist, William Julius Wilson, in his book, “The Declining Significance of Race,” declared that race in America as an issue for African-Americans, had been superseded by class. Most Black Americans denounced Wilson’s premature announcement.”

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and other conservatives would define the conservative agenda of the 1980’s. In this new conservative agenda, the racial narrative declared victory in the war on race. In so doing, Reagan launched a wholesale attack upon civil rights, affirmative action, and welfare under the rhetoric that these not only held back blacks, but also targeted innocent whites. In this newest of racial narratives, whites were embraced as the new victims of past racial policies. Amazingly, more than 30 years since the “marching stopped”, since Kenneth Clark convinced the supreme court that separate was wholly unequal, since 3 little children were killed in a bombed out church, since the long hot summers caused us to question whether we would continue to be a nation divided, since the passage of the voters rights act, since creation of Affirmative Action, since the slaying of Medger, Malcolm, John and Robert, and since Martin Luther King’s Dream of a multi-cultural future for America and the systematic dismantling of most obvious forms of racial discrimination—we find ourselves once again discovering the power of hegemonic racial narratives. As we watch a new millennium begin, the intractability of race and racism in such things as the corporate glass ceiling (where the Man Farthest Down10 is once again a black woman), the disparities in sentencing and the administration of capital punishment, and racial profiling—we are yet amazed at the vitality of even newer racial narratives which would explain such disparities as normal. Even within the academy, race narratives have resurfaced as the primary factor utilized to account for the lack of performance of persons of color. We find criminality again being defined and discussed in racial terms. In these newly evolving racial narratives, of learned scholars, we painfully take note that blaming the victim and the culture of poverty are once again in vogue (even if at times they are disguised as discourse and research in human capital, the bell curve or the human genome studies). While the consistency and the reality of hegemonic racial narratives are obvious, equally obvious have been the counter hegemonic racial narratives.

10

See Washington and Park (1912).

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rodney d. coates Counter Hegemonic Racial Narratives The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Steven Biko Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter African Proverb

Historically, within the U.S. and other racial states, counter hegemonic racial narratives have been developed by racialized non-elite. Counter hegemonic racial narratives can be found in David Walker, Nat Turner, and Maria Stewart as they voiced fiery condemnation of slavery as being offences against God and nature. These counter hegemonic racial narratives have served is not only to challenge dominant racial discourses but also to legitimate, actualize, and reaffirm self-hood. In many ways these counter hegemonic racial narratives have also served to identify the racial fault lines prevalent within the racial state. These racial narratives, as early as Equiano’s 1789 assertion of self-worth and dignity to as late as the Last Poets 1970’s rage against racism, objectification, and imperialism—all have common themes. They derive from the lived experiences of the oppressed, they challenge the dominant racial narrative, and they seek to not only to redefine but also to reaffirm the dignity of the racialized non-elite. The strength of Sojourner Truth’s cry of “Ain’t I a Woman”, is no less powerful than that of Dunbar’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”—both not only proclaim the humanity but also the dignity of a people whose very essence has been castigated by an oppressive racialist regime. Even in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision—which denied the very humanity of the African—Frederick Douglass would asserted that no court or Chief Justice could deny the humanity of the slave. For, the humanity of slave was wrapped in “the essential nature of things”. This essential nature decreed that all humans, regardless of race, were guaranteed the right to liberty, justice and equality. (Douglass 1857) . . . he was defeated long before he died because, at the bottom of his heart, he really believed what white people said about him. . . . you really are of another era, part of what happened when the Negro left the land and came into what the late E. Franklin Frazier called “the cities of destruction.” You can only be destroyed by believing that you are really what the white world calls a nigger. (Baldwin 1996)

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Over a century ago, Black writers and artists, tired of the stereotypically negative portrayal of Blacks began to reject the notion of their inherent inferiority and permanent denigration. Alan Locke (1927), capturing these ideas in his now famous article “New Negro”, called for a new vision, a new hope, and a new future for blacks. Thus a new era was marshaled into being where Blacks fought to finally break the shackles of racism, poverty, and perceived inadequacy. This “New Negro”, according to Locke’s formulation would start with a transformation of how blacks conceived of themselves, defined themselves, and consequently how they identified themselves in the modern world. During this period of time, blacks frustrated with their economic situation, lynching, and lack of success in the south began to come north in massive numbers. Thus, accompanying the call for this new racial narrative—black culture, social institutions, and economic vitality soared. Black ministers, black political leaders, black academicians, and ordinary black people embraced a new militancy as they refused to settle for the status quo, and began to not only defend their image, but their communities, and their institutions with a newfound racial narrative. In the last decade something beyond the watch and guard of statistics has happened in the life of the American Negro and the three norms who have traditionally presided over the Negro problem have a changeling in their laps. The Sociologist, the Philanthropist, the Race-leader are now aware of the New Negro, but they are at a loss to account for him. He simply cannot be swathed in their formulae. For the younger generation is vibrant with a new psychology; the new spirit is awake in the masses, and under the weary eyes of the professional observers is transforming what has been a perennial problem into the progressive phases of contemporary Negro life. (Locke 1927)

Thus empowered, a new vanguard of racial activists challenged the racial status quo. Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, Fannie Lou Hammer, Randall Collins, Shirley Chisholm continued to enlarge, interpret, and define these counter hegemonic racial narratives. It was these counter hegemonic racial narratives which paved the way for Martin Luther King’s dream. Martin L. King’s August 28, 1963 speech “I have a Dream” galvanized the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans—by articulating a new counter hegemonic racial narrative. In 1967, King argued that “We often develop inferiority complexes and we stumble through life with a feeling of insecurity, a lack of self-confidence, and a sense

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of impending failure.” These words mimic those of Cornel West in Race Matters (1994) when he argues that “today’s black suffer from extreme fatalism, extreme nihilism where all seems lost, hopelessness rules the day. IF we look at stats we see that more black males are likely to spend time in prison then in college, more black women are more likely to get pregnant than get a degree. Blacks are more likely to rent than to own, they are more likely to spend than to save, and more blacks are likely to fail than to succeed. Some believe that the recent election of Barack Obama has signaled the beginning of a new discourse—a post, racial narrative.” Post-Racial Narratives These newer forms of racism, more covert, give the illusion of a postracial society. It is to these post-racial societal narratives that we now turn. These new narratives, like their predecessors, also have several themes which can be identified as a) the end of race and racism, b) racial angst and fear, and c) racial progress, challenges, and possibilities. First, let’s consider the post-racial societal narrative. This narrative suggests, as indicated above, that a major shift has occurred in America’s racial terrain. This shift, attested to by the election of Barrack Obama as the first black America, demonstrates that we have finally come to grips with our racial legacies and have washed the slate clean of its racial stain(s). This new racial narrative would argue that any remaining forms or evidence of racism only represents the past, or more specifically reflects a form of racial inertia. Hell, it would be argued, we have lived for so long under the shadow of race and racism, there are bound to be many areas which have not seen the light of this brand new day. Thus while there may be lingering racial shadows, it will take some time and patience as the dawn of this new racial paradise sinks in and the relics of the past are forever buried in this new day of progress. Such reasoning would further argue that any calls of racism, or analysis which would support racism are antiquated or even worse blind to these new realities. It is with interests that the primary supporters of this new narrative are widely divergent in racial orientation, political persuasion, and social location. Thus, some who support this new post-racial societal narrative are those who have struggled to bring about this day. They have been hopeful, and indeed honestly supported Barrack Obama

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because they truly believed that he was the voice of change that America so desperately needed. Another group who supports this post-racial narrative is represented by those who have been burnt out from the struggle, and see Obama’s victory as validation of a life of struggle, and acknowledgement that the battle has been won and that King’s dream has been realized. Alternatively, we can identify another group who while supporting this new post-racial narrative did not support Barrack Obama’s election. These, who may be called neo-conservatives, see advantage in Obama’s victory as a tool to use in a new push to dismantle what remains of the civil rights agenda. This group of neoconservatives has already begun modeling the theme that Obama’s victory demonstrates conclusively that race and racism are no longer significant factors in America. Alternatively, and running concurrently with these narratives, one may identify a more pessimistic one from those who feel betrayed by the election of the first black president. This theme, while acknowledging the historical significance of the election of Barrack Obama, points to some critical things that must be understood. Advocates of this narrative are quick to note that Barrack Obama is not the first black, but the first bi-racial president elected in the United States. Thus, we should actually be celebrating Obama’s bi-racialness and to do otherwise would be to dismiss the candidates own preference in terms of identity. Put another way, in previous historical periods race was essential to determining one’s racial identity. There were no gray areas or room for multiple racial identity markers. In today’s racial landscape, multiple racial identity markers are not only acceptable but also legitimated by such institutions as the U.S. Census. Also, we should remember that Barrack Obama did not run as a black person, nor did he run a racialized campaign. Obama ran a campaign which attempted to cross the racial divide, not expand it. Obama also did not run on the old civil rights platform, or the democratic platform, or the reform platform. Obama actually tried to align himself with a populist movement which was broader than the racial, class and gender divide which has historically defined politics in America. Unfortunately, as advocates of this racial narrative sub-text can attest—America has not made this leap into racelessness, gender neutrality, or classlessness. America—is still divided, and gaps of opportunity which reflect the interaction of race, class, and gender yet prevail. Similarly, the outcomes of the able and disabled only complicate this narrative and further point to the gaps which separate us. For those

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who see these realities, the new racial narrative is that while things have changed—while Barrack Obama is soon to be president—for the majority of Americans nothing has significantly changed. Fourthly, and simultaneously being expressed is theme d) racial fear and anxiety. Gun sells have peaked across the country as racial radicals, of all racial groups. A Holthouse documents the rapid rise in racist extremist group and observes: As in recent years, hate groups were animated by the national immigration debate. But two new forces also drove them in 2008: the worsening recession, and Barack Obama’s successful campaign to become the nation’s first black president. Officials reported that Obama had received more threats than any other presidential candidate in memory, and several white supremacists were arrested for saying they would assassinate him or allegedly plotting to do so. (Holthouse 2009)

Among these groups we can note a heightened fear of real or potential conflict for which they aim to be prepared. Today’s’ racial extremists see in the election of Barrack Obama a very real threat and a very tangible recruitment tool. The election of Obama provides clear evidence, according to this narrative, that America is not a place where a white man can feel safe. Alternatively, there are some black racial radicals who see in the election just the opposite—a decrease in their ability to use hate, victimization, and racism to whip up black support for racial extremism.11 Finally, and running concurrently with the others, is another theme which, while understanding the historical significance of the Obama election, recognizes that now the real work begins, and for them the struggle continues. For this group—recognizing the distorted landscape and blurred visions associated with this strange new racial discourse—there is significant concern that their voices will be muffled by the noise of all the other themes. And rather than singing in concert, there will be even more discord in our racial discourse. For these the struggle to be heard will be even more challenging as the bases of our racial structures rearticulate. There need be no unifying theme; in fact the very discord serves to identify them. Consider the noise which is usually associated with many of our dining rooms or other public, open spaces. The very noise

11

See for example Johnson (2009).

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serves to distinguish these areas from others. So is also the case with many of our racial narratives. What is glaring is that while we note the dominant ‘noise’ the overwhelming sound of those oppressed— along the dimensions of race, class, gender, ability, etc.—goes unmentioned, even though it is unknown. It is what happens when we listen to the subaltern voices. The noise—the discordant sounds that come from structures which have been designed to maximize profits, status, power and privilege for a few continues to define the modern, global western states. The election of Obama road the waves of discontent of those who believed that something more than noise was possible, that we would indeed live in harmony. Again, those who understand that the struggle continues, have ample evidence that simply because the police chief is a black man from East LA, or the chief executive officer is an Asian lesbian from the West Side of Chicago, or the drill sergeant is a poor white man from Mississippi—change at the top does not always, or more aptly rarely leads to changes at the bottom. Put simply, putting lipstick on a pig does not make it a lady. But in this regard we must not confuse the moment with the movement. Individualism is part of a creed that has never been more than an ideology. Never in the history of this country or any other has it ever been realized, but it is promoted as some kind of reality. By promoting this particular racial narrative, American cultural hegemony has been able to hide behind some of the more glaring contradictions that represent the not only its dilemma but also its paradox. That is to say when we want to blame the victim we point to their individual failure, but when we want to lift up the American dream(s) we talk in terms of “we the people”. In times of crises the motif of “We the people” becomes more pronounced. Thus we see the resurgence of populist movements whose very existence owes to the crises that is before the nation. Within these movements we find the collective unrest to transform the nation. Therefore, we note the revolution itself that gave rise to this nation, we note the civil war which produced a radical moment associated with Reconstruction, and we note the passage of the 13, 14, 15, and 19th amendments. We have the populist movement which gave rise to FDR and the creation of the welfare state. These same forces provided the stimulus for affirmative action, head start, and Johnson’s Great Society. Now these forces have led to the election of Barack Obama.

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Each of these movements led to significant, albeit short lived reforms in our country. The reasons for the shortness of such reforms has to do with the other component of the creed that of individualism. For it is this creed that conservative forces appeal to. Individualism, which gets realized as greed, avarice and caprice soon reemerges as the dominant ethos. A major reason for the decline of liberalism may be associated with twin miss-perceptions. These miss-perceptions, simultaneously present the left as fragmented while presenting the right as unified. The illusion of unity of the right serves to enhance their perspective. But such a unity we on the left consistently also presume. Therefore, we actually add to this illusion by constantly reifying the so-called single mindedness of capitalism and capitalist. This illusion of race unity, much like a presumed illusion of class unity among the elites— becomes insurmountable as it implies that the left and minorities must develop a similar form of unity in order to prevail. Thus the illusion of unity becomes another ideology which has limited basis in reality. Pluralism and multiple perspectives from the left are actually a good thing. The problem comes when we spend most of our time arguing, critiquing, and destroying each other that limited energy is left to do the work of the left. These modern-day house slaves, however, ignore a simple historical fact: colonialists have no permanent friends, only permanent interests; they have little use for such a slave mentality, especially when they know that the house slaves are a tiny minority of the colonized peoples. (Malcolm X 1963)

Therefore, as Malcolm X observed we should realize that we have no permanent enemies, nor permanent friends—we do have permanent agendas. What should be the agenda of the left? This agenda should recognize, much like our adversaries on the right, that there some items and issues that are not universally held, and there are some that we can agree upon. For those that we agree upon—like health care, education, homelessness, war, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.—we should collectively pursue. But we should also recognize that there are also some issues which are more group centered and may not be shared by the entire collective. This is the balance that we must strive not only to identify but also to pursue and encourage. In the final analysis we must realize that we do not live in a perfect world. Our leaders, no matter how competent, are not omnipotent. They, like the rest of humanity, have their limitations, human fail-

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ings, and problems. Our societies, as with ourselves, are in a constant struggle. Consequently, no one person, event, or idea will save us from our own insanity. No one election, movement, or moment will deliver us from the evil that we have and continue to create. No one religion, ideology, or theory will enlighten us to the point where all will see. There will forever be blind, crippled, evil, and trouble people, societies, and systems. The question is will we choose to light a candle or to curse the darkness. The future is less about Barrack Obama and is more about a mass of people who have gotten sick and tired of business as usual. Such people do not believe that Obama will by himself change the course of history, defeat the forces of evil, or erase the vestiges of complacency which has taken the world to the brink of destruction. I must admit, even while diligently working for Obama’s victory, I refused to allow myself to lose sight of the reality that this was a long shot at best. Even now, as I grapple with the reality that this is not a dream, that indeed this black man, this man has become the 44th President of the United States—I am humbled, exhilarated, and enthusiastic about our future. I have never been happier to be alive, and as I look at our youth—I see something that I had not seen before—I see possibilities. I can never look at the youth, or my children, the same now. For now, I can truly say—you can live out your dreams, you can be whatever you want to be—even the President of the United States. And as I contemplated this, a new realization has been born. I am looking at the next president of the United States. As I look at these youth, regardless of race, I see the prospects for a new American reality. As I look at America, I see the prospects of a new racial narrative where all dreams can come true regardless of race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or ability. I see hope. Think about it—when was the last time that this level of hope and wonder were so prevalent. This generation of youth—who many have written off as apathetic, listless, and overly self-absorbed—now awake to a world of renewed hope and opportunities. This group of youth— have seen that their voices, efforts, and actions can and did have profound effects that have forever changed the course of history. Wow, what an awesome thought, what an awesome idea—these youth are our best hope, and the best evidence that life and living are worthwhile. As I look at them now—I see eyes that are bright, hearts

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that are strong, and character that has not been broken down. As I look at the youth—I see our future and damn it looks good. But with all of this hope, comes a tremendous responsibility for those of us who call ourselves parents, mentors, teachers, and leaders. How are we going to prepare these youth to assume the positions of hope that is before them? How will we model our behavior in such ways that they see that we not only support them, but that we challenge them to be more than we could ever hope to be? In what ways will we teach and mentor this young group of dreamers so that they can live out their dreams? How do we write a new racial narrative, one where all are challenged to reshape the world in such a way that all share in the victory and in the renewed opportunities? This is our task and this is our challenge.

PART III

REVISITING SOCIAL THEORY AND POLITICS

CHAPTER EIGHT

WHY NEW SOCIALIST THEORY NEEDS GUY DEBORD: ON THE PRACTICE OF RADICAL PHILOSOPHY Richard Gilman-Opalsky In this article, I draw on the work of Guy Debord to critically rethink prevailing narratives on the fate of socialism in the twentieth century and beyond. There are critical differences between the spectacle of socialism (or socialism as ideology), on the one hand, and socialism as philosophy or political theory, on the other. While the spectacle of socialism is real in material and ideological terms, it is not really socialist. On this basis, I contend that the future of any socialist politics depends, at least in the first instance, on philosophy. I aim to show, not only how Debord’s work helps us to see the revolutionary value of philosophy and political theory, but also, how his ideas on situationist praxis can help us to think through current impasses for political action. I. Socialist Spectacle and Philosophy Revolutionary theory is the domain of danger, the domain of uncertainty; it is forbidden to people who crave the sleep-inducing certainties of ideology, including even the official certainty of being the strict enemies of all ideology . . . When the revolution is still a long way off, the difficult task for revolutionary organization is above all the practice of theory.1

Various imposters have played the part of socialism in the short twentieth century (1914–1989).2 And wherever such imposters were not self-consciously playing a role with the help of an ideological script,

1 Debord, The Real Split in the International: Theses on the Situationist International and its Time, 2003 [1972]:62–63. 2 See Habermas’ (2001 [1998]:Chap. 3) discussion of the “long” nineteenth century and the “short” twentieth century as historical units punctuated by events, The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Chapter 3.

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still, the appearance of socialism has been more important than its substantive basis in the world. Images, and often not in pictures, of socialism and socialist revolutions, were instrumental to competing goals. On the one hand, the framework of “socialism versus capitalism” served to mobilize and inspire international solidarity. The most hopeful aspirations in the struggles of labor and in the work of socialist authors and revolutionists took flight within this vital mood of solidarity and possibility. On the other hand, the very same framework set the stage for a triumphalist discourse about capitalism and the horrors of communism. In reference to the Stalinist bureaucracy, Debord wrote that “they have to play the part of the proletariat governing a socialist society; they are actors faithful to the text of ideological betrayal. Yet their effective participation in this counterfeit being has to be perceived as real. No bureaucrat can individually assert his right to power, because to prove himself a socialist proletarian he would have to present himself as the opposite of a bureaucrat, while to prove himself a bureaucrat is impossible because the official truth of the bureaucracy is that the bureaucracy does not exist.”3 Here, Debord contends that accepting the ideological text of socialism casts certain realities under the so-called communist regimes of the twentieth century as logical impossibilities that must be edited out of the picture. So, the most egregious violations of republican principles may in fact occur under various “peoples’ republics,” but they are denied by definition, as well as by official pronouncements from the state. An illustration of this can be seen in the United States as well, where we often project ourselves (in cultural and political terms) as a beacon of democracy to the world. To suggest that America may not be a democracy in substantive or even in procedural terms (and the latter has recently been claimed in the scandals of contested elections) appears impossible because it is incompatible with the projected image of American democracy. In the so-called communist countries, it wasn’t only capitalists (or proto-capitalists) and disempowered elites who became political prisoners, but also intellectual critics, poor people, and open socialists. Anarchists in Russia were often imprisoned, monitored, and restricted in their use of public speaking and the press, as Lenin felt that free

3

The Society of the Spectacle, Debord 1995:74–75, thesis 107.

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speech was “a bourgeois notion. There can be no free speech in a revolutionary period.”4 Lenin had good reasons for this, for he did have many prospective allies who were not yet on his side. But this instinct, to contain and preempt antagonistic tendencies for the sake of bureaucratic control, was not only criticized by anarchists but also by communists like Cornelius Castoriadis who expressed intense hostility toward anarchism. Using Debord’s term, socialism existed as a “spectacle.” This is essential for a precise reading of Debord, since many who study his most popular work, The Society of the Spectacle, falsely conclude that the spectacle is a function of highly technological capitalist societies alone. But for Debord, the critique of capitalism can be found also within the critique of so-called communist regimes. Like Castoriadis, Debord saw the opposition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. as an opposition between free-market capitalism (in the U.S.) and bureaucratic or state-controlled capitalism (in the U.S.S.R.).5 This helps us to answer the question, “If not communism, what was it?” Rather than an opposition between capitalism and communism, there was in fact a standoff between two distinct forms of capitalism, where the free-market version wins out in the end. This more fitting alternate reading of the twentieth century explains the acceleration of neoliberalism in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union far better than the conventional Cold War discourse.6 In the story of capitalism versus communism, we can certainly understand the flourishing of capitalism in light of the disintegration of historic border impediments to trade. But only in the story of an opposition between different forms of capitalism can we accurately grasp the transition to the current phase of globalization made possible by aggressive deregulation and the liquidation (through privatization programs) of the public functions of government.

4

Cited in Goldman (2003:33). See Castoriadis 1947, “Socialism or Barbarism.” 6 It is worth noting here that the late 80s and the early to mid-90s coincide with Uruguay Round of GATT and the formation of the World Trade Organization and NAFTA, which was followed by CAFTA, FTAA, and a host of other concrete initiatives to facilitate the current phase of neoliberal capitalism. These initiatives are pursued outside of the framework of the Cold War because they represent the ideology of a particular theory of capitalism and development that opposes state regulation and oversight. 5

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But, in the discursive contest framed by the Cold War, the opposition was presented as that of capitalism versus communism, where capitalism emerged the victor—and today, we are left with the legacy and limitations of this conflicted (and profoundly ideological) narrative. That being said, it is important to acknowledge that the proliferation of socialist theory and action is much scarcer in the United States than in much of the rest of the world. And it is not only that we are more likely to find greater consideration of socialism in the regions of the usual suspects throughout Latin America (i.e. Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela). Recently, for example, many of us have witnessed tumultuous outbreaks of socialist critique in Greece and in France. In Greece, there have been months of anarchist and socialist uprisings since the December 6, 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos (although the uprisings have just as much to do with economic crisis and the widely hated Prime Minister Karamanlis). In fact, Greece has seen the fiercest unrest in decades in cities across the country. In France, the Left Party (PG) and the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) have enjoyed robust revitalization in light of an economic crisis that has, in the U.S., had the opposite effect of driving the government toward new precedents in corporate welfare. Here in the U.S. many conservatives vacillate between characterizing President Barack Obama as a socialist and as a return of the British Empire, hence the peculiar rash of tea party protests in March and April of 2009. To the contrary, Obama is actually ensconced in a rescue mission to recapitalize (and not to “nationalize”) ailing capitalist institutions that had been functioning on the assumption that empty signifiers for money would continue to be backed by real capital. Belief in the reality of empty signifiers (the financial instruments of banks and investors, including credit and loans) has become typical under, and is indeed defining of, the current phase of finance capitalism. Despite the current global economic crisis (and the more inspiring responses to it in Greece and France), I maintain that capitalism fully preserves its hegemonic security both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Crisis, in general, poses no insurmountable difficulties for capitalism unless countervailing social powers either are, or can be, mobilized. And a countervailing power (which may take the form of a critique), must not only be prepared to seize the opportunity presented by a crisis, for it must also be considered viable within the general population. The uprisings in Greece, radicalism in France, and other protest activity elsewhere, still function like saturnalias—that is, they swell and dis-

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sipate demonstrating moments of temporary power. With capitalism, it is just the reverse: Capitalism’s systemic weaknesses are revealed in temporary moments of crisis, while its strengths are demonstrated on a relatively permanent basis, quite unlike a saturnalia. This can be evidenced in a number of ways, but I’ll just mention two: First, the governments of the world are looking only to capitalist solutions to the problems of capitalism—Karamanlis and Sarkozy too, despite much of their populations, have pushed for neoliberal responses to the crisis of 2008–09. And regulation and oversight, wherever we do see them, are not socialism—that is a relic of a Cold War discourse that we should have transcended by now. Second, capitalism has historically thrived on crisis and disaster, which enables it to retrench its hold and reorganize (often through massive layoffs and the closing of plants that are not sufficiently profitable) and to consolidate power.7 Yet, while capitalism does enjoy a relatively secure position of supremacy in the world, the narrative of its “triumph” in the Cold War appears in a new light when we consider that it was not socialism, and certainly not communism, but rather, bureaucratic state capitalism that was defeated by free market capitalism. The declaration that there was no socialism established in the twentieth century does not require any feat of revisionist history, nor does it rely on self-serving redefinitions of socialism as something other than what has been practiced in its name. To be clear, when I say “no established socialism” I do not mean to deny that within the political cultures and discourses of the world, that within civil society and material struggles, there were no real socialists, no real movements. In these terms, there is indeed a rich history of socialism. Rather, I intend to throw into question the prevalent interpretation of the century as occupied and stunted by bureaucratically managed communist states, blocs of countries facing off in a showdown between two great oppositional programs. Moreover, by “real socialism” I do not mean to suggest that there is any such thing as “unreal” or “fake” socialism. I only want to suggest that there are some fundamental and defining principles of socialism that many of the political regimes (both institutional and discursive) that have been called “socialist” did not abide. Many of these principles come directly from Marx’s work, although many have been restated and rearticulated by thinkers throughout the twentieth century who

7

See Klein 2007, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

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were trying to account for the events of their day. Socialism is a conflicted field within philosophy, and is not internally homogenous or even consistent. But that is not the problem. To the contrary, the fact that socialist philosophy is an indeterminate and heterogeneous field means that its enduring significance and viability are one possible codification. The problem, then, is to formulate a clear and general enough definition of socialism that synthesizes the fundamental principles of the tradition and enables us, as Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme aimed to accomplish, to reveal how some permutations of the socialist philosophy effectively transform the philosophy into something selfcontradictory. We must have some intellectual resources, for example, with which to counter the common practice of discussing policies to fund social programs and regulate business as “socialist,” even though such policies and programs are completely felicitous with and within capitalist society. At this juncture, I would like to ask the reader to accept a promissory note that I will endeavor to provide such definition below. For now, let me just say that we need an irreducibly antagonistic conception of socialism, sketched in a preliminary way in Part III of this article. A close reading of Marx’s work, his warnings in Critique of the Gotha Programme, and his insistence on the incompatibility of communism with any strictly national project, reveal fundamental betrayals of the socialist idea in the history of so-called communist projects. That is, with Marx alone, we can discover how little real foundation his theory provided for these projects.8 But Marx is not the only, or even the best, thinker to employ toward a critique of twentieth century “socialism.” For Marx did not see the twentieth century, and there were other philosophers who lived to point out the absence of socialism contemporaneously with “socialist” revolutions. There are many examples of this, all of which help to refute any suspicion that only disgruntled radicals after 1989 could possibly deny the existence of socialism in Russia, or China, or Poland, and elsewhere. There was Antonio Gramsci’s essay, The Revolution Against ‘Capital,’ written in 1917 just after the Bolshevik Revolution, Emma

8 On this score, Marx could (and should) also be brought to bear on commonly overblown characterizations of socialism in, for example, Venezuela and Bolivia, and certainly in Cuba, today.

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Goldman’s My Disillusionment in Russia (1923), and, from the 1940s until nearly the collapse of the Soviet Union, a great wealth of philosophy, and notably by Castoriadis and Debord, that challenged the claims to socialism made by Russian and Chinese officials, claims that were repeated in varying and damning terms in Cold War propaganda in the U.S. Of course, beyond philosophy, the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s was a devastating blow to the illusion of socialism in that country. There are, indeed, many other examples that I am not mentioning here. In my view, the work of Castoriadis and Debord are of special value because they ran incisively contrary to the Cold War discourse at the height of its proliferation and offered a more convincing diagnosis of the conflict. But Debord’s analysis provides an enduring way of thinking about the prospects for revolution that does better to open up a space for imagining the future of socialism, far more than Castoriadis’ discussion of permanent revolution vis-à-vis a constantly applied form of direct democracy.9 Only Debord understood that, beyond the political-economic material reality and beyond the world of philosophy, beyond structure and superstructure, there was a visual terrain of “image-objects” that had begun to overpower text, and even material conditions, in maintaining a social order (including political culture) wholly felicitous with capitalism.10 Following Debord’s claim that when the revolution is a long way off the practice of theory is of primary importance, I propose the following thesis: Today, there is nothing a socialist politics needs more than philosophy. We are not, as Marx was, engaged in a youth culture energized by Hegel’s writings in Berlin in the nineteenth century. Marx lived in a time and place when the overemphasis on philosophy seemed to him debilitating, and The German Ideology aimed at (among other things) a confrontation with philosophy that could catalyze a paradigm shift toward praxis. But today, there is not too much philosophy, and we are far from overwhelmed by it. Rather, there is too little philosophy, and its absence is debilitating. With regard to thinking about socialism today, one can almost see the end of philosophy—socialist theory must first justify its existence before it can begin to speak. This is largely for the sake of the

9 10

See, for example, Castoriadis 1947, “Socialism or Barbarism”. The notion of a visual terrain of “image-objects” will be clarified below.

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conventional reading of the twentieth century for which theory is cast aside to embrace the grand narrative of the opposition between communism and capitalism. To be clear, I am not suggesting that there is a single narrative here, without any conflict, uncritically accepted everywhere. Certainly, communists, capitalists, scholars of various kinds, and activists, have interrogated and interpreted the oppositions of the twentieth century differently. Yet, the idea that twentieth century communism was to one extent or another the transposition of socialist philosophy into the world still reins supreme. Consider the American scene. On the political right, and among neoliberal capitalists, the conventional story is read like a sacred text, one that glorifies and eulogizes Ronald Reagan for presiding over and ushering in a great world-historical capitalist transformation. Among liberals, in the main, communism and socialism are dirty and dangerous words, which everyone knows can ruin a political career. This is why talk of universal health care is always veiled and tenuous, why Hillary Clinton was always clear to insist that her plan was not one of “socialized medicine,” and why Republicans never tire of calling Barack Obama a Marxist and socialist.11 On the far left, the faithful “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” (MLM) position of The Revolutionary Communist Party does nothing to critically confront the socialist spectacle in terms that overturn the conventional story.12 In academia, it remains the case that most scholars, even among liberals and radicals who speak critically of McCarthyism and the Red Scare, accept the basic framework of a standoff between communism and capitalism throughout the twentieth century. This is partly why Habermas and others choose to speak of a short twentieth century from 1914–1989.13 However, philosophy can and must be brought to bear on this premise in order to learn not to accept it as the prerequisite for debate about socialism after 1989.

11 Clinton’s denial of her health care plan as “socialist” and the charge that it was, were rampant throughout the primaries in the fall of 2007 and spring and summer of 2008, but one clear example can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/ politics/2007/08/09/sot.clinton.medicare.cnn (Accessed, 8/7/08). As well, the charge that Obama is a Marxist and a socialist is a common, ongoing refrain from opponents that can be found in countless news reports, including: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3382313.ece (Accessed, 5/11/09). 12 See http://www.pcr-rcp.ca/en/programme/2 (Accessed, 5/11/09). 13 Habermas (1998).

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As Debord argued, thinking of Russia and China, “an image of the working class arose in radical opposition to the working class itself.”14 This thesis functions as an excellent general guide. One could say that communism [its twentieth century representations] stood against what communism [as theory/philosophy] stands for. Here, it is necessary to clarify that I reject Marx’s definition of the working class, not in terms of the ones it includes, but rather, in terms of the ones it excludes (the peasantry, indigenous peoples, and those in philosophical solidarity). In this way, I think Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of the “multitude” is a step in the right direction.15 In Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory, I argued that indigenous peoples occupy a vital revolutionary subject position today, despite their existence beyond the parameters of mass production and bourgeois society, and despite their very real status as living impediments to capitalism (whereas the proletariat is required for capitalist production). Beyond this, there has been some serious injury to the working class as a result of many decades of an integrated spectacle of upward mobility. Many impoverished workers today are likely to blame themselves, rather than capitalism, for their condition of life. The cultural development that has led to the proliferation of apologetics among the working poor has been terribly damaging on what Marx and others considered an adequate class consciousness. In light of this, socialists today must continue to rethink the heterogeneous forces that are truly dangerous to capitalism, and thus, to rethink who comprises the “dangerous class.” This consideration should be done on an ongoing basis. Debord applies a similar logic in his essay, “The Explosion Point of Ideology in China.” There, he repeatedly points out the significance of peasant worker revolts against a government that claimed to have a communist concern for the interests of the rural poor.16 From the Kronstadt sailors in Russia to the Solidarity movement in Poland, we find that, at certain times, the claims of communist governments have been the most vehemently contested by the people whose will and interests they most expressly claimed to embody. The revolt of the working

14 15 16

Debord (1967). See Hardt and Negri’s Empire (2001) and Multitude (2004). See “The Explosion Point of Ideology in China” in A Sick Planet.

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class against a “working class government” makes representations of the represented against their purported representatives. As well, philosophy can achieve an expose of this ideological betrayal. With ideology, we begin thinking at a juncture that philosophy takes to be a kind of end. That is to say, ideology enables us to make normative recommendations, valuational claims, and to reject other ideological positions without having to go through processes of inquiry, scrutiny, reflection, and critique that precede such achievements in philosophy. Although it is not necessary (as it was for Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy) to search for the indubitable, it is certainly better to doubt any validity claim before accepting it. With philosophy, we begin at the beginning. We neither make nor accept normative recommendations and valuational claims until we assure ourselves of such recommendations and claims through processes of inquiry, scrutiny, reflection, and critique. I do not mean to suggest that there is an end of philosophy in a dialectical sense, but that philosophy consists of questioning, and questioning can yield to answers. Ideology begins with answers, or at least by providing a framework for thinking in which the answers are always ready at hand. Philosophy cannot remain fixed and retain its identity—philosophy tends toward thinking and rethinking (revision), critique, and transformation. Thus, while philosophy comes to a stop where ideology begins, this does not imply that philosophy cannot be set to work against ideology, “undermining the foundations” of unquestioned, false opinions, causing “whatever has been built upon them to crumble of its own accord.”17 At its best, as can be seen from Plato to Descartes to the present, philosophy helps us to interpret the world against calcified conventional thinking; it takes action on conceptions generally taken for granted. The practice of philosophy, in theorizing the moral and political commitments of socialism, is necessarily set against the prevalent ideological discourses of the twentieth century. Debord wrote: “Revolutionary theory is now the sworn enemy of all revolutionary ideology— and it knows it.”18 What this means is that theory can pierce the veil of the spectacle, providing precise and nuanced diagnoses as a basis for recommending action—it overthrows images of particular kinds

17 18

Descartes (1641:60) Meditations on First Philosophy. Debord (1967).

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of power, images instrumental to the maintenance of material and ideological domination. Debord understood that only theory could destabilize ideology. And when ideology governs in a literal (i.e. the ideology of a ruling party) and a figurative (i.e. the cultural-valuational norms that shape how we think and act) sense, the importance of theory is brought to the fore. II. Capitalist Spectacle and Situationist Perspective Drawing on Debord’s work to articulate a viable project for socialism today, I maintain that the value of his work is, at the very least, twofold: First, Debord articulates a major reformulation of Marxist theory that can be found nowhere else, yet is typically unaccounted for by students of social and political theory. Second, Debord’s answer to the question of why socialist aspirations in advanced capitalist societies dwindled after World War II, and what could be done to reinvigorate revolutionary criticism, is both novel and useful. In general, I contend that social and political theorists and activists must recover the work of a man who has garnered too much of the attention of biographers, artists, and historians. Inasmuch as aspects of Debord’s analysis can be found elsewhere, particularly in the classical Frankfurt School of critical theory, certain moments in French existentialism, Georg Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness, and some of the thinking of Antonio Gramsci, his recommendations for political action remain as unique today as they were over forty years ago. And although French theorist Jean Baudrillard pursued related lines of inquiry, and to much wider renown, Debord was a more serious political thinker for many reasons, not the least of which being that he retained a normative theoretical perspective, believed in the possibility of politics, formulated a praxis, and organized a movement with an activist orientation.19 Unlike Baudrillard, 19 Among the countless places where Baudrillard rejects normative political theory, is in The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact, where he writes: “It is no longer a matter here of philosophical morality of the sort that says ‘the world isn’t what it ought to be’ or ‘the world isn’t what it was’ . . . things are no longer anything but what they are and, such as they are, they are unbearable” (2005, p. 26). For Baudrillard, within this notion of the “unbearability” of the world, there is certainly a kind of normativity, a critical view that borrows from Marxism. However, according to Baudrillard, the world can only be understood, or investigated, in various ways, or endured, but never effectively intervened by any political praxis.

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Debord suggests a course for political action that can redirect revolutionary theory for an era generally uninterested in both theory and revolution. Debord’s work is not a refutation of Marxism, but it does provide important correctives to and extensions of Marx’s political philosophy. Indeed, many post-Marxist theories that have addressed deficits in classical socialist philosophy have failed to fully comprehend the unique stability of the contemporary (post-World War II) form of capitalist society and its innovative means of managing crises. Debord addresses this failure, and other key deficits in Marx’s work. Debord’s political philosophy provided the main impetus for the organization and movement of the Situationist International (SI) from 1957 to 1972. The name “situationist” derives from a foundational 1957 text by Debord in which he argued for the need to create or to seize situations that foster critique and rebellion where they would not otherwise occur.20 He and the Situationists advocated a politics of civil disobedience and “cultural warfare,” directed by artists and activists organized into a loose international network. The basic claim underlying Debord’s theory of the spectacle is the assertion that what we see in the world—essentially, how the world is architected—is a reflection of triumphant ideologies. The shared world that we live in is the material realization of a particular ideology, it is ideology materialized. This is precisely what makes society a spectacle—society is the embodiment of particular worldviews but is presented as a neutral natural environment, as a terrain for (and not already an expression of ) ideology. We therefore mistake our starting positions as being wholly undetermined, or at least never wholly determined, as we assume that where we go and what we do is guided by personal discretion, ambition, natural and learned ability, etc. What is lost in this scenario is the understanding that while we may be free to choose from a myriad of diverse options, all such free choice is constrained within a general framework that limits our options only to ones that benefit (or at least do not contradict) the existing society and its political-economic structure. Any choice beyond this framework renders the chooser crazy or criminal, which is partly why the revolutionary, if anyone could find her, is seen in the main to be either crazy, a criminal, or both. In the society of the spectacle, we tend to

20

“Report on the Construction of Situations” (Debord 1957).

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believe that we can achieve almost anything without structural transformation, thus revolution (which requires structural transformation) appears increasingly out of place. Appearance is indispensable to the spectacle. Debord considers the discursive content of the appearance of capitalist society—not only its explicit movements and arguments. According to Marx, philosophers had long been concerned with ideas and arguments (superstructure) instead of material reality (structure).21 Even those, such as Gramsci, who saw a causal reciprocity between ideas and events, often maintained the analytical dichotomy between superstructure and structure. But Debord saw the two realms folded into one, into “image-objects,” into man-made realities manufactured by and representative of ideologies. He argued that one could actually see the ideological commitments of powerholders by reading the architecture of capitalism. The spectacle, as Debord puts it, is “a weltanschauung that has been actualized,” that is, a worldview transposed into the very architecture of our cities and towns.22 In the current order of free trade and rampant privatization, capitalism is everywhere presented, from education to advertising and political punditry, as a prerequisite for democracy, or as the same thing as democracy, or as something that always necessitates democratization. And while this side alone exists for our neoliberal economists, in actual fact, capitalism has no procedural or substantive need for democracy. That is, businesses demand the right to be free to act without requiring a referendum from the people through elections, and there is no serious expectation that corporations are or even should be democratically steered by citizens, or accountable to anything other than shareholders and investment interests. In fact, there has been much evidence that the evolution of capitalism in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries facilitated a decline of democracy in both substantive and procedural terms.23 Still, we can hardly find footing within our society to object to it as such. To be sure, I am not denying the existence of rousing social movements that have emerged like saturnalias in the streets of Seattle in 1999, in Genoa in 2001, and elsewhere wherever the G8 and World Trade Organization meet, or where they do not, for example, at the 21

See, for example, The German Ideology (1845–46). Debord (1967). 23 See Adorno and Horkheimer (1944), Habermas (1962, 1973, 1998), Mills (1959), Parenti (1974), Laclau and Mouffe (1985). 22

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World Social Forum in Brazil and India, and at many other sites of contestation. However, these appear as saturnalias indeed, as festivals with too much space in between them, and with a communicative impact that is far too limited. No festival can engage in sustained disputation with an opponent who exists all of the time, who always points to its own permanence and stability as evidence for its general desirability, who always points to its practical superiority when compared to an opponent who can only form and dissipate in brief, desperate moments. As Debord puts it, “The spectacle manifests itself as an enormous positivity, out of reach and beyond dispute. All it says is: ‘Everything that appears is good; whatever is good will appear.’ The attitude it demands in principle is the same passive acceptance that it has already secured by means of its seeming incontrovertibility, and indeed by its monopolization of the realm of appearances.”24 According to this, lack of interest in revolution does not signify extant satisfaction with society, but rather, the general acceptance of a false claim. This false claim, that upward mobility is always ready at hand, that the evolution of human society always tends toward improvement, is supported and maintained in a monopolization of the realm of appearances that always presents it as true. We are reassured, then, not just by texts and our own concrete experiences, but also by the visual landscape of a society oriented around consumption, that whatever we want is already in, or just beyond, our immediate reach. There is a clear question of instrumental reason in Debord’s analysis, in a similar way that critical theorists such as Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse raised the question. A society of the spectacle selects and presents a multiplicity of political discourses that are accepted as reasonable. Democrats and Republicans, for example, may have some mutually exclusive positions on some important policies, but in order to be “reasonable” they must support the continual deregulation of economic activity, the privatization of the public functions of government, and the “courage” to go to war in defense of America, among other things (namely, geopolitical and business interests). This is not to say that all Americans think George W. Bush is a reasonable man. There is bitter disagreement over policies and positions that, no matter how torched by hateful invective, is still only civil disagreement with a man who was accepted throughout his presidency. What I mean by 24

Debord, op. cit.

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“accepted” here is that Americans found Bush reasonable enough to see no cause for rebellion, and to give him victories in our elections, no matter how problematic those elections were. To those who insist that Bush lost vis-à-vis various forms of disenfranchisement and the usurpation of the electoral college, the fact remains that he came close enough to appear more reasonable than not. And if Bush is indeed an unreasonable man, well, then rebellion is apparently less reasonable than he is. We have generally come to believe that there is no end that is desirable and reasonable that cannot be obtained within our society as it is currently structured. This is tantamount to the preemption of radical criticism. “In this concrete experience of permanent submission lies the psychological origin of such general acceptance of what is; an acceptance which comes to find in it, ipso facto, a sufficient value.”25 This “general acceptance of what is” is the greatest achievement of the society of the spectacle—it signals the subversion of both democratization and other, more radical aspirations. Anyone who seeks a fundamentally different society is apparently unaware of the possibilities ready at hand, so those who dream for a different world are far worse than dreamers. Indeed, the conservatism of Edmund Burke and Michael Oakeshott regarding revolutionary aspirations no longer describes the conservative disposition alone.26 Their critique of rebellion and revolution is held in common by most people who live in spectacular societies around the world. We can hardly imagine living up to, or even trying to live up to, the standards for scrutiny established by Immanuel Kant and those for rebellion established by John Locke.27 Locke’s ideas, even as transposed into America’s Declaration of Independence, have come to appear as wild statements of radicalism that are far too inviting of social and political upheaval. Aside from some of the aforementioned saturnalias, then, we see a lot more cooperation than antagonism in the arenas of present-day political culture. Debord addresses this by way of disagreement with one of the central tenets of Marxist crisis theory: Capitalism does not, as Marx argued, inexorably work toward its own instability by increasingly exploiting masses of people who grow increasingly antagonistic to the wealthy elite who are only ever fewer and more prosperous. To the contrary, the highly technologized capitalism that emerged after World War II

25 26 27

Debord 1998 [1987]:28, Comments on The Society of the Spectacle. Burke (1790), Oakeshott (1962). Kant (1784), Locke (1690).

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in the most advanced capitalist countries developed new mechanisms of social control that could guard capitalism from internal or external crises that might give rise to revolution. Debord believed that the predictive power (but not the explanatory power) of historical materialism had been disproved by a phase of capitalism that could effectively manage our preferences, convincing us that we live in the best of all possible worlds—and, as I have suggested above, believing this is tautological with the obsolescence of revolutionary thought. Because of this general perspective, at least a few things that socialists of the past counted on were no longer reliable. First, exploitation and immiseration will not necessarily lead to the rebelliousness of the oppressed; opposing socioeconomic classes do not self-understand as staunchly opposed. Second, capitalism cannot be destabilized by an opposing ideology because it appropriates all opposing ideology into its own self-supporting narrative (i.e. “communism” in the mainstream Cold War discourse, or terrorism today). And third, social movements and dissent are provided some space within capitalist societies so that they may safely take place without amounting to any real threat to the existing order. Debord, therefore, would have to give up on emancipatory projects or rethink socialist praxis. In his early works, he chose the latter. III. Which Way Forward? A General Direction Because of the entrenchment of the spectacle of socialism as a standin for actually existing socialism, a socialist politics must be defined in both negative and positive terms. And again, because of the entrenchment of this spectacle, we must return to philosophical articulation for the groundwork of our definition. First, let us consider what socialism is not. A socialist politics is not compatible with the unbounded flourishing of capitalism. While this may seem obvious on some level, it represents a diacritical distinction that is lost in talk of market socialism in China today, that is to say, in talk of utilizing the market to bolster productive powers. This vital distinction is also softened and blurred in discussions about policy initiatives in Europe, in the UK and France, for example, sometimes called the “two-and-a-half ” way, which has gained significant traction recently.28

28

For discussion of market socialism in China and the general contention that

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Alain Touraine, an advocate of the two-and-a-half way policy, argues for an agenda that follows priorities to work, sustainable development, and intercultural communication. While I agree with Touraine’s normative commitments, this two-and-a-half way (like the notion of market socialism in China) is presented as a potentially happy combination of socialism and capitalism, or as a combination with some tension, with some give and take, but with an ultimate commensurability. The notion that socialism can and/or must be achieved within the narrow limits of particular policies and practices that require no transformation or deconstruction of the capitalist system is very troubling. Such a notion mitigates and aims to alleviate tensions that, in the philosophical articulation of socialism, have always been irreducible—it aims, in other words, to alleviate the antithetical (and dialectical) relationship between capitalism and its opposite—and this is part of the reason why we must return to philosophical articulation. Another reason why it is problematic to think of socialism in terms of policy measures implemented in capitalist political economies is that socialism is not an end state. Socialism cannot be achieved by policy, although it can be facilitated by policies. This distinction may appear slippery on the face of it, but in fact, it matters considerably if we say that socialism is nowhere “established,” but everywhere a kind of striving, a perpetually unfinished project. If the so-called communist projects of the twentieth century were thoroughly conscious of this, they might not have ended up so staunchly set against the internal logic of socialism. In Russia, the Kronstadt sailors were willing to wait for some time, understanding that the revolution was a transitional process, and not an end state. But when Lenin seemed to stabilize government, the distribution of necessities was anticipated—the sailors could wait, but the revolution could not simply end with the stability of the state. So they asked for an increase of food rations, they asked for more fuel and clothing. They were themselves revolutionaries. In fact, “[t]he Kronstadt sailors were ever the first to serve the Revolution. They had played an important part in the revolution of 1905; they were in the front ranks in 1917.”29 But they were revolutionaries making demands socialism is reconcilable with capitalism through policy, see Arran Gare, “Marxism and the Problem of Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Civilization in China,” in Capitalism Nature Socialism, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2008. For Touraine’s discussion of the two-and-a-half way, see his book Beyond Neoliberalism (2001). 29 Goldman (1923).

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on a revolutionary government. They met with Trotsky to register their grievances just before Trotsky issued orders for the bombardment of Kronstadt.30 The sailors understood that socialism could not be an end state. The logic of this insight remains instructive in presentday democracies where we would do well to demand more democracy from even the most democratic regimes. It is always a dangerous thing when a society believes it has enough democracy. So too, socialism only works by not stopping where it is and declaring the present state of affairs the end of history, or even the paroxysm, the moment just before the last, where it may stay for decades. All talk of socialism, as actually existing within the framework of capitalist society, such that the two antagonists find a kind of compromise via policy measures, is talk of a reconciliation that hollows out the substantive commitments of socialism as a political philosophy. While I remain skeptical of any form of positivistic dialectical thinking (see below), I do maintain that socialism can only announce itself to (or within) capitalism through oppositional and irreconcilably antagonistic representations. Having some sense of what socialism is not, let me now say something about what it is. Socialism is a process comprised of various challenges and antagonisms that collectively (and sometimes individually) aim to counteract and reverse tendencies toward privatization in all of its guises. Here, I do not only mean privatization in the familiar economic sense, but also in the sense of social and cultural privatization, what Hegel called “Moralität” (to which he proposed “Sittlichkeit” as the antidote), or what Habermas calls the depoliticization of the public sphere. Socialism, as the name implies, is a tendency toward the social, toward the public and what may be regarded as the public good. Socialism opposes the individualist “achievement ideology” fostered under capitalism, “familial-vocational privatism” (a narrow family/career orientation), and the “possessive individualism” taught as a central ideal in the educational systems of advanced capitalist societies.31 Socialism must look carefully at macroeconomic realities and broad disparities of stratification, and must never see the personal anecdote as evidence to the contrary; in fact, socialism never sees the

30

See Goldman’s broader discussion of Kronstadt, Chapter XXVII, op. cit. The best discussion of these ideologies is in Habermas, Legitimation Crisis (1973: 36–37; 75–77). 31

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person him or herself as existing outside of a social, cultural, politicaleconomic fabric. Therefore, it is not possible from this point of view to ask about “the good” for an individual, for “the good,” properly speaking, does not exist for an individual alone. This opposition to privatization (in the robust sense above) is what makes socialism irreducibly antagonistic to capitalism. Concretely stated, the positive content of socialist politics consists of all of the theoretical and practiced contributions to a multifarious countervailing force to capitalism. While the demands of the individual need not get lost, and need not be canceled out (for the individual finds herself always within the collectivity), private demands can never be invoked against the necessities of the public as a larger, ultimately global, body. That which pushes against tendencies toward privatization creates a force for the public, for society. I have written elsewhere about how the unbounded capitalism promoted by neoliberals is tautological with unbounded privatization, and how the former always tends to the latter.32 Simply put, privatization in its many forms functions as both cause and effect (variously) of capitalist expansion. And socialism, in opposing privatization in its many forms (i.e. Moralität, the depoliticization of the public sphere, economic privatization, etc.) is necessarily antithetical to capitalism. Following these negative and positive impressions, we may say that the more there actually is of socialism (as a process in action), the less there is of capitalism (following the logic of displacement)—in a decisively capitalist lifeworld, neutrality and indifference endorse the existing state of affairs. Today, capitalism is expansive well beyond Marx’s imagination, and appears without even a spectacular challenger on the horizon; there is very little socialism indeed. And, if we read the twentieth century as I have suggested, as a century best characterized by an opposition between two forms of capitalism, then socialism seems to have existed in a kind of oblivion. This oblivion is darker today, in the dim and distorting light of the socialist spectacle, than it was during the twentieth century. The socialist oblivion is certainly darker now than before World War II when no such oblivion existed, when socialist discourses enlivened real hopes and struggles on a transnational scale that seemed (to many participants and observers) only victories

32 See Gilman-Opalsky 2008, Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory.

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away from realization. Today, few believe that socialism will emerge from contests with neoliberalism or from “damage control” on the ill effects of capitalist globalization. To move out of oblivion, socialism needs philosophy, and Debord helps us to grasp this. We cannot count on environmental disaster to bring socialism into the world, and we cannot expect capitalism to dialectically produce its own antithesis in any other way. The spectacle doesn’t require oil in order to survive, for it does not need to be produced anew and is safe from everything except for radical criticism. Recession, as we have seen, generates little to no critique of political economy.33 So we need to think about organization, not as a political party, and by no means as an administration or bureaucracy—but how to organize countervailing forces from within and against spectacular capitalism; that is the vital question. “Ignorance about organization is the central ignorance about praxis; . . . Error about organization is the central practical error. If it is intentional, it aims to use the masses. If not, it is at least total error about the conditions of historical praxis. It is therefore fundamental error in the very theory of revolution.”34 What Debord is saying here is similar to Kant’s refutation of the common saying about theory and practice, “That may be true in theory, but it is false in practice.” To this common saying, Kant arrives at a completely opposite conclusion, that “whatever reason shows to be valid in theory, is also valid in practice.”35 That is, without theory we cannot reveal which way forward for practice. Debord maintains that what I have called the multifarious countervailing forces of socialism can only prevail if and only if we can first think correctly about, and understand fully, the predicament that we face and the points of entry for overturning it. His work, and the organization of the Situationist International, was aimed at this goal. Perhaps the clearest way to explain Debord’s situationist politics is to consider it a problematization of the famous eleventh thesis in Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach. In that thesis, Marx states: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point,

33 For example, during all the talk about recession in 2007 and 2008 in the U.S., any suggestion that capitalism had something to do with it was completely inaudible, and it surely would have been a surprising declaration. 34 Debord (1972). 35 Kant 1999:92, “Theory and Practice,” in Political Writings.

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however, is to change it.”36 Debord certainly thought that “the point” of his work was to change the world, but he rejected the opposition between interpretation and change. Interpretation is often all we have to deconstruct prevailing worldviews, and prevailing worldviews can go far toward determining political action and change. Marx was, of course, as in The German Ideology, attacking a particular paradigm for understanding the world, the idealism of Hegel, and the notion that what humans think maps out over how things are in the world. Marx wanted to shift the focus from ideas to actions, from interpretation to change. But ideas and interpretations often provide the pretext for war, for genocide, for “ethnic cleansing,” and for a cavalcade of other atrocities. Instrumental notions of “the other” are exploited to make collateral damage “acceptable” and to impede the cosmopolitan development of solidarity. Debord’s notion of revolution is atypical. He considers revolution a never-ending process of critique that destabilizes the ideology of the dominant class, without proposing a new hegemony to take its place.37 “Our task first and foremost is to create an overall critical theory and (therefore inseparably) to communicate it to every sector already objectively involved in a negation which remains subjectively piecemeal. Further definition, experimentation and long-term work around this question of communication constitutes our most important, real activity as an organised group.”38 So theory lies behind the recovery of a socialist project, and communication lies at the center of a situationist politics—communication aims to function as a kind of binding agent, to reveal a revolutionary perspective that has its corollary in concrete actions in the world. Without an overarching theory that effectively links and organizes such actions, they can only appear as saturnalias. An overarching theory, however, can transform these piecemeal saturnalias of negation into a permanent, ongoing countervailing discourse.

36

Marx (1845:145), Theses on Feuerbach. In fact, my articulation above, inasmuch as it defines a socialist politics and clarifies a general direction, goes beyond Debord’s comfort level with specifying the desirability of certain outcomes. As mentioned just below and elsewhere in this article, Debord focused centrally on a critique that could overturn the spectacle, and not on imagining any post-revolutionary state of affairs. I do not totally disagree with Debord here. I think he is right to remain tenuous on the question of end states. But I do think we can and must say something, and something more than what Debord says. 38 Debord 1966:133, “Report to the Seventh SI Conference in Paris (Excerpts)”. 37

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The situationist point of view understands that radical criticism is blockaded from conventional channels of communication, and thus requires concerted and creative efforts to get out. A situationist politics seizes upon, or creates, situations that can be utilized to reveal the deficits of spectacular society, and to foster and mobilize further critique. If one cannot change material reality directly, then perhaps one can change how reality is interpreted; alternate interpretations reveal the desirability of courses of action that were previously discounted. This is part of the reason why Debord offered a reading of the Watts Riot in LA in 1965 as a reflection of the general discontent of African Americans in the U.S., and also why he and the Situationists read the events of May–June 1968 in France as evidence of a revolutionary spirit lying in wait, out of sight, for the right time to reveal itself.39 Debord acknowledges that this concept of revolution is not a fast track to social and political change, admitting that “a critique capable of surpassing the spectacle must know how to bide its time.”40 Nevertheless, he gives critique a primary role. Debord appears here as a kind of highly contentious Kantian. Kant was also suspicious of revolution in terms of a frontal assault to take the state, and touted instead the public use of reason (which was, in fact, a form of public criticism intended to gradually transform society and politics) as the only route to enlightenment.41 But Debord is not seeking enlightenment or any other end state, and he does not limit critique (as Kant does) to reading, writing, and speaking. “We have no mass media, and neither will any radical movement for a very long time to come. We will have to learn how to recognize and use other materials at any time.”42 In other words, we need to learn how to find the points of entry for communication. This is no simple task, but it can be done (it is worth noting that Debord remained optimistic about this only in the 50s and 60s, and by the mid to late 70s he became less convinced of the possibility).43

39 Regarding the Watts Riots, see Debord 1965, “The Decline and Fall of the ‘Spectacular’ Commodity Economy”. 40 Debord (1967). 41 See Kant (1784), “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” 42 Debord (1966), op. cit. 43 It is for this reason that, while I find Debord’s later works, such as Comments on The Society of the Spectacle (1987) and Considerations on the Assassination of Gérard Lebovici (1985) profound and invaluable, the earlier works go further toward the articulation of a political praxis. Indeed, it is difficult if not impossible to retrieve the situationist theory of praxis from these later works.

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In thinking about points of entry for communication, Debord understood well that we would need to seize the visual terrain that was outflanking the textual terrain (the terrain of manifestos, newspapers, and speeches) throughout the twentieth century. And he understood that a departure from Marx was necessary on the basis of the fact that poverty and immiseration guarantee nothing. And I have added to this that environmental collapse holds no promise for a socialist future. Hence, for a movement that occupies the desperate space of principled opportunism, that owns neither the means of production nor the means of communication, situations are all that we have. But if they are effectively seized and bound together in a cohesive discourse, grounded and guided by a revolutionary theory, their cumulative effect can, I believe, “do harm to spectacular society.”44 After all, while spectacular society is real, it is spectacular because it is held in place by an ideological landscape designed to support the capitalist weltanschauung. And the ideological landscape can be intervened on, and the weltanschauung can be challenged, as I have already shown in discussing the socialist spectacle in the first part of this article. Like Debord, I cannot say in certain terms what “doing harm to spectacular society” will or should lead to, other than that it is a prerequisite for any socialist project. While the business of articulating ideal end states has had a catastrophic history that we may not want to repeat, I propose the specification of a general direction, following my articulation of socialism, for normative guidance. And while Debord is understandably hesitant to detail any particular end state, he too identifies a general direction (compatible with mine), which he calls “realized democracy.”45 Innovative forms of protest that look nothing like a protest demonstration are most urgently needed. Social movements that take on surprising forms, rather than expected and recycled ones must be conceived of and organized. In the society of the spectacle, forms of protest from earlier generations have become an acceptable feature of the landscape of capitalism. Debord would have seen AdBusters as a good sentiment, but as something that needed to move well beyond the reading public for a magazine. Though they have tried, their resonance has been less in

44 As Debord said was the intention of The Society of the Spectacle in the preface to the third French edition. 45 Debord (1967).

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politics than in publishing. Debord surely would have appreciated the Mexican Zapatistas and their approach more. Their dangerous armed street theater, recasting of revolution, media savvy, poetic polemics, rousing communiqués, and mysterious self-presentation were essential to their ability to effectively thematize old issues in a new way; the Zapatistas freed and circulated a critique that had been hermetically sealed in the margins of Mexican politics up to that point. One of the key lessons we should take from Debord is that political action must move beyond the conventionally textual (slogans, statements, manifestos, protest messages) to the visual level. Debord was already well aware in the 1950s that social movements would have to find new ways of “speaking.” This lies at the core of situationist praxis and strikes me as critical for social movements today. Because the increasingly consolidated private ownership of the means of communication makes this even more difficult today than in Debord’s time, movements must look elsewhere than the established media—this makes a situationist approach continually and increasingly well-suited to political action. Mass demonstrations adorned by picket signs are as easy to ignore as they are non-controversial. And the triumph of pacifist discourses on the Left has made the political action of the Left more or less felicitous with powerholders. Rather than having to concern themselves with the suppression of truly challenging subsets of civil society, governments are now assured by their opponents that a predictable mode of nonviolence, cooperation, and petitioning shall characterize their attacks. Social movements now “challenge” powerholders while guaranteeing them their safety, which makes the apparent challenge a spectacle in and of itself. Challenges that occupy a space that is wholly felicitous with existing allotments for “free speech” in capitalist society are not sufficiently challenging. The historical significance of civil disobedience must be well understood, but not rehashed in organizational form—new organizational forms are necessary.46

46 To be clear, my comment on pacifism here is by no means an endorsement of violence. A discussion of violence, and what it is, is necessary. But that discussion is too large to take up here. For the time being, it will have to suffice to say that capitalism stipulates violence in a very peculiar way, often removing the person and his or her physical and psychological well being from the equation. For example, under capitalism, damaging property, or even an advertisement in the subway station, can be and has been characterized as “violent”—any act that violates law, regardless of whether or not it is harmful, can be classified as violent, or is at least seen as departing

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When socialist theory consults Debord, much of the historic promise of dialectics, even if only for a single catalyzing event, looks grim. In this way, the experience is much like the encounter with Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, or Adorno’s Negative Dialectics. But, more like Sartre and Camus, Debord occupies a space in between extreme optimism and extreme pessimism.47 Without sufficient optimism, socialist theory can only flounder, which perfectly suits its position in oblivion. But socialist theory has a difficult time negotiating refutations of positivistic dialectical thinking, as can be seen in many places today, but prominently in Hardt and Negri’s work and the work of countless ecosocialists.48 Still, unlike Adorno and Horkheimer, for Debord, problematizing the predictive component of dialectical thinking does not need to mean a disaster for revolutionary aspirations and collective action. Instead, revolutionary projects and collective action must proceed without the expectation that material eventualities will provide a supportive framework. The best of all possible supportive frameworks for the material transformation of the world lies with the hope for people to realize the false claims of spectacular society. Politics consists of struggles on a visual-discursive terrain that make way for, or give rise to, new attitudes and actions. This is, in fact, precisely what the Situationist International sought to do. By the 1970s, Debord’s particular hope for the SI was squelched, but the general problematic, the impasse of needing to create situations as catalysts for critique, remains with us today. And any critique that can rise to this challenge will make a transition, from the conventionally textual and conventionally symbolic, to the realm of signification and the visual. From the

from acceptable norms and approaching the domain of violence. This is not, however, necessarily true, as can be seen clearly, for example, in Hannah Arendt’s excellent essay On Violence (1969). 47 See, for example, Sartre’s essay, “The Humanism of Existentialism” (1965) and Camus’ essay, “Pessimism and Courage” (1960). 48 Hardt and Negri’s influential books, Empire (2001) and Multitude (2004) contextualize current developments in post-imperialist empire, war, and terrorism utilizing a classical historical materialist explanatory framework. Their use of Foucault and emphasis on biopower complements, and does not undermine, their positivistic dialectical thinking. With regard to ecosocialists, reading Capitalism Nature Socialism, for example, the preeminent journal in the field, we encounter effort after effort to understand ecological catastrophe in dialectical and crisis theory terms. In these instances, it is as if socialist analysis cannot survive without positivistic dialectical thinking and crisis theory.

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Situationists to the Zapatistas, there is indeed a sensibility—a sensibility that lacks the resolve of an organized movement and the force of collective action—that creative new ways of speaking are vital to this general project. In closing, I want to suggest (and this suggestion requires further substantiation elsewhere) that there already is, within the political cultures of the world, an understanding that organizational forms from the past hold little promise today. Protest demonstrations in societies structured by spectacular capitalism are affirmations of solidarity, feel-good experiences that struggle to communicate thinly articulated messages with the help of media coverage, yet with little to no revolutionary aspirations. But the Zapatistas and the World Social Forum, for example, could not have existed at any earlier moment in history. And although this could perhaps be said of all movements, always determined in part by historical contingencies, the emergence and novelty of new saturnalias tells us something about the era in which they arise. The most innovative political action today points out the need for the creation and seizure of new catalyzing situations, which, if unified and mobilized by socialist philosophy, can be sustained for the remaking of the world.

CHAPTER NINE

THE CASE FOR A CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION Warren S. Goldstein There is a vacuum in the sociology of religion—a vacuum of the left. During the last few decades, while the religious right took center stage in both domestic and international politics, few sociologists of religion have taken on a more critical perspective. The goal of this essay is to make a case for “a new paradigm” in the sociology of religion: a critical sociology of religion. A critical sociology of religion has the promise of providing an alternative to mainstream and positivistic approaches in the sociology of religion. The sociology of religion contains several different paradigms which it uses as a framework for empirical analysis. Included among these are functionalism, phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, and rational choice. Conspicuously absent from this list is a critical, Marxist or conflict approach which exists in most other subareas of sociology. This essay will explore the reasons for this omission and the benefits of establishing a critical perspective within the subdiscipline. Before I proceed, let me first explain what I mean by a critical sociology of religion. The theoretical framework, which guides a critical sociology of religion, is a critical theory of religion, in its loosest sense. A critical theory of religion, with its basis in the Frankfurt School, is neo-Marxist and therefore has its roots in classical Marxism. As such, it employs a conflict approach, which is dialectical. Max Weber and Emile Durkheim serve as classics in the sociology of religion. (Casanova 1994:17; Lechner 1997:184; McLoughlin 1978:217). Strikingly absent from this list is Karl Marx, who is considered to be a “founding father” of sociology along with Weber and Durkheim. Even when other names are added to the classics in sociology of religion, Ernst Troeltsch and H. Richard Niebuhr usually come forward as nominees. It has been argued that Marxists have paid little attention to religion (Beckford 1989:21–22; O’Toole 1984:69); this is not exactly the case. Seldom mentioned are the historical materialists, Karl Marx, Fredrich Engels, August Bebel, Franz Mehring, and in particular

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Karl Kautsky, with whom Weber and Troeltsch were in a debate with over religion. It is as if Weber and Troetlsch are ripped out of historical context and those who they were in a debate with, whited out. Constance Benson (1999:203) remarks, “it is a bit like trying to understand one side of a long telephone conversation without hearing the other party, knowing who it is, or even knowing that what you are hearing is part of a dialogue.” To explain this antipathy toward historical materialist approaches to religion, one needs to go back to the development of sociology of religion, particularly in the United States. The major associations of the subdiscipline have religious roots. Rodney Stark and Roger Finke (2000:15), the two leading proponents of the rational choice theory of religion, point out “the American Catholic Sociological Society (ACSS) was organized in 1938 by 220 American sociologists seeking shelter against the withering atheistic (and often Marxist) abuse they suffered within the American Sociological Society.” In 1970, they changed their name to the Association for the Sociology of Religion. The Religious Research Association was the Protestant counterpart. The need of “religious sociologists” to form separate associations came out the secular orientation of the discipline as a whole. One should note that a Sociology of Religion section was only first formed in 1997. This may have to do with the softening of the relationship between religious and secular sociologists. The associations in sociology of religion have become more secular while the ASA less militant in its secularism. The relationship between sociologists of religion and the rest of the discipline is in need of further investigation. Another area calling for further research is the religiosity among sociologist of religion. This is significant since it colors how they portray their content matter. Sociologists of religion are the most religious of sociologists. Whereas, social scientists have one of the lowest church attendance rates (Wuthnow 1988:301; 1989:146–147; Finke and Stark 1992:251–252), those among sociologists of religion are probably one of the highest. Regularly included with conference packets of the conferences of the associations in the sociology of religion is a list of where to attend religious services. This is with good reason. Many of those attending the meetings have research positions with religiously affiliated colleges and universities, not to mention churches. Also significant, is the lion’s share of grant money for sociological research on religion in the United States comes from foundations and research institutes whose benefactors are religious (i.e. Lilly, Pew, and Temple-

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ton). The underlying motivation of these benefactors for funding sociological research on religion is how to increase “institutional vitality” of American religion (i.e. church membership) (Warner 1993: 1080). This is quite a natural relationship. Religious institutions, which like any other organizations are concerned with their own finances, have an interest in sustaining their own growth. The question is how does this affect the research on religion and prevent it from taking on a more critical perspective. When one’s funding sources are religious, how critical can one be? In addition, when scholars engage in critical research on religion, how does it affect how it is received? There is nevertheless a broad spectrum among sociologists of religion from religious conservatives to religious liberals (Wuthnow 1988). Even if is weighted to the liberal side, what seems to be absent is the secular left (although there are secular neo-conservatives who are also uncritical when it comes to religion, even if they are somewhat cynical). The real question is why there is a need for a more critical perspective of religion. Marx wrote that “the premise of all criticism” is the “criticism of religion” (Marx 1978:53). In order to engage in a critique of existing social conditions, he believed it was first necessary to engage in a critique of religion because religion prevented human beings from objectively understanding the social conditions in which they live. Religion, in short, may contribute to a consciousness that prevents people from acting in their own economic interests. In contemporary terms, particularly in the United States, people may vote for candidates based upon social issues but whose economic policies hurt them (Frank 2005). In some strains or religion, individuals, rather than seeking to deal with their problems in this world, instead place their hopes in the other world. Nevertheless, traditional orthodox interpretations of religion do not suffice. Marx’s quotation that “religion is the opium of the people” is taken out of context and misunderstood (Marx 1978:54; Bloch 1972:62; McKinnon 2006). Immediately preceding it, Marx wrote that religion is not only “an expression of real suffering” but also a protest against it. Stark and Finke (2000:32), in their inversion, characterize religion not as an opium but as an amphetamine. Dialectically, it can be both. Historically religion has played both emancipatory and repressive roles. Nietzsche categorized Judaism and Christianity as part of slave morality. “With the Jews there begins the slave revolt in morality” (Nietzsche 1967:34). The Jews in ancient Egypt had a belief in freedom. Christianity was a continuation of slave morality with its belief

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in equality before God. He saw both the Enlightenment and Socialism as further extensions of slave morality to include political and economic equality. Not only Nietzsche but Karl Kautsky (1925), Max Weber (1952), and Ernst Bloch (1995; 1972) engaged in a political, economic, and class analysis on the emergence of Christianity out of Ancient Judaism. Jesus, who claimed to of the Davidic line, was claiming ascendancy to the throne of the long defeated Jewish monarchy (Matthew 1:1; Mark 10:47; 12:35; Luke 3:23–38). His claim to the throne was a rejection of the Roman occupation and those who collaborated with it. He attacked the moneylenders in the Temple, rejected material wealth, and had a disdain for the puppet theocracy of the elders, the priest and the scribes (Matthew 16:21, 19:24, 21:12–13; Mark 10:25, 12:15 and Luke 6:30; 18:25, 19:46; John 2:14–15). Kautsky (1966) connected modern socialism with early Christian love communism. Granted that early Christianity became institutionalized (routinized) into the Roman Catholic Church. What is important is, at times, the Judeo-Christian tradition has been quite progressive and radical but regardless has been interpreted by the religious right in a reactionary manner. The secular left rather than rejecting this religious tradition needs to understand its relationship to it. Another example of the radical role that religion has sometimes played can be seen in the German Peasant Revolts which started during the Protestant Reformation. Engels (1967), Bebel (1876), Kautsky (1966), Mehring (1975) and Bloch (1969), in contrast to Weber (1930), paid more attention to theologically inclined Thomas Münzer, who outflanked Martin Luther to the left, inspiring the peasants to burn castles and churches in the German Peasant Revolts. Luther, in contrast, received the support of the German princes, for whom it was an issue of national (ethnic) sovereignty. Luther and the princes were united against indulgences, which were a means of foreign taxation (from Rome). The first political revolution was the Puritan Revolution. It was led by the Independents (in alliance with the Presbyterians) against the Anglicans. Oliver Cromwell and the Rump Parliament abolished the Monarchy (though regicide) and the House of Lords. The revolution spawned such radical groups as the Levelers and the Diggers who believed in political and economic equality (Hill 1972). There are more recent examples of progressive religious-based social movements. Aldon Morris (1986) and Doug McAdam (1982) note the instrumental role played by the black church in the civil rights movement. Other more recent examples of the religious left are the Berrigan

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Brothers during the Vietnam War, the Maryknoll Sisters in Central America, the sanctuary movement of the Catholic Church during the 1980s, and Liberation Theology in Latin America. Yet religion has played a reactionary role as well. The repressive roles played by religion are just as numerous. Examples such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, the caste system in India, and Fundamentalisms of all sorts are some of the more prominent. What needs to be developed in the sociology of religion is a framework for understanding this. One possible framework is to go back to church-sect theory as articulated by Troeltsch and Weber. Troeltsch (1992:331) wrote the church both stabilizes and determines the social order; in so doing, however, she becomes dependent upon the upper classes, and upon their development. The sects, on the other hand, are connected with the lower classes, or at least with those elements in Society which are opposed to the State and to Society; they work upward from below, and not downwards from above.

Churches represent the established order and the upper class wheras the sects, appealing to the lower classes, challenge it. Sectarian movements are charismatic and become dialectally routinized and institutionalized their transformation into churches. The Anabaptists, with whom Thomas Münzer was alligned, were “the first Protestant Sect” (Niebuhr 1987:38). The secular left has long ignored religion hoping that it would eventually disappear. The antagonistic relationship between Marxism and religion goes back to the French Revolutions of the 1800s where the Catholic Church aligned itself with the legitimists (the aristocracy) who sought to reestablish an absolute monarchy with divine right (McLeod 2000). Because of its history, the French state has been one of the most militantly secular. With the rise of Christian and Islamic Fundamentalism since the 1970s, religion can no longer be ignored. One of the major sources of military conflict in the world today is religious conflict. Religion has surpassed class as a cause of conflict (Coser 1956; Dahrendorf 1959; Collins 1975; Huntington 1996). However, they are not unrelated. Religion is often an expression of ethnic identity and the underlying reasons for conflict are often political and economic. According to the Pew Forum (Green 2007), the most significant determinant of how one will vote in the United States is their religious affiliation. The culture

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wars that exist in the United States between religious liberals and religious conservatives are based on denominational differences which still correlate with class (income), education, race, region, and ethnicity (although the boundaries are more fluid) (Niehbuhr 1987; Roof and McKinney 1987:144; Wuthnow 1988; Hunter 1991). The division in the United States between Red States and Blue States also follows denominational divisions: mainline Protestants, Catholics and Jews in the Northeast, Baptists in the South, Methodists in the Midwest, and an unchurched belt on the West Coast (Niehbuhr 1987; Stark and Bainbridge 1985). Paradoxically, the more educated and affluent a denomination, the more liberal they are likely to be and conversely the less educated and poorer, the more conservative they are likely to be. These differences are cultural but underlying them is economics. A critical approach in the sociology of religion can help make sense of this. Classical Left Wing-Hegelians and Marxists (Feuerbach, Marx, Engels, Bebel, Mehring, and Kautsky) provide the basis for a more critical framework. To this we need to add the critical theory of religion of the Frankfurt School and its associates (Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Bloch, Löwenthal, Fromm and Habermas). However, this work can not be merely exegesis. It needs to be used as a framework for empirical research. It must not only engage with the other more conservative paradigms in the sociology of religion but be used as a framework for historical, qualitative and quantitative research. A critical theory of religion, taking Habermas (1984/1987) as its model, is highly integrative of other theoretical perspectives in sociology and is able to selectively incorporate elements of these competing paradigms within it. Rudolf J. Siebert (1979) has described Max Horkheimer as engaging in a “critical sociology of religion.” What is needed is to fill in some of the details. Let me suggest a few of its central research questions of a critical sociology of religion, which has a critical theory of religion as its guide: First, a critical theory of religion must engage in self-critique. It has been argued that Marxism is a “godless religion”—that it is a secularization of Judeo-Christian Messianism (Löwith 1949:37–38; Parsons 1971:226). If this is true, then Marxism and neo-Marxism must engage in a critique of itself as a “secular religion.” It must either purge the dialectic of its theological elements thereby becoming purely negative (solely for the purpose of critique) (Adorno 1973) and therefore a pure social science. Alternatively, it can retain this contradiction moving

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in the direction of a critical theology. These two, a critical theory of religion and a critical theology, need not be mutually exclusive but one must separate them. Only after a critical theory or religion engages in self-critique can it proceed on to critique other secular and non-secular religions. A critical sociology of religion, as a social science, must be completely secular. Following Feuerbach and Marx, a critical theory of religion sees the need for religion as a result of self-alienation. God is nothing other than a projection of the alienated self (Bloch 1972:59). Following Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm, a critical theory of religion needs to develop a Marxist-Freudian social psychology of religion. It needs to gain an understanding of the psychological need for religion. Religion is an attempt to establish community in which individuals seek to overcome their own alienation and societal anomie. In contrast to Weberian sociology, a critical sociology of religion is not value free. Rather, it engages in a critique of religion based on sets of values. Using values such as democracy, freedom, and equality as ideals, it evaluates existing religions against them. For example, a critical sociology of religion would critique fundamentalism from the perspective of gender equality. While recognizing the emancipatory role that religious movements can play, a critical theory of religion as a social science coming out of the radical Enlightenment must nevertheless remain detached. While religion has sometimes played an emancipatory role in the past, a critical sociology of religion is equally concerned with the repressive side. It is not only interested in religion as a source of social change but also as a resistance to change (i.e. traditionalism). Religion can either promote or hinder social change. It can reinforce the existing order or transform it. A critical sociology of religion provides a perspective which is interested in the role that religion plays in this dialectic of oppression and liberation. It engages in a critique of religious fundamentalism in much the same way that the Frankfurt School engaged in a critique of the authoritarian personality (Langman 2005). A critical sociology of religion is interested in the role that religion plays in class conflict. However, it reconsiders the argument that religious conflict is a direct expression of class conflict. In some situations this has been the case. However, more broadly, it looks at the role that economics (material conditions) plays in religious conflict. A critical sociology of religion needs to enter one of the central debates in the sociology of religion about the process of secularization.

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Those who reject the process of secularization see it as occurring in a linear manner (Warner 1993:1052; Stark 2000:59). Rather than seeing secularization occurring in a linear manner, a critical sociology of religion sees secularization and, more specifically, religious rationalization, as occurring in a dialectical manner. It views the ongoing conflict between fundamentalism and modernity as part of this dialectic. It understands that secularization is not always a linear process but can often take place dialectically through secular movements and religious countermovements. A critical sociology of religion looks at the dialectical relationship between religious and secular movements and seeks to gain an understanding of the dynamics between the two. The secular left in the United States has long ignored religion only to be eclipsed by it. It can no longer afford to do so. It is time for the left to wake up, recognize this, and apply a dialectical and critical framework to analyze religion. Only when it does so, will it be able to come up with a strategy of how to deal with the religious right as a countermovement to itself as a secular social movement.

CHAPTER TEN

MOVING FROM ATTITUDES TO BEHAVIOR: USING SOCIAL INFLUENCE TO UNDERSTAND INTERPERSONAL RACIAL OPPRESSION Chavella T. Pittman Research suggests that whites’ attitudes and ideologies towards racial minorities are improving. At the same time, racial minorities continue to experience racial discrimination at the hands of whites. If white attitudes are improving, then whose acts are maintaining racial oppression? More to the point, how do “liberal” or “progressive” whites’ racial behaviors create, maintain, or challenge racial oppression? What do progressive and liberal whites do when they witness racial oppression? Are progressive and liberal whites engaging in racially oppressive behaviors? While we are inclined to believe that racial attitudes guide and influence racial behavior, I propose an alternative perspective. Like most behaviors, whites’ racial behaviors are subject to social influences. Despite positive racial attitudes and ideologies, whites’ racial behaviors are a large factor in the maintenance and creation of interpersonal oppression for people of color. By posing racial oppression as 1) perpetuated through racial behaviors and 2) shaped by social influences, I hope to expand current knowledge on the maintenance and reduction of racial oppression in U.S. society. In this chapter, I discuss why it is important to focus on racial behaviors. I also review how a few popular theories of interpersonal racism address racial behavior and directly address how racial behavior can be conceptualized via social norms. Next, I provide illustrations from my own research that demonstrate the impact of social norms (one form of social influence) on racial behaviors. After the illustrations, I re-iterate why interpersonal racial oppression theories need to evolve and what I believe are necessary features of that evolution. I end the chapter with a short discussion of the potential implications of racial behavior as a function of social influence.

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Racial oppression is often described via its structural consequences, or as caused by oppressive racial attitudes or ideologies. I am interested in studying the actions and the inactions, i.e., the behaviors that lead to racial oppression. Of course, we recognize the behaviors that maintain racial oppression (e.g., proposing a race-based policy, not challenging a racial joke, etc.), but we rarely study what influences these behaviors. Instead, we examine the assumed source of racial behaviors in attitudes and ideologies. Racial oppression has real, lived consequences for people of color, but we rarely focus on the cause of the discrete racial behaviors that create and maintain it. I believe that everyday interactions reveal how inequality is “done,” produced, and reproduced (Goffman 1969; West and Fenstermaker 1995; Essed 1991, 2001). With this in mind, my work focuses on detailing how structural oppression is created at the interpersonal level through interpersonal behaviors. To demonstrate the existence and persistence of interpersonal racial oppression, researchers conduct their work from the perspective of people of color. This work extends the literature by examining interpersonal racial oppression from the perspective of whites whose behaviors maintain, create, or challenge it. Specifically, I encourage the use of social influence concepts (e.g., racial behavior norms) as alternative explanations for whites’ racial behaviors. Attitudes and ideologies The most popular theories of interpersonal race oppression assume that racial attitudes and/or ideologies are the basis for behaviors that contribute to or challenge racial oppression (e.g., discrimination). In the text below, I briefly highlight how several popular theories of interpersonal racial oppression conceptualize racial behavior. The racism of years ago is referred to in much of the literature as “old-fashioned racism” and is what many people think of when defining racism. This form of racism involves stereotypic beliefs about the intelligence and character of people of color (Dovidio and Gaertner 2005), support for segregation, and overt discrimination. The concept of old-fashioned racism does not directly address the cause of racist behavior, yet assumes that racial behavior results from stereotypic racial beliefs.

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Symbolic racism (Kinder and Sears 1981; Knopke 1991) asserts that people have an awareness of their prejudicial attitudes, which they attempt to cloak as adherence to reasonable values and concepts. In this way, the symbolic racist makes the “nonracial” argument that Blacks are “violating cherished values or making illegitimate demands” (Katz, Wackenhut and Hass 1986: 38). Although not explicitly stated, symbolic racism implies that discriminatory behaviors are the direct result of prejudicial attitudes. While racial behavior may occur under the intentional guise of nonracial factors, it is nonetheless the result of racial attitudes. Symbolic racism represents a conscious attempt to mask negative racial attitudes. Alternatively, modern racists (McConahay 1986) are not aware of their prejudicial attitudes. Instead, they limit their notion of racism to old fashioned racism and thus remain unaware of their own prejudicial attitudes and ideologies. Thus, modern racism assumes that racial behavior is consistent with unconscious racial attitudes. Color blind racism (Bonilla-Silva 2003; Carr 1999) is captured by individuals’ assertion that human relations in the United States should become color-blind. As Carr (1999) points out, this racial attitude is oppressive in at least two distinct manners. For liberals, their belief that they cannot discriminate nor be prejudiced because they do not see “color” keeps them unaware of their racial attitudes and thus complicit in racial oppression. For conservatives, racial attitudes in support of a color-blind racial ideology is often used as a disingenuous argument to maintain racial oppression via the end of race conscious policies (e.g., affirmative action). For conservatives and liberals alike, Carr (1999) asserts that color blind racism is the newest justification for racial oppression in the United States. Thus color blind racism also asserts that ideology guides the form and expression (that is, racial behavior) of racism. Social norms Do attitudes predict behavior? The best answer the relevant literature can give us is that attitudes predict behaviors to limited and varying degrees (Kraus 1995; Schuman and Johnson 1976). Thus, when we conceptualize racial behavior as the result of racial attitudes and ideologies, we create an incomplete picture of racial oppression. Research evidence bears this out, such that when we take stock of improving racial attitudes (Bobo 1998; Schuman, Steeh, Bobo, et al. 1997), we

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do not see a parallel decline in the racially oppressive experiences of people of color (Bonilla-Silva 2003; Picca and Feagin 2007). Despite this evidence, racial behaviors are still often conceptualized as racial attitudes or ideology. In understanding social behavior, researchers often overlook, oversimplify, and underestimate social influence. They view it as an internalized and passive appraisal process, rather than as part of an active process that influences social behavior. Social norms, in particular, have been shown to influence both experimental and real-world social behavior (Beeghley, Bock, and Cochran 1990; Maxwell 2002). Though not an oft-studied topic, a few studies have shown that social norms are an important influence on racial behavior (Crandall, Eshleman, and O’Brien 2002; Fendrich 1967; Monteith, Deneen, and Tooman 1996). These consistent results across decades have not led to the incorporation of social norms into the study of racial oppression and racial behavior in particular. I posit incorporating social influence into research and theory to improve the measurement and knowledge of racial oppression. Specifically, I seek to define and understand racial oppression through a focus upon racial behavior, to complement the current concentrated efforts on racial attitudes and ideologies. My focus on social influence is not to be mistaken as an “anything but race” position. Race is a clear and obvious component of my explanations of racial behavior and oppression. I differ from the most popular interpersonal racial oppression theorists only via my focus on 1) racial behaviors and 2) social influence as one process whereby racial oppression is maintained. Illustrations: Social Norms and Racial Behavior In the following sections, I present illustrations of social norms’ impact on racial behaviors. These illustrations come from three studies that focus on white college students. Why college students? For decades it has been argued that education has a “liberalizing” effect on its students. Moreover, many colleges and universities have in recent years embraced the goal of graduating multiculturally competent students and future leaders (Clark 2005; Hurtado 2007). As a result, we might expect white college students to hold racial attitudes that are more liberal and progressive than the general population. In line with popular theories of interpersonal racial oppression, we would assume that these students’ racial behaviors could be pre-

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dicted by racial attitudes. Instead, I present evidence in the sections below that illustrate the relationship between social norms and racial behavior. The first illustration demonstrates the power of social norms on racial behavior while the following notes a few preliminary racial behavior norms at play for white college students. The final example suggests just how important social norms might be for changing racial behaviors to reduce racial oppression. Can social norms predict white students’ racial behavior? Using survey data from 176 white college undergraduates, I examined if commitment to various social norms was predictive of racial behavior. The students were predominantly female (i.e. 60%), with an average age of twenty years. In line with trends in racial attitude and ideology survey research (Bonilla-Silva 2003; Schuman, Steeh, Bobo, et al. 1997), these white students held positive racial attitudes and ideologies and also believed that racial oppression continues to exist in U. S. society. I was interested in societal norms about conflict, helping, and promoting social values. The norm of influencing society is definitely incorporated into the rhetoric and practice of U.S. higher education (Gurin, Nagda, and Lopez 2004; Hurtado 2007). As such, I predict that this norm could encourage racial behaviors as they could be perceived as a way to improve society. Avoiding conflict is also a common U.S. norm (Goldberg 2007; Shoeny and Warfield 2000) that may well discourage individuals from engaging in behaviors that promote racial inequality or challenge racial oppression. Another prevalent norm focuses on the idea that U.S. citizens should be helpful to others (Barnes, Ickes, and Kidd 1979; Ross and Miller 2002). However, since this norm often applies only to those who are “deserving” (Ross and Miller 2002; Skinner, Feather, Freeman, et al. 2007), I am not sure how it will relate to racial behaviors. I was interested in peer norms about involvement in community service and the creative arts. I was curious to know if these norms had a relationship to behaviors that challenged racial oppression and/or those that promoted racial equality. For example, there is some research that suggests that normed involvement in the creative arts and exposure to other oppressed groups (e.g., LGBT) might result in engagement in more social justice behaviors (Larson 2006; McClelland and Linnander 2006). I also expected that peer pressure to do community service would not result in more racial behaviors. I based this expectation

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on research demonstrating that individuals often do not connect their volunteering and service behavior to larger structural issues of social injustice (Adams, O’Brien, and Nelson 2006; Lopez, Gurin, and Nagda 1998). So while individuals might be normed to volunteer and serve their communities, they might not be similarly normed to enact racial behaviors to address structural inequalities. Within the category of societal norms, I assessed students’ adherence to three different types of societally normative behaviors. “Conflict as negative” is a scaled item (alpha=.623) that reflects a student’s adherence to the societal norm of avoiding conflict (e.g., “. . . I have learned that the best thing is to avoid conflict”). The next societal norm, “Being helpful” (alpha=.762), assesses a students’ adherence to a norm of helpful behaviors such as “Becoming involved in activities to improve my community.” The final item measures if the student is committed to the societal norm of “Influencing society” (alpha=.670) through activities that influence “social values” and the “political structure.” For the peer norms, I assessed whether or not students were normed to engage in two types of behaviors. The first, “Community service” (alpha=.717) reflects peer norms to engage in community service not associated with courses. The second, “Creative social action” (alpha=.666) reflects peer pressure to engage in artistic events and activities that promote social justice for women and LGBT communities. I examined five racial behaviors that reflected challenges to racial oppression and promotion of racial equality. Individual behaviors (alpha=.746) and collective behaviors (alpha=.855) to challenge racial oppression reflected students’ comfort with “challenging others on racially derogatory comments” and “joining an organization that takes action toward justice.” I also measured students’ inclination to promote racial equality through political (alpha=.819), intergroup (alpha= .788), and cultural (alpha=.779) behaviors. Students reported their intentions to “picket to support affirmative action,” “educate students about racism,” and “attend a Native American Pow Wow,” respectively. I used OLS regression to see if societal norms or peer norms could predict each of the five racial behaviors. Overall, societal norms significantly predicted each of the five racial behaviors (See Table 1). In particular, “Influencing society” was the most predictive societal norm, demonstrating positive relationships with all of the racial behaviors. What this means is that a student who conforms to the societal norm of “Influencing political structures” is more likely to get together with

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others to challenge an unjust practice. Contrary to my expectation, the norm of “Being helpful” was also highly predictive of racial behavior, with four of five significant and positive relationships. That is, students who normed to become involved in activities to improve their community were more likely to attend an event like a talk about Asian American culture. Finally, a commitment to the norm that “Conflict is negative” was predictive, but only for two of the five racial behaviors. In fact, these relationships were negative—those who were normed to avoid conflict were less likely to challenge others on racially derogatory comments or to educate students about racism. Thus, in this examination of college students, societal norms were able to predict of a range of racial behaviors. Overall, peer group norms were able to predict all of the racial behaviors (see Table 2). Those involved in “Creative social action” were most likely to engage in racial behaviors. This peer norm was significantly and positively able to predict all of the racial behaviors. For example, those students involved in media and creative arts were most likely to challenge someone on a racist joke, attend a talk on Asian American culture, join a group who takes action against injustice, and so forth. As predicted, those with a norm to engage in “Community service” were not as likely to engage in racial behaviors. This norm was definitely positively related to racial behaviors, but only to two—intergroup and cultural racial behaviors. However, just as with societal norms, peer norms were able to predict a range of racial behaviors. These findings support my assertion that norms can be highly predictive of racial behaviors. In fact, societal norms alone were able to explain anywhere from sixteen to thirty-three percent of the variance in racial behaviors. By themselves, peer norms were able to explain ten to twenty-one percent of racial behavior variance. Indeed, the combined power of peer and social norms was able to predict twenty five to sixty percent of the variance in racial behavior. Given the high amount of variance explained by these norms, they are likely important factors to consider in future examinations of racial behaviors that promote racial equality and that challenge racial oppression. What should whites do or not do when it comes to race? Having established that social norms are able to predict racial behaviors, I was curious to learn more about whites’ racial behavior norms.

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In particular, I wanted to know: 1) are whites aware of norms that govern their racial behavior? and 2) what, if any, are those behavior norms? To satisfy this curiosity, I conducted an exploratory qualitative study. The findings presented here represent a convenience sample of twelve white students from a small, predominantly white southeastern liberal arts institution. All of the participants identified themselves as white and as having a “liberal” or “far left” political orientation. Again, I was interested in “liberal” or “progressive” white students, since current interpersonal racial oppression theories imply that positive or negative racial attitudes and ideologies would guide these students’ racial behaviors. In a semi-structured interview, a white student interviewer asked his/her peers “What should whites do and not do when it comes to race?” That is, they were asked about their perceptions of social norms for white racial behavior. My preliminary analysis of this data reveals three norms for white racial behavior. These preliminary themes include: (1) anti-racist behavior norms (e.g., I must act to stop racial oppression); 2) racially oppressive behavior norms (e.g., it’s okay to engage in racially oppressive behaviors behind closed doors); and (3) color blind racial behavior norms (e.g., I must behave like race does not exist). Norm of anti-racially oppressive behavior When asked what “whites should and should not do when it comes to race” some whites reported norms supportive of racial behaviors to reduce oppression. Gina relays that as a white person: . . . you should try, and not necessarily call people out, but definitely say something, . . . if you’re with people you’re more comfortable it might be like “that’s the most racist thing I’ve ever heard-stop saying that”, or if it’s someone you’re not necessarily comfortable with that could be perceived as offensive. Or if it’s someone, you know, an authority figure that you think definitely is saying things that shouldn’t be said whether it be like a professor or the [campus] cops, you know, going to another professor you trust, or the administration, figuring out . . . the system where you air your grievances . . . so . . . if . . . someone says something racist, where could I go to say something . . . if . . . it’s someone I don’t feel comfortable, like it’s a professor . . . saying “you’re saying something racist.” So I go to another professor who might be able to say something to them politely, also, you know, when it affects your grades you might feel a little uncomfortable, so I think learning the grievance systems can definitely help.

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As displayed in the above quote, this participant’s norms for racial behavior focus on engaging in behavior that challenges others’ acts of racial oppression. Ingrid has a similar norm for engaging in specific behaviors towards ending racial inequality. In response to the same question, Ingrid says whites should: . . . provid[e] support . . . as a white person I can never understand really what it’s like to constantly have race and discrimination because of your race. . . . So . . . being an ally and supporting the things that people of color feel are important and things they think need to change . . . and of course . . . trying to call [racism] out when I do see it . . . using the white privilege, I have the benefit of doing that.

Ingrid also understands her racial behavior norms, as a white person, as including pro-active racial behavior. Specifically, she feels that she should provide a supportive role towards issues of importance to people of color. She also notes that her white privilege allows her to challenge racism when she sees it. Norm of racially oppressive behavior While a few whites were able to identify behavior norms supportive of racial equality, many more mentioned the norms that guided their racially oppressive behavior. Often the same participants contradicted their prior anti-racist (public?) norm with their racially problematic (private?) norm. For example, Dana states that it is unacceptable to say something about someone based on their race, yet she then goes on to laugh and say “. . . there’s definitely unacceptable things that people do when they’re not around blacks, like maybe telling jokes.” Other participants confided that in all-white settings, racial slurs, jokes, comments and the like are racial behaviors that are commonplace and tolerated. Ann says “I can say that I know a lot of people who talk about people of color in a bad way, like habitually, as an inside joke kind of thing.” On several occasions, the study participants made it clear that it was not their friends or themselves who engaged in such racial behavior—only to contradict that positioning several statements later. For example, Ann continues by saying: I don’t feel like my friends are like that . . . But I feel like I do know people who have been known to make a joke. I’ve probably made a joke too, definitely. . . . It is understood that sometimes people will make comments.

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Brenda also begins by stating that racial slurs and jokes are not appropriate behaviors for whites, especially not her and her friends. Yet Brenda also says: I think when people are not around of color . . . sometimes . . . things do come out in conversation. I think it’s basically a joke, but I think a lot of the things that we maybe are saying at my house or just hanging out with white friends, I wouldn’t say in front of my friends who are of color.

Claire also explains that racial jokes are completely inappropriate, yet she references the racial slurs her friends make: “. . . there are key things that might occur between friends of the name calling . . . [and] there’s no way in hell anybody would do it in a [mixed race] setting.” Another set of behaviors the white students engage in only when in all white environments included using Black vernacular—including the N word, listening to Black music, and “acting” Black. I include listening to Black music as a normed racially oppressive behavior, as Nancy describes how whites simultaneous listen to and make fun of Black music: I think it’s funny that we all listen to . . . rap music and music that’s all created by black people. I think it’s funny . . . I mean those habits are adapted but . . . in a way that doesn’t take them seriously as a culture and . . . some people are adapting them in, in ways that do take it seriously but other times . . ., it’s almost like even by enjoying the music you’re like making fun of it or, or taking a stance of ownership over it as . . . someone who considers themselves a higher race than those who are creating the music for you to enjoy.

There were several other participants that mentioned that they listen to music from people of color (e.g., rap, reggaton, etc.) in all-white environments, but would not listen to or sing along with it in mixed race settings, in order to not appear racist. As Cooper states, “I realized that I sometimes act a lot blacker around white people than I would around black people. [Chuckle] . . . I was even at one point calling people my Nigger and stuff.” Ann also describes changes in her and her friend’s racial behavior when people of color are present. She says: I also think that you might change . . . any words that we would borrow from another population but . . . I’ve been known to know people who say the [N]-word around their white friends, . . . guys especially, and then they would probably limit that when they’re around people of color . . . So you would limit both slanderous things you say and . . . non-slanderous but . . . just using a kind of vernacular. . . . I would probably be less likely to . . . talk a certain way about rap music or something.

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That the white students were not willing to engage in these behaviors in front of people of color could be interpreted as meaning that they know such behaviors are racially inappropriate. That they nevertheless engage in these behaviors in all-white settings demonstrates a norm supportive of racially oppressive behaviors among these white students. Norm of behavior to avoid race The participants mentioned a norm of engaging in behaviors that avoid race or keeping race as neutral as possible in their racial behaviors. Chelsey says: I try to act like we’re all as similar as possible. I try to . . . make comments that would not single out . . . a black person and try to like basically avoid the topic of race . . . say . . . we’re in a mixed race setting and there’s some black people . . . you don’t want to like say like make some reference to their culture or in any way separate yourself from them or say . . . oh you’ve had a different experience from me because you’re black. You know? . . . you try to act as normal and as similar to the group as much as possible.

She guides her behavior away from anything that will make race salient. Brenda states a similar avoidance behavior norm, as well as her motivations for doing so: I wouldn’t want to bring [the topic of race] up much because . . . when I’m hanging out with a mixed group . . . you don’t want that to be a. . . . debatable topic. You know what I mean . . . you don’t want it to be a focus of the conversation, it’s like try to avoid anything that could even potentially be taken as [racial and dividing].

Brenda mentions a little more about why she is motivated to engage in behaviors to avoid race: “In my personal life I never sit around and discriminate . . . but . . . sometimes I say comments . . . that could definitely be taken as racist.” Cooper, who previously described his predilection to use the Nword and “act” black, discusses how whites should behave in mixed race settings: I think the best thing to do is just be comfortable . . . with . . . your own race, people of other races and, you know . . . obviously there’s no . . . inequality between . . . the races. It shouldn’t be. Things are equal. You know? There’s no . . . superior group . . . just be comfortable with having different, the people of different races.

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Dana expresses an inclination towards similar behavior by saying that whites should “treat everyone equally . . . respect people.” I believe the racial behavior norms for whites expressed by these participants are different from those who embrace the norm of proactive behavior— who are normed to engage in behaviors that reduce racial oppression. These participants describe behavior norms to avoid or neutralize race altogether. Preliminary results from this study suggest that norms are an important determinant of these white students’ racial behaviors. Some whites had clear norms which condone and encourage the use of racially oppressive slurs and jokes in all-white settings. There is a norm to consume music of people of color in ways that misappropriate and ridicule these cultural art forms. Some participants had clear norms that dictated that they use their social power as whites to reduce racial oppression. There is a norm for speaking up when other whites make racist statements. Some whites had clear norms to engage in behaviors to avoid and/or neutralize race. That these norms for white racial behavior exist is not in itself a groundbreaking finding. At the same time, if it is general knowledge that white racial behaviors are governed by social norms, why don’t our theories of interpersonal racial oppression reflect this? I am sure these white students’ attitudes and ideologies play a role in their racial behaviors. However, as the students clearly state, there is also normative pressure for whites to engage in supportive or oppressive racial behaviors. Thus, it seems evident that beyond individual-level attitudes or ideologies, the racial behavior of whites are a function of interpersonal, cultural, and societal level norms. In order to understand whites’ racial behaviors, future studies should identify related norms, the contexts in which those norms operate, and what happens when norms conflict as well as how these norms are transmitted. Do diversity educational interventions changes racial behavior? Using pre and posttest survey data from 128 white undergraduate students, I demonstrate the practical implications of current conceptualizations of interpersonal racial oppression as attitudes and ideologies. As I described earlier, popular theories of interpersonal racial oppression link racial behaviors to racial attitudes and ideologies. Extending these theories into practice, diversity educational interventions often

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rely upon racial attitudes and ideologies to promote changes in racial behavior. Specifically, intergroup dialogue, service learning, and workplace diversity training are educational interventions often found at U. S. colleges and universities (Chang 2002; Chesler and Vasques Scalera 2000; Schoem and Hurtado 2001). The literature on these diversity interventions provides clear and consistent evidence that they strive to promote behaviors supportive of racial equality in their students (De Bois and Hutson 1997; Engberg 2007; Kezar 1998). However, each of these interventions aims, implicitly and explicitly, to change racial attitudes and ideologies—assuming that changes in racial behavior will then occur as a result (Kraft 1998; Mallory and Thomas 2003; Henriksen 2006). Thus I ask, do diversity educational interventions that aim for racial attitude change lead to changes in racial behavior? The white students in this study were enrolled in one of the following courses: Intergroup dialogue, service learning, or residential staff diversity training. Each of these courses had a different strategy for producing change. The intergroup dialogue course focused on developing shared meanings to produce behavior (Schoem and Hurtado 2001). Residential-staff diversity training uses a combination of emotional, cognitive, and experiential activities to promote behavior (Brown 2001). The service learning course incorporates experiential learning in communities, assuming behaviors there will continue after the course (Kezar 1998). These diversity educational interventions were a semester long, lasting approximately sixteen weeks. White students completed identical surveys at both the beginning and end of their course, which provided their pre and posttest racial behavior measures. Five of the six racial behavior measures are the same discussed earlier in this chapter: 1) individual and 2) collective behavior to challenge racial oppression, and 3) cultural, 4) political, and 5) intergroup behaviors to promote racial equality. The sixth racial behavior measure asked white students to report the amount of current contact they had with persons of different races than themselves. The goal of my analysis was to determine if the white students’ racial behavior changed after taking a diversity educational intervention course. Another goal was to determine if students in any of the three courses were more likely to experience postcourse changes in racial behaviors. That is, my analysis also asks “Is one diversity course better than the others in producing changes in white students’ racial behaviors?”

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The main finding of this study is that white students exhibited very little change in racial behavior after taking an intergroup dialogue, residential staff diversity training, or service learning course. In actuality, only one of the six racial behaviors for whites changed after participation in a diversity educational intervention course (See Tables 3, 4, and 5). Specifically, white students reported less contact with diverse others after participating in the diversity course. When I compared racial behavior change across diversity courses, white students in the resident assistant diversity course had the most change (See Tables 6 and 7). However, once again, these white students exhibited less interaction with diverse others than the white students in the intergroup dialogue and service learning courses. Researchers have demonstrated that diversity educational courses are effective at changing racial attitudes and ideologies (Banks and McGee Banks 1995; Chang 2002; Gurin, Peng, Lopez, et al. 1999). While these three courses have very different curricula, they similarly rely upon change in racial attitudes to meet their behavior change goals. Given the inconsistent relationship between racial attitudes, ideologies, and behaviors, it is no surprise that these courses were unable to produce changes in racial behavior. In my previous illustrations, I describe and demonstrate social norms as concepts that can improve our theoretical understandings of racial oppression via racial behavior. In this illustration, I highlighted the practical implications (and limitations) of using current conceptualizations of interpersonal racial oppression as attitudes and ideologies. Next Steps Re-orientation of interpersonal racial oppression I applaud those theorists and researchers whose quantitative and qualitative work identifies the changing face of individual racial attitudes and societally shared racial ideologies. The information these works provide is invaluable to those who strive to understand and reduce racial oppression. However, conflicting elements in the literature on whites’ improving racial attitudes, negative racial ideologies, and consistent racially discriminatory behavior (Bobo and Kluegel 1993; Bonilla-Silva 2006; La Piere 1934; Merton 1949; Williams, Jackson, Brown, et al. 1999) demonstrate the need for improvement.

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To improve and fill the gaps in our understanding of racial oppression, theories of interpersonal racial oppression should be re-oriented in two important ways. First, these theories should incorporate a focus upon racial behaviors. Racial oppression can be understood through a focus on interpersonal racial behaviors. As such, I suggest that theorists include explicit references to and explanations for the racial behaviors that maintain and create racial oppression. Secondly, these theories should embrace alternative explanations for racial behavior, instead of the current reliance upon an assumed attitude-behavior relationship. In particular, I maintain that social psychological theories and concepts (e.g., presence of others, ambiguity, situational cues, social norms) can usefully identify key determinants of racial behavior. These theories and concepts are important to explore if we are to understand the maintenance (and reduction) of racial oppression via racial behaviors. Reducing racial oppression Current interventions to reduce interpersonal racial oppression focus on affecting beliefs, attitudes, and ideologies. However, I argue that it is essential for educational interventions designed to reduce racial oppression to utilize social influence concepts. Educators have used social norm-based interventions, in particular, to address risky behaviors in adolescents and young adults. These programs have demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing the target behavior (Linkenbach and Perkins 2003; Martinio-McAllister and Wessel 2005; Ott and Doyle 2005). For example, Haines, Barker and Rice (2003) describe a norms program that reduced alcohol and tobacco consumption in tenth graders. Perkins and Craig (2002) illustrate the success of a norm based intervention to reduce alcohol abuse in college student athletes. A social norms intervention also inhibited the onset of smoking at a college residence hall, as compared to a similar hall that did not participate in the program (Hancock and Henry 2003). Regarding oppression reduction, a social norm-based intervention was effective at increasing men’s behaviors to prevent violence against women. In fact, the intervention evidenced utility at increasing men’s prevention behaviors for rape, dating violence, stalking, etc. (Fabiano, Perkins, Berkowitz, et al. 2004). To my knowledge, no one currently has the right data to fully measure the relationship between social influence and racial behavior.

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However, the results of the present study suggest that: 1) social norms are a powerful predictor of racial behavior; 2) social norms encourage and inhibit a range of whites’ racial behaviors; and 3) racism-reduction practices are not effective at reducing racist (or promoting anti-racist) behavior due to their reliance on attitude change. Overall, my work suggests that social scientists should move towards incorporating social influence into their frameworks for both theory and practice. Table 1. Societal norms predicting racial behaviors Individual Predictor

B

S.E.

Collective

Political

B

B

S.E.

Intergroup

S.E.

Conflict is –.303* .085 –.239 .122 –.122 Negative Being Helpful .197* .072 .203 .104 .271** Influencing .168~ .078 .304* .113 .222* Society R squared .214 .159 .212

B

.092 –.307* .079 .086

Cultural

S.E.

B

S.E.

.099 –.096

.107

.263* .085 .403** .093

.373** .091 .265* .100

.326

.247

Table 2. Peer-group norms predicting racial behavior Individual Predictor Creative Social Action Community Service R squared

B

S.E.

Collective B

Political

S.E.

B

Intergroup

S.E.

B

Cultural

S.E.

B

S.E.

.072** .021

.087* .030 .098** .022 .126**

.025 .103** .026

.202

.378

.242 .304

.208 .624*

.096

.165

.173

.105

.184 .455~ .212

.212

.196

Table 3. Change in students’ racial behavior after participating in the service learning course Individual Collective t value Sig. of t Mean difference SD s. e. mean Pretest mean Posttest mean

–1.504 .143 –.144 .541 .096 3.08 3.22

df = 31; *p < 0.05; **p < 0.001

–.991 .329 –.117 .669 .118 2.69 2.80

Intergroup

Cultural

Political

Contact

.551 .586 .047 .481 .085 2.67 2.63

.000 1.00 .000 .415 .073 2.32 2.32

–.700 .489 –.057 .463 .082 2.01 2.06

2.79 .010* .281 .581 .103 3.72 3.44

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Table 4. Change in students’ racial behavior after participating in residential staff diversity training Course Individual t value Sig. of t Mean difference SD s. e. mean Pretest mean Posttest mean

Collective Intergroup

Cultural

Political

Contact

–.579 .565 –.049

–1.01 .317 .095

–1.16 .251 –.104

–1.58 .120 –.170

–1.305 .198 –.109

2.27 .027* .184

.592 .085 3.15 3.20

.659 .094 2.65 2.74

.625 .089 2.64 2.74

.752 .107 2.11 2.28

.584 .083 2.01 2.12

.565 .081 3.82 3.62

df = 48; *p < 0.05; **p < 0.001

Table 5. Change in students’ racial behavior after participating in the intergroup dialogue course

t value Sig. of t Mean difference SD s. e. mean Pretest mean Posttest mean

Individual

Collective

Intergroup

Cultural

Political

–.875 .386 –.089

–.656 .515 –.101

.700 .102 3.00 3.09

1.06 .154 2.47 2.57

Contact

–.959 .343 –.085

.097 .923 .007

–.925 .360 –.071

2.16 .036* .277

.609 .089 2.41 2.50

.499 .073 1.80 1.79

.526 .077 1.67 1.74

.877 .128 3.21 2.94

df = 46; *p < 0.05; **p < 0.001

Table 6. ANOVA Results: Comparison of racial behavior change across strategies

F value Sig. of F Mean square Partial eta squared Service learning (SL) Workplace diversity training (RA) Intergroup dialogue (ID) *p < 0.05; **p < 0.001

Individual action

Collective action

Intergroup

.724 .487 .411 .011 3.15 3.18 3.05

1.33 .267 1.21 .021 2.75 2.70 2.52

1.47 .233 1.45 .023 2.65 2.70 2.46

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Table 7. ANCOVA Results: Change across curricular strategies and courses Racial Behaviors

F Sig. of F Mean square Partial eta square pre-test mean Curricular Strategy Service learning (SL) Workplace diversity training (RA) Intergroup dialogue (ID) Significant paired comparisons *p < .05; **p < .001

Cultural

Political

Current contact

2.53 .084 .794 .039 2.05

.837 .435 .215 .013 1.88

3.943* .020 1.63 .062 3.57

2.13 2.24

1.98 2.03

3.67 3.51

1.97

1.89

3.11 RA > ID

CHAPTER ELEVEN

TELETECHNOLOGY AND THE INTERNAL DIALOGUE1 Gordon Gauchat and Casey Borch Durkheim’s revision of Kantian phenomenology, Parsons’ use of psychoanalytical theory, Homans’ use of Skinnerian behaviorism, Blumer’s use of Mead’s self, Schutz’s use of Husserl’s phenomenology, Coleman’s use of Rational Choice Theory, all point to the necessity of accounting for the mind in sociological theory. Of course, terms such as “thinking” and “mind” have various synonyms in social science including subject, agent, personality, and decision maker. Nonetheless, we do not wish to return to Homans’ formulation that sociology should rest on psychological principles, but rather that sociologists must account for how individual thought processes are interrelated with broader cultural and institutional phenomenon (Hitlin and Elder 2007). Numerous scholars have proposed that an obvious point of departure for the “sociology of mind and thinking” is Mead’s theory of the internal dialogue (Mills 1963a; Collins 1988a, 1988b, 1989; Wiley 1994, 2006a; H. M. Collins 1990; Revisto 2002; Halton 2008). An appealing quality of this approach is the empirical concreteness of “talking to one’s self,” (i.e., talking to ourselves in our heads), a phenomenon few can deny occurs quite frequently. Compare the concreteness of inner speech with, for example, the unobservable and unconscious set of probability calculations and ordered preferences presumed under Rational Choice Theory.2 Mills (1963a) proposed that the appeal of Mead’s approach was the concept of the “generalized other,” because it contains both a “socio-psychological” and “historical” component. 1 Direct all correspondence regarding this paper to Gordon Gauchat (gordon. [email protected]). Thanks to Graham Cassano, Margaret Gilbert, Maura Kelly, Nancy Naples, Clint Sanders, Tom Volscho, and Ken Wilson for insights and suggestions regarding this paper. A version of this paper was presented at the 2008 meeting of the SSSI. 2 In fact, the rational choice conception of the mind resembles the operations of a digital computer, and the poverty of this conceptualization of human thought may help explain the unapproachable distance between human intelligence and the most “intelligent” computers (Revisto 2002; H. M. Collins 1990).

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Mills’ main point is that theories of mind and thinking oscillate between two narrow pictures of mental life and its relation to human action: as either arising in situ (in the “here and now”) or as a product of culture and history. Using Mills’ example, Mannheim’s theory of knowledge represents a historical or cultural determinist theory of mind that presumes human thought is entirely reducible to class position or group affiliation (Mills 1963a:425–426). On the other hand, Rational Choice Theory provides a good example of the competing picture in which human decisions are instantaneously calculated based on preexisting preferences and immediate constraints with little influence from culture and history—except, perhaps, in the process of creating the preference order; however, this point is rarely stated. Mills (1963a) concluded that the generalized other overcame this dualism and provided a novel direction for theorizing the mind, and represented a rich sociological concept that had yet to be sufficiently developed. Although Mills expressed these ideas over 50 years ago, his expectations for a “generalized other”-focused sociology of mind and thinking remain unfulfilled.3 To date, Collins (1988a, 1989, and 1998) has provided the most comprehensive treatment of Mead’s internal dialogue. Collins (1989), like Mills (1963a) acknowledges the centrality of the generalized other to sociological theory and its significance for everyday presentations of self, language use, and interaction rituals. Collins (1989:18) proposes that “. . . to focus on a particular social action is to take the role of the other: to participate imaginatively in how others are constructing the prayer, flag salute, or joking conversation.” Although Collins provides the groundwork for a sociological theory of mind, we suggest various limitations to his approach. First, he does not outline a stand-alone theory of mind and thinking but instead uses Mead’s approach to supplement his broader theory of “interaction rituals” (Collins 1989). Additionally, Collins scarcely mentions the components of the internal dialogue like the “generalized other,” the “I,” or the “Me.” Therefore, from the viewpoint of the authors, the internal dialogue needs fur-

3 One could certainly argue that Berger and Luckmann’s (1966) approach signaled a theory of the mind akin to the type that Mills envisioned. However, there is no mention of Mead in their text. Furthermore, Berger and Luckmann take up the phenomenology of Husseral and Schutz, and not the phenomenology of Peirce, the later of which was Mead’s foundation (see Lewis 1976). As one might expect, these distinct philosophical foundations have theoretical consequences.

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ther clarification and development in order to constitute a substantive theory of mind and thinking. In what follows, we show that Mead presents the mind in a paradoxical manner, manifesting in the form of constraint and openness, or what we term, “self-regulation” and “self-control.” This antimony in Mead’s theory of the internal dialogue is evident in his conceptualization of the generalized other, which is simultaneously “subjective” (within our minds) and yet a signification of society. Despite its centrality, Mead rarely identifies how the generalized other fits into the dialogue between the “I” and “me” and is it not entirely clear how culture and the institutions that transfer social knowledge influence the formation of the generalized other. Thus, we propose an expansion of Mead’s ideas that incorporates Mills’ notion of the “cultural apparatus” and Foucault’s notion of “panoptic surveillance.” In the final section, we introduce and develop two new concepts that reflect these additions: the panoptic idol and the cosmetic panopticism. These concepts describe how teletechnology and contemporary consumerism fundamentally transform inner speech; and more generally, the implications of “media constructed others” for Mead’s model of mind. The paper is divided into two broad sections. The first describes Mead’s account of the internal dialogue and its components. The second applies this theory of mind and thinking to contemporary social issues and theoretical quandaries to illustrate the potential for theoretical growth. In the conclusion, we address how the ideas presented in this paper connect to empirical research. The Internal Dialogue Components of the Internal Dialogue Mead’s distinction between the “I” and “me” is the core of sociology’s conceptualization of the internal dialogue; therefore, we will begin our discussion there.4 In an early articulation of the internal dialogue, Mead (1903:109) describes:

4 Wiley (1994, 2006a, 2006b) credits Peirce, the early American pragmatist, with first investigating inner speech and proposes that his original treatment greatly influenced Mead. Other than slightly different terminology and foci, Mead’s and Peirce’s perspectives on mind and thinking overlap considerably. Most importantly, both agreed that the concept of the internal dialogue entirely captured the colloquial meaning

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gordon gauchat and casey borch that phase of experience within which we are immediately conscious of conflicting impulses which rob the object of its character as objectstimulus, leaving us in so far in an attitude of subjectivity; but during which a new object-stimulus appears due to the reconstructive activity which is identified with the subject ‘I’ as, distinct from the object ‘me.’

Here Mead states that the “I” and the “me” are the products of errors, or “conflicting impulses.” The internal dialogue, thus, is a response to some discomfort or breech in the social or natural environment that brings about the need for the self (i.e., the “thinking” being) to reconstruct previous actions and produce new interpretations of what has occurred. Wiley (1994) has described Mead’s internal dialogue temporally so that the “I” represents a mental sign of the self in the present that talks about the self of the past (i.e., the “me”). To illustrate in everyday social situations, imagine during a phone conversation about politics a friend snaps at you and hangs up. You interpret this, fairly unreflectively, as a sign of political disagreement. Later, after some internal reflection you recall that it was your friend’s birthday and you had forgotten, causing you to reinterpret or reflect on your friend’s behavior and your initial response to it—this would be the “I” talking about the “me.” Yet, as this simple example shows, Mead is never entirely clear about how the “generalized other” fits into the “I” and “me” scheme and offers surprisingly few concrete examples of how the internal dialogue operates. Mead’s terminology and meaning often shifted when discussing the internal dialogue (Charon 2001). Nonetheless, he clearly described a process in which human behavior aligns itself with the expectations of “others,” what he calls “taking the role of the other” or simply, roletaking. For Mead, role-taking is twofold and in both instances the internal dialogue is essential. In the discussion that follows, we draw on the ideas of various social theorists who have discussed the internal dialogue, or proximate ideas, to clarify and refine Mead’s thesis.

of terms like “mind” and “thinking;” however, each scholar had a different aim for the internal dialogue. Peirce (1905) was centrally concerned with constructing a kind of existential philosophy of meaning, and his concept of the internal dialogue expressed how thinking might achieve emotional, logical, and spiritual clarity. Mead, on the other hand, endeavored to explain everyday thinking using inner speech as a foundational social psychological concept. Following Mead, we trace out the general contours of the internal dialogue and provide a general framework for identifying the processes of thought.

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First, consistent with the pragmatist notion that signs mediate external phenomenon (Joas 1997; Wiley 1994), the looking-glass self signifies actual others and represents a personification of the immediate social environment in the form of an imagined other.5 For example, to an individual waiting at a bus stop, the people standing around him/ her are represented by a voice within that individual; this “inner voice” is the looking-glass self. Mead also identified a second way that individuals “take the role of the other” in which the “structure of attitudes” representative of the broader social community is integrated into the internal dialogue. We adopt the concept cultural apparatus from Mills (1963b) to describe this system. According to Mills (1963b:406), the cultural apparatus is “composed of all the organizational and milieux in which artistic, intellectual, and scientific work goes on, and of the means by which such work is made available to circles, publics, and masses.” For our purposes, this concept replaces Mead’s somewhat vague notion of the “structure of attitudes” and we argue that it is personified in the internal dialogue along with immediate others in the form of the generalized other. As Mills (1963b:406) wrote, the cultural apparatus “. . . is the lens of mankind [sic] through which men see; the medium by which they interpret and report what they see.” Similarly, we propose that the cultural apparatus is the primary source of social knowledge in modern life and is fundamental to the macro variety of role-taking that Mead commonly associated with the “generalized other” (see Collins 1988a, 1988b). Although not using these terms, Mead discussed two aspects of role-taking (the looking glass self and the cultural apparatus) in the following way: In abstract thought the individual takes the attitude of the generalized other toward himself, without reference to its expression in any particular other individuals; and in concrete thought he takes that attitude in so far as it is expressed in the attitudes toward his behavior of those other individuals with whom he is involved in the given social situation or act, but only by taking the attitude of the generalized other toward himself, in one or another of these ways, can he think at all (Mead 1934:155–156).

5 This was originally Cooley’s ([1902] 1983:179–185) idea that Mead incorporated into his social psychology and theory of the internal dialogue (for more, see McCall 2006). Halton (2008) argues that the generalized other also represents physical objects in the immediate physical environment and Mead’s extensive discussion of thinking about physical objects corroborates this.

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The key point here is that the “generalized other” is a sign within the internal dialogue that stands for the external social world and is a combination of two modes of role-taking. Equally important, it is through conversations with the generalized other that the mind aligns its conduct with the outside world.6 Finally, for Mead the internal dialogue is a synonym for thinking in both a mundane sense (e.g., riding a bike) and an intellectual sense (e.g., logical reflection on humanism). Accordingly, the process of role-taking and conversations with the “generalized other” represent the core of Mead’s theory of mind and thinking (Mills 1963a; Collins 1988a, 1988b, 1989). Despite this centrality, the generalized other and the “I” and “me” remain in separate conceptual spheres; although, Mead indicates that the “me” is closer to the generalized other (1956:230). It is likely that this means that the generalized other is a distinct component of the internal dialogue and that the “me” is habitually conditioned by it (see Collins 1988a; Mead 1956:230–231). In fact, the terminology Mead used when discussing the generalized other and the “me” is somewhat inconsistent. In early discussions (Mead 1903), the “I” and the “me” are the subject and object of thought, which is consistent with Wiley’s (1994) proposition that Mead was describing a temporal process or phases of consciousness: the “I” is the subjective realization that the “me” committed an error (in the past) and may face social rebuke. Later, the “me” is a more active participant in the dialogue that takes on many of the characteristics of the generalized other. We argue that this tension in Mead’s description of the internal dialogue relates to two different ways he articulates the phenomenon. In early writings, the “I” and “me” represent a temporal stream of consciousness, a position heavily influenced by his pragmatist predecessors C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. In later writings, Mead’s articulations move toward a dialectic model of the mind, which involves something analogous to a conversation among various participants akin to Freud’s theory of the mind. We suggest that the temporal and dialectic models are not necessarily incommensurable but that the dialogical model has been underutilized. Additionally, rather than the “me” act-

6 It is important to note that one does not need to be conscious of these internal conversations and Mead and Peirce both acknowledge unconscious thought. For example, Mead states: “There are whole bundles of such habits [emotional expression in speech] which do not enter into a conscious self but which help to make up what is termed the unconscious self ” (1934:227).

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ing as both the object of conversation and a representative of society, we argue that the third participant in the conversation is the generalized other.7 As mentioned above, Mead’s earliest articulations of the internal dialogue supposed that the “I” and the “me” represented the subject and object of the mind respectively. Mead more explicitly expressed the significance of this idea in his later work writing: “The ‘I’ is the response of the organism to the attitudes of the others; the ‘me’ is the organized set of attitudes of others which one himself assumes . . . [t]he attitudes of others constitute the organized ‘me,’ and then one reacts towards that as an ‘I’ ” (Mead 1956:230). If we substitute the “generalized other” for the “organized set of attitudes of others” in Mead’s description above, then the “me” is the tangible personification of the generalized other—what the generalized other would expect or presume the self to do in a particular situation. To put another way, the “me” is the consequence of the generalized other not synonym for it and it is through the process of taking the role of the other that engenders the “me” in concrete situations (e.g., how to approach your boss about a raise; how to inquire about a date; pondering the meaning of humanism; etc.). Again we return to Mills (1963a:427) who describes the dialogue between the “I” and the generalized other as a “conversation or dynamic.” Mills (1963a:427) continues, the “social experiences imported into the mind constitute the generalized other with which the thinker converses and which is socially limited and limiting.” Thus, within the conversation, the generalized other conveys the socially accepted perspective on a particular circumstance or the publically excepted mode of action (the “me”) that the “I” then questions or reflects upon. From this perspective, the “me” remains the object of conversation throughout and has no active role in the dialogue which actually takes place between the generalized other and the “I.” It is, then, the process of the generalized other formulating a “me” and the reaction of the “I” that constitutes the flow of consciousness that we colloquially call “thinking.”

7 In short, the confusion over the “generalized other” actually translates into a theoretical crossroads between a triadic and dyadic model of the mind. Similar to Wiley (1994), we offer evidence for a triadic model of the mind; however, Wiley includes the “you” as the third component drawing on Peirce’s (1905) conception of the internal dialogue while our model contains the generalized other.

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Another way to conceive of the internal dialogue, which Mead does frequently, is in terms of the consequences of the conversation between the “I” and the generalized other. That is, to ask the question: Which participant prevails? In the next section we turn to the antimony of the mind and the internal dialogue—it being simultaneously spontaneous and conditioned—and identify how the early pragmatists made sense of this antimony in terms of self-regulation and self-control. Self-Regulation and Self-Control For Mead and the early pragmatists, both mundane and intellectual beliefs (and subsequent actions) are prone to a type of conservatism. So, the mind often accepts the “soundness” of ideas based on legitimate authority and tradition rather than on reasoned argumentation (Mead 1956:251; Peirce 1877). This conservatism directly correlates with the generalized other because it is through the process of “taking the role of the other” that institutional authorities are personified in the dialogue (Mead 1956:250). Moreover, thinking cannot exist without the presuppositions and social habits that society puts forward in the form of the “generalized other” (Mills 1963a). Thus, central to Mead and the early pragmatists’ theorizing about the mind was an antinomy: authority can obscure our interpretations of the social and natural order and constrain how we understand ourselves and the world around us; yet, the mind’s perception of the world is made possible through these presuppositions. For Mead and the seminal pragmatist C. S. Peirce, this antinomy was at the center of their philosophies and was resolved partly through the theory of the internal dialogue. In short, Mead and Peirce concluded that the mind could overcome the constraints set out by the generalized other (and the cultural apparatus) through incremental skepticism. In more familiar terms, the mind logically, ethically, or emotionally questions collective mythologies and cultural conventions as the “I” criticizes the generalized other. Mead conceptually outlines self-regulation numerous times as a process that limits or makes mind and thinking habitual (see Athens 2005). Likewise, the “me” when aligned with the prescriptions of institutional authorities (or the cultural apparatus) is the product of self-regulation, with the generalized other being the internal negotiator. Today, symbolic interactionists often associate the “I” with action, especially with actions that are “impulsive, spontaneous, unlearned, unpredictable, unplanned” (Charon 2001:92). This interpretation is

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somewhat consistent with Mead’s descriptions, although, as we have mentioned Mead gives only cursory accounts of inner speech. We suggest that a key distinction often overlooked regarding the “I” is that it is both a mode of thought, a participant in the internal dialogue, as well as the “actor” or the active element of the self. Mead certainly uses the “I” in both these senses. To clarify the “I” as a mode of thought, we turn to Peirce’s treatment of the internal dialogue, which is highly analogous to Mead’s. Peirce explains, “[i]t is to conceptions of deliberate conduct that pragmatism would trace the intellectual purport of symbols; and deliberate conduct is self-controlled . . . now control may itself be controlled, criticism itself subjected to criticism; and ideally there is no obvious definite limit to the sequence” (Peirce 1905:178). Mead, and subsequently Blumer, emphasized the “me” or self-regulation when discussing inner speech while acknowledging the “I” (Charon 2001:93). Peirce, on the other hand, stressed the tendency of self-control, and thus provides a more coherent picture of the “I” as a mode of thought. As a mode of thinking, the “I” represents the awareness and flexibility to rediscover the historical and social context of presuppositions and to criticize institutional authority. The criticism of the “I”, however, does not annihilate presuppositions, but rather the refinement of thinking. The “I,” in this way, opens new potentials and horizons for the internal dialogue and engenders self-control, the subjective recognition of the constraints and socio-historical context of what one knows, how one speaks, and how one thinks, so that some freedom emerges through reflective thought (see Peirce 1905).8 As mentioned above, this is somewhat different from the conventional picture of the “I” in sociology textbooks that describes the indeterminate and spontaneous aspect of the self. Nonetheless, Mead (1934:200) described something similar to self-regulation and self-control when discussing the “I” and the “me” as tendencies of the mind. Referring to thinking dominated by self-regulation, he writes: “We speak of a person as a conventional individual; his ideas are exactly those of his neighbors; he is hardly more than a ‘me’ under the circumstances; his adjustments are only the slight adjustments that take place, as we say, unconsciously.” He

8 In fact, Peirce was Mead’s predecessor. For Peirce “self-control” was central to the meaning for pragmatism (see Peirce 1905) and this idea clearly influenced Mead (Collins 1988a; Lewis 1976).

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continues (Mead 1934:200), “Over against that there is the person who has a definite personality, who replies to the organized attitude in a way which makes a significant difference . . . [w]ith such a person it is the ‘I’ that is the more important phase of the experience.” Here, Mead refers to what we have termed self-control. Figure 1 provides a visual representation of our model of thinking based on Mead’s internal dialogue. It shows the flow of conversation that takes place between the “I” and the generalized other and that the object of this conversation is the “me.” The idea here is that the “me” can be influenced by either the generalized other or the “I.” As our diagram indicates, we highlight the dialectic aspects of the internal dialogue and thus, focus on the participants in the dialogue rather than the temporal flow of consciousness. That is to say, as the “I” reacts or reflects on the “me” and reshapes it in some way, this could engender rebuke from the generalized other, and so on. An extended conversation occurs when an individual deliberates a point in his/her head for some time. In everyday life, extended deliberations with one’s self are associated with anxiety, stress, and exhaustion and a disconnection from real-time because of the considerable back-and-forth about the next step for the “me.” Likewise, these extended internal deliberations are referred to as daydreaming, getting lost in one’s head, going somewhere else for a while, and are often signs of madness if these types of conversations become frequent and intense enough to cause one to talk out loud. All of this calls attention to a disconnection with immediate social surroundings that occurs and the disruption of the conventional flow of time. Figure 1 also presents self-regulation and self-control as two fundamental modes of thinking.9 These two modes of thinking are associated with the two participants in the internal dialogue, the “I” and the generalize other. In addition, the “me,” being the object of the conversation, can reflect either the prescriptions of the generalized other or the “I”, moving “me” toward either end of the self-control/self-regulation continuum presented in Figure 1. The approach to the mind outlined in Figure 1 is mostly a clarification, reconfiguration, and gathering together of already established

9 We are not suggesting that these modes of thought necessarily correspond to observable actions, in other words, one can deliberate a point for some time, going back and forth between the “I” and “generalized other” but end up siding with the generalized other. This does not mean that self-control and reflection did not occur as the internal dialogue imaged different possibilities (i.e., a different “me”).

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Conversation Flow I

Generalized other

Object of conversation

Object of conversation

Me Self-control

Self-regulation

Figure 1. Components of the Internal Dialogue

ideas. Jointly, these ideas constitute a uniquely sociological conceptualization of thinking that should be expanded and collectively cultivated. In the next section, we present one possible path for this development that stresses the generalized other. The Panoptic Idol and Cosmetic Panopticism Although sociologists using Mead’s ideas have mostly examined the influence of local social contexts and immediate others in small social groups; Mills focused on the power that institutional authorities wield over the internal dialogue. Following Mills (1963b), we suggest that as the cultural apparatus becomes technologically sophisticated and deeply intertwined with institutional authorities (mainly political and commercial); it has a greater capacity to transform inner speech and thus human thinking. In The Cultural Apparatus, Mills discussed the transition of the cultural apparatus through various stages and what he saw as the third and final stage. He writes (1963b:412–413): Any establishment of culture means the establishment of definitions of reality, values, taste. But in the third stage these definitions are subject to official management and, if need be, backed up by coercion. Debate is limited. Only certain views are allowed. But more than that, the terms of the debate, the terms in which the world may be seen, the standards and lack of standards by which men [sic] judge of their accomplishments, of

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gordon gauchat and casey borch themselves, and of other men—these terms are officially or commercially determined, inculcated, enforced.

Mills juxtaposes this form of the cultural apparatus with earlier periods in which cultural workers (intellectuals, artists, and scientists) were “inherently and necessarily free” and beholden to diverse publics rather than institutional elites. Mills’ main concern was that the cultural apparatus could produce “masses,” publics controlled through institutionally sanctioned definitions of reality. Since Mills’ original predictions, the cultural apparatus has moved into a fourth phase, although still under the patronage and control of political and commercial elites, the current stage is characterized by the sophistication and pervasiveness of teletechnology.10 Below, we develop two concepts, the panoptic idol and cosmetic panopticism, that reflect how these changes to the cultural apparatus affect the internal dialogue and, particularly, the generalized other. An interesting implication of the link between the generalized other and the cultural apparatus is that simulations and simulacra of others (Baudrillard 2006)—actual and fictive others from movies, television shows and news programs—can potentially become regulating agents in the internal dialogue. The idea of simulated or culturally constructed others points to a potential limitation of Mead’s theory of the internal dialogue. That is, the cultural apparatus Mead envisioned was dominated by institutions like science, jurisprudence, and the arts, and equally important, relied on print technology and spoken/written language. Take for example, Mead’s notion of significant symbols, the nuts and bolts of his cultural apparatus (Athens 2008), which referred to universally understood “language,” inculcated through written text, face-to-face interactions, and logical reflection. This narrow view of symbols downplays the importance of the visual images permeating contemporary popular culture and consumerism and the ascendance

10 The term teletechnology here means mainly television but also visual/video technology that act as substitutes to television, such as the internet (e.g., YouTube). Clough (2000) introduced the term to describe similar phenomenon and her concerns regarding the consequences of teletechnology overlap with ours. However, her analysis is explicitly embedded within Freudian psychoanalytic theories and makes no mention of the internal dialogue. We apply the concept of teletechnology to the model of mind and thinking introduced in this paper. That is, rather than looking at the implications of teletechnology for a psychoanalytic model of thinking, we approach the problem using the early pragmatists’ model. Therefore, an extensive discussion of Clough’s (2000) work is beyond the scope of this paper.

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of simulated or fictive others in the infotainment age. To be fair to Mead, few could have predicted even 40 years ago the level of sophistication visual media would achieve in contemporary society or that the cultural apparatus would shift from a predominately linguistic system (e.g., read or spoken text) to a visual medium (e.g., live action, reality television, etc.). Nonetheless, given this transformation, the question becomes: what are the consequences for the internal dialogue and the generalized other? We point to three specific theoretical consequences for the internal dialogue that relate to the emergence of the teletechnological cultural apparatus—a cultural system controlled by commercial interests and mediated by complex visual technology and marketing (TV, YouTube, movies, digital billboards etc.): 1. Institutional authorities have greater influence over the generalized other’s representation of the social world because of teletechnology, which fuses together the two modes of role-taking Mead outlined and makes the regulatory power of immediate others and institutional authorities indistinguishable. We use the concept of the panoptic idol to capture these developments. 2. Due to the control of commercial interests over the present-day cultural apparatus and the pervasiveness of visual marketing, the generalized other is increasingly dedicated to self-regulating consumer behavior and the presentation of self as outward appearance. To represent this transformation in the internal dialogue, we introduce the term cosmetic panopticism. 3. Intimately related to the first and second point, we argue that teletechnology short-circuits the sorts of “logic games” that Mead proposed were essential to the generalized other and internal dialogue. We will explore each of these points in detail. To address how the teletechnological cultural apparatus affords institutional authorities more influence over the generalized other, we draw on Foucault’s (1995) description of the panoptic prison. In general, panoptic surveillance describes a form of “generalized surveillance” in which “the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary [and] . . . the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers” (Foucault 1995:201). Somewhat analogous to Mead’s ideas about selfregulation, Foucault highlights how institutional authorities in modern

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life exercise power not necessarily through corporeal interaction but through the inculcation of normalized images, what he called “power/ knowledge” (Deleuze 1988). Up until this point, sociological theory has yet to link Foucault’s panoptic metaphor with Mead’s theory of the internal dialogue and more specifically with the generalized other. Thus, we introduce the concept of the panoptic idol to describe an imagined other altered by the teletechnological cultural apparatus. Specifically, the panoptic idol refers the personification of the visual images of popular culture that fuses television characters, celebrity personalities, reality TV participants, and the front-stage personas of prominent political figures into an inner voice. To some extent, civilization has always relied on icons and idols to signify and reinforce solidarity (e.g., a figure on a coin) and as a means of social control (e.g., the idealized figures of Christ, Buddha, Caesar, and others) (Baudrillard 2006). Yet, in late-modern society the capability of the cultural apparatus to produce and diffuse icons and idols is amplified ten-fold. Consequently, the generalized other is increasingly composed of simulations and simulacra of others and thus, the internal dialogue is ever more influenced by the panoptic idol that represents these images. When describing the panoptic surveillance, Foucault (1995:201) writes: “Bentham laid down the principle that power should be visible and unverifiable. Visible: the inmate will constantly have before his eyes the tall outline of the central tower from which he is spied upon. Unverifiable: the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may always be so.” The teletechnological cultural apparatus fulfills both of these requisites and resembles the panoptic guard tower in the sense that visual images and advertisements constantly symbolize (a) the universality of institutional norms and values, and (b) the potential judgment of others according to these norms and values. In particular, the teletechnological cultural apparatus, like the panoptic guard tower, is constantly visible because of the steady bombardment of symbols, advertisements, and popular images it engenders. Moreover, the “open knowledge” of institutionally authorized images makes the gaze of the panoptic idol unverifiable.11 That is, in the ever expanding sphere of the teletechnological cultural apparatus, individual minds are never certain if actual

11

See Gilbert (1988) for a technical discussion of “open knowledge.”

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others are using cultural prescriptions and controlling images to monitor and judge them and yet this possibility is always near. As a consequence, self-regulation and role-taking are irrevocably altered because the internalization of immediate others becomes indistinguishable from the self-regulation and role-taking that stems from adhering to broader cultural and institutional norms and values. Immediate others, in this scenario, are analogous to a three-way mirror because they mutually reflect the social acceptability of what is thought but also reflect the omnipresence of the expectations and prescriptions of institutional authority. The panoptic idol, in this way, puts a Meadian spin on Foucault’s notion of panoptic surveillance and connotes a unique kind of “generalized other” that members of society know is shared among them and is continually visible and unverifiable. Yet, unlike the generalized other, the panoptic idol amplifies the self-regulative force of institutional authorities and captures how teletechnology affords the cultural apparatus greater influence over the internal dialogue. As Mills (1963b) recognized, the control of institutional authorities over the cultural apparatus has numerous implications for the internal dialogue and thus for everyday thinking (see also Altheide 2000). In Mills’ final stage of the cultural apparatus, he saw a system dominated by political and commercial authorities; however, Mills did not witness the expansion and entrenchment of neo-liberal ideology in the U.S. Thus, the contemporary cultural apparatus is not only characterized by teletechnology but by near complete domination from commercial/corporate interests and the relative decline of political power in the cultural system. We introduce the term “cosmetic panopticism” to refer to the way commercial images and consumerism have come to control the cultural apparatus and the generalized other. In particular, cosmetic panopticism is a process engendered by the ascendance of the panoptic idol in the internal dialogue and refers to the threat of constant surveillance according to consumer sign-vehicles (e.g., clothing, media, technology, etc) and the self-regulation of one’s body according to consumer aesthetics (e.g., styles, performances, and body images). In the Presentation of Everyday Life, Goffman (1959) acknowledged the theoretical significance of the management of sign-vehicles in everyday life and its consequences for the “ritualizing” of the individual and the transformation of the self into a “sacred” object of worship (Collins 1988a, 1988b). Nonetheless, Goffman never identified how

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institutional and economic changes, especially the sophistication of advertising and marketing, would transform the ritual of self presentation. The concept of cosmetic panopticism fills this gap and is directly correlated with the remarkable growth of the consumer economy and consumer culture. Whereas the panoptic idol is a “new” type of generalized other that teletechnology makes possible, cosmetic panopticism is a new form of self-regulation that coincides with panoptic surveillance and commercial dominance over the cultural apparatus. That is, cosmetic panopticism is a form of self-regulation that the panoptic idol makes possible because the latter personifies the commercial interests and marketing images in everyday thinking and, following from Mead’s argument, allows the mind to take the role of others that marketers and commercial authorities construct and simulate. The purpose of this new mode of the internal dialogue is not to answer the question: what should I do or say in this situation that others would accept? Rather, cosmetic panopticism is a form of self-regulation that answers the question: what should I buy or wear to comply with the standards of others in this situation? Or, more abstractly, what consumable sign-vehicles do I deploy/purchase to present myself in a socially desirable way? As Atltheide (2000:13) articulates: “The impetus for change and identity formation rests on acting, presentation of self, and conduct consistent with products widely shared by fellow consumers, who comprise the legitimating audience of one’s performance.” Of course, we are not suggesting that concern for appearance is new; our claim is that cosmetic panopticism has moved to the forefront of thinking due to the expansion of commercial marketing. Moreover, we claim that the influence of cosmetic panopticism over thinking is the explicit aim of commercial marketing and teletechnology, which openly attempts to modify tastes and preferences using already extant social psychological processes. Indeed, the idea that the generalized other would come to represent “others” simulated through marketing, entertainment, and infotainment and regulate behavior according to culturally prescribed tastes is exactly the aim of the marketing industry, even if the situated vocabularies of corporate agents would differ from those used here. The panoptic idol and cosmetic panopticism represent a considerable departure from the process of self-regulation Mead identified. Recall that Mead proposed that the cultural apparatus influences inner speech through abstract role-taking and reflection on significant symbols

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(Mead 1934, 1938). One of his few descriptions of the process comes from a footnote, Mead (1956:220) states: It is especially in abstract thinking that the conversation involved is carried on by the individual with the generalized other, rather than with any particular individuals. Thus it is, for example, that abstract concepts are concepts stated in terms of the attitudes of the entire social group or community . . . as a result of taking these attitudes of the generalized other and then responding to them. And thus it is also that abstract propositions are stated in a form which anyone—any other intelligent individual—will accept.

Here, we see how Mead conceives of the internal conversation and the importance of linguistic symbols and “abstract concepts” for thinking. Mead (1956) used the example of “property” to illustrate the types of abstract concepts that the mind might reflect on, nonetheless, one could easily substitute ideas like “social justice” or “basic human rights.” The endpoint of abstract thinking—the conversation with the generalized other—would be a significant symbol (an argument) that would be reasonable to any other person. The sorts of hypothetical or logical games Mead describes are in principle close to those Rawls (1999) puts forward in A Theory of Justice in which individuals can arrive at mutually beneficial and socially just conclusions rather than following narrow self-interest and striving for selfish gain. Therefore, an individual engages in abstract conversations, or develops arguments, in order to refine concepts for everyday use and everyday action—especially joint action (Athens 2005). And, it is from these internal arguments, according to Mead and Rawls, that group obligations, legal ethics, legal codes, and institutional routines emerge, and it is through these reflective mental processes that institutions become legitimate. The panoptic idol, on the other hand, is an amalgamation of simulated interactions, fictive others, and controlling images that do not need the same sort of deliberate interpretation that abstract concepts require. Compare for example, reading Conrad’s description of a river in the Heart of Darkness with watching a visual image of a river in a Rambo movie, we claim that these cognitive activities or interpretations of cultural artifacts are fundamentally distinct. Compared with the ideas and images expressed in language through print media, the panoptic idol affords a greater capacity to regulate the human body (i.e., postures, gestures, cosmetics, etc.), because visual simulations and simulacra of everyday acts do not necessitate inferences from

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symbolic abstractions (e.g., word descriptions). In a sense, visual images are already embodied and translate more easily into corporal self-regulation. Equally noteworthy is the perspective of the teletechnology viewer. In contrast to taking the perspective of the generalized other and the “I,” which involves imagining the attitudes of the community, unraveling conceptual puzzles, and picturing hypothetical situations and conversations, teletechnology affords the individual the perspective of the “imagined other” without the need for deliberative abstract thought. The “teletechnology perspective” often takes the form of an omnipresent “other” that monitors the lives of people (fictional or not) and judges their behaviors (e.g., reality television). So, rather than engage in the abstract thought and reflect on significant symbols that every hypothetical other would accept, teletechnology projects a kind of authority, a visual affirmation and signification of institutional power that renders abstract thinking outmoded. In short, the cultural apparatus is no longer imagined and engaged as a hypothetical other, it is transmitted in the living room in real-time with “real” faces and then amplified in face-to-face interactions through the constant gaze of the panoptic idol. And, as a consequence, self-control, the deliberate criticism of institutional authority is weakened as teletechnology reduces the need for abstract thought and conceptual reflection. To summarize, we propose that the teletechnology amplifies the self-regulating power of institutional authorities in the internal dialogue through the panoptic idol—a media saturated generalized other. However, the quality of this self-regulation is also distinct because it reflects the prescriptions of commercial institutions that are manipulating public taste and consumption. We use the term cosmetic panopticism here to describe the thick layer of superficial concerns that dominate thinking and the regulation of appearance through commercial consumption. Although we have used numerous complex ideas and concepts from prominent social theorists, the main point is fairly straightforward. Culture in the last 50 years has become more complex and inundated with marketing images, which people exposed to them have internalized. Secondly, the form information takes and intentions behind it shape how people think and what people think about.

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Conclusion and Discussion Sociologists often take pride in the discipline’s commitment to empirical investigation in the place of abstract models like those found in economics. Sociology has also become so adept at deconstructing concepts that it often fails to see the value in developing general frameworks to guide empirical work. Thus, concepts like “thinking” and “mind,” which seem to correspond to abstractness or the anti-empirical, would appear to be of little use. The approach to mind and thinking outlined above highlights the weaknesses of these notions. First, only if one assumes that theories are logico-deductive systems and not heuristic devices should one conclude that the theory of mind and thinking has no relevance to empirical work. The sociology of science has accumulated copious empirical evidence that suggests theories (or paradigms) provide researchers with general perspectives for interpreting empirical reality and guidelines for selecting relevant data, not deductive systems for generating falsifiable hypotheses (Callon 1995). In fact, we have argued above that the interpretation of human behavior necessitates a theory of mind, and in the absence of clear alternatives, rational choice decision-making theory has too often won the day. We have also suggested that a theory of mind and thinking based on the internal dialogue is a more empirically grounded approach, most obviously because people talk to themselves and are well aware of it. Moreover, people tend to talk to themselves about things other than cost-benefit calculations and personal preferences; in short, people talk to themselves about living-in-the-world. The internal dialogue, therefore, takes account of the depth and breadth of mental phenomena, and specifically, points to the ways humans refine and create concepts in order to “live-in-the-world.” Take for example an economic transaction of a poor urban youth, a sociological perspective on the mind widens the scope of analysis to far more than the individual’s budget constraint or preferences, it points to the field of others, the culture, and the performances and meanings that accompany what he/she purchased. In short, the internal dialogue is an approach to thinking rather than decision-making because it considers the contemplation of meaning—which is a key element of mental life. Again, it is likely that most sociologists will tacitly agree with these basic premises about human thinking, but we have argued that tacit

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agreement is not equivalent to a coherent theory of mind and that the latter is necessary if only to constitute an alternative to the rational choice paradigm. Yet, the theoretical development of the internal dialogue offers more than a summary of the basic ideas sociologists share in regards to mental processes; it also overcomes some of the thorny issues that have continually plagued social science. For example, selfregulation and self-control, the basic modes of thinking we outline above, are irreducible to either agency or structure. In fact, to speak in terms of structure-agency or “subject/object” ignores the essential character of human thinking and existence: an engagement with the world through interpretation and internal representations of the social world (e.g., the generalized other). The question that inner speech brings to light, and specifically the concept of the generalized other, is how structure/the social world/the cultural apparatus are perceived and internally represented, and how does this representation differ across individuals. Take for example social scientific studies of media. Here, models are often constructed with the assumptions that peer groups and parents influence human thinking more than does television. Similarly, it is theoretically assumed that media audiences are capable of alternate and dissident “readings” of the cultural apparatus. The account of inner speech outlined in this paper fundamentally challenges both of these assertions as oversimplifications. First, the internal dialogue suggests that the generalized other fuses together immediate others with cultural prescriptions so that these forces are indistinguishable, which suggests complex interactions among immediate others and the cultural apparatus rather than a straightforward additive model. In reference to the second point, self-regulation and self-control often occur together so that dominant interpretations of media coincide with dissident readings, and that one knows what the dominant interpretation is supposed to be even if they disagree with it. Thus, self-control is not a sign of the absence of self-regulation and only empirical evidence and systematic accounts of the inner speech could verify how media audiences interpret teletechnology. We do not wish to suggest that because the internal dialogue may prove useful for interpreting observable behavior that the phenomenon itself cannot be systematically analyzed. On the contrary, the internal dialogue provides a unique doorway for empirical analysis of mental life. For example, researchers can structure interviews so that inner speech is the focal point. These interviews would ask respondents to

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recall conversations with themselves in regards to a particular research topic, and more importantly to recall especially long deliberations and their effects. In addition, researchers can present respondents with a stimulus (e.g., a news program, a marketing ad, an angry bureaucrat) and ask them to recall what if anything they were deliberating with themselves in general or about the particular stimulus. Researchers could also manipulate the audience of “others” in the experiment. These would amount to a systematic collection of accounts of the internal dialogue. Finally, our contribution to the internal dialogue, the panoptic idol and cosmetic panopticism, points toward a “critical” sociological social psychology of consumption and visual marketing. We argue that the internal dialogue provides an excellent framework for analyzing how individuals use symbols to construct socially meaningful lives and how teletechnology and marketing attempts to capitalize on these mental processes. Thus, our analysis focuses on the ability for communication technology to fuse together the self-regulating force of significant others and immediate others with institutional authorities. To put it another way, our model of the internal dialogue highlights the dynamic relationship between the cultural apparatus and the generalized other. The social phenomenology of Simmel, Schutz, and Berger and Luckmann has contributed greatly to the understanding of how institutional authorities construct typifications and stereotypes, how these categories are used in everyday life, and how they contribute to a kind of self-regulation. These social phenomenologists have associated the ascendance of these categories with the effects of urban life and population density and the increase of interactions with strangers and other transient relations. Building on these ideas, our paper moves a step further and suggests that immediate interactions with “others” are just one form in the teletechnological cultural apparatus and offers an account of how the simulation of interactions, especially for commercial purposes, affords institutional authorities greater power over everyday thinking.

CHAPTER TWELVE

ON SURVEILLANCE AS A SOLUTION TO SECURITY ISSUES Vida Bajc Introduction Current discourse in the media, the official thinking, as well as common sense perceptions of citizens tend to relate surveillance to the notion of security. These discussions reflect the prevailing sentiment that something must be done to protect the public from crime and terrorism. There is also a growing sense that the implementation of surveillance technologies and practices are interfering with our notions of privacy and individual freedoms, but this sentiment tends to be accompanied by a widespread persuasion that surveillance can deter crime (see Monahan 2006). As a result, the debate tends to be centered on the question of how much freedom, civil liberties, and right to privacy should be given up for state protection in the prevention of all sorts of crime, from shoplifting to terrorism. The assumption is that civil liberties and security are reciprocally related, the more of one the less of the other. Public debates on these issues are indeed extremely important, not the least of which is that because they allow the citizenry to participate in the political process, but they do not provide us with a deeper and broader understanding of how surveillance is related to the current security imperative. In this chapter, I offer some preliminary thinking about the nature of bureaucratic surveillance and its relationship to security concerns. To understand the bureaucratic underpinning of surveillance, it becomes necessary to analyze the genealogy and the interrelationships of the foundational elements of surveillance. These elements are Western individualism, exclusionary classification, biopolitics, and the bureaucratic logic (Bajc 2007a). The rise of surveillance technologies and techniques now offered as a solution to security concerns is grounded in these elementary characteristics. Bureaucratic surveillance is to be distinguished from peer surveillance and its manifestations in mass mediated popular culture (Pecora

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2002). I use the term peer surveillance to distinguish mundane face-toface mutual observation of people in social settings from bureaucratic surveillance which is done by credentialed professionals with the specific purpose of identifying, classifying, monitoring, tracking, channeling, or otherwise ordering the movement of individuals, objects, and communication across social, physical, and virtual spaces. While these two types of surveillance often come to be intertwined they should be analyzed separately so that their important differences and possible convergences can be more clearly grasped. Herein I speak only of bureaucratic surveillance. This type of surveillance has become an inevitable fact of our modern life in that it serves as a foundation for the functioning of all modern states as well as supra-state formations. This is so regardless of their political organization. Bureaucratic surveillance also underlies numerous parts of our daily life, particularly those facets tied to state services and institutional organizations of the state. The deliberation about whether surveillance is good or bad, therefore, will only get us so far. What is needed beyond such discourse is a deeper understanding of how it is that this practice has emerged historically, how it orders our contemporary life, and how it became linked to security concerns. Below I offer a brief outline of the emergence and the workings of surveillance which I see grounded in the Western culture of individualism and the coming of modernity.1 I suggest that the current responses to security concerns are simply a continuation of the state’s bureaucratic surveillance practices. This brief sketch in some ways follows the working premises of Michel Foucault (1973) in his The Order of Things where he seeks to demonstrate that systems of knowledge and thought, or what he called ‘discursive formations’ are not simply a product of grammar and the outcome of the logic of language. Rather, they tend to be shaped by vectors that operate beneath the consciousness of a single individual. These forces work to articulate systems of conceptual possibilities that not only define the boundaries of what can be thought in a particular historical period or within a specific cultural domain. These realms of ideas, thinking and 1 There is a burgeoning field of study which draws from a number of disciplines to address the practices of surveillance. For most recent reviews of this scholarship see David Lyon (2006, 2007) and David Murakami Wood (2009). The on-going scholarly research can also be followed in the freely accessible on-line peer-reviewed academic journal Surveillance & Society.

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knowledge have direct and concrete implications for how social life is actually lived. In a different sense, my analysis may be said to be analogical to the approach taken by Karl Marx (1967) in his analysis of capitalism. For Marx to be able to deliver a lasting critique of capitalism and its destructive characteristics to undermine those who uncritically praised its potentials to deliver prosperity and progress to all who embraced it, it was first necessary to understand the capitalist system. Marx seemed to have spent considerable energy studying in great depth the underlying logic of the structural interconnections between raw resources, industrial labor, ownership of the means of production, and accumulation of value. It is only through such in depth analysis that he was able to identify profound and irreconcilable internal contradictions of this system and draw lasting conclusions about its destructive potentialities. With this in mind, the discussion that follows is intended to stimulate further dialogue on the relationship between the emergence of security as a dominant social issue and the practices and technologies of bureaucratic surveillance offered as its solution. Understanding Surveillance In order to surveil people, information, and objects it is necessary to be able to assign to them their own particular identification mark. For this mark to be useful in bureaucratic surveillance practices, it has to subsequently be classified into a very specific category: for example, citizen, illegal alien, safe, or potentially dangerous. Once identified as unique and unambiguously classified into a particular category, it becomes possible to monitor and track such an individual, object or information through time and across space by acquiring information about their movement and behavior and filing that information in that designated category. This movement can also be channeled or blocked, depending on the specifications of each particular classification to which such individual, object, or information has been assigned. Here we can think, for example, of individuals who find themselves on the no-fly list, objects such as shampoo that come to be classified as prohibited from entering a place in carryon luggage if they are packaged in a container that is larger than three ounces, or information such as the use of specific words like

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‘terrorist’ that the communications surveillance technologies are designed to intercept. If we are to make sense of these practices and the technologies that make them possible, we need to grasp the underlying logics with which they operate. These have historical origins in Western culture. Individuation In its first instance, bureaucratic surveillance is an activity of identification. Whatever is being monitored has to first be identified as unique and singular. This activity is based on the assumption that every human being, object and pieces of information can be assigned its own, unique identification mark. By a way of random example from a non-Western culture, from what we know about the cosmologies of the ancients (see Frankfort 1948), it would be impossible for a member of the ancient Egyptian court bureaucracy to come up with the thought of assigning some version of a social security number to every person who was born or acquired a residential status within the kingdom, as is done today in nation-states worldwide. For the ancients as for other pre-modern cultures, all the elements of the universe were intricately interconnected, so to know something about one element one had to understand its connections to everything else. How does this kind of thinking that each human being and non-living thing can be marked as distinct and separate from all others—an idea so strange to pre-modern cultures and yet so typical and commonsensical in our modern world today—become possible? Following the cosmologist Louis Dumont (1982), this thinking has its roots in Christian teachings which introduced a very novel idea in theology, namely that every human being has an individual relationship to the Christian monotheistic god. Through a centuries-long transition, this idea of the direct relationship between the individual and god helped bring about the dissolution of the holistic cosmos. The holistic cosmology conceptually unified life on earth with life in the afterworld and held together the relationships between all living and non-living things and the divine power of God. The new cosmology that develops in Europe is parceled into separate categories of state, economy, religion, and family and each has its own internal organization and regulation. This idea of unmediated god-individual relationship finds its fullest expression in the Protestantism of Luther and

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Calvin, and, as Max Weber (2002) famously argued, also had profound implications for the development of Western capitalism.2 In this new cosmology which reached its peak in the events such as the American Revolution and the French Revolution, the individual stands independent from the categories of state, economy, religion, and family. No longer bound through the intricate conceptual interrelationships of a unified universe, the individual now stands as a central unit and chooses to be engaged in these categories to his or her best abilities and interests. For example, one becomes a member of a particular religious denomination, a citizen of a specific nation-state, or chooses to form a family union of a number of different types in practice today. The development of this cosmology of individualism and differentiation provides the grounds for other historical processes to emerge, most significantly for the purposes of this argument, a particular kind of bureaucratic classification through which every individual can be identified, classified and reclassified, and normalized. Exclusionary Classification Once assigned a unique individual marker, the next step in bureaucratic surveillance involves an act in classification of this marker. As Durkheim and Mauss (1963) first suggested, classification seems to underlie all of our actions and thought. There is, however, an agreement among the social scientists and philosophers alike that there are no universal bases of classification. It therefore follows that classifications are social constructions and that different cultural and social groups have varying basis and conceptual schemata for how they classify, living and non-living world. Important for our understanding of bureaucratic surveillance are two premises. The first is that if classification is primary then categories are not what we think about but rather that with which we think. The implication is that how we classify the world is intimately related to how we order relations in the social and natural world, and how we act upon the social 2 A cosmologist, Louis Dumont is interested in how configurations of ideas and values that underlie our modern cosmos came to existence while the sociologist Max Weber is focused on the social action of the individual as the product of causation. As evident in Dumont’s (1977) analysis of Marxism as individualism, both share the concern with consequences of individualism for socio-political-economic organization. For a discussion on Weber’s thinking about individualism in relation to capitalism, see Graham Cassano (2008).

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universe. The second premise is that classifications are matrixes that order our thought and action and that these vary cross-culturally. The implication here is that to understand bureaucratic surveillance as we know and experience it today, we need to grasp the logic of a particular kind of bureaucratic classification which emerges in modernity in Europe. Unlike other kinds of classifications which come to existence through tradition and reflexive and non-reflexive practice, bureaucratic classifications are purposeful creations. They are invented by specially trained professionals with the intent to order the social world so that management of the course of its transformation can be possible. The training and knowledge of these professionals endow them with authority and legitimacy. Bureaucracies, however, are not a phenomenon particular to modernity, and we can certainly see its forms already in highly organized ancient civilizations as far back as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (Frankfort 1948). These same ancients who would not be able to conceive of individualism in the sense discussed by Dumont above and taken for granted by us today, actually already had a developed bureaucracy. Their bureaucratic classification, however, was intimately tied with the world according to a god-given order. In their cosmology, every object, human being, or phenomenon was tied to every other so that explanations of how the world works emerged from the thinking that living and non-living beings are closely and intricately interconnected. What emerges in modernity, as Foucault (1973:50–58) observed, is a different kind of rationality for classifying the world which is based on dividing the world into categories in such a way that each identified element can be given a specific classification and unambiguously positioned in one category. This system of exclusive classification makes possible the acquisition of knowledge and has helped give rise to modern science and technology on which bureaucratic surveillance is based. It is this logic of accumulation of information that makes bureaucratic surveillance viable and workable. This kind of reasoning lent itself easily to separation of the individual self from the elements that actually form its living being: for example, birth, death, marriage, divorce, land ownership, residence, number of children, religious affiliation and so on. These categories are now invented by the cadre of professionals whose job becomes to acquire and classify information. Monitoring of different aspects of human life through

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surveillance enabled the development of modern bureaucracy. These developments also provide a favorable context for the rise of the possibility of governing of entire populations. Biopolitics The modern state is grounded on the principle of clearly delineated territorial boundaries, claims to sovereignty, and the tendency to monopolize the legitimate use and means of violence. Historically, this required a development of the capacity to separate populations that belonged to the state from others, and then, regulate human movement across state borders. As Torpey (2000) documents, this was a slow and painstaking process of bureaucratic construction of the official internal identity documentation and what came to be known as the passport. According to Higgs (2001), this was connected to another process where within territorial boundaries states, increasingly sought to collect information on individuals rather than pockets of populations and they began to do so in a systematic and centralized fashion rather than follow serendipitous and localized ways. This documentation of individuals and centralization of information about them allowed for mobilization of the population for the purposes and needs of the state (Desrosières 1998). The needs of the state, its territorial boundaries and its sovereignty came to be enforced through the development of a state defense apparatus and policies that were geared toward what was developing into a global system of modern states (Buzan, Waever and de Wilde 1998). The question for the state becomes how to manage the population with meticulous attention to detail. Effective management of the state becomes possible through a way of governmentality that Foucault (2008) described as biopolitics. This is a particular rationalization of governing that makes different aspects of life, such as birth, death, marriage, owning a house, change of income, health, reproduction, or education the subject of governing and regulation. Modern states acquire power to actively shape the activities of their populations on the basis of accumulation of information about them, development of technologies to process this information, and by organizing these data into classification matrixes of carefully surveilled and managed lifelong individual habits. As Foucault (1979) emphasized, biopolitics also has a quality of disciplinary power which rests on the ability to impose norms and requirements on human behavior and interaction through

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legitimized knowledge of specifically trained professionals and experts and their panoptic disciplinary means. These are foundations of the official organization of the modern state on which depend not only the institutions such as the education system, the economy, or the polity, but also the smooth functioning of daily life. Biopolitics therefore rests on the development of what Max Weber (1964) analyzed as bureaucratic institutions. As Weber observed, methodical and orderly accumulation of information requires a trained cadre of professionals who have formal qualifications to perform specific tasks to which they have been assigned. Their tasks are performed according to specifically defined rules, follow hierarchies of responsibility and decision making and depend on the mastering of the information gathered. These elements, such as, specialization, rules, offices, efficiency, and legal-rational decision making all comprise what we think of as the Weberian structure of bureaucracy. Supporting and enabling this structure is the processual logic with which bureaucracy operates. Bureaucratic Logic Bureaucratic classification separates information from the individuals and things it seeks to classify. Once separated, the information is assigned an exclusive category, so a particular bit of information cannot be classified into multiple categories at the same time, which can then be formatted into data and made ready for analysis. This process, which begins with the separation of information from the actual persons, makes individuals invisible and operates with the data about them. When information is collected that cannot be classified in any existing categories, a new category is simply invented. Every time a new taxonomy is invented, it exposes the need for new knowledge and creates space for more acquisition of information. Each taxonomy can give rise to new cadre of specialists in ever more specialized domains, each claiming legitimacy, competency and conclusive truth. This makes it possible to envision governmentality of populations whose behavior can now be explained on the basis of information available, categorized in relation to other classifications, and projected on the basis of knowledge. Knowledgeable professionals and their ability to continuously classify and reclassify the world become a part of the state’s power to govern. Don Handelman (2004:19–38) suggests that this capacity to classify and re-classify at will gives bureaucratic clas-

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sification its own logic and inertia. Once the information is extracted from the individuals, individuals as persons disappear, taxonomies are formed, and the bureaucracy is able to do its work through these categories. This is done by simply treating human behavior as information to be classified and re-classified according to any new situation. This provides the bureaucracy with the capacity to absorb, process, and act upon an ever growing amount and diversity of information. By simply inventing new categories, the system is able to easily deal with ambiguity and the endless complexities of human life. By way of an example found in daily newspapers, the bureaucratic surveillance system responded to the situation of 11 September 2001 by classifying information about individuals, objects, and communication into two general categories, safe and dangerous, and then sub-classifying each into more specific sub-categories. When the information fit neither of the two categories, that is, when particular information about an individual could be classified neither as absolutely safe nor as absolutely dangerous, a third classification was simply invented. With this new classification, another set of specifications was devised to deal with it. When it comes to these particular classifications, the process is often shrouded in secrecy. One can, however, easily imagine that it was the invention of this third category, whatever its name, that led to the creation of policies surrounding what is taking place in Guantanamo Bay. This ability to respond to new situations in the social world by simply bringing to life new categories and procedures to deal with any new information about human behavior makes it possible for the bureaucracy to deal with endless amounts of information without a breakdown. Indeed, while the public may well question certain classifications and its corresponding surveillance practices, as is now the case with Guantanamo Bay, this tends to happen only after the fact. Moreover, as the polity is debating the legal and ethical implications of a particular case, there are few signs, if any, that the bureaucratic surveillance system and its practices associated with the classifications of security have been seriously undermined. Surveillance and Security Surveillance has indeed been offered as a solution to all sorts of social issues labeled as a security problem, from street crime to terrorism and even undocumented migration (Bigo 2002). This tendency reflects the

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process that has come to be called securitization. The term is associated with a group of Danish theorists of international relations (see Waever 1995) who seek to demonstrate that the notion and practices of security as understood by the apparatus associated with state defense are no longer only a matter of inter-state relations. They are now increasingly also becoming a part of the daily life of ordinary citizens. The public discourse on security and surveillance masks the origins of the classification of security, the diverse specifications used by different social scientists and state officials, as well as the differing perceptions of what security means to different segments of the population (Staudt, forthcoming). For the purposes of this chapter, it is important to understand the origins of the classification called security and how its transformation into securitization is shaping our everyday living. From Security to Securitization Originally, security as a bureaucratic classification came into existence in relation to the modern state as a territorially organized political entity and was invented to respond to threats to state sovereignty and its borders. This classification continues to entail specifications of what kinds of activities in the realm of global inter-state relations threaten stability and survival of a given state. They also include instructions about what is to be marked as a threat and who is to respond to such threats and through what means. When designated officials identify specific inter-national developments as security threat, the relevant state agencies assigned to respond to this label in a particular way take on their role and act as instructed (see Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde 1998). Common parlance now suggests a conflation of security as the domain of state defense and international politics with security as perception of personal and communal safety. The concept of security has become almost a household word, the meaning of which extends beyond inter-state conflict of interest to encompass a general feeling of uncertainty, insecurity, and fear in the face of what the future may bring. This new taxonomy for security threat entails a set of specifications with a vastly broader scope than its original version to incorporate a wide variety of situations in multiple domains of everyday life. Securitization encompasses safety of the individual body, individual psychological well-being, protection of individual property and public resources, communal safety, as well national integrity. As security scholars have emphasized, despite all of its transformations, the

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classification of security nevertheless continues to carry not only sets of responses that pertain to the original specification of state defense, but also, sets of professionals who act on the basis of their specialized knowledge of state defense—now to be used in a wide variety of social domains (Waever 1995). With this tendency to label a whole host of social issues as a security problem, this phenomenon of so-called securitization is transforming the notion of security into a dominant ordering principle of social relations. As a classification, it is attached to multiple issues pertaining to the domains of the individual, the communal, the state, and the global. At the same time, the notion of security also permeates the consciousness of the general public. It tends to resonate with the public sentiment that steps must be taken to prevent certain kinds of possible future activities from happening. These sentiments tend to dominate the public sphere in specific historical moments, such as 9/11, then recede, only to resurface again following other such events. Public deliberations on the issues related to security suggest that security is seen as a value. In the public discourse, the value of security is compared to other values that govern liberal democracies, that is, with other ordering principles of contemporary political life, most notably individual liberty, privacy, protection from state intrusion, the right to due process, freedom of political participation, and human rights. This is expressed through debates referenced at the beginning of the chapter, namely, whether democratic principles should be traded for security and how much of the person’s right to privacy should be given up for state protection. Securitization as an ordering principle of social life is brought into practice through what I call security meta-framing. The Security Meta-frame In the instances where the value of security outweighs other values and when particular social issues are classified as a security threat and treated as such, security becomes the dominant ordering principle. As the dominant ordering principle, security is organized hierarchically in such a way that designates security as a higher value than any other, thus encompassing and subordinating all other issues. This hierarchical organization of values is very much resonant with meta-framing as understood by Gregory Bateson (1972). In his sense, meta-framing is always organized hierarchically and always invokes

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a choice of value, where the higher value is indexed through the ‘meta.’ The prefix ‘meta’ here refers to a higher level of discourse, a message of a higher level of abstraction that subsumes all other communication within its domain. The meta-message is a point of reference, a source of orientation, a higher order of abstraction that guides interpretation of other meanings and activity. In this way, the security meta-frame comes to encompass a set of conditions that define safety through clear-cut categories of certain and unpredictable, safe and dangerous. It is also a set of parameters that, if followed, promise to the public to deliver security into a wide variety of social contexts. If the security meta-frame is becoming a dominant ideology of the parameters and conditions of how life should be lived, then the question becomes how this hierarchy of values shapes specific contexts of our social life. There are a number of manifestations on how taxonomies and their specifications produced within the security meta-frame are used to order social life. Most obvious examples include changes in our living environments that have the ability to make change in social relations. We can think of CCTV cameras and their face recognition software, positioned to overlook the flow of people into and out of public buildings and on streets in our urban centers. Then, there are those ubiquitous white concrete blocks, often positioned in front of public buildings or simply on streets so as to structure the flow of traffic. All sorts of check points force everyone who wants to enter into certain social spaces, from libraries to airports, to pass through their metal detectors, identification verification technologies, and designated security personnel. Zones of enclosure enforce boundaries by cocooning a group of people into a physical space and in so doing, separate it from its surrounding. Checkpoints, road blocks, metal detectors, monitoring devices, and zones of enclosure have become very much a part of our urban landscape and our interpersonal relations in public spaces. They signal suspicion that anyone of us in the crowd can be potentially dangerous and undermine interpersonal trust between people in public spaces. These ordering processes of the security meta-frame become most clearly noticeable in specific contexts and situations where different rules of interaction are visibly and physically imposed on the public. A most obvious example of such a context and one of the most frequently studied are the airports where all the most sophisticated surveillance technologies

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and techniques are put to practice to ensure that people follow the specifications of the taxonomy of security (Salter, forthcoming). My own ethnographic research has focused on public events, particularly those that invoke the involvement of the state. These are very interesting social happenings for the study of how security meta-framing orders social life because they allow us to study how surveillance is becoming intertwined with collective ritual experience. My studies of the Pope’s visit to Jerusalem in 2000 (Bajc forthcoming) and the second inauguration of President Bush in 2005 (Bajc 2007b) suggest that as soon as such events are announced, the classification of security takes center stage. The event is classified as a national security event and its specifications involving surveillance begin to take place by subordinating all other social activity to its meta-message of order as envisioned by the security and surveillance apparatus. This involves the zoning off of usually an urban area that comes to be designated as such by the apparatus and in this area, separating individuals deemed safe from all others. In this way, the apparatus creates the so-called ‘sterile area’ which is considered an area of safety. In this intervention process, people are expected to cooperate and follow the rules of the apparatus. Those who wish to attend the event are expected to subject themselves to surveillance procedures, specifically designed for participants. We see that the security meta-frame has the effect of transforming a social environment from its daily routine social life to a security-sanctioned order, that is, order as envisioned by the security and surveillance apparatus. This transformation is one from a potentially threatening everyday social space into a zone of safety under maximum control. I suggest that these examples of security meta-framing have the effect of acculturation to this vision of social order and of acceptance of such surveillance practices as normal or even desirable. Concluding Remarks I have argued that bureaucratic surveillance is basic to our political and social organization. As Foucault’s explications of the notion of governmentality and biopolitics suggest, much of it is done in the name of social progress and for the benefit of the citizenry. The logic with which the bureaucratic surveillance operates, however, is not democratic. Once this is understood, it becomes clear that modern states and democracy as their choice of political organization are intimately

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intertwined with and deeply embedded in a non-democratic system of operations. For this reason and as Hannah Arendt (1951) emphasized early on, democratic states continuously walk the fine line between the realms of democracy on the one side and totalitarianism on the other. The ascendance of the classification of security to the top of our collective priorities at the expense of the democratic values and the effects of its meta-framing on our social life are an example of sliding away from the principles of democracy and into the realm of totalitarianism. How this fine line is walked offers itself as an important empirical question that should be studied in historical and cultural-comparative terms. In the United States, there were other historical moments when the classification of security ascended to the top of collective values, most notably in the early years following World War II, also known as the McCarthy era, and the years following World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917. In each of these moments, surveillance practices, together with public suspicion, fear, and mistrust forcefully cut into the fabric of social life as well as the intimate life of people. It remains to be studied under what conditions such classifications and their meta-framing trump over democratic values, how and how long they are able to sustain their dominance, how their waves of ascendance eventually subside, and what kinds of durable changes in culture and social relations they leave behind. No less important, therefore, is the inquiry into the subtle processes of normalization of such governing principles and acculturation into their visions of social order.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE IN TRINIDAD: TOWARDS A CARIBBEAN THEORY OF YOUTH CRIME Daphne Phillips The aims of this study are to understand the real life conditions and experiences of children in the Junior Secondary Schools in Trinidad among whom the highest incidences of violence have been reported. To this end, I seek to construct an adequate theory about the upsurge in crime in this youthful section of the population. The present work investigates the experiences of students in the junior secondary school system in Trinidad and enquires into their perceptions/experiences of the root causes, consequences and outcomes of youth engagement in violence. Among other things, I analyze a poverty complex that involves low levels of material resources, parental flirtation with illicit drugs, parental neglect, and physical, verbal and sexual abuse of children in the home. These factors are associated with strong, negative emotional responses from children and the presence of a hidden school curriculum. Under these circumstances and in the context of an increasingly robust market economy, youth violence has become rampant. At the end of this chapter, I conclude with some social policy recommendations based on collaboration with stakeholders in the interest of addressing the root problems exposed by the research. The increase in criminal behavior among the Secondary School population in Trinidad and Tobago has been of national concern for some time. Reports of serious crime—murder, attack with a weapon, rape, larceny, kidnapping—allegedly committed by school students and reported in the press, have given rise to great concern and stimulated resultant explanations from lay persons and policy makers alike. The reasons for and the appropriate methods of dealing with this relatively new phenomenon in the Trinidad context have abounded and are being discussed in various public arenas. A rough survey of the vast majority of explanations of the apparent upsurge in youth crime and violent behavior in Trinidad reveals that blame is generally attributed

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to changes in the morals and values in the society. These changes are frequently associated with a decline in moral education through religion, or with the relaxation of adequate punishment systems for children, from an early age, for engaging in socially unacceptable behaviors. This is understood as occurring in the home as well as in the school system. Sociological Explanations of Youth Crime Theoretical work done by sociologists has been influenced by a large body of work on youth crime and delinquency which attributes such behaviors to Anomie and the Normalcy of Crime tradition;1 Strain Theory;2 a popular body of Sub-Culture theories and Labeling Theories;3 or various explanations derived from the Chicago School.4 Youth crime has specifically been addressed by sociologists such as Cloward and Ohlin (1984) as well as by Cohen (1978). Cloward and Ohlin (1984) inherit the consensus notions of Merton in concluding that there is an all-embracing cultural goal—monetary success—with two types of institutional means available for its achievement, namely, the legitimate and the illegitimate. The legitimate is available in organized, respectable society while the illegitimate is to found in the organized slum. Two distinct social organizations exist, each with its own ecological base, but sharing the same cultural goals. In the disorganized slum, however, both legitimate and illegitimate opportunities and ‘culture’ are absent. Cohen (1978) argues that delinquent cultures are the product of conflict between working and middle class cultures where there is internalization of middle class norms of success by working class youth. This causes status frustration, reaction formation and a collective revolt against the standards which they are unable to achieve. The delinquent sub culture is thus “malicious, short-term, hedonistic, nonutilitarian and negativistic.” The critics of these explanations, such as

1 E. Durkheim, “Anomie and the normalcy Tradition of Crime” in S. E. Brown et al. Criminology: Explaining Crime and its Contexts, Anderson Publishing Company, Ohio, 2001. 2 Larry Siegel, Criminology: The Core, 3rd Edition. Thompson, Wadsworth, 2008, pp. 133–135. 3 Howard Becker, The Outsiders, Free Press, 1974. 4 Richard Lemert, in Edwin Sutherland Criminology, Chicago Press, 1978.

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Taylor, Walton and Young (1982) have largely advanced the critical and the neo-Marxist schools of thought in this area that have produced a large body of work. Taylor notes that in the case of Cohen’s adolescents, it is more likely that what has occurred is a realistic disengagement from the success goals of the school. This is due to a lack of tangible opportunities, inappropriate cultural skills and a focus on their expressive aspirations of leisure pursuits. He saw that in the U.S. context, the central problems were the institutionalization of inequality and the institutionalization of racism. This work offers an explanation for crime on the nature of living arrangements in modern capitalist society and sees crime as inherent in these very arrangements. In the Caribbean context, an example of this critical approach to explanation can be found in the work of Ken Pryce (1976) who states that “the orthodox viewpoint is that crime in developing countries is the product of social change, the manifestation in these societies of a transition from a traditional to a modern stage of development . . . this endangers imbalances such as overcrowding, alienation and anomie in the city.” Pryce advances a contrary view and purports that the rising crime in developing societies is not a product of modernization per se, but rather “a symptom of a particular type of development based on exploitation and “the development of under-development” such as is evidenced in the capitalist societies of the Caribbean over the past decades (1976). He suggests that the profit-centered pattern of development enriches a few and disposes the many, through unemployment, leading to a diversity of survival strategies based on pimping, hustling, pushing, scrunting, prostitution, violence and wretchedness (Pryce 1976). The evidence drawn from the present study will be used to contribute to this style of theorizing on youth crime in Trinidad and Tobago. Understanding Junior Secondary Schools in Trinidad and Tobago The Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in Trinidad and Tobago typically house students in Forms One to Three in a five-year secondary education system on a shift basis. That is to say, children attend school daily for four hours on either the morning or evening shift. After completing an examination at the end of Form Three, successful students from the JSS are then sent to a Senior Secondary school to complete forms Four and Five that culminates the end of basic secondary education.

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Some Senior Secondary schools offer students a further two years of education which qualifies them for entry into University or College, both at local institutions and in Western metropolitan cities. However, JSS students are guaranteed only three years of a seven year educational program which prepares students for university entrance. A process of de-shifting of these JSS schools was instituted over the past few years so that during the period of the present study’s data gathering, schools were at various stages of this process. De-shifting leads to each school catering to students in all five forms (classes or grades) of the basic secondary program. Students selected for attendance in the JSS system typically perform at the lower levels of the national examinations which are held at the end of the primary school period. As a group, they constitute the largest number of placements in the Secondary School system in Trinidad and Tobago. The other elements of this system include the Prestige schools, roughly consisting of 5% of places, the Comprehensive and Senior Secondary schools, 25% and the JSS, 70%, prior to commencement of the de-shifting process (Phillips 1984). A report conducted in 2004 found that while JSS schools had been reduced to 19 by year 2004, they housed a student population that was four times as dense as the other five and seven year schools in the system—a total of 7966 students in 19 JSS schools, to 11,707 who were placed in 102 five and seven-year schools; representing a ratio of 419 per JSS school to 115 per other public secondary school (MOH 2004). The typical shift system offers these students four hours per day of formal schooling as compared to 6–8 hours completed by children in other parts of the secondary school system. The students attending the JSS system are therefore those who enter secondary school with learning disabilities or weaknesses but who are afforded the least chance of success at secondary education. They are clearly at a disadvantage, although a few students have been successful over time. Some research has already been undertaken in this area in Trinidad and Tobago. Judith Martin (1997) found that the family structure of students was an indicator of social class. Students from nuclear family backgrounds were more likely to be also in the higher income groups, while single parent families were poorer. She found that JSS students were more likely to be from single parent households. Deosaran (1997) also noted that 75% of students in the JSS were from poor and single parent backgrounds and that the JSS accumulates children of poor parentage and experiences. Thompson-Ayhe (1999) observed an

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increased involvement of children in crime, both as perpetrators and victims, while Deosaran noted that JSS students committed crimes of violence as against property crimes, the latter with higher rates among the non-poor. He also noted that there was such widespread concern with youth violence that governments were adopting new social policies to address this problem. In the present study, I set out to understand the real life conditions and experiences of children in the JSS schools among whom the highest incidences of violence have been reported. The aim is build a more adequate theory about the upsurge in crime among this youthful section of the population. A total of 14 of the 33 Junior Secondary Schools in Trinidad (as listed in the Directory of Schools in 2007) were randomly selected and visited for the purpose of conducting the research over the period September–December 2007. Three hundred and fifty eight (358) out of a possible one thousand seven hundred and fifty (I750) Form Three students in the 14 schools were randomly selected (in full classes) to participate in the research. The formula for determining a representative sample size is found in Appendix 1. The numbers of students in the JSS throughout Trinidad is 33,063 students according to the Education Statistical Return 1999/2000 CSO website. Using the specified formula, the sample size needed would be 395 students. However, the fourteen schools that were used for the research purposes had an average of 25 students per class and the average number of third form classes within each school was 5. The total school population in the fourteen schools will be an average of 1750 students. The sample size required to represent this population is 325. The actual sample size used for this research was 358. This is beyond the number needed to have a representative sample of the population of the third forms of the fourteen schools studied. To the extent that the social and experiential characteristics of the larger student population of the JSS system resemble those of the sample, then generalizations can be made to the wider JSS population. In creating the sample, the principal of each school was requested to select one of the Third forms in his or her school for interaction with the research team. Each form of the fourteen schools in the sample consisted of approximately 25 students, ranging in age 13–16. All classes consisted of both girls and boys, since these JSS schools are co-educational (Table 1).

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daphne phillips Table 1. Number of students in the sample by sex and school

School Aranguez Barataria Barrakpore Carapichima Curepe Diego Martin El Dorado Five Rivers Morvant Point Fortin Rio Claro College Sangre Grande Siparia St. Madeleine Total

Male

Female

Total

12 10 16 11 24 11 15 16 12 13 15 11 9 7

5 9 15 18 19 23 18 15 7 4 10 15 10 8

17 19 31 29 43 34 33 31 19 17 25 26 19 15

182

176

358

Source: Original research data

Since the main objective of the study was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of students as to the causes and consequences of violence among them, the most appropriate technique of data collection selected for use was that of Focus Group Discussions (FGD). In order to facilitate participation and to focus their attention on the subject of discussion, the Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) tool, the Problem Tree, was used during the discussion. (See Appendix 2 for an explanation of use of PLA tools). In addressing the objective of gaining the opinions of the students, following the discussion of root causes, consequences and outcomes of youth violence, the PLA tool, Roti Diagram was used. Here, the students focus attention on what solutions they may be able to implement themselves, those which they may implement with help and those which are entirely out of their reach. The extent to which the FGD and PLA tools adequately measured the students’ experiences is evident in the remarkable similarity of statements that were expressed across 13 of the 14 schools in the sample. Differences observed in this regard were in the intensity or strength of experiences between urban and rural schools and in the examples students used to demonstrate their emotions. In rural situations, for example, children thought that being forced to cut cane

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or to plant ganga to assist in the support of the family was stressful. Rural children also had region-specific examples of delinquent behaviors in which they engaged, such as “tief orange and sell” or “kidnap a child.” Students in Urban schools were more likely to be “taking and selling drugs.” The repeatability of the method used was evident in that the same pattern of responses and results were noted across 13 of the schools. In only one school was this not observed consistently, something attributable to the markedly different range of socio-economic backgrounds and experiences among children in that particular school. Gender differences were noted and appeared similar in all schools. No purely racial or ethnic differences were observed. The research team consisted of the lead researcher and coordinator of a Research Unit called USPAP (Unit for Social Problems Analysis and Policy) and three young graduate students in the Sociology MA Program of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. The graduate students were trained in Social Assessment Techniques and drilled in conducting FGD prior to interfacing with students. The lead researcher accompanied students to all schools, interfaced with the Principals and staff, but did not lead the FGD so as not to intimidate students and limit their expressions or participation in any way. Refreshments were served at the end of all sessions which were of two-class periods in duration. The experiences, perceptions, observed emotions, nuances, emphases and concepts of students were all noted and recorded and a team discussion was held immediately following the interface with students. Content analysis was undertaken and documented and a report was prepared for each school before another school was approached. The fact that school principals selected the Form 3 group used to participate in the study may have introduced bias if she/he selected what was perceived to be the ‘worst’ of these forms. However, the fact of the similarity of responses across 13 of the 14 schools indicates the robust nature of the methodology used. Two rough indicators were used to understand the social backgrounds of students—family structure and occupation of parents. In relation to family structure, the single parent household consisting of mother alone, father alone or single guardian (grandparent, uncle, aunt or other relative) tended to predominate in urban areas, while there were more instances of the two-parent house hold existing in rural, historically agricultural areas. There were a few instances where

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daphne phillips Table 2. Family Structure/Headship

School Aranguez Barataria Barrackpore Carapichima Curepe Diego Martin El Dorado Five Rivers Morvant Pt. Fortin Rio Claro Sangre Grande Siparia Ste. Madeline Total

Both Parents

Mother alone

Father alone

Other

Total

8 5 25 13 22 18

5 9 3 4 15 7

1 3 0 2 1 4

3 2 3 10 5 5

17 19 31 29 43 34

15 10 6 6 12 10

10 14 10 3 9 10

2 2 1 1 3 2

6 5 2 7 1 4

33 31 19 17 25 26

9 10

6 2

0 1

4 2

19 15

169

107

23

59

358

‘Other’ includes Grand parents, Aunts, or other family relation heading the family, as well as children living alone. Source: Original Research Data

children lived alone and some in which students refused to indicate their living arrangements. (See Table 2). Roughly 47% of the students studied lived in two-parent households while the rest lived in other arrangements of which the single mother household represented 30% of households and the single father households accounted for 6.5%. Interestingly, the single headship of other relatives, such as grandmothers and Aunts was significant, representing 16.5% of households, and is indicative of further erosion of the family. In this sample, approximately 53% of households were single-parent households headed by one responsible adult, although the rural households were overwhelmingly of two parent structure. A large percentage of students (35% of the population of the study) refused to indicate the occupation of their parents. This was so even when all students in the class had previously stated that they knew what their parent did for a living. This seems to indicate that students were either embarrassed to say or could not state their parents’ occupation.

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Otherwise, parents generally worked in low income occupations, were self employed or unemployed and, surprisingly, in some instances, students worked “to help out.” While the employment status of ‘Public Servant’ and ‘Private sector’ are limited in that they do not provide clues on the income levels of these positions, the majority of employment identified represent low or no stable incomes for families. This coincides with that pattern noted in previous studies (e.g. Deosaran, 2007). These indicators suggest that students in this population and this section of the school structure in Trinidad appear to be from relatively poor to very poor socio-economic backgrounds. Table 3. Employment Status of Parent or Major Income Earner School

Public Private Self CEPEP/ Students UnNo Total Servant Sector Employed/ URP who work employed/ response (Agriculture) Retired

Aranguez Barataria Barracpore Carapichimas Curepe Diego Martin El Dorado Five Rivers Morvant Pt. Fortin Rio Claro Sangre Grande Siparia Ste. Madeline

0 3 6 3 2 15 10 9 5 2 10 6

1 0 9 5 4 8 0 7 5 4 2 1

5 4 2 11 9 7 0 12 3 2 4 4

2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 5

0 2 2 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 3

9 9 12 10 25 4 17 3 3 9 9 7

17 19 31 29 43 34 33 31 19 17 25 26

2 4

5 6

6 2

0 0

0 0

0 0

6 3

19 15

Total

77

57

71

7

9

11

126

358

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daphne phillips Table 3b. Summary Table

Employment

Number

%

Public Servant Private Sector Self Employed CEPEP/URP Students who Work Unemployed No Response

77 57 71 7 9 11 126

22 16 20 2 2 3 35

Total

358

100%

Source: original research data

Students’ Views of the Root Causes of Violence Experiences in the home were zeroed into with enthusiasm by all students as the major root cause of violent responses by students. These ranged from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, students’ perceptions of neglect by parents, and parents not having enough money to support the home. Students also stated that relations between single mothers and their boyfriends led to neglect and abuse of children and there were several statements of parents ‘tripping off ’ (on drugs or from frustration) and abusing children sexually or physically or deliberately neglecting them. In 13 of the 14 schools, students identified their understandings of neglect as one of the factors that contribute to their stress at home. Of all responses, neglect accounts for 10 percent of their stress burden in the home (See Table 4). Table 4. Impact of experiences which contribute to stress at home Area of concern (as aspects of poverty) Neglect Physical Abuse Sexual abuse Low material resources Verbal Abuse

Percentage of impact on stress 10% 15% 40% 30% 5%

(Impact is estimated on the strength and frequency of responses weighted on 100%) Source: Original research data

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Students’ statements of dissatisfaction at home also included the notion of parents “taking it out on you.” Sometimes this appeared to refer to physical violence and other times to neglect. Physical abuse was an experience in the home which children claimed contributed to their stress. It largely took the form of severe beatings with objects. On one occasion, a student reported having been beaten so badly that he had to be taken to hospital. Students identified for themselves the difference between abuse and punishment for wrongdoings and defined abuse as undeserved, severe physical attack by parents. Physical fights between parents, which sometimes involved children, were also understood by the students as experiences of physical abuse in the home that contributed to their stress. Reports of verbal abuse by parents were the least frequent of all experiences in the home, but they were very poignant. Mothers were identified as the major offender in this regard and girls seemed more offended by verbal abuse. Boys appear to be less affected by verbal abuse than with physical beatings and are more comfortable with accepting it from mothers. Teachers were also identified as perpetrators of verbal abuse of children, although this was infrequently so, but because this occurred in a public environment, students felt embarrassed among their peers. In all schools, children raised the matter of sexual abuse with great enthusiasm. They seemed eager to talk about this experience which, for them, was most potent and occurred in the home, school and community. Sexual abuse in the home appeared to be widespread. Students said that this included rape, molestation, prostitution and incest, and many of them experienced this. Further probing revealed who the perpetrators of sexual abuse were, and while girls were the main victims, boys were aware of this and were very incensed. Boys pointed to teachers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, stepfathers and mothers as perpetrators, girls pointed to males in the family, grandfathers, and older men. It is instructive to note that while male family members of all possible relationships to these children have been identified, in a few instances, mothers have also be accused of engaging in sexual abuse of boys. Further probing revealed a wider range of men with whom the children claimed to have experiences of sexual abuse. In some schools, students gave details of their experiences with sexual abuse in the home (See Appendix 3).

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The use of alcohol and drugs by parents is evident in their statements as facilitating the sexual abuse of their children, such as Dey take coke and high” and “Sir, dey come home drunk and dey want it.” One girl was so concerned for her little sister, she said: “You have to take care of your little sister (protect her from sexual abuse).” Sexual abuse in the home was seen as a form of stress that was most potent in terms of its consequences for violent behavior. But, this experience is not confined to the home as girls faced sexual abuse in the school as well. In five of the 14 schools studies, students indicated that some of their teachers were engaged in sexual abuse of children. Girls indicated that teachers harass students by “sweet-talking” to them, “Mamaguy dem,” and “touch them.” Teachers also reportedly assist students in making cell phone pornography by doing the video taping, or in having full responsibility for making it. The students are of the view that it is sometimes necessary to make the porn to help support the family. The pictures are distributed on Bluetooth and sold for $5, $10 or $20. In all schools, poverty was an issue which the children identified as being contributory to the overall stress they suffered. In one rural school, children identified being forced to work as a consequence of their parents’ unemployment in areas such as “construction, selling on the streets, packing bags in the grocery, selling drugs, prostitution, working in the market or cutting cane.” They understood this as abuse. In probing what actually constitutes poverty in their experiences, the students explained that not having money and not being able to buy food, as well as having to walk to school because they had no money for transportation are, for them, the defining characteristics of poverty. It was observed in some schools that while lunch was provided by the State to deserving (i.e. poor) students identified by the teachers, students had cultivated a stigma associated with accepting this lunch (although some did accept it) even though they were hungry. The following categories of emotions emerged based claims made by the children to be a direct result of their negative experiences at home. Both boys and girls reported the strong negative emotion of anger as a result of their experiences at home and their rage was directed initially at parents. The revenge expressed was directed at fathers and step fathers by both boys and girls. This may be interpreted as getting back at them for the beatings of mainly boys and the sexual rape of the girls. Both boys and girls entertained suicidal thoughts as a possible escape

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from their severely stressful situations and they identified the actual thoughts and methods contemplated. Feelings of neglect did not hold prominence among the students’ emotions, but where identified, they were stated potently and comprehensively. Frustration was mentioned, but not well expressed or articulated and did not seem to be significant to the group as a whole. Although students identified depression as an emotion, they did not dwell on it or, except in one instance, explain their experience of it robustly. Girls expressed sadness more than boys, and when they did so, boys seemed to connote a greater sense of embarrassment at being publicly put down. Only girls expressed fear in their situations, indicating that they would be frightened, “jumpy,” and “petrified.” Girls were more likely to express a sense of hopelessness than boys. Both boys and girls expressed feelings of a lack of appreciation at home, as expressed vividly by one boy. Girls were more likely to express feelings of insecurity than boys, and their expressions related mainly to their experience of being sexually abused. Expressions of hate were widespread for both girls and boys and hate was directed at all people, but especially parents and including themselves! Hate was reportedly directed towards adults, parents, peers and other youths, and even animals where “you kick the dog too in the morning.” It appears that girls express more distrust of people than boys and that this is rooted in their experience of sexual abuse by adults, particularly in the home. In summary, very strong negative emotions are built up in children as a consequence of negative and abusive relations initially experienced at home, in the context of material deprivation. Because of their higher propensity to sexual abuse, rape, molestation and incestuous disadvantage, girls are more likely to harbour feelings of insecurity, fear, sadness, distrust, depression and suicidal thoughts than boys. Girls are equally enraged and angry as boys, but boys are more likely to express violent revenge, and this is particularly directed at their fathers/step fathers. Student Responses to Negative Experiences and Emotions The children’s remarks and explanations connote that the behaviors displayed by young people who have experienced neglect and violent disadvantage from parents and adult relatives, are filled with rage, revenge and insecurity because of this experience. Some of the explicit behaviors indicated included boys bullying other students and

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taking advantage of others. According to the students, it is reportedly engaged in to enhance the bully’s status or to relieve their frustrations. Gambling was reportedly a behaviour engaged in at school in order to “buy material possessions” or “To buy food.” Use of illicit drugs by students was reported to be fairly common in school. Students rationalise the use and sale of drugs, which they obtain from dealers in the community, as well as from outside and inside the school. This activity, which is largely, though not only carried out by boys, is engaged in “to earn money,” to relieve their frustrations, to relieve their stress or because students use drugs due to peer pressure.” Gang membership was seen to be an automatic activity and a response to a threatening environment. There appears to be different types of gangs, some formed spontaneously to handle an immediate threat, such as an attack from a student of another class. Sometimes this is referred to as a Unit or a Clip. More structured groups, with rank and status, which engage in serious negative behaviour, are understood as gangs. The reasons for involvement in gangs are outlined in the students’ statements: “for status, for money, for protection, to take revenge on parents or as a sense of belonging.” Physical fighting in school was also reported to be a common behavior among these students. There are different types and intensity of fighting depending on the reason for the disagreement or the advantage being taken. Fights between girls are usually related to issues over men who give money for sex or over boyfriends. These fights are sometimes mediated by name calling. Fights between boys are usually related to issues of rank and status in gangs, or drug issues, or over girls. Students are clear that although all these activities involve sexual behavior, each is distinct and is engaged in for different reasons. Sexual activity is largely the behavior of girls. Girls initiate or consent to sexual relations for the following reasons: exchanging sex for material possessions; exchanging sex for money; exchanging sex for appreciation; and exchanging sex for social position. This clearly connotes the perceived need for money and the avenue these girls create and share, or fight, for getting access to money. Girls were also interested in sexual relations in which they felt loved and appreciated. One girl noted the impact of explicit sex television shows and their desire for love and attention. Girls’ sense of status, importance, rank and respect was also achieved through sexual activity. Boys were generally jealous that girls go to older men outside the school for sex and reject them. This inability to attract the attention

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of girls and their sexual frustration seems to be an impetus for boy-on-girl rape which occurs in schools. One type of sexual activity, resembling gang-rape of girls by boys, but reportedly with the consent of the girls, is called “parry she.” This was identified in two schools. The girls who consent to this are reportedly so insecure that they believe the boys all ‘want’ them sexually. They are looking for love! As stated earlier, it was stated in five schools that children made sexually explicit videos by cell phone, sometimes assisted by teachers, for sale for between five and twenty dollars through “Bluetooth.” This is understood as a commercial endeavor, with the side effect of creating fame for the ‘stars’ of the videos. Students also claimed that alcohol use is widespread, especially among boys, and that it is necessary both to relieve stress and to overcome feelings of “depression.” However, there was not great enthusiasm expressed in this issue of alcohol use. Finally, both boys and girls entertained thoughts of running away from home. Some were reported to have started the process and others were known to have already left home. In summary, students in the vast majority of schools identified the formation, joining or involvement in gangs or ‘clips’ as a natural outcome of their situations. Some claim that gangs are formed automatically, sometimes as a class, to defend any person who has a dispute with an outsider. Gangs make them feel loved and allow them the opportunity to make money, while they satisfy their need to fit in and give them a good feeling. Students claim that gangs or clips are associated with violence as they may be used for revenge or for protection and are linked to behaviors such as weed smoking and casual sexual encounters. Boys tend to be lured to overtly violent behavior which may involve drug acquisition, pushing and use. Girls tend to engage in sexual competition for the attention of maxi-taxi drivers for money and gifts, which sometimes gives rise to name calling and fighting among them. In some instances girls differentiate between having sexual relations for money with maxi men, and for pleasure with regular boyfriends. Money seeking behaviors included gambling in school or “wappie;” borrowing money, on which you have to pay tax; bring your clip or gang to beat a person for snitching on you or for not repaying money owed; violence for money—extortion etc., where you threaten to tell the teacher or Principal if they do not pay; making of cell phone porn; and bullying.

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daphne phillips Consequences of Violent Behavior and Student Perceptions of Solutions

The students were clear that violent behavior led to serious consequences which threatened their school attendance and family relations, and could result in police involvement or threaten their health. The likely outcomes identified by them were jail, death, suicide, selling drugs, or becoming vagrants, bandits and killers. Student’s solutions to this dreadful scenario seemed to be either unattainable under their present circumstances or downright illegal. The more positive, though highly unrealistic, solutions were to “Walk away; Fight back; Study your work; Forget your friends; forget everybody; Take off the TV (that hard to do); Put down video games; Love, not hate; Doh borrow money; Forget de man and dem; Keep things to yourself; Go confession and tell the priest he can’t tell nobody; Trust parents; Elevate self; Learn your work; Doh follow friends; do your work; and Get your subjects.” One girl made this very significant and accurate comment: “Everything so messed up and tangled together in a web, you just can’t fix it!” The more negative solutions offered are reflected in the following statements: “Tief cars for a living; Tief orange and sell; Tief fruits and sell; Sell people chirren (children); Tief somebody Clarks (shoes) and sell it; Plant ganja; Planting marijuana is fast money; Kidnap a child; and ‘Tax’—take people money in school. Students also had suggestions for after school activities that seemed quite useful, such as: “Sports in schools, swimming pool and track team; interest dem so dey wouldn’t go on de street; Beauty culture; Dance class; Fun day; Sports day; Karate class; Have dem occupied.” In view of these responses, the root causes of juvenile violence appear to boil down to: 1. Poverty and lack of finance in the home reportedly led to experiences of lack of support for children, inability of parents to provide basic needs and prolonged absence of parents from home. Some students also, reportedly, were forced to work, sometimes in illegal activities including prostitution, to contribute to the income of the family. 2. The experience of physical abuse in the home through frequent beatings (with attendant emotional consequences) due to lack of financial

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contribution by the father, or from difficulties at the workplace of the mother—all conditions associated with poverty. 3. Sexual abuse in the home reported to be widespread. Students said that this included rape, molestation, prostitution and incest which many of them actually experienced. Sexual abuse in the home was seen as a form of stress that was most potent in terms of its consequences for violent behavior. Several negative emotions were associated with the experience of sexual abuse in the home, such as Hate, Cold heartedness, Short temper, Distrust of adults (including teachers), Revenge, Frustration, Hurt, Fear, Suicidal thoughts, Feelings of hopelessness and Wanting to run away. The Poverty Complex and the Hidden School Curriculum The poverty complex, involving low levels of material resources, parents flirting with illicit drugs, parental neglect, physical, verbal and sexual abuse of children, mediated by strongly negative emotional response from children and, in the context of an increasingly robust market economy and individualism, gives rise to youth violence. Beyond this, the school appears to have a hidden curriculum created and adopted by students, but not contained within the subjects that are presented by the teachers. This Hidden Curriculum is motivated by the strong concerns of the students who want a way out of their stress, their feelings of deprivation, their experiences of abuse and their intense need for money. The objectives of the Hidden School Curriculum are therefore acquiring money, ensuring a sense of belonging, attaining love and attention, gaining a positive sense of self and resolving personal crises. The main avenues for meeting the objectives of this hidden curriculum which the students have created are in the formation of and/or joining Gangs or Clips and engaging in sexual activity for material rewards. These activities are developed and learnt in the school where, because the JSS has become a repository for the children of the poor masses, it contains a large body of students with similar experiences of the poverty complex. The school is the place where skills are shared and developed in these areas; there is close association between the school and the immediate school/community environments for the acquisition of drugs and guns (if necessary). In this context, students become experts!

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The contradictions in this situation for them are evident, for whereas gang formation and soliciting sex for money are their main avenues of attaining money, attention and status, engagement in all these activities is associated with violence, even among the persons with whom these young people try to bond. Conclusion The stressful social experiences of the majority of students in the JSS System (poverty, deprivation, physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the home) i.e. the poverty complex, drives their concern to gain more comfort in their lives. The JSS becomes a location for the coming together of many students with similar experiences and motivations. They join or create gangs as the major domain for achieving their goals, but because the gang is associated with violence, it also contributes to internecine wars. Gender differences contribute to the ways by which girls and boys achieve similar goals—through overt sexual activity or overt violence. The JSS (as an accumulation point for students with similar experiences), through connections with the wider community and media, have become places for the nurturing of violence and the molding of criminal personalities. The JSS system is a crucible for crime creation in the society. The results of this study point to a series of social policy recommendations.5 It is essential to undertake a new and realistic assessment of poverty, using a poverty line consistent with the current cost of living, so as to adequately address the real life experiences of people in significant pockets of poverty in Trinidad and Tobago. A continuous sample survey of poverty should be structured. Activities to eradicate destitution and to ensure basic economic survival for the weakest groups in the society must be engaged in. Changes are clearly needed in the structure of the Secondary School System. The criteria by which children are selected to attend public secondary schools should be removed so as to end the stratification

5

Many of these policy recommendations were developed at a seminar for stakeholders held on February 19, 2008. Participants included members of the research team at UWI, Principals, Teachers of Forms 3, Parents and representatives of Ministries of Education, Health, Planning and Social Development.

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within these schools and place all children in schools within access. Access to transportation (through bus tickets), meals and books, must be assured and available in every school, something which in principle should already be provided through state agencies. The Industrial Arts programme in schools should be re-introduced or strengthened, and modified so that students may obtain academic and material rewards for their creations in a carefully structured programme. Linkages should be made between the courses in this programme that are available in and out of school, so that career paths can be embraced by students while still in school. Children should be allowed to be exposed to areas of content for which they have potential and interest. This will give hope in the future, as well as allow them to acquire skills on which they can make a living. The course in Family Life Education should be strengthened and made compulsory for all Secondary School children in the country. There, children will be introduced to social values and graces not taught at home, as well as to factual information on relationships, human biology and gender issues, ethical issues and related matters. It is also important to ensure that confidential counselling be available in every school. Students’ suggestions of introducing extra-curricular interests must be taken more seriously as fun activities which they enjoy in schools such as swimming, dance, music, karate, sports, beauty culture and similar classes. Parenting classes should be developed and expanded through the PTAs and be made compulsory for the parents of those students who display behavioral problems in school. On a more theoretical note, the reported high degree of poverty in the households of students in this study and the lack of adequate income that would meet the needs of the family, including and especially the children, appear to be the root cause of crimes associated with violence. Poverty interacts with male/female relations, the adequacy of basic needs in the home, the feelings of neglect of children due to absence of parents, and the negative verbal behaviors (especially of mothers, who themselves are also often abused and neglected) to their children. Poverty also interacts with backward ideas of disciplining children, truncated beliefs of the roles and values of the sexes, encouragement of illicit use of drugs and over-use of alcohol, as well as actual engagement in a range of activities, some of which cannot be mentioned, for the acquisition of money by poor people. This pervasive poverty is occurring in a context in which Trinidad and Tobago is in receipt

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of continuous increase in earnings from an extensive oil and gas production boom due to the high prices of these energy products on the international market, and the attainment of the highest level of national income that the country has ever experienced in its history of political independence since 1962. The cash earnings available to the country is associated with increasingly high inflation rates, peaking at 10% in 2006 and again in 2008, high prices for basic foods, higher costs of basic services, such as electricity and water, and a devaluation of the dollar value of the currency. Simultaneously, and through international trade, there is the expansion of available attractive foreign goods and behaviors, exposed in the media, especially the TV and internet. At the lower income levels of the society, the high cost of living contributes to mass suffering, an increase in poverty and the encouragement of illicit means of gaining income through selling drugs, engagement in prostitution and other hustlings, which, at some levels of society, become necessary for survival. Trinidad and Tobago is a participant in an international capitalist economy through various international agencies—the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and the World Bank (IBRD), facilitated by the United Nations structures, now understood as globalization. These agencies consciously work to maintain the rule, control and benefit of international capital, closely linked to the local but subordinate capitalist strata in the country. Increasing globalization results in an increase in efficient technology use and in a reduction of jobs. In his work on the Global Shift, Peter Dicken (1992) looks, in part, at making a living in the global economy, and asks ‘where will the jobs come from?’ He finds that “we face a desperate employment crisis at the global scale; at the end of 1983 there were approximately 35 million unemployed in the OECD countries, a figure unheard of since the 1930s” (Dicken 1992). Part of the cause of universal unemployment, according to Dicken, is ‘global restructuring’; an aspect of which is the growth of new technologies. It is generally agreed that the effect of the process of innovations through technological improvement is to increase labour productivity, which permits the same or an increased, volume of output from the same or usually smaller numbers of workers. In this context, it is the manual workers, rather than the professional, technical and supervisory workers, whose numbers have been reduced most of all.

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Globalization has therefore produced growing unemployment among the manual and unskilled workers in the headquarters of capitalism. The situation is certainly much more intense among these categories of persons in post-colonial countries. Modern attempts to improve aggregate indicators such as Gross National Product (GNP) in ‘developing’ countries are understood as Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs). This represents a complex of policies introduced after the decline in the economies of industrial countries, particularly the USA, following the effects of the strategies of OPEC on the distribution of world resources (Girvan 1984; Todaro 1989; Freiden 1991). From a neoliberal perspective, structural adjustment assumes that an economy will be more efficient, healthy and productive in the long run if market forces operate, and products and services are not subsidized, or heavily protected by governments. These policies, created in the early 1980s, were articulated through the IMF and the World Bank, and came into effect for ‘developing’ countries when they attempted to obtain international loans. These countries were literally forced to abide by the criteria of Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs), which resulted in concessions to foreign investors, economic and trade liberalization, production for export, currency devaluation, curbs on consumption through increases in the prices of goods and services, reductions in government employment and government spending, personal income depreciation and increases in consumption tax spending (UNDP 1990; 1991). In summary, these SAPs contributed to drastic increases in unemployment, lowering of standards of living and creating higher costs of consumption for ordinary people. They represent an intensification or exacerbation of preexisting conditions under colonialism and neo-colonialism. Some analyses indicate that structural adjustment is a deliberate scheme for the perpetuation of export dependency, unfavorable interest rates, fluctuating terms of trade, and the reproduction of the existing conditions of global inequalities (Roddick 1988). SAPs continue to be the framework which defines the relationship between post-colonial countries and those at the centers of capitalism. Many Caribbean authors (Freiden 1991; Comia et al. 1987; Pantin 1989; La Guerre 1994) point to the relationship between the Structural Adjustment Programmes enforced by the World Bank and the IMF which have exacerbated poverty and unemployment among working people in post-colonial countries, and which have stimulated a search for new survival strategies at both the community and national levels. Other

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analysts have noted that structural adjustment has deepened and widened poverty (Phillips 1993) and has contributed to the increased feminization of poverty (Reddock 1984). In Trinidad and Tobago, as in other Caribbean countries, traditional employment areas and skills are becoming obsolete as they are no longer needed in modern capitalism, or because foreign direct investment has displaced people’s access to land and resources which they used for many years (for example, in the ALUTRINT and ALCOA projects that raised great controversy in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006–2007). In rural and urban areas alike, people are no longer able to survive on the types of work and skills that they used previously and new skills and forms of social organization are out of their reach. What ‘occupations’ are increasingly available are those in the illicit drugs and guns trade peddled on the streets and many parents appear to be engaged in this trade as their form of employment (hence the refusal of 35% of the children in this study to state their parent’s occupation). Otherwise, state supported employment for the growing unemployed population, in the forms of CEPEP and URP, reportedly support only 2% of households in this sample (Table 3). The intensity and deepening of poverty and the resultant suffering of children, through their experiences of abuse and brutality at home, are the outcomes of the marching and prancing as it were, of modern capitalism across the world, with its boots of destruction and despair (Phillips 1995). Its policies at the local country level affect children at the most intimate area—the home and family. Sexual abuse in the home, the most traumatic in its consequences for violent behavior by children, exposes them to the strong emotions of powerlessness and poor self esteem. The school becomes a domain, not for concentrating on academic subjects, which have no meaning for the students, but on having their needs met—needs for comfort, love, security, money, food, attractive items, safety, and an outlet for disturbed emotions. This is the hidden curriculum of the school. They get money ‘somehow’, most times in brutal fashion and almost always through violence. The contradictions noted in their circumstances are stark, but ultimately produced by the way in which T&T has been integrated in the world economic system of contemporary capitalism. In the end, Ken Pryce (1976) as cited earlier was right about rising crime in developing societies being the product of a particular type of development based on exploitation and under-development. The

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consequences of this as he showed was that it led to diverse survival strategies based on pimping, hustling, pushing, scrunting, prostitution, violence and wretchedness. Over three decades later, we must now add thieving, kidnapping, gun-running, cocaine use, child abuse, child prostitution and violence to the list of survival strategies available to the poor in the Caribbean. Children have become the latest victims of capitalism!

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daphne phillips APPENDIX 1

SAMPLE SIZE AND REPRESENTATIVENESS The sample designed employed in any research should address two basic issues how the elements of the population will be selected and how many elements will be selected. (Dattalo 2008:4) The number of elements to be selected is related to the amount of error the researcher is willing to accept in doing the research. Three criteria are considered when determining sample size. Sample size is related to sampling error and as a general rule as sample size increases there is a corresponding decrease in sampling error. Sampling error or level of precision is the range of values within which the true value of the population is estimated to actually exist. For this research the margin of error is +5%. Sample size is connected to the confidence level. The confidence level is considered to be the chance or probability that the sample mean will fall within the range of possible means for the population. (Israel 2003:2) For this research the confidence level is 95%. The third consideration is the degree of variability in the population for the variables being considered by the research. This suggests that the more heterogeneous the population the greater the sample size required to provide representativeness. “Because a proportion of .5 indicates maximum variability in a population it is often used in determining a more conservative sample size that is the sample size may be larger than if the true variability of the population attribute were used.” (Israel 2003:2) There are four approaches suggested in determining sample size. (Israel 2003:2) The use of a census for small populations, using a sample size of a similar study, using published tables and using formulas to calculate sample size are all approaches that are considered to be valid in research. In this research the approach utilized involved the use of a formula to calculate the appropriate sample size based on the estimation of the population of third form students. The formula used for the calculation of sample size in this research is n=

N (Yamane 1967:886) 1 + N (e)2

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Where n = sample size N = population size e = level of precision When this formula is used a representative sample size of 333 is needed for a population of 2000 with precision levels of ± 5% the level of confidence is 95% and a P value of 0.5.

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PARTICIPATORY LEARNING AND ACTION PLA TOOLS Uses participatory approaches and methods, such as mapping and ranking—involves local people in data collection and analysis—is context specific—ideally feeds into action on part of those involved. Conceptually, the purpose is usually stated as local empowerment but often used as a quick means of gathering data.

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APPENDIX 3

SOME STATEMENTS CONCERNING SEXUAL ABUSE STATED IN THE VERNACULAR OF THE STUDENTS Girl – Sir they getting advantaged at home Girl – They father interfere with them Question—What do you mean by that? Girl – Touch them up Question—Sexually? Girl – Yes, Sir Question—Who is doing this sexual abuse? Boy – Teachers Girl – Males in the family Girl – Grandfathers Boy – Brothers Boy – Uncles, grandfathers Boy – Step fadder Boy – Mother Girl – Older men

It is instructive to note that while male family members of all possible relationships to these children have been identified, in a few instances, mothers have also be accused of engaging in sexual abuse, as the following statement suggests: Girl – (The) Husband would leave them and the mother would go with the son (mother would have sex with the son)

Further probing revealed a wider range of men with whom the children claimed to have experiences of sexual abuse: Moderator—Who are the abusers? G – Most of the time is the uncle B – The step-fadder G – Sometimes friends of the family G – It could be yuh cousin too G – Yuh step fadder and he boy chirren too

In some schools, students gave some details of their experiences with sexual abuse in the home, such as:

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daphne phillips Experiences with sexual abuse Girl – (Your father) Come and interfere with you and rape you Girl – Money, dey tell dem dey go give dem a little change if dey have sex with dem Girl – Yuh brother cah find ah woman Boy – Yuh sista too good lookin fer another boy, so he keep she fuh heself Boy – De fadder sleeping wit he daughter, stress she out, she want to kill sheself Girl – (Your mother) Leave yuh alone wit yuh step fadder in the house and he interfere with yuh; he boy chirren too Boy – Mudder won’t believe that

(It is to be noted that the statements of students are sometimes made in the third person. This may be due to the way the session was focused; students were asked their experiences or knowledge of experiences of persons ‘just like them’. This was done in order to avoid overt embarrassment in the classroom)

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NAME INDEX Adams, Glen 148 Adorno, Theodor 121, 133, 140 Allen, Helen 147 Altheide, David L. 175 Anderson, Arnold C. 95 Apple, Michael 34 Arena, John D. 35 Arend, Paticia 196 Arendt, Hanah 12, 133, 196 Arrugaeta, José Miguel 82 Athens, Lonnie 168, 172, 177 Bai, Matt 53 Bainbridge, William Simms 140 Bajc, Vida 15, 183, 195 Baldwin, James 98 Banks, J. 156 Baran, Paul 34 Barker, G. 157 Barnes, Richard D. 147 Bateson, Gregory 15, 193 Baudrillard, Jean 7, 119, 172, 174 Bauman, Zygmunt 28 Bebel, August 13, 135, 138, 140 Beckford, James 135 Beeghley, Leonard 146 Bello, Walden 76 Bendix 24, 32 Benjamin, Reinhard 2–5, 140 Benson, Constance L. 136 Berger, Peter 162, 181 Berkowitz, Alan B. 157 Bertrand, Marianne 50 Bigo, Didier 191 Blanden, Jo 24 Bloch, Ernst 137, 138, 140, 141 Block, Fred 34 Blood, Robert O. Jr. 95 Blumer, Herbert 95, 161, 169 Bobo, Lawrence D. 52, 145, 147, 156 Bock, Wilbur E. 146 Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo 11, 12, 47–52, 54–56, 58, 145–147, 156 Bowles, Sam 34 Boyd, W. C. 87 Braddock, Jomills 50

Bradley, David A. 34 Brand, Christopher 90 Braverman, Harry 34 Brewer, Rose M. 35 Brown, Betina Lankard 155 Brown, Carrie Budoff 82 Brown, T. N. 156 Buchanan, Patrick 23 Burawoy, Michael 28, 34 Burgess, Ernest 94 Burke, Edmund 123 Buzan, Barry 189, 192 Callon, Michael 179 Camus, Albert 133 Carew, Jan 86 Carr, L. 145 Casanova, José 135 Cassano, Graham 161, 187 Castoriadis, Cornelius 111, 115 Castro, Fidel 67, 82 Chang, Mitchell J. 155, 156 Charon, Joel M. 164, 168, 169 Chase-Dunn, Christopher 34 Chavagneux, Christian 63 Chesler, Mark A. 155 Chomsky, Noam 63 Clark, Christine 146 Clegg, Stewart 34 Clough, P. T. 135, 172 Cloward, R. 198 Coates, Rodney D. 11, 12, 35, 83, 85 Cochran, John K. 146 Cohen, Albet 19, 20, 198, 199 Collins, Harry M. 139, 161 Collins, Randall 99, 161, 162, 165, 166, 169, 175 Comia, G. A. 217 Conn, Steve 71, 72, 74 Cooley, Charles H. 165 Corn, David 24 Coser, Lewis 139 Costa, Pere-Oriol 63 Cox, Oliver C. 85, 91 Craig, David W. 157 Crandall, Christian 146 Cunningham, L. J. 53

244

name index

Dahrendorf, Ralf 139 Darwin, Charles 87 Davies, Scott 35 Davis, Mike 68, 69 Dawson, Michael C. 52 De Bois, P. M. 155 Debord, Guy 109–111, 113, 115, 117–123, 128–131 Deleuze, Gilles 174 Deneen, Nicole 146 Deosaran, R. 200, 205 Descartes, René 13, 118 Desrosières, Alain 189 de Wilde, Jaape 189, 192 Dicken, Peter 216 Dimaggio, Anthony 73, 74 Domhoff, William G. 34 Douglass, Frederick 98 Dovidio, J. 144 Doyle, L. H. 157 Du Bois, W. E. B. 48, 90 Dumont, Luis 186–188 Dunkerley, D. 34 Durkheim, Emille 187, 198 Dutschke, Rudi 21, 22 Eagleton, Terry 34 Edel, Matthew 34 Edward, Johnson Austin 85 Edwards, John 23 Edwards, Richard 34, 85 Elder, Glen H. Jr. 161 Elliott, Andrea 55 Engberg, Mark 155 Engels, Frederick 38 Engels, Fredrich 138 Eshleman, Amy 146 Esping-Anderson, Gosta 34 Essed, Philomena 144 Fabiano, Patricia 157 Feagin, Joe R. 48, 146 Feather, T. 147 Fendrich, James M. 146 Fenstermaker, Sarah 144 Finke, Roger 136, 137 Ford, Glen 52 Foucault, Michele 173–175, 184, 188, 189 Frank, Andre Gunder 34 Frank, Thomas 137 Frankfort, Henri 186, 188 Fraser, Nancy 35 Freeman, Toby 147 Freiden, Jeffrey 217

Gaertner, S. L. 144 Gamson, William 35 Gare, Arran 125 Gerth, Hans 39 Gerth, Nobuko 40 Gianpaolo, Baiocchi 35 Gilbert, Margaret 161, 174 Gilman-Opalsky, Richard 127 Gilmore, Brian 96 Gintis, Herb 34 Girvan, Norman 217 Glenn, C. L. 53 Gliddon, G. 87 Goddard, Henry H. 89 Goldberg, C. B. 147 Goldman, Emma 111, 115, 125, 126 Golinger, Eva 62 González, Alicia 65, 78 Gonzalez, Matt 54 Gossett, Thomas 84, 87 Gouldner, Alvin 34 Gramsci, Antonio 114 Green, John C. 139 Gregg, Paul 24 Gumbel, Andrew 64 Gurin, Patricia 147, 148, 156 Haber, Barbara 22 Haber, Hal 22 Habermas, Jürgen 109, 116, 121, 126, 140 Haines M. 157 Halton, Eugene 161, 165 Hancock, L. 157 Handelman, Don 190 Hardt, Michael 56, 117, 133 Harris, Abram L. 93 Hartmann, Heidi 35 Harvey, David 34 Hass, Christopher 63 Hass, Glen 145 Hegel, G. W. F. 37–39, 115, 126, 129, 140 Henriksen, R. C. Jr. 155 Henry, N. 157 Herold, Marc 75 Herrnstein, Richard J. 90 Hicks, Heather J. 53 Higgs, Edward. 189 Hill, Christopher 138 Hill-Collins, Patricia 35 Hitlin, Steven 161 Holthouse, David 102 Horkheimer, Max 121, 122, 133, 140 Hudson, Michael 78 Hunter, James Davison 140

name index Huntington, Samuel 139 Hurtado, Sylvia 146, 147, 155 Hutson, J. J. 155 Ickes, William

147

Jackson, John P. 87 Jackson, J. S. 156 Jensen, Arthur 90 Joas, Hans 165 Johnson, Guy B. 93 Johnson, M. P. 102 Johnson, Sasha 145 Jonsson, Patrik 64 Jordan, Winthrop D. 84, 85 Jorde, Lynne 88 Kalleberg, Arne L. 23 Kant, Immanuel 123, 128, 130 Katz, I. 145 Kautsky, Karl 138 Kezar, A. 155 Kidd, Robert F. 147 Kinder, D. R. 145 King, Martin Luther Jr. 47, 55, 83, 95, 99 Klein, Naomi 113 Kluegel, James R. 156 Knopke, H. J. 145 Knox, Robert 87 Kraft, R. J. 155 Kraus, Stephen J. 145 Krugman, Paul 54 La Guerre, John 217 La Piere, R. T. 156 Laclau, Ernesto 121 Larson, grant 147 Lechner, Frank J. 135 Leonardo, Zeus 35 Levine, Rhonda 29 Lewis, David J. 162, 169 Lewis, Oscar 94 Limbaugh, Rush 23 Linkenbach, Jeffrey W. 157 Linnander, Erica 147 Locke, Alain 99 Locke, John 123 Lopez, Gretchen 147, 148, 156 Löwith, Karl 140 Luchmann, Thomas 162 Luhmann, Stephen Fuchs 29 Lukács, Georg 119 Lynd, Richard 90 Lyon, David 184

245

Macaray, David 69 Machin, Stephen 24 Macías, Joseba 82 Macnutt, Francis A. 86 Malcolm X. 104 Mallory, Bruce L. 155 Mannheim, Karl 162 Marable, Manning 35 Marcuse, Herbert 34 Martí, José 67 Martin, Judith 200 Marx, Karl 5, 20, 30, 34, 38, 39, 47, 114, 129, 137, 185 Mauss, Marcel 187 Maxwell, Kimberly A. 146 Mazower, Mark 85 McAdam, Doug 138 McCall, George J. 165 McClelland, Katherine 147 McConahay, J. B. 145 McKee, James B. 96 McKinney, William 140 McKinnon, Andrew 137 McLeod, Hugh 99, 139 McLoughlin, William G. 135 McPartland, Jame 50 Mead, George Herbert 163, 165–171, 177 Mecklin, John M. 93 Mehring, Franz 138 Merton, Robert K. 156 Miller, D. 147 Mills, C. Wright 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 39–41, 65–67, 121, 161, 162, 165–168, 171, 175 Monahan, Torin 183 Montecino, Jorge 82 Monteith, Margo 146 Moore, Richard 86 Morris, Aldon D. 138 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick 94 Mullainathan, Sendhil 50 Murakami Wood, David 184 Murray, Charles 90 Myrdal, Gunnar 48, 95 Nagda, Biren A. 147, 148 Negri, Antonio 56, 117 Nelson, Jessica C. 148 Niebuhr, Richard H. 139 Nietzsche 137 Nott, J. 87 O’Brien, Laurie T. 146, 148 O’Connor, James 34

246 O’Toole, Roger 135 Oakes, Guy 39, 123 Oakeshott, Michael 123 Obama, Barak 54, 77 Ohlin, J. 198 Ollman, Bertell 34 Ott, C. H. 157 Owen, Richard 85 Pager, Devah 50 Pantin, Dennis 217 Parenti, Michael 121 Parks, Robert E. 94 Parsons, Talcott 140 Pecora, Vincent 183 Peirce, Charles S. 164, 167–169 Peng, T. 156 Perkins, H. Wesley 157 Pfohl, Stephen 35 Phillips, Daphne 15, 200, 218 Pica, L. H. 146 Podobnik, Bruce 35 Polo, Higinio 80 Porter, Garett 74 Poulantzas, Nicos 34 Pryce, Ken 199, 218 Rawls, John 177 Ray, Larry 30 Reddock, Rhoda 218 Reifer, Thomas 35 Revisto, Sal 161 Rice, R. 157 Roberts, Glenda S. 35 Robertson, Laura 72, 77 Robinson, Cedric 48 Roddick, Jackie 217 Roediger, David 48 Roof, Wade Clark 140 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 80 Ross, M. 147 Ross, Robert J. S. 9, 35 Royster, Deirdre A. 50 Russell, James 10, 38, 40 Ruston, Philippe J. 90 Sale, Kirkpatrick 21 Salter, Mark 195 Sergeant, Lydia 35 Sartre, Jean-Paul 133 Scalera, Carolyn Vasques 155 Schoem, D. 155 Schuman, Howard 50, 145, 147 Sears, D. O. 145

name index Sergent, Lynda 35 Shor, Juliet 35 Siebert, Rudolph J. 140 Simons, Sarah E. 92 Skinner, Natalie 147 Stark, Rodney 136, 137, 140, 142 Staudt, Kathleen 192 Steeh, Charlotte 145, 147 Stone, Alfred Holt 91 Sweezy, Paul 34 Tawny, Richard Henry 34 Taylor, Ian 199 Todaro, M. 217 Tooman, Gregory 146 Torpey, John 189 Touraine, Alain 125 Turkheimer, Eric 89 UNDP

217

Van Den Berghe, Pierre Vidich, Arthur J. 40 Vose, Clement E. 96

85

Wackenhut, J. 145 Waever, Ole 189, 192, 193 Walker, Daniel 19, 98 Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice 34, 64 Walton, Paul 199 Ward, Lester 92 Warner, R. Stephen 137, 142 Washington, B. T. 97 Weber, Max 28, 37, 39, 138, 187, 190 Weidman, Nadine W. 87 Wessel, M. T. 157 West, Candace 144 West, Cornell 100 Wilcox, W. F. 91 Wiley, Norbert 161, 163, 165, 167 Wilkie, Roy 34 Williams, D. R. 156 Willis, Paul 34 Wilson, William J. 96 Wooding, Stephen 88 Wright, Erik Olin 34 Wuthnow, Robert 136, 137, 140 Yates, Michael D. 70 Yepe, Manuel 82 Young, Jock 199 Zeitlin, Maurice

34

SUBJECT INDEX Achievement ideology 126 Afghanistan 54, 69, 75, 76, 79, 81 Africa 11, 41, 50, 53, 60, 61, 85–87, 89, 96, 98, 130 Al Qaeda 75 Alaska 71, 72 ALCOA 218 ALTURINT 218 American Sociological Association 8, 9, 31, 33 ASA 9, 20, 23, 25, 32, 33, 136 Anabaptists 139 Anomie 44, 141, 198, 199 Apartheid 60 Asia 61, 73, 77, 85, 87, 88, 103, 149 Biopolitics 183, 189, 190, 195 Bluetooth 208, 211 Bolivia 59, 114 Bourdieu, Pierre 5 Brazil 56, 81, 122 Buchanan, Pat 23 Buenos Aires 67 Bureaucracy 15, 28, 29, 65, 110, 128, 186, 188–191 Bureaucratic 15, 27, 111, 113, 183–192, 195 Bush, George W. 11, 55, 57, 59–65, 70, 74–78, 81, 88, 122, 123, 195 Bush’s Economic Ideology 59 Capitalism 12, 13, 22, 25, 28–30, 32–35, 37, 39, 43, 44, 54, 104, 110–113, 115–117, 121, 123–128, 131–134, 185, 187, 217–219 Caribbean 55, 79, 197, 199, 201, 203, 205, 207, 209, 211, 213, 215, 217–219 CBS 72 Center of Receptive Politics 66 Chavez, Hugo 55, 78 Chicago School 198 Child Abuse 219 China 13, 77, 78, 81, 114, 117, 124, 125 CIA 64 Class 3, 9, 10–15, 21, 24, 25–27, 32–35, 38, 39, 42, 43, 44, 48, 56, 67, 83, 89, 92, 96, 101, 103–105, 117–119, 124, 129, 138–141, 162, 200, 211

Structure 27, 34 Middle 6, 57, 198 Working 4, 11, 38, 41–43, 48, 62, 66, 68, 69, 72, 117, 118, 198 Classification 187 Clinton, Bill 59, 62, 65, 78 Clinton, Hillary 24, 57, 62, 63, 69, 70, 116 Cohen, Wilbur 19, 20, 198, 199 COINTELPRO 55 Cold War 2, 8, 13, 39, 63, 111–113, 115, 124 Collective Behavior 148, 155 Colombia 59, 75, 78–80 Color Blind 11, 47, 145, 150 Communism 12, 110–114, 116, 117, 124, 138 Comte, August 28, 29, 90 Content Analysis 203 Cosmetic Panopticism 14, 163, 171–173, 175, 176, 178, 181 Council of Foreign Relations 68 Critical Sociology 1–11, 13, 15, 17, 23, 27–31, 34–36, 135, 137, 139–142 Cromwell, Oliver 138 Cuba 54, 59, 79, 81, 82, 112, 114 Cultural Apparatus 7, 8, 22, 163, 165, 168, 171–176, 178, 180, 181 Daley, William 65 Democratic Party 56, 63, 66, 69, 70, 77, 78 Democratic National Convention 9, 19, 21, 71 Diggers 138 Diversity Educational Interventions 154, 155 Doxa 7, 9 Ecuador (Equador) 59, 79 Elite 24, 39, 40, 54, 59, 61, 65, 67, 81, 85, 89, 92, 94, 98, 110, 123, 172 Emanuel, Rahm 66 Employment Free Choice Act 69 EFCA 69, 70 Equality 10–12, 14, 24, 25, 29, 32, 35, 43, 49, 52–54, 86, 98, 138, 141, 144, 147–149, 151, 153, 155, 199

248

subject index

Fasenfest, David 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36 FBI 64 Ferguson, Roger 65 Flint, M. I. 63 Foreign Policy 11, 52, 59, 61 Frankfurt School 10, 13, 14, 29, 119, 135, 140, 141 French 119, 131, 139, 187 Fundamentalism 13, 42, 139, 141, 142 Islamic 75, 139 Maxist-Leninist 42 Furman, Jason 66 G8 121 Gang 80, 203, 210, 211, 213, 214 Gates, Robert 25, 35, 62, 74, 75, 92, 125, 197 Gaza 66, 83 Globalization 16, 35, 76, 111, 128, 216, 217 Goolsbee, Austan 66 Guantanamo Bay 191 Haber, Al 21, 22, 109, 116, 121, 126, 140 Halliburton 68 Hidden School Curriculum 197, 213 Historical Materialism 3, 31, 124 Holistic Cosmology 186 Hoover Dam 72 Horkheimer, Max 121, 122, 133, 140 Humphrey, Hubert 19 Identity Politics 10, 37, 39, 41, 43, 44 Ideology 5, 15, 22, 32, 34, 41, 43, 47–49, 59, 68, 103–105, 109, 111, 115, 117–121, 124, 126, 129, 145–147, 175, 194 Immigrants 71, 73, 89 Immigration 52, 89, 92, 102 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 28, 68, 81, 216 Iraq 24, 54, 57, 63, 66, 69, 73–75, 81 Israel 55, 66, 80 Jackson, Jesse 53, 56, 87, 156 Junior Secondary Schools 197, 199, 201 JSS 199–201, 213, 214 Kalleberg, Arne 23 Kennedy, John F. 60, 63, 74, 103 Kerry, John 56, 63 Ku Klux Klan 93

Labor 1, 3, 6, 23, 25, 27, 29, 41, 50, 64, 66, 69, 70, 73, 78, 85, 86, 110, 185 Collective Bargaining 70 Metaphysic 41 Unions 6, 56, 70 Laissez Faire 50 Lang, Fritz 3 Latin America 11, 59, 60, 62, 71, 78–82, 112, 139 Lebanon 66 Lenin, V. I. 42, 43, 56, 110, 111, 116, 125 Levelers 138 Liberalism 3, 9, 25, 35, 41, 49, 104, 111, 125, 128 Liberatory teleology 38 Looking-Glass Self 165 Luther, Martin 11, 60, 83, 97, 99, 138, 186 Maoism 42, 116 Marxism-Leninism 42, 116 Mauss, Marcel 187 McCain, John 52, 63, 74 McCarthyist 41 McNamara, Robert 74 Merida Initiative 59, 80 Meta-Framing 193, 195, 196 Mexico 79, 80, 112 Minorities 42, 55, 104, 143 Modern World-System 11, 47 NAFTA 79, 111 National Labor Relations Board 70 National Security Agenda 62 NATO 24, 53, 54, 57, 74, 75, 79, 87, 124, 133, 145, 156, 203 Negri 56, 117, 133 Neo-Cons 59, 101, 137 Neo-Kantian 37 Neoliberalism 25, 35, 111, 125, 128 Network 5, 50, 62, 120 New Deal 64, 69 New Left 4, 10, 37, 39, 41–44 Nicolaus, Martin 9, 20, 21, 23 Fat Cat Sociology 9 Normalcy of Crime 198 Normative Pressure 154 Occupational Safety and Health Act 70 OPEC 217 Oppression 5, 10, 14, 35, 43, 44, 141 Organization of American States (OAS) 79

subject index Pakistan 75, 79 Palin, Sarah 68, 71 Panoptic Idol 14, 163, 171–178, 181 Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) 202 Pebble Mine Project 72 Phenomenology 135, 161, 162, 181 Plan Colombia 59 Plato 13, 118 Poland 114, 115, 117 Political Economy 15, 20, 25, 29, 128, 197 Poverty 16, 23, 64, 94, 97, 99, 105, 131, 161, 197, 206, 208, 212–218 Complex 16, 197, 213, 214 Power 1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 14, 16, 25, 29, 32, 35, 39, 40, 55, 59, 61, 62, 65–68, 76, 78, 82, 95, 97–99, 103, 104, 110, 112, 113, 115, 119, 121, 124, 132, 133, 147, 149, 154, 158, 171, 173–175, 178, 181, 186, 189, 190, 218 Pragmatism 7, 169 Presidential Election 59, 84 Problem Tree 202 Production 25, 28, 29, 31, 34, 41, 43, 76, 80, 117, 131, 185, 189, 216, 217 Means of 29, 43, 131, 185 Mode of 41 Protestant Reformation 15, 138 Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) 215 Puerto Rico 47 Race 4, 10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 33–35, 48–50, 52–57, 67, 83–101, 103, 105, 140, 144–146, 149–155 Attitudes 14, 143–147, 150, 154–156 Behaviors 14, 143, 144, 146–158, 160 Discrimination 95, 97, 143 Domination 47, 48 Narratives 12, 84, 86–93, 95, 97–100, 102 Oppression 143–151, 154–157 Post-racial society 11 Racism 11, 12, 25, 47–50, 52, 53, 55, 64, 83, 84, 87, 88, 95, 97–102, 105, 143–145, 148, 149, 151, 158, 199 Anti-racist behavior norms 150 Modern 145 Old fashioned 144, 145 Reagan, Ronald 54, 56, 70, 96, 97, 116 Reich, Robert 65, 141 Religion 13, 14, 29, 34, 38, 40, 72, 83, 105, 135–142, 186, 187, 198

249

Revolution 3, 12, 64, 82, 103, 109–111, 114–126, 128–134, 138, 139, 187, 196 American 187 Bolshevik 114 French 130, 139, 187 German Peasant 138 Russian 125, 126, 196 Rice, Condoleezza 79 Role-Taking 164, 165, 166, 173, 175, 176 Roman Catholic Church 138 Rove, Karl 53 Rubin, Robert 65 Rumsfeld, Donald 74 San Francisco 31, 72 Schutz, Alfred 161, 162, 181 Situationist International 109, 120, 128, 133 Smith, Adam 30 Social 1, 2, 3, 5–15, 20–22, 25, 27–32, 34–36, 39–41, 43, 44, 47, 49, 51–57, 59–61, 68–70, 75, 79, 84, 88–90, 93–95, 99, 100, 107, 109–134, 136–142, 144, 149, 161–171, 173–176, 178, 180, 181, 184–188, 191–199, 201, 203, 210, 214, 215, 218 Class 24, 33, 200 Influence 143 Justice 91, 92, 147, 148, 177 Norms 48, 143, 145–147, 150, 151, 154, 156–158 Socialism 12, 13, 41, 43, 44, 68, 69, 109–116, 118, 119, 124–128, 131, 133, 138 Society of the Spectacle 12, 110, 111, 120, 122, 123, 130, 131 Society 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10–13, 15, 20, 21, 27–32, 35, 36, 38, 39, 60, 66, 68, 83, 85, 87–89, 91–93, 95, 97, 99–101, 103, 105, 110, 111, 113, 114, 117, 120–123, 126, 127, 130–133, 136, 139, 143, 147, 148, 158, 163, 167, 168, 173–175, 184, 198, 199, 214, 216 Sociology 1–17, 19–36, 39, 40, 48, 90–96, 135–137, 139, 140–142, 161–163, 169, 179, 203 Liberation movement 19, 21–23, 25, 31 Critical 1–4, 6, 8–10, 23, 27–31, 34–36, 135, 140–142 Mainstream 2, 9, 10, 13, 27, 28, 30, 32–35, 93, 135 Radical Caucus 9, 19, 20–22 Solidarity 43, 110, 115, 117, 129, 134, 174

250

subject index

Southern Poverty Law Center 64 Sovereign Investment Funds 77 Soviet Union 9, 44, 81, 111, 115 Strata 27, 216 Structural Adjustment Policies (SAP) 217 Structure 25, 27, 29–31, 33, 34, 37–41, 47, 55–57, 59, 63, 64, 66, 75, 91, 102, 103, 115, 120, 121, 123, 134, 148, 150, 165, 180, 190, 194, 200, 203–205, 210, 214–216 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 9, 20, 21, 22 Summers, Lawrence 65, 97 Surveillance 15, 55, 163, 173–176, 183–189, 191–196 Szymanski, Al 31, 33 Taliban 73, 75 Taylor, Maxwell 74, 199 The Insurgent Sociologist 10 Theory 2, 5, 9–15, 25, 26, 28–30, 34, 38–43, 93, 105, 107, 109, 111–121, 123, 125, 127–131, 133, 135, 136, 139–141, 146, 158, 161–163, 165, 166, 168, 172, 174, 179, 180, 197, 199, 201, 203, 205, 207, 209, 211, 213, 215, 217, 219 Exchange 5 Functionalism 6, 135 Parsonian Functionalism 2, 4, 8 Grand 40 Marxist Crisis 123 Positivism 5, 10, 28, 30 Rational Choice 14, 135, 136, 161, 162, 179, 180 Strain 198 Structuralist 4, 38 Sub-Culture 198 Symbolic Interactionism 135 Systems 5 Third World 4, 24, 94 Trinidad and Tobago 197, 199, 200, 214–216, 218 Troeltsch, Ernst 135, 136, 139 Tyson, Laura 65

Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) 21 Union of Radical Sociologists 31 Unit for Social Problems Analysis and Policy (USPAP) 203 University of the West Indies 203 Uribe, Alvaro 78, 79 US Foreign Policy 11, 59 Blockade of Cuba 59 US Supreme Court 66 Values 3, 5, 10, 15, 29, 39, 61, 64, 141, 145, 147, 148, 171, 174, 175, 187, 193, 194, 196, 198, 215 Venezuela 54, 59, 78, 81, 112, 114 Vidich, Arthur J. 40 Vietnam 24, 42, 74, 75, 139 Violence 15, 16, 19, 55, 64, 93, 132, 133, 157, 189, 197, 199, 201, 202, 206, 207, 211–215, 218, 219 Volcker, Paul 65 Wall Street 54, 68, 76, 77, 78 Wappie 211 Warsaw Pact 9, 19 Watts Riot 130 Weberian 10, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 141, 190 Left 10, 37, 39, 41, 42, 44 Right 10, 39 West bank 66 Whitaker, Jim 71 White Nationalist Movement 64 World Bank 28, 81, 216, 217 World Social Forum 56, 122, 134 World Trade Organization 111, 121, 216 World War II 27, 119, 120, 123, 127, 196 Yeltsin, Boris 78 Youth 15, 105, 106, 115, 179, 197–199, 201–203, 205, 207, 209, 211, 213, 215, 217, 219 Crime 15, 197–199 Violence 197, 201, 202, 213 Zapatistas

132, 134

STUDIES IN CRITICAL SOCIAL SCIENCES The Studies in Critical Social Sciences book series, through the publication of original manuscripts and edited volumes, offers insights into the current reality by exploring the content and consequence of power relationships under capitalism, by considering the spaces of opposition and resistance to these changes, and by articulating capitalism with other systems of power and domination – for example race, gender, culture – that have been defining our new age. ISSN 1573-4234 1. L EVINE, Rhonda F. (ed.) Enriching the Social Imagination. How Radical Sociology Changed the Discipline. 2004. ISBN 90 04 13992 3 2. COATES, Rodney D. (ed.) Race and Ethnicity. Across Time, Space and Discipline. 2004. ISBN 90 04 13991 5 3. PODOBNIK, B. & T. REIFER (eds.) Transforming Globalization. Challenges and Opportunities in the Post 9/11 Era. 2005. ISBN 90 04 14583 4 4. PFOHL, S., A. VAN WAGENEN, P. AREND, A. BROOKS & D. LECKENBY (eds.) Culture, Power, and History. Studies in Critical Sociology. 2005. ISBN 90 04 14659 8 5. J ORGENSON , Andrew & Edward K ICK (eds.) Globalization and the Environment. 2006. ISBN 90 04 15132 X 6. GOLDSTEIN, Warren (ed.) Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion. A Critique of Rational Choice. 2006. ISBN 90 04 15238 5 7. DELLO BUONO, Richard A. & José BELL LARA (eds.) Imperialism, Neoliberalism and Social Struggles in Latin America. 2007. ISBN 90 04 15365 9 8. PAOLUCCI, Paul B. Marx’s Scientific Dialectics. A Methodological Treatise for a New Century. 2007. ISBN 978 90 04 15860 3 9. OTT, Michael R. (ed.) The Future of Religion. Toward a Reconciled Society. 2007. ISBN 978 90 04 16014 9 10. Z AFIROVSKI , Milan. Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries. Freedom, Liberalism and Anti-Liberalism in the 21st Century. 2007. ISBN 978 90 04 16052 1 11. WORRELL, Mark P. Dialectic of Solidarity. Labor, Antisemitism, and the Frankfurt School. 2008. ISBN 978 90 04 16886 2 12. IYALL SMITH, Keri E. & Patricia LEAVY (eds.) Hybrid Identities. Theoretical and Empirical Examinations. 2008. ISBN 978 90 04 17039 1 13. FASENFEST, David (ed.) Engaging Social Justice: Critical Studies of 21st Century Social Transformation. 2009. ISBN 978 90 04 17654 6 14. Z AFIROVSKI , Milan. The Destiny of Modern Societies: The Calvinist Predestination of a New Society. 2009. ISBN 978 90 04 17629 4 15. O’F LYNN , Micheal. Profitable Ideas: The Ideology of the Individual in Capitalist Development. 2009. ISBN 978 90 04 17804 5 16. BATOU, Jean & Henryk SZLAJFER (eds.) Western Europe, Eastern Europe and World Development 13th-18th Centuries. Collection of Essays of Marian Małowist. 2009. ISBN 978 90 04 17917 2 17. CASSANO, Graham & Richard A. DELLO BUONO (eds.) Crisis, Politics and Critical Sociology. 2009. ISBN 90 04 978 17948 6 18. LANDA, Ishay . Apprentice’s Sorcerer: Liberal Tradition and Fascism. Liberal Tradition and Fascism. 2009. ISBN 90 04 978 17951 6