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Social Agency and White Supremacy in Immigration Studies

Social Agency and White Supremacy in Immigration Studies Assimilation scholarship is rooted in the race relations framework that has been critiqued for providing legitimacy to the prevailing racial order, not least because it credits ethno-racial group agency as the mechanism that causes inequities among groups’ socioeconomic outcomes and the degrees to which they are socially accepted. To explain socioeconomic inequities, alternative frames centering on racialization and structural racism look to white supremacy and the unequal ends it engenders, but the sociological theory developed in these alternatives is largely tangential to assimilation theory. That the assimilationist model still dominates leaves a key part of the discipline vulnerable to supporting white supremacist ideologies about societies falsely believed to be colorblindly meritocratic. For this reason I call upon sociologists to work together to dethrone assimilationism from its exalted status in the sociology of immigration and scholars of race knowledgeable in these alternative approaches to actively reenter the arena of immigration studies and take the ground that has been ceded to the assimilationist frame. I suggest these as next steps in a campaign to overturn the dominance of the race relations model in sociology as a whole. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Social Agency and White Supremacy in Immigration Studies

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity , Volume 1 (1): 13 – Jan 1, 2015

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2014
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649214560796
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Assimilation scholarship is rooted in the race relations framework that has been critiqued for providing legitimacy to the prevailing racial order, not least because it credits ethno-racial group agency as the mechanism that causes inequities among groups’ socioeconomic outcomes and the degrees to which they are socially accepted. To explain socioeconomic inequities, alternative frames centering on racialization and structural racism look to white supremacy and the unequal ends it engenders, but the sociological theory developed in these alternatives is largely tangential to assimilation theory. That the assimilationist model still dominates leaves a key part of the discipline vulnerable to supporting white supremacist ideologies about societies falsely believed to be colorblindly meritocratic. For this reason I call upon sociologists to work together to dethrone assimilationism from its exalted status in the sociology of immigration and scholars of race knowledgeable in these alternative approaches to actively reenter the arena of immigration studies and take the ground that has been ceded to the assimilationist frame. I suggest these as next steps in a campaign to overturn the dominance of the race relations model in sociology as a whole.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2015

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