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The Symbolic Lynching of James Meredith

The Symbolic Lynching of James Meredith The hanging of a noose on the University of Mississippi’s statue of civil rights pioneer James Meredith in February 2014 was framed by university administrators as the act of a few deviant white students, but our analysis suggests otherwise. A historical review shows the university’s long-standing resistance to meaningful change and a continuing lack of transparency following racist incidents. Visual analysis shows that the university remains saturated with monuments, place names, and other symbols of racial dominance. Narratives of marginalized people on campus, including some of the authors, reveal the corrosive effects of normalized white supremacy. The authors’ analysis suggests that, instead of an aberration, the noosing aligned the statue with the prevailing symbolic environment. This study builds bridges between sociological analysis and critical race theory and demonstrates the importance of group processes in understanding and responding to racist incidents on campuses. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2016
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649215626937
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The hanging of a noose on the University of Mississippi’s statue of civil rights pioneer James Meredith in February 2014 was framed by university administrators as the act of a few deviant white students, but our analysis suggests otherwise. A historical review shows the university’s long-standing resistance to meaningful change and a continuing lack of transparency following racist incidents. Visual analysis shows that the university remains saturated with monuments, place names, and other symbols of racial dominance. Narratives of marginalized people on campus, including some of the authors, reveal the corrosive effects of normalized white supremacy. The authors’ analysis suggests that, instead of an aberration, the noosing aligned the statue with the prevailing symbolic environment. This study builds bridges between sociological analysis and critical race theory and demonstrates the importance of group processes in understanding and responding to racist incidents on campuses.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2016

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