Cultural sociology’s strong program along with civil sphere theory has the potential to reveal new and insightful ways of understanding and explaining various social inequalities. We use this paper to offer one model of how such a project might look. Drawing on the intersections of media, crime, race, and the U.S. Criminal Justice System, we identify the mechanisms and processes of racialized civil exclusion in the post-Civil Rights era of mass incarceration. In so doing we seek to make two contributions to existing literature. First, we complement popular political process and multi-institutional approaches to social inequalities by providing a model of civil exclusion that is both parsimonious and expansive. Second, we illustrate how cultural sociology’s strong program and civil sphere theory may be used to engage the critical scholarship on race by identifying racialized civil exclusion as a distinct aspect of contemporary racism. We conclude with suggestions on how scholars and activists alike might use cultural sociology’s strong program to inform processes of racialized civil inclusion and investigate other entrenched inequalities.
American Journal of Cultural Sociology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 22, 2016
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