Post-race/post Politics? Activist-intellectualism and the reification of race

St Louis, Brett. 2002. Post-race/post Politics? Activist-intellectualism and the reification of race. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 25(4), pp. 652-675. ISSN 0141-9870 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Many recent theoretical approaches to race have questioned its salience as a critical concept due to the limitations of its reified descriptive and explanatory premises. This article argues that key social constructionist conceptualizations of race have consistently emerged alongside oppositional modes of political engagement within a context of activist-intellectualism. This conceptualization of race as a constituent of an oppositional political project differs from the post-racial perspectives advanced by recent calls for the dismantling of race that are produced within a (postmodern) contemporary environment where intellectual production has shifted from legislative to interpretive functions. The tangible dangers entailed in the reification of race remain manifold and grave, and their conceptual and practical equivalence is questionable. The article develops aspects of Alain Locke's work to frame the political conditions that might serve as an ethical and responsible basis for the critical usage of race.

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Race; reification; social constructionism; activist-intellectualism; politics

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Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2023 10:01

Last Modified:

21 Apr 2023 10:01

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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