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The Politics of Racial Capitalism

Fri, August 30, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Marriott, Washington 3

Session Submission Type: Full Paper Panel

Session Description

We are at a critical moment in the history of race and capital in the United States. The country is emerging from one of the most devastating recessions in history at the same time that anti-immigration rhetoric is ratcheting up and unarmed blacks are being murdered in the streets. In order to understand the contemporary crisis, we must address the economic as well as the political and legal foundations of persisting inequality. As historians have convincingly shown over the past several years—race and capitalism are deeply connected from the time of the latter’s inception. Therefore, it is important from both scholarly and policy perspectives to deepen our scholarly understanding of the relationship between race and capitalism, and connect that research to public debates on racial and economic inequality. Intellectually it is important to understand how the two are interrelated; how processes of race making and racialization fueled capitalism at its onset, the relationship between racial and capitalist social orders—their theoretical, historical and empirical linkages. At the same time, it is critical to understand how people at the margins of society have contested and fought back against these institutional structures.

The panel brings together a wide-ranging group of scholars from different parts of the discipline to engage racial capitalism. Panelists will connect the study of racial capitalism to a larger discussion about new frontiers in race politics, economic inequality, social movements, and political theory.

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