Group identities have been an important part of political life in America since the founding of the republic. For most of this long history, the central challenge for activists, politicians, and scholars concerned with the quality of U.S. democracy was the struggle to bring the treatment of ethnic and racial minorities and women in line with the creedal values spelled out in the nation’s charters of freedom. We are now several decades from the key moments of the twentieth century when social movements fractured America’s system of ascriptive hierarchy. The gains from these movements have been substantial. Women now move freely in all realms of civil society, hold high elective offices, and constitute more than 50 percent of the workforce. Most African-Americans have now attained middle class status, work in integrated job sites, and live in suburbs. Finally, people of color from nations in Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean now constitute the majority of America’s immigration pool.
In the midst of all of these positive changes, however, glaring inequalities between groups persist. Indeed, ethnic and racial minorities remain far more likely to be undereducated, unemployed, and incarcerated than their counterparts who identify as white. Similarly, both violence and work place discrimination against women remain rampant in U.S. society. The Routledge series on identity politics features works that seek to understand the tension between the great strides our society has made in promoting equality between groups and the residual effects of the ascriptive hierarchies in which the old order was rooted.
Some of the core questions that the series will address are: how meaningful are the traditional ethnic, gender, racial, and sexual identities to our understanding of inequality in the present historical moment? Do these identities remain important bases for group mobilization in American politics? To what extent can we expect the state to continue to work for a more level playing field among groups?
American Political Thought An Alternative View
American Identity in the Age of Obama
By Clarissa Peterson, Emmitt Y. Riley, III
April 15, 2022
With this book, Clarissa Peterson and Emmitt Y. Riley, III dive into how racial attitudes change and inform political decisions. Peterson and Riley use racial resentment, black blame, and racial identity to investigate the extent to which racial attitudes influence vote choice, evaluations of Black...
By Robert C. Smith
October 22, 2020
In this book, Robert C. Smith presents a philosophical and empirical examination on the subordination of women and blacks in the United States. Comparing liberalism—specifically the major social contract philosophies—and Marxism on the nature of the subordination of blacks and women and their ...
By Barbara Burrell
October 03, 2017
This textbook presents a much-needed exploration of the many ways that women in the United States have used their voices in the political process. Written in a concise and accessible style, Women and Politics equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand the political ...
By Jonathan Keller, Alex Zamalin
April 20, 2017
The twenty-first century presents unique political challenges, like increasing concern over racially based police brutality and mass incarceration, continuing economic and gender inequality, the rise of conservative and libertarian politics, and the appropriate role of religion in American politics...
By Utz McKnight
August 12, 2016
The traditional assumption today about race is that it is not political; that it has no political content and is a matter of individual beliefs and attitudes. In Race and the Politics of the Exception, Utz McKnight argues that race is in fact political and defines how it functions as a politics in ...
By Nadia E. Brown, Sarah Allen Gershon, Nadia E. Brown, Sarah Allen Gershon
May 03, 2016
Minority women in the United States draw from their unique personal experiences, born of their identities, to impact American politics. Whether as political elites or as average citizens, minority women demonstrate that they have a unique voice that more often than not centers on their visions of ...
By Edmund Fong
April 21, 2016
In contemporary American political culture, claims of American exceptionalism and anxieties over its prospects have resurged as an overarching theme in national political discourse. Yet never very far from such debates lie animating fears associated with race. Fears about the loss of national unity...
By David S. Gutterman, Andrew R. Murphy
October 26, 2015
Profound demographic and cultural changes in American society over the last half century have unsettled conventional understandings of the relationship between religious and political identity. The "Protestant mainline" continues to shrink in numbers, as well as in cultural and political influence....
By Angela K. Lewis
October 06, 2015
Conservatism in the Black Community examines the contemporary meanings of Black Conservatism and its influence on black political behavior, providing a basis for understanding the impact this phenomenon has on black political behavior. Lewis analyzes conservatism within the black ideological ...
By Wilbur C. Rich
September 25, 2015
In a provocative and controversial analysis, Wilbur C. Rich’s The Post-Racial Society is Here conclusively demonstrates that nation is in midst of a post-racial society. Yet many Americans are skeptical of this fundamental social transformation. The failure of recognition is related to the remnants...
By Amílcar Antonio Barreto, Richard L. O’Bryant
July 14, 2015
The election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States has opened a new chapter in the country’s long and often tortured history of inter-racial and inter-ethnic relations. Many relished in the inauguration of the country’s first African American president — an event foreseen by ...
By Therí A. Pickens
July 14, 2015
In the increasingly multi-racial and multi-ethnic American landscape of the present, understanding and bridging dynamic cross-cultural conversations about social and political concerns becomes a complicated humanistic project. How do everyday embodied experiences transform from being anecdotal to ...