Category: Race & Ethnicity Studies

Undoing Residential Segregation: Is Housing Access Enough?

More than fifty years after passage of the Fair Housing Act, many Americans continue to live in neighborhoods that are segregated by race/ethnicity and class (Loh et al. 2020). How does this spatial separation come about, and what would it take to meaningfully integrate neighborhoods? Is providing affordable housing enough, or do we need to think about other dimensions of belonging within a community, such as shared opportunities for recreation, consumption, or making friends? Questions like these are of central...

College Inequalities: The Best Four Years for Whom?

Going to college is a revered part of young adulthood in U.S. society. It is often said that the four years spent in college are “the best four years of your life,” riddled with expectations that everyone in college is having fun, learning endlessly, and “finding themselves.” However, this pervasive societal encouragement of attaining a college education can easily feel like an anxiety-ridden pressure campaign. Many U.S. teens grow up hearing from parents, relatives, friends, or guidance counselors that their...

Good for Business, Bad for Asian Americans? Affirmative Action and the Lawsuit against Harvard University

Human heterogeneity in culture, race, gender, sexuality, and any other characteristics – commonly referred to as “diversity” – is often lauded in organizations across the U.S. for its various positive outcomes. While hiring or recruiting a diverse pool of people is arguably an ethical imperative, much of the narrative around diversity instead revolves around how it’s “good for business”. For example, a recent Forbes article argues that “diversity and inclusion are essential to business success”, and Amazon’s website claims that...

The Cost of Pollutants: Environmental Hazards, Racial Residential Segregation, and Health

Racial disparities in health are undoubtedly one of the most significant public health issues of our time. According to the National Institute of Health, racial and ethnic minorities suffer from a higher incidence of a wide range of negative health outcomes than Whites, such as preterm births, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. COVID-19 has been no exception, with people of color being disproportionally affected by the pandemic both in terms of infection rates and deaths. Studies have shown that these...

This Cannot Be White-washed

This essay introduces the latest issue of City & Community’s Symposium: “Eyes of a Storm: COVID-19, Systemic Racism, and Police Brutality.” I thank Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell for coming up with the symposium title. There is free online access for the next month at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15406040/2020/19/3. During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, at least 675,000 people were infected in the United States and 500 million worldwide (Barry 2004). However, like today’s COVID-19 Pandemic, the infection rates were not evenly distributed across the...

Race and Racism in the NHS

I was privileged to host a conversation with Tarek Younis and Andrew Smart as part of the BSA Medical Sociology Group virtual event on 10th September 2020, about their papers, published in Sociology of Health and Illness, and included in the journal’s virtual collection of papers on race and ethnicity. The collection and the conversation at the conference were inspired by recent calls for racial justice, provoked in part by the killing of George Floyd, just one of too many...

Elections Have Consequences: What Happened in 2016 and What May Happen in 2020

Almost four years, a pandemic, countless protests, and an impeachment later, it seems that the election of Donald Trump in 2016 has had more severe and deadly consequences than many had imagined. While his election over Hillary Clinton was difficult to imagine in itself – for pollsters, political operatives, and the general public alike – and took the entire world by surprise, it was even harder to project what life in the U.S. would be like for the subsequent four...

Upholding Equity Across Different Campuses

In the past decade the United States has witnessed an influx of conversations regarding sexual assault on college campuses. Cases like Brock Turner and Chanel Miller or Emma Sulkowicz became national examples of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses as well as universities’ failures to protect survivors and seek justice. While there is much work left to be done, there seems to be a more concrete understanding of the frequency of sexual assault and the injustice done…

Localised Far Right Mobilisation in Timişoara, Romania

Figure 1: Timişoara’s Piaţa Traian is a contested area for the poor Roma access into architectural heritage buildings. Photo: Remus Creţan, 2019 The social, political and economic upheaval in Eastern Europe following the removal of the communist regimes that dominated region in 1989 has had lasting effects. The prospect of membership of the European Union opened the possibility of new opportunities and access to resources, enabling them to weather much of the transitional instability. Requirements for increased transparency and accountability...

Of bodies and burkinis: institutional Islamophobia, Islamic dress and the colonial condition

The image accompanying this piece was taken last month in France. The image is of a poster that was displayed on the wall of a beach front café, set against the backdrop of armed troops parading the beach front. The overwhelming impression of the poster is the bust of Marianne, her flowing locks said to represent the freedom of the French Republic. She dominates the image, exemplary of what it means to be a woman in France.  The poster is...

Politics of Categorization: Race and Blood

In a recent article for The New York Times, British journalist Rose George makes the case that the Red Cross needs to reassess its policy of desegregating blood based on race and ethnicity. She also argues that blood collection services need to develop initiatives to attract a more diverse pool of blood given the dearth of minority donors. George draws on the sympathetic case of a young child, Zainab, whose cancer treatment requires a rare form of blood common amongst...

Agency and structure: the impact of ethnic identity and racism on the health of ethnic minority people

Powerful people have a significant impact on our lives. Not only can their decisions affect our access to wealth, and consequent well-being, but their influence affects our very self-definition and expression. Understandings about who we are and what that means develop in light of the ways in which certain categories are understood in and responded to by wider society: what we’re told about what ‘being one of those sorts of people’ means. But while academic studies acknowledge the societal or...

First People Lost: New Statistics Show Alarming Patterns in Indigenous Death Rates in Canada

  The Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has wrapped up its hearings and is scheduled to deliver its final report early next month. The Inquiry examines some of the most extreme outcomes of violence and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls, however the factors affecting their livelihood and life expectancy extends beyond these extreme outcomes and recent research suggests there may not be cause for optimism unless there is systemic change. A research study...

“Exotic” Travel, Missionary Work, and Race

In November 2018, media outlets exploded with the story of John Allen Chau, a missionary from Washington State, who was killed following his attempts to contact an isolated tribe in the Andaman Sea.  Despite legal protection by the Indian government and persistent warnings from local fishermen, Chau approached the island via kayak, bible in hand.  Shortly after reaching the shore, Chau was killed by bow and arrow. Chau’s story quickly sparked public debate, particularly regarding missionary work and its boundaries [1]. ...

The British Journal of Sociology: New Design Volume 70

As an editorial team we are keenly aware of the momentous changes that are taking place in the world of journal publishing, and fully intend to keep our own practices as a journal and as editors – everything from what we publish to how we review, and how quickly – under constant scrutiny in order to ensure that we stay as up to date and as relevant as we can be. So, it is with great pleasure that we announce...

Making Sense of Brexit: Interview with Victor J. Seidler

Victor Jeleniewski Seidler is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology, at Goldsmiths University of London. His research interests include social theory and philosophy; Marxism and critical theory; moral theory; masculinity and sexual politics, and he has written on social theory, ethics and gender, particularly in relation to men and masculinities. In recent years his writing and research have focused on the cultural memory of particular events, including 9/11 and 7/7, and the ways they might challenge traditional social and...