By Oneka LaBennett

About Oneka LaBennett

Oneka LaBennett is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and American Studies at Cornell University. She is coeditor of Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, along with Daniel Martinez HoSang and Laura Pulido, and the author of She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn.

Racialization

In contrast to keywords such as “race” and “racist,” “racialization” is relatively new to American studies and cultural studies. The term has a diverse lineage but is most often associated with the work of Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1986/1994), who helped make the concept of racialization a central analytic within both fields. Omi and Winant utilize the term to “signify the extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationship, social practice or group. Racialization is an ideological process, an historically specific one” (64). In contrast to static understandings of race as a universal category of analysis, racialization names a process that produces race within particular social and political conjunctures. That process constructs or represents race by fixing the significance of a “relationship, practice or group” within a broader interpretive framework. Working within this paradigm, scholars have investigated processes and practices of racialization across a wide range of …

Embodiments, Ideologies, Power
Pages ·