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Talk - Race, Democracy, and Social Control: A Grounded Theory of Racial Justice

Thursday, February 28, 2013
12:00 AM
Room 4154 LSA

The problem of racial injustice in legal and law enforcement contexts is commonly framed as an issue of redistribution, where racial justice is defined as the insignificance of race to distributions of benefits and burdens (i.e., juror's deliberations, police violence, incarceration). However, as political theorists stress, race-based social injustices are not merely distributive in nature, but rather, involve central questions of “recognition,” that is, of equal standing and voice in cultural-valuational fields of society, and ultimately, societal power relations.

In this talk, he will discuss how his own research in various contexts of justice administration – the racial history of juvenile justice, the legal profession, and federal court communities – animates these fundamentally deliberative dynamics of racial justice and informs a grounded theory of "racially democratic social control." He will also consider how socio-legal expressions of "post-racialism" undermine the realization of racially democratic relations, historically and today.

Attendees are invited to bring a brown-bag lunch.


Geoff Ward