Social Death

Author: Lisa Marie Cacho
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814725422
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Winner of the 2013 John Hope Franklin Book Prize presented by the American Studies Association Social Death tackles one of the core paradoxes of social justice struggles and scholarship—that the battle to end oppression shares the moral grammar that structures exploitation and sanctions state violence. Lisa Marie Cacho forcefully argues that the demands for personhood for those who, in the eyes of society, have little value, depend on capitalist and heteropatriarchal measures of worth. With poignant case studies, Cacho illustrates that our very understanding of personhood is premised upon the unchallenged devaluation of criminalized populations of color. Hence, the reliance of rights-based politics on notions of who is and is not a deserving member of society inadvertently replicates the logic that creates and normalizes states of social and literal death. Her understanding of inalienable rights and personhood provides us the much-needed comparative analytical and ethical tools to understand the racialized and nationalized tensions between racial groups. Driven by a radical, relentless critique, Social Death challenges us to imagine a heretofore “unthinkable” politics and ethics that do not rest on neoliberal arguments about worth, but rather emerge from the insurgent experiences of those negated persons who do not live by the norms that determine the productive, patriotic, law abiding, and family-oriented subject.

Race for Citizenship

Author: Helen Heran Jun
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814745016
Format: PDF
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Helen Heran Jun explores how the history of U.S. citizenshiphas positioned Asian Americans and African Americans in interlocking socio-political relationships since the mid nineteenth century. Rejecting the conventional emphasis on ‘inter-racial prejudice,’ Jun demonstrates how a politics of inclusion has constituted a racial Other within Asian American and African American discourses of national identity. Race for Citizenship examines three salient moments when African American and Asian American citizenship become acutely visible as related crises: the ‘Negro Problem’ and the ‘Yellow Question’ in the mid- to late 19th century; World War II-era questions around race, loyalty, and national identity in the context of internment and Jim Crow segregation; and post-Civil Rights discourses of disenfranchisement and national belonging under globalization. Taking up a range of cultural texts—the 19th century black press, the writings of black feminist Anna Julia Cooper, Asian American novels, African American and Asian American commercial film and documentary—Jun does not seek to document signs of cross-racial identification, but instead demonstrates how the logic of citizenship compels racialized subjects to produce developmental narratives of inclusion in the effort to achieve political, economic, and social incorporation. Race for Citizenship provides a new model of comparative race studies by situating contemporary questions of differential racial formations within a long genealogy of anti-racist discourse constrained by liberal notions of inclusion.

Punished

Author: Victor M. Rios
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 081477637X
Format: PDF
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The author discusses his background as a former gang member and juvenile delinquent in Oakland, California, during the 1980s and 1990s, details his efforts to study the lives of young men from his neighborhood after earning a PhD in sociology at Berkeley, and emphasizes the importance of understanding in order to develop solutions for young men who live in a culture of punishment.

Undoing Border Imperialism

Author: Harsha Walia
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 184935135X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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“Harsha Walia has played a central role in building some of North America’s most innovative, diverse, and effective new movements. That this brilliant organizer and theorist has found time to share her wisdom in this book is a tremendous gift to us all.”—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine Undoing Border Imperialism combines academic discourse, lived experiences of displacement, and movement-based practices into an exciting new book. By reformulating immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building, and racialized empire, it provides the alternative conceptual frameworks of border imperialism and decolonization. Drawing on the author’s experiences in No One Is Illegal, this work offers relevant insights for all social movement organizers on effective strategies to overcome the barriers and borders within movements in order to cultivate fierce, loving, and sustainable communities of resistance striving toward liberation. The author grounds the book in collective vision, with short contributions from over twenty organizers and writers from across North America. Harsha Walia is a South Asian activist, writer, and popular educator rooted in emancipatory movements and communities for over a decade. Praise for Undoing Border Imperialism: “Border imperialism is an apt conceptualization for capturing the politics of massive displacement due to capitalist neoglobalization. Within the wealthy countries, Canada’s No One Is Illegal is one of the most effective organizations of migrants and allies. Walia is an outstanding organizer who has done a lot of thinking and can write—not a common combination. Besides being brilliantly conceived and presented, this book is the first extended work on immigration that refuses to make First Nations sovereignty invisible.”—Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of Indians of the Americas and Blood on the Border “Harsha Walia’s Undoing Border Imperialism demonstrates that geography has certainly not ended, and nor has the urge for people to stretch out our arms across borders to create our communities. One of the most rewarding things about this book is its capaciousness—astute insights that emerge out of careful organizing linked to the voices of a generation of strugglers, trying to find their own analysis to build their own movements to make this world our own. This is both a manual and a memoir, a guide to the world and a guide to the organizer's heart.”—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World “This book belongs in every wannabe revolutionary’s war backpack. I addictively jumped all over its contents: a radical mixtape of ancestral wisdoms to present-day grounded organizers theorizing about their own experiences. A must for me is Walia’s decision to infuse this volume’s fight against border imperialism, white supremacy, and empire with the vulnerability of her own personal narrative. This book is a breath of fresh air and offers an urgently needed movement-based praxis. Undoing Border Imperialism is too hot to be sitting on bookshelves; it will help make the revolution.”—Ashanti Alston, Black Panther elder and former political prisoner

Prison and Social Death

Author: Joshua M. Price
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813565596
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The United States imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. To be sentenced to prison is to face systematic violence, humiliation, and, perhaps worst of all, separation from family and community. It is, to borrow Orlando Patterson’s term for the utter isolation of slavery, to suffer “social death.” In Prison and Social Death, Joshua Price exposes the unexamined cost that prisoners pay while incarcerated and after release, drawing upon hundreds of often harrowing interviews conducted with people in prison, parolees, and their families. Price argues that the prison separates prisoners from desperately needed communities of support from parents, spouses, and children. Moreover, this isolation of people in prison renders them highly vulnerable to other forms of violence, including sexual violence. Price stresses that the violence they face goes beyond physical abuse by prison guards and it involves institutionalized forms of mistreatment, ranging from abysmally poor health care to routine practices that are arguably abusive, such as pat-downs, cavity searches, and the shackling of pregnant women. And social death does not end with prison. The condition is permanent, following people after they are released from prison. Finding housing, employment, receiving social welfare benefits, and regaining voting rights are all hindered by various legal and other hurdles. The mechanisms of social death, Price shows, are also informal and cultural. Ex-prisoners face numerous forms of distrust and are permanently stigmatized by other citizens around them. A compelling blend of solidarity, civil rights activism, and social research, Prison and Social Death offers a unique look at the American prison and the excessive and unnecessary damage it inflicts on prisoners and parolees.

Recovering History Constructing Race

Author: Martha Menchaca
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292778481
Format: PDF
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The history of Mexican Americans is a history of the intermingling of races—Indian, White, and Black. This racial history underlies a legacy of racial discrimination against Mexican Americans and their Mexican ancestors that stretches from the Spanish conquest to current battles over ending affirmative action and other assistance programs for ethnic minorities. Asserting the centrality of race in Mexican American history, Martha Menchaca here offers the first interpretive racial history of Mexican Americans, focusing on racial foundations and race relations from prehispanic times to the present. Menchaca uses the concept of racialization to describe the process through which Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. authorities constructed racial status hierarchies that marginalized Mexicans of color and restricted their rights of land ownership. She traces this process from the Spanish colonial period and the introduction of slavery through racial laws affecting Mexican Americans into the late twentieth-century. This re-viewing of familiar history through the lens of race recovers Blacks as important historical actors, links Indians and the mission system in the Southwest to the Mexican American present, and reveals the legal and illegal means by which Mexican Americans lost their land grants.

Citizens Without Shelter

Author: Leonard C. Feldman
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801472909
Format: PDF
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One of the most troubling aspects of the politics of homelessness, Leonard C. Feldman contends, is the reduction of the homeless to what Hannah Arendt calls "the abstract nakedness of humanity" and what Giorgio Agamben terms "bare life." Feldman argues that the politics of alleged compassion and the politics of those interested in ridding public spaces of the homeless are linked fundamentally in their assumption that homeless people are something less than citizens. Feldman's book brings political theories together (including theories of sovereign power, justice, and pluralism) with discussions of real-world struggles and close analyses of legal cases concerning the rights of the homeless.In Feldman's view, the "bare life predicament" is a product not simply of poverty or inequality but of an inability to commit to democratic pluralism. Challenging this reduction of the homeless, Citizens without Shelter examines opportunities for contesting such a fundamental political exclusion, in the service of homeless citizenship and a more robust form of democratic pluralism. Feldman has in mind a truly democratic pluralism that would include a pluralization of the category of "home" to enable multiple forms of dwelling; a recognition of the common dwelling activities of homeless and non-homeless persons; and a resistance to laws that punish or confine the homeless.

Won t You be My Neighbor

Author: Camille Zubrinksy Charles
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610441168
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Los Angeles is a city of delicate racial and ethnic balance. As evidenced by the 1965 Watts violence, the 1992 Rodney King riots, and this year’s award-winning film Crash, the city’s myriad racial groups coexist uneasily together, often on the brink of confrontation. In fact, Los Angeles is highly segregated, with racial and ethnic groups clustered in homogeneous neighborhoods. These residential groupings have profound effects on the economic well-being and quality of life of residents, dictating which jobs they can access, which social networks they can tap in to, and which schools they attend. In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, sociologist Camille Zubrinsky Charles explores how modern racial attitudes shape and are shaped by the places in which people live. Using in-depth survey data and information from focus groups with members of L.A.’s largest racial and ethnic groups, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? explores why Los Angeles remains a segregated city. Charles finds that people of all backgrounds prefer both racial integration and a critical mass of same-race neighbors. When asked to reveal their preferred level of racial integration, people of all races show a clear and consistent order of preference, with whites considered the most highly desired neighbors and blacks the least desirable. This is even true among recent immigrants who have little experience with American race relations. Charles finds that these preferences, which are driven primarily by racial prejudice and minority-group fears of white hostility, taken together with financial considerations, strongly affect people’s decisions about where they live. Still, Charles offers reasons for optimism: over time and with increased exposure to other racial and ethnic groups, people show an increased willingness to live with neighbors of other races. In a racially and ethnically diverse city, segregated neighborhoods can foster distrust, reinforce stereotypes, and agitate inter-group tensions. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? zeroes in on segregated neighborhoods to provide a compelling examination of the way contemporary racial attitudes shape, and are shaped by, the places where we live.

Captivity Beyond Prisons

Author: Martha D. Escobar
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 147730830X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Today the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. The country increasingly relies on the prison system as a "fix" for the regulation of societal issues. Captivity Beyond Prisons is the first full-length book to explicitly link prisons and incarceration to the criminalization of Latina (im)migrants. Starting in the 1990s, the United States saw tremendous expansion in the number of imprisoned (im)migrants, specifically Latinas/os. Consequently, there was also an increase in the number of deportations. In addition to regulating society, prisons also serve as a reproductive control strategy, both in preventing female inmates from having children and by separating them from their families. With an eye to racialized and gendered technologies of power, Escobar argues that incarcerated Latinas are especially depicted as socially irrecuperable because they are not considered useful within the neoliberal labor market. This perception impacts how they are criminalized, which is not limited to incarceration but also extends to and affects Latina (im)migrants' everyday lives. Escobar also explores the relationship between the immigrant rights movement and the prison abolition movement, scrutinizing a variety of social institutions working on solutions to social problems that lead to imprisonment. Accessible to both academics and those in the justice and social service sectors, Escobar's book pushes readers to consider how, even in radical spaces, unequal power relations can be reproduced by the very entities that attempt to undo them.