This chapter offers a critical survey of extant scholarship on the civil rights movement. It highlights topics, organizations, and specific figures and campaigns that have been extensively studied, while also calling attention to other aspects of, or persons or groups in, the movement that have received much less scholarly attention. The piece ends with an extended section on what the author terms “silences, holes, and biases” in the literature on this most important of American social movements. More specifically the author calls for a temporal and geographic broadening of research on the African American freedom struggle, more attention to black activism within a host of institutions (e.g. schools, workplaces, cultural institutions), and increased research on the dynamics of white resistance to collective political action by African Americans.
Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: A Critical Review of the Literature and Suggestions for a Research Agenda
Peter Thisted Dinesen and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov
Due to its wide-ranging implications for social cohesion in diversifying Western countries, the question of the potential negative consequences of ethnic diversity for social trust is arguably the most contentious question in the literature on social trust. In this chapter we critically review the empirical evidence for a negative relationship between contextual ethnic diversity (measured locally within countries) and social trust. We cautiously conclude that there are indications of a negative relationship, although with important variations across study characteristics including national setting, context unit analyzed, and conditioning on moderating influences. Building on the review, we highlight a number of paths for theoretical and methodological advances, which we argue would advance the literature on the relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust.
Islamic movements have emerged nationally and globally with diverse ideologies and strategies but with the seemingly common goal of purifying, promoting, defending, or entrenching the cause of Islam. While some appear to have taken root locally, others were inspired by foreign influence. However, the global nature of the movement and its pervasive influence have ensured that doctrinal teachings, cross-border movements, desire for religious affiliation have played a major role in their growth and impacts. This chapter explores the emergence, growth, and dynamics of Islamic social movement in Nigeria. A major thesis running through the chapter is the impact of earlier movements on latter ones with latter movements attaining higher levels of extremism depending on the available space within which they could operate. The impact of the movements are better seen in the general unrest accompanying their activities and the legacy of recurrent fundamentalism that they left behind.
This chapter examines the debate about multiculturalism in political theory. It traces the emergence of a philosophical literature to justify policies enacted by contemporary liberal democratic states that seek to fairly accommodate cultural diversity and remedy racial injustice. It traces the origins of the contemporary philosophical debate about multiculturalism (particularly in the United States and Canada) to the communitarian critique of theories of liberal neutrality that emphasized individual freedom and autonomy at the expense of collective membership. The liberal–communitarian debate culminated in liberal defenses of minority group rights that emphasize the centrality of culture and group membership to individual autonomy. The essay goes on to consider three remaining sources of tension in liberal multiculturalism: the question of how to reconcile commitments to gender equality and multiculturalism, the issue of how to deal with illiberal minority cultures (particularly religious groups), and the failure to adequately conceive racial justice.
Class is an underdeveloped concept in both formal and informal U.S. political discourse. There is little historical or sustained popular discourse on elites, workers, the bourgeoisie, or the unemployed. Nonetheless, class is still a crucial axis upon which people organize themselves politically and through which political messages are pitched. This chapter offers a definition of class as that system of stratification that is rooted in economic productivity, resources, or capacities. It then lays out the role of class in racial and ethnic politics by focusing on cross-class political cleavages and unity within the African-American community. I develop the concept of black middlemen and middlewomen who act as brokers of political, economic, and symbolic resources. Such brokerage can alternately result in collective empowerment or internal class domination. I conclude by adding gender to the discussion of class, race, and politics to highlight the importance of an intersectional framework.
Rogers M. Smith
In 1955, Louis Hartz argued that the United States had been founded as a “liberal society” which unconsciously embraced the precepts of John Locke, in ways that dominated all other political perspectives throughout American history. Recent analysts of that thesis have focused on the relationship of this “liberal tradition” to American racial inequalities. How and why have both liberalism and racism grown so abundantly in the American political garden? This chapter reviews five types of responses: racism as an anomaly in American liberal society; the unity of American racism and liberalism; the existence of multiple liberalisms, some racist, some not; views seeing liberalism and racism as strongly symbiotic; and more contingent symbiotic accounts. None of these positions dominates modern scholarship. Together they define a vital research agenda.
Rima Wilkes and Cary Wu
In this chapter we consider the patterns of social and political trust on the basis of ethnoracial identification. Concerning social trust, the vast majority of individuals in ethnoracial minority groups trust less than majority group members. Although a large body of research attributes this to institutional rather than cultural effects, in practice these are very difficult to disentangle. However, in matters of political trust, the findings are more mixed. Whereas black Americans generally have lower political trust, other groups such as immigrants tend to have higher political trust. In the case of black Americans, political trust appears to be low in part because is more diffuse in nature and because of demographic underrepresentation.