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date: 17 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Contemporary scholarship on racial and ethnic politics in the United States has broadly followed three main approaches in assessing the history of race and ethnicity in the United States. We therefore map three different ways of seeing the relationship between race and ethnicity contained within Whiteness Studies, scholarship on cultural pluralism and multiculturalism, and scholarship on intersections and Intersectionality. Each locates the history of racial and ethnic difference within a larger political problematic, each attaches a different significance and valence between racial and ethnic categories, and each bears with it the particular political investments constituting its origins. By highlighting the divergent ways racial and ethnic categories are mobilized we underscore the irreducibly political nature of race and ethnicity and their ongoing generative role in American politics.

Keywords: race and ethnicity, whiteness studies, multiculturalism, intersections and intersectionality, political incorporation, politics of difference

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