Where's the Race?: Illustrating Mechanisms of Decentering in Social Movements Literature

Jalia L. Joseph, Texas A&M University

Traditionally, the study of social movements uses cases of race based mobilization to generate theories about how and why social movements occur. However, one fundamental problem is that these approaches do not include a structural theory of race or demonstrate how racism plays a significant role in movements failing to advance. Using methods of content analysis, the proposed study sheds light on how scholars decenter race in the sociological literature on raced-based social movements. Drawing from a sample of articles published in three peer-reviewed journals -Social Movement Studies (2002-present); Mobilization(1996 to present); and Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change (1977 to present) — I analyze how social movement scholars have examined Black social movements. Following the trajectory of other race conscious social movement scholars, I expand the theory of decentering and demonstrate why the study of social movements must integrate structural theories of race and racism to advance the development of methodological and theoretical tools for social movements as a whole.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 17. Race and Methodological Inequalities