Series editor(s): Dr Donald Cunnigen and Dr Marino A Bruce
Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy
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|Title:||Campaigning for Obama and the politics of race: The case of California, Texas, and beyond|
|Author(s):||Nadia Y. Kim|
|Volume:||16 Editor(s): Donald Cunnigen, Marino A. Bruce ISBN: 978-0-85724-167-2 eISBN: 978-0-85724-168-9|
|Citation:||Nadia Y. Kim (2010), Campaigning for Obama and the politics of race: The case of California, Texas, and beyond, in Donald Cunnigen, Marino A. Bruce (ed.) Race in the Age of Obama (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.247-266|
|DOI:||10.1108/S0195-7449(2010)0000016013 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
Purpose – This chapter is about the author's experience working for Barack Obama's presidential campaign and the racial as well as race–gender dynamics of such work.
Methodology/approach – An autoethnographic analysis was conducted based on participant observation, primarily, door knocking in California and Texas and phone canvassing Americans across the country on a daily or weekly basis.
Findings – The fieldwork revealed the persistence of racially unequal discourse and stratification, not the workings of a post-racial society. While some Americans openly used the word “nig*er” or referenced lynching, more common were the coded forms of racism, such as the notion of “good” (Obama) versus “bad” Blacks. Also, terms like “Muslim” or “not-American” revealed a citizenship-based racism usually reserved for Asian Americans and Latinos now being levied against Black Americans. This more coded racialization hinged on a combination of subordinating Muslims as perpetual racial foreigners and fearing the “browning of America” brought on by immigration.
Research limitations/implications – As this study of a campaign assessed one point in time from an autoethnographic perspective, it is not generalizable to the United States. It, however, is an important window into the social processes involving race (and gender) when historic candidates and elections move the country in a direction it has never been to before and perhaps will never be to again.
Originality/value of paper – Although many scholars have done racial analyses of Obama's campaign and of our society's negotiation of race in relation to the man, few have conducted in-depth analyses from the vantage of a full-scale Obama campaign volunteer.
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