Race and neoliberalism

Authored by: David J. Roberts

The Handbook of Neoliberalism

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138844001
eBook ISBN: 9781315730660
Adobe ISBN: 9781317549666


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In 2010, Minelle Mahtani and I published an article challenging scholars of neoliberalism, especially within geography, to approach the connection between race and neoliberalism in a more sophisticated manner. The scholarship on race and neoliberalism, at the time, tended to focus on racialized outcomes of neoliberal reforms – what we called ‘the racist eruptions’ of neoliberalization (Roberts and Mahtani 2010: 248). We argued that it was problematic to understand and theorize neoliberalism and race as two separate social entities that only sometimes intersect. Instead, we demanded an understanding of race and neoliberalism as co-constitutive. Following Giroux (2005) we argued that while neoliberalism is saturated with race, it also modifies the way that race and racism are understood and experienced in contemporary society. I review and reiterate the main points of our paper below.

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