Three Tensions in the Theory of Racial Capitalism
In this essay the author assesses the relevance of scholarship on racial capitalism for sociological theory and highlights three tensions within the existing literature: (1) whether “race” as opposed to other forms of difference is the primary mode of differentiation in capitalism, (2) whether deficiencies in existing theory warrant the new concept “racial capitalism”, and (3) whether the connection between race and capitalism is a contingent or logical necessity. Existing discussions of racial capitalism implicitly or explicitly raise these tensions, but they do not adequately resolve them. Nonetheless, they remain important for generating further theory and research.
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