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From Black to African American: A New Social Representationby Gina Philogene
Synopses & Reviews
An analysis of the recent switch from the name Black to African American symbolizes a reconceptualization of Americans of African descent away from race to culture. This book examines the emergence of a new representation whose rapid spread has been fuelled by widely shared projections of a different future capable of overcoming the legacy of racism.
Far from being just another label, the new name is capable of representing the group in question by projecting a different future for all of us in a multicultural America based on inclusion, fairness, and equality. Such projections are collectively elaborated, driven by the adoption of African American in the media as a more positive alternative to Black and its equally consistent use among a socio-demographically distinct subgroup of black Americans as a vehicle for a new self-identity. The contradistinction between these two alternative terms implies two different representations of the same group, one still based on race and the other rooted in culture. This tension between race and culture, crystallized in the competing uses of Black and African American, points to a more profound cultural transformation currently under way in America. This book takes a close look at the current state of flux in race relations in the United States through the lens of a social psychologist focusing on the emergence of an alternative name as a new social representation.
An analysis of the recent switch from the name "Black" to "African American" symbolizes a reconceptualization of Americans of African descent away from race to culture. This book examines the emergence of a new representation whose rapid spread has been fuelled by widely shared projections of a different future capable of overcoming the legacy of racism.
An analysis of the emergence of a new group denomination for Americans of African descent and its implications.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -233) and index.
About the Author
GINA PHILOGENE is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Serge Moscovici
Defining the Problem
An Anticipatory Social Representation
African American and Its Properties
The Emergence of African American as a Social Representation
Contextualizing the Study
What's in a Name?
Looking for the Topoi of the American Culture
The Polemic of Names in Group Evaluation
What Our Readers Are Saying
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