Not just a Social Construct: Theorising Race and Ethnicity

  title={Not just a Social Construct: Theorising Race and Ethnicity},
  author={Chris Smaje},
  pages={307 - 327}
  • C. Smaje
  • Published 1 May 1997
  • Sociology
  • Sociology
Sociological theories of race and ethnicity have been dominated by the metaphor of the social construct, which suggests that they are ideological categories concealing `real' principles of social structure. This idea is problematic because it elides the sense in which race and ethnicity operate both as functional principles of material exclusion and sources of social meaning. The paper examines critically the metaphor of social construction in leading contemporary theories of race and ethnicity… 

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