Editorial: Introduction to the Special Issue on Race and Ethnicity
Sociological Forum. 2002, Vol. 17(4): pp. 549-551.
The tension between ascribed and achieved status pervades much of sociology, sometimes as a latent theme and sometimes manifest. The articles in this issue of Sociological Forum revisit this tension through the lens of race and ethnicity. They examine contexts varying widely from adolescents in the United States to upper-caste Muslims in India. The specific issues they address are also diverse: the relationship between race, democracy, and equal opportunity; deviant behavior among teenagers of different ethnic groups; intermarriage among whites and minorities in contemporary U.S. society; the strategic commonalities between the Deaf, gay and white supremacist movements; and finally, the tension between modernization, economic development, and finally, the tension between modernization, economic development, and caste/racial identity. Yet, the articles also share a broader common theme; each concerns the paradoxes that emerge when ascribed racial or ethnic identity collides with powerful forces that represent the conditions of achieved position.