The Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century

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Despite claims frompundits and politicians that we now live in a post-racial America, people seemto keep finding ways to talk about race-from celebrations of the inaugurationof the first Black president to resurgent debates about policeprofiling, race and racism remain salient features of our world. When facedwith fervent anti-immigration sentiments, record incarceration rates of Blacks andLatinos, and deepening socio-economic disparities, a new question has eruptedin the last decade: What does being post-racial mean? The Post-Racial Mystique exploreshow a variety of media-the news, network television, and online, independent media-debate,define and deploy the term post-racial in their representations of Americanpolitics and society. Using examples from both mainstream and niche media-from prime-time television series to specialty Christian media and audienceinteractions on social media-Catherine Squires draws upon a variety ofdisciplines including communication studies, sociology, political science, andcultural studies in order to understand emergent strategies for framingpost-racial America. She reveals the ways in which media texts cast U.S.history, re-imagine interpersonal relationships, employ statistics, andinventively redeploy other identity categories in a quest to formulatedifferent ways of responding to race.