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The Class Identity Negotiations of Upwardly Mobile Individuals Among Whites and the Racial Other: A USA–France Comparison

Elites and People: Challenges to Democracy

ISBN: 978-1-83867-916-3, eISBN: 978-1-83867-915-6

ISSN: 0195-6310

Publication date: 7 October 2019

Abstract

This chapter explores the class identities of upwardly mobile and middle-class members of racial minorities in France and the United States. Through in-depth interviewing with African Americans and descendants of North African immigrants in, respectively, the United States and France, and comparing these with their counterparts of the racially dominant group, the chapter shows that racial processes significantly shape the mobility experiences and the range of dilemmas, challenges and identity negotiations faced by our minority respondents. Drawing on the Critical Race Theory and on the minority culture of mobility theory (Neckerman, Carter, & Lee., 1999), it suggests that the ongoing salience of racial discrimination coupled with the maintenance of ties with socially disadvantaged members of their groups significantly shape the ways in which our respondents make sense of their class location. The chapter further points to under-researched nation-specific ideological repertoires in shaping our respondents’ mobility experiences and class identities.

Keywords

Citation

Naudet, J. and Shahrokni, S. (2019), "The Class Identity Negotiations of Upwardly Mobile Individuals Among Whites and the Racial Other: A USA–France Comparison", Engelstad, F., Gulbrandsen, T., Mangset, M. and Teigen, M. (Ed.) Elites and People: Challenges to Democracy (Comparative Social Research, Vol. 34), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0195-631020190000034007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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